Place info

Sawyer's Crag

(10 routes)

Sawyer's Crag is a sub-alpine crag located above Sawyer Stream, behind Unwin Lodge, at Aoraki Mount Cook
National Park. The crag starts from the stream at about 740 metres altitude and tops out on Hoophorn Spur at 1000 metres. It faces north and catches the sun.
Most of the routes are bolted, but take natural gear for additional anchors and placements on some routes.
There have been some fixed ropes left in place, use at your own peril.
There is plenty of scope for more routes, both natural and bolted.
Note that this area is a domestic water catchment area and must not be polluted.
It is possible to scramble between the top of "Paper Tiger", past the "Joggers' Special" wall, to the climbs
centered around "Bone China".

  • North East

    Aspect

  • 900m

    Altitude

Type: 
Crag
Aspect: 
North East
Altitude: 
900m

Sawyer's Crag is a sub-alpine crag located above Sawyer Stream, behind Unwin Lodge, at Aoraki Mount Cook
National Park. The crag starts from the stream at about 740 metres altitude and tops out on Hoophorn Spur at 1000 metres. It faces north and catches the sun.
Most of the routes are bolted, but take natural gear for additional anchors and placements on some routes.
There have been some fixed ropes left in place, use at your own peril.
There is plenty of scope for more routes, both natural and bolted.
Note that this area is a domestic water catchment area and must not be polluted.
It is possible to scramble between the top of "Paper Tiger", past the "Joggers' Special" wall, to the climbs
centered around "Bone China".

Access: 

To gain access to Sawyer's Crag, walk up the vehicle access track behind Unwin Lodge past the watertanks. When opposite the old wooden "A"frame, enter
the bush and follow the track up to the remains of the old pipe-line bridge. Cross the stream, onto the true right, by using the rocks down-stream from the bridge. Climb "Pipeline Rib" to the left of the bridge.
Above the rock rib, ascend the grass slopes to the crag.
There is also a steep access route directly above the end of the bridge, to the top of "Pipeline Rib".
If Sawyer Stream is too high to cross safely then access can be made by crossing the stream near the gravel pit and ascending Hoophorn Spur via the grass slopes. You can then abseil down the crag with double ropes from the chain anchors on top of "Jogger's Special".
Warning:
DO NOT ATTEMPT THE GRASS SLOPES WHEN WET!
BE PREPARED TO FIND YOUR OWN ANCHORS AND GEAR PLACEMENTS.
TAKE A HELMET.
CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK.

NZMS260: 
H36 772 123
Topo50: 
BY15 673 507
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
1
14 ,
0
45m
Natural gear required
 
  1. Access route that follows the rib above the old pipeline bridge to the beech trees. 2 pitches on natural gear. Not a beginner lead! 1st pitch starts from the ledge above the stream and steps left onto the rib. Continue up the rib to the trees to belay.
  2. 2nd pitch heads up the corner to the left, through the trees. Belay from the trees at top.

Grant Pearson, Gary Kinsey 2004

2
13
0
Natural gear required
  Follow extreme left line on the crag with natural gear.

Grant Pearson, Tom Wilson Apr 05

3
13
0
Natural gear required
  Continue up the arete above "Don't Forget the Kids", to the very top of the crag, with natural gear. Be careful with the loose scree at the top. Descent can be made by double-rope abseil from the top of "Jogger's Special". Otherwise take your walking shoes and walk off the back, past the tarn, over the fence and down the steep grass slopes towards Unwin Lodge.

(Anthony Morgan, Mathew Scholes Jul 05)

4
18
0
25m
1X bolts
Natural gear required
  Climb the slanting slab past two bolts with natural gear between, then walk up ramp to belay chain at base of "Paper Tiger". Has been climbed straight up onto the slab using the first bolt and natural gear. (work in progress, bolting incomplete)
5
17
0
25m
2X bolts
Natural gear required
  Climb through the scoop in the obvious overhang and follow right-most line on slab above. Bolted. 2 bolt anchor at the top.

Tom Wilson Apr 05

6
16
0
45m
4X bolts
Natural gear required
  Follow line of spaced bolts up three slabs separated by small overhangs. Bolted. Chain anchor at the top. Beware of loose scree over the top. Long ropes required.

Tom Wilson Apr 05

7
18
0
20m
4X bolts
Natural gear required
  Shares belay at its base with "Bone China". The bolted left line up the slab. 2 bolt anchor at the top.

Tom Wilson Apr 05

8
17
0
25m
  The bolted right-hand line from the belay, following breaks up the slab. Trend right after second bolt. Chain anchor at the top.

Tom Wilson April 2005

9
17 ,
0
50m
Natural gear required
 
  1. Shark Walk (16/17) 50m The slab up the extreme right-hand end of the crag. Natural gear. The 1st pitch is accessible by abseil from base of "Bone China". 1st pitch to get back to the level of "Bone China" start.
  2. 2nd pitch either head straight up cracks or use them to protect the arete on the right. Shares top anchor with "Bone China".

Grant Pearson, Tom Wilson Apr 05

10
12
0
Natural gear required
  Trad route that steps right, past a small cave, and then up the buttress.

Grant Pearson Apr 05

Attribution: 
From the mini guide in the NZAC Website. By Grant Pearson
This site is a beta version.