Place info

Holmes Bay

(30 routes)

The Crag is approx 60 metres long by 10 to 15 metres high. It consists of columnar trachy basalt. It faces almost due south and is excellently protected from the north-west and north-east. The crag dries quickly after rain, particularly where it has been cleaned. However, as it receives almost no sun, it is slow to dry in winter and can be very cold.
Descents are available at both ends, the easiest being at the left end as the right end is very overgrown. There is a two-ring anchor station at the top of Hump The Lump to allow abseil descents, and this works well with an abseil rope set up for the day. Protection is available with a set of camming devices and a set of wires. Most of the loose rock has been cleaned from the listed climbs, but there is still more to be found, particularly around the summit blocks. Please be careful if you are heaving rocks down into the scrub below as the goats give the native plants a hard enough time without us adding to the damage!
Grades have been updated from Murray’s original guide based on comments from Phil Stuart-Jones and Joe Arts. In every case the grades have gone up – typically by one or two grades.

  • South

    Aspect

  • 5–10 mins

    Walk in

  • 460m

    Altitude

Type: 
Crag
Aspect: 
South
Altitude: 
460m

The Crag is approx 60 metres long by 10 to 15 metres high. It consists of columnar trachy basalt. It faces almost due south and is excellently protected from the north-west and north-east. The crag dries quickly after rain, particularly where it has been cleaned. However, as it receives almost no sun, it is slow to dry in winter and can be very cold.
Descents are available at both ends, the easiest being at the left end as the right end is very overgrown. There is a two-ring anchor station at the top of Hump The Lump to allow abseil descents, and this works well with an abseil rope set up for the day. Protection is available with a set of camming devices and a set of wires. Most of the loose rock has been cleaned from the listed climbs, but there is still more to be found, particularly around the summit blocks. Please be careful if you are heaving rocks down into the scrub below as the goats give the native plants a hard enough time without us adding to the damage!
Grades have been updated from Murray’s original guide based on comments from Phil Stuart-Jones and Joe Arts. In every case the grades have gone up – typically by one or two grades.

Access: 

Take the Akaroa highway to Hilltop. From here take the Old Pigeon Bay Road until the second cattle stop. At a fork in the road go left. Go 200m past sheep yards on the left side of the road. Park off the road before the gate, walk up the hill, parallel with the fence then cross down the small boulder field to to the left and through the opening in the bush.
Holmes Bay crag is on the 'Balcarres' property, owned by Andy Richardson who is quite happy for people to rock climb there. Call him before visiting the crag on 03 304 6822.

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Walk time: 
5–10 mins
NZMS260: 
N36 996275
Topo50: 
BX25 896 659
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
10
0
5m
Natural gear required
  Just to the right of the descent route. Up easy blocks, avoiding the vegetation. In the style of the first ascent you should complete this climb in alpine double boots, carrying a 20 kg pack.

Murray Cullen, 1990

13
0
5m
Natural gear required
  This and the next route are very dirty, and placing gear would be difficult at present. The 'V' groove immediately above the large bush, with a tussock ledge on the left at half height. May be more like 15+.

Murray Cullen, 1990

12
0
5m
Natural gear required
  The crack 1 metre right of G.C. with a stack of blocks, some of which rattle a bit!

Murray Cullen, 1990

15
1.02
10m
Natural gear required
  The four-sided corner with a capping stone and a curved hand jam crack in the RHS, above a pedestal. Mantle onto the pedestal. Hand jam the crack. Exit right from the top of the crack and continue straight up to a belay. Excellent protection.

Murray Cullen, 1990

21
0
10m
Natural gear required
  Just around the corner, a featureless widening finger crack for five metres to a ledge, and easy ground.

Joe Arts, 1991

YMC
18
0
12m
Natural gear required
  Climb delicately on small holds to reach lay away holds in a left facing curved crack. Continue up the obvious line to the top.

Murray Cullen, 1990

NWP
23
1.02
Natural gear required
One or more images in route detail.
  The twin cracks to the left of CJM.

Allan Hill, 1994

CJM
20
3
15m
Natural gear required
  Miss this one and you qualify for instant retirement, complete with euthanasia pill. The obvious finger to hand jam crack. Finish through the blocks right (best) or left. Sustained and strenuous. Excellent protection - if you can hang around long enough to put it in!

Murray Cullen, 1990

FI
15
0
15m
Natural gear required
  The obvious crack on the right of the 'Fallen Idol'. An alternative start exists on the left side (18), Peter Cleary, 24 Feb 1990), with another start up the prow of the 'Idol' (15) - only if you stay right on the prow, a bit artificial. Murray Cullen, Mar '90). Continue up the wide crack and ledges to the top. Recommend a large cam to protect the exit crack.

Peter Cleary, 1990

Bi
20
0
15m
Natural gear required
  This and the next few routes have been overtaken by moss and are probably not climbable at the given grades. The thin crack to the right of the 'Fallen Idol'. Wide bridging takes you up to a ledge, with an interesting finish at the top. The crux is getting over the step slab at half height.

Murray Cullen, 1990

20
0
Natural gear required
  Very mossy. Start as for Easy Day or Reptillian Mantle, and into the obvious groove with thin crack (piton). Move left to arête and up this. Step right to final short wall.

Alan Hill, 1999

10
0
Natural gear required
  Climb the blocks behind the rotting tree stump and continue up the obvious easy line. A bit vegetated in the middle. Using the tree stump is a no no!
RM
18
0
15m
Natural gear required
  Climb the block, direct, to the left of the large Broadleaf and join Easy Day... A one move wonder. Either you can do it or you can't ! Very dirty, and probably undergraded anyway.

Murray Cullen, 1990

15
0
15m
Natural gear required
  Climb up the 'V' groove to the right of the large Broadleaf tree and to the left of Escalade du Jour. Traverse right onto a small ledge before you get tangled in the vegetation and continue up the top half of Escalade du Jour. Have a nice trip! A better climb than it looks, though it could do with a bit more cleaning.

Murray Cullen, 1990

EdJ
22
0
15m
Natural gear required
  Start at the steep crack with an open flared chimney (crux). This is both steeper and more strenuous than you expect. The crack continues up an open corner to a small bush below a sloping ledge. Easy finish to the top.

Murray Cullen, 1990

CoD
19
1.02
15m
Natural gear required
  Jam your way up the left hand thin crack on a steep wall.

Joe Arts, 1991

FoR
21
0
Natural gear required
  The corner and twin cracks to the left of Broadleaf Lane, featuring jamming through the overlap.

Allan Hill, 1994

15
2.01
13m
Natural gear required
  Climb the crack (which used to have a small broadleaf tree part way up - until it was removed by the arch-environmentalist!) to a ledge. Exit left (easy) or through the obvious bulging crack on the right (much more satisfactory).

Peter Cleary, 1990

SaR
20
1.02
14m
Natural gear required
  The narrow crack which widens to fist width in the middle (at least one large cam required). Follow the thinner crack above the bulge as it angles left.

Joe Arts, 1991

HL
16
1.02
8m
Natural gear required
  Mantle onto the ledge and jam the crack above. Excellent protection but quite awkward.

Peter Cleary, 1990

AAP
24
0
12m
Natural gear required
  Place your first protection by reaching into the groove from up on the left. Descend and bridge the awkward 'V' groove from the ground, up awkwardly to the thin finger crack.

Joe Arts, 1994

DdB
22
3
15m
Natural gear required
  Climb onto the pedestal in the four sided corner. From here climb on the right rib (crux) to gain the jugs under the small roof. Head for the obvious exit. A really nice fingery crux. Climb onto the pedestal in the four sided corner. From here climb on the right rib (crux) to gain the jugs under the small roof. Head for the obvious exit. A really nice fingery crux.
PhF
24
3
15m
Natural gear required
  Bridge the groove while jamming the thin crack. There is one crucial pocket for the feet on the right wall. The bulge at the top is very interesting.

Joe Arts, 1991

22
0
15m
Natural gear required
  Left side of the lower overhanging block. Climb into the slaby alcove, aiming for the top edge of the block to pull over into QG. A manky fixed peg is used for protection.

Joe Arts, 1994

17
0
15m
Natural gear required
  Start on the short wall to a pedestal, on the right side of the lower overhanging block, finishing up the right facing corner. Utterly disgusting as the name suggests. A very suggestive position is adopted to gain the sloping ledge above the overhang. The upper corner makes for an enjoyable finish.

Murray Cullen, 1990

SAM
18
0
15m
Natural gear required
  Three metres right. Climb the V groove to a block. From the ledge on the right side climb the steep crack to good holds and gain the ledge on the left, with an easy finish. Easier for taller climbers.

Murray Cullen, 1990

14
1.02
15m
Natural gear required
  Straight into the deceptively steep corner and keep on truckin'. The holds just keep on coming. The 'dump truck' removed most of the loose rubbish aeons ago!

Murray Cullen, 1990

14
0
8m
Natural gear required
  The obvious, short, right leaning off-width leading into some loose rock (on top of the off-width) and an easy exit.

Peter Cleary, 1990

18
0
Natural gear required
  The last rock of any note, at the right hand end. Climb the V-corner left of the large skyline block. Very short but quite intense, unfortunately very dirty. A grade 15 variation uses the crack to the left.

Hamish Reid, 1997

19 ,18
0
Natural gear required
 

The cliff further uphill to the N. Best reached by abseiling.

  1. Start below the steepest part of the cliff, where a wide groove leading to 2 prominent cracklines. Gain the groove from the R, move up and then R to gain the LH crack system which widens to an awkward flare. Poss belay above this.
  2. Move up and R to gain V groove and follow.

Alan Hill and Alex Franklin 2004

Attribution: 
Information by Lindsay Main & previously hosted on website by John Davis
This place appears in: 
Rock Deluxe: South

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