Otepatotu

(108 routes)

It may take a while to get a grip on the name:"O-te -pa-to-tu", or "Ote" for short.
There are some excellent routes here, particularly low-grade trad climbs which are well-protected and reasonably long. The rock configuration means that most of the better routes have a compact, knobbly lower half (nice climbing but sometimes with little pro), and a steeper, more featured upper half.

In northwest winds the crag is sheltered, though it's very exposed at the top. Avoid it in a southerly.
History
The crag was first visited by a group of wandering climbers in 1973, producing a series of excellent routes. These are the classic ***Ultimate Horror (16) - later "enhanced" with two bolts and *Deviant (17) by Tim Wethey, **Oblivion (16) by Mike Franklin, *N.S.U (14 ) by Mike Perry, and *Diploma (14) by Warwick Anderson. These visits established the crag, but the next new route was not until five years later with Hugh Logan’s **Eliminator (18). The crag’s hardest climb was produced by John Allen in 1979: Walk on the Mild Side (23). This necessitated a 7m fall due to removing hands from the rock at the wrong time! Another Allen prize was **Altar (21), the spectacular arete that gives the crag its profile. This was top-roped in 1973, but the difficulty (for the time) and limited protection preserved it for seven more years. Also climbed in 1980 were John Howard’s Falter (22) and Greenstick Fracture (20). Roddy McKenzie added Cabbage Milkshake (22). During the 1990s the crag had a few new routes put in by Hamish Dunn & Rob Battersby, mixing trad climbing in with bolts. Alan Hill and friends also put up some trad routes, mainly on the small cliffs to the left of the main wall, during the 90s and early 2000s.
In 2011 seismic events forced a re-evaluation of local climbing, and Otepatotu became a preferred destination because of the absence of damage to the crag and ease of access. A track was cut to the base, all the existing lines were cleaned, and many new routes and variations were added, the main protagonists being Joe Arts, Lindsay Main, and Hugh Logan. A few routes (The Ultimate Horror and Dead Heroes) were retro-bolted, and bolt anchor stations were established along the top of the crag. Gorse-infested corners were cleaned out and development started on the left side of the main cliff (left of Walk on the Mild Side), resulting in about 15 new routes and variations. Many of these were of unexpected quality.

Apart from the main crag, with routes listed below, there are three smaller crags to the left, the Left, Middle, and Right Buttresses. The routes on these are listed separately for each crag.

Type: 
Crag
Altitude: 
640m
Aspect: 
South West
Walk time: 
5 min.
Access: 

From Christchurch, take the Akaroa highway to Hilltop and from there the Summit road. About 3km past the Okains Bay turnoff is the Otepatotu Scenic Reserve, with the crag as its dominant feature. A track leads to the top of the crag, which is a pleasant spot.
To access the cliff, follow the DOC track for about 50 metres, and at the top of the steps look for a marked track on the left, which leads directly to the right side of the crag (about 100 metres). Take care of the native vegetation, but there is an open season on gorse!
The climbs are described from left to right, so the first-named climbs are at the far end when you reach the crag.

Lat/Lon: 
-43.750841000000, 173.014746680000
NZMS260: 
N36 112174
Topo50: 
BX25 012 558
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Edit link
F ** k CERA 13 5m
0
wire representing trad
Joe has been skipping his anger management classes. A very short crack on the left margin of the cliff, up high. Access is from the base of the Right Buttress up the vegetated gully angling right to a pile of large boulders. Crawl between these and then walk across to the crack. Descend by walking to an anchor station and abseiling.
Joe Arts, 2012
Lost In Space 15 20m
0
wire representing trad
Start up Alpine Arête, climbing to the left, and up a short slab. Leap across the gorse leftward to gain the narrow arête. Up the airy and atmospheric rib with good but spaced protection. Anchor with a long sling and walk off to the right.
Joe Arts, 2012
Alpine Arete 13 25m
0
wire representing trad
Starts up the arête just where the track rises to meet the cliff. Optional protection in the crack on the right. Over the blocks and on up the arête all the way with reasonable protection. There is a DBA high up in the corner to the right at the top of Chimps.
Hugh Logan, 2012
Crack In The Wall 17 25m
1.02
wire representing trad
From the same start move right along the dirt ledge to the crack. Intricate climbing at the start until the crack widens to hand size, then cruisy to the top.
Hugh Logan, 2012
Chimps In The Mist 17 25m
0
wire representing trad
Just further right along the ledge – the obvious corner and crack. Anchor station at the top.
Lindsay Main, 2012
Bloodless Coup 16 20m
0
wire representing trad
From the track climb a sliver of rock past the ledges to the undercut arête. (Good protection in the horizontal crack). Pull over on jugs and climb the arête on nice rock, placing up to 4 wires to reassure the belayer.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
The Jungle Book 13 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
Start among the trees at a slight corner and climb beside (and up?) a tree to more open rock. Up through a shrubbery following a cut track to a large block, Bridge up with good protection (crux) to gain the top corner. Excellent easy climb.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
SA Sequoia's Arete 21 22m
0
4bolts wire representing trad
Starts at a small buttress with a low bolt. Up over this and climb easily to the ledge (cams for protection). Climb the arête past three bolts.
Marty Schmidt, 2012
Que Sera, CERA? 19 28m
0
wire representing trad
Right-angling groove, accessed by scrambling up the broad featured prow (no protection). At the ledge place a cam behind the large block; then protection is from wires initially while bridging up the groove to join Cornucopia.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
Ca Cornucopia 15 28m
1.02
wire representing trad
Follows the major low-angle corner with shrubs in the lower part. Copious holds lead up the corner to a series of blocks which appear to be stable and probably solid enough to take pro. Continue up the crack – hardest at the top.
Lindsay Main, 2012
The Dyslexic Agnostic 16 25m
0
wire representing trad
Boulder up the undercut arête and follow the crack to the blocks at the left side of the overhang. Up into the open groove with several reasonable wires for pro. At the ledge climb the jam crack directly through the overhang and exit over the blocks. Anchor station to the right of the hanging block.
Lindsay Main, 2012
Belle Epoque 15 28m
0
wire representing trad
This first route on the left side of the crag succeeded in finding a gorse-free line up the cliff, but this attitude has become unnecessary. Start below the triangular overhang and climb the lower wall, trending left to skirt the overhang. Past the blocks join the crack of Cornucopia and finish as for that route.
Jim Young, 1997
2R Second-hand Rose 23 25m
0
1bolts
The cleft splitting the large overhang in the middle of this wall. Easy to the overhang, clip the bolt and pull through. Good crack to the ledge; then up the steep finishing corner to anchors.
Tony Burnell, 2012.
SR Step To The Right 13 25m
2.01
wire representing trad
Starts up a crack left of the main corner, leading left past the small roof and under the large roof. Step right and out around the roof and climb the crack above (crux). Finish up the corner to a high anchor station.
Hugh Logan, 2012
Barbed-wire Canoe 15 28m
0
wire representing trad
The main corner on the right of this wall. Bridge up past the overhangs to the easy finishing corner. Anchors high on the left wall of the corner.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
Walk on the Mild Side 23 20m
0
wire representing trad
Start up easy wall to cave, then move deviously through overhang to ramp and top.
John Allen, 1979
BP The Black Plague 17 25m
0
2bolts wire representing trad
Black wall and arête just left of Chocolate Frog, with two bolts. Fingery moves past the bolts lead to easier climbing to the roof (natural protection). Above the break (cams) move left to the arête and up on good holds to the anchor. This is usually the last route on the crag to dry.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
CF Chocolate Frog 14 15m
0
wire representing trad
An obvious black corner with two small trees which are useful as runners. Climb through the bulge and continue up the wide crack with protection on the left. Take slings and big gear.
Mike Franklin, 1973
Deviant 17 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
Quite a good route. Climb most of Chocolate Frog, and above the bush traverse right onto the wall. Then up the crack and exit corner (crux). Good protection.
Tim Wethey, 1973
Ud Undeviated 19 25m
1.02
1bolts wire representing trad
Start up Paradise Regained and clip the bolt with a sling, but then move straight up on to the slab to join the crack just right of the bush. Up the steepening crack (crux) and over the bulge on good holds. Finish up the top corner as for Deviant.
Lindsay Main, 2014
Paradise Regained 16 15m
1.02
1bolts wire representing trad
Climb the wall right of Chocolate Frog to positive holds (crux); then right past a new bolt and up the crack just left of the arête. Steep but juggy finish to the ring anchors. Protection is spaced but okay.
Tim Wethey, 1973
Paradise Refound 15 20m
0
wire representing trad
An interesting and worth-while link-up. Start as for the next route by bouldering up a steep rounded groove (not included in the grading). Place gear and move left to the arête; then left to link up with Paradise Regained for a section before moving back around the arête and finishing up the easy knobbly face. Take plenty of slings for extending runners.
Hugh Logan, 2011
PR Paradise Roof 18 20m
0
wire representing trad
Through the roof, following a thin crack. Start two metres right of the arête and boulder up a steep groove to gain the crack and first protection. Slightly left to engage the roof and pull through. Easy climbing up the corner follows. From the platform climb three metres to the ledge. A chain and ring anchor is just to the left.
Lindsay Main, 2011
Paradise Lost 16 15m
0
wire representing trad
Start as for the previous route (or further right) but take the right-leaning ramp, bridging to the hanging arête. (Marginal large cam in horizontal slot). Carefully up without pro to reach a thin crack, and easily to the top.
Tim Wethey, 1973
Sticky Fingers 17 20m
0
wire representing trad
A direct line following a thin crack which leads to the V-groove higher up. Boulder up the groove and place gear in the horizontal crack; then climb the face above with wires to gain the finger crack (crux). A few moves passes this to land on the slopers and vege, followed by the easy finishing groove.
Lindsay Main, 2011
PE The Psychedelic Era 14 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
Climb the obvious dog-leg crack all the way, following it as it kinks to the right to parallel The Shoveller. Finish over the big blocks, or either left or right. Good Protection.
FA unknown
Addendum 14 20m
0
1bolts wire representing trad
Start up a slab on the left side of The Shoveller to a thin crack, and climb the wall just left of the crack. Then up into the flaring crack above to finish. Good Protection
Lindsay Main, 1978.
Dark Matter 18 25m
0
1bolts wire representing trad
A direct route between the cracks. Start as for Addendum (clip the bolt) and climb to the left of the corner, crossing the crack where it veers right and continuing up the wall to its left (pro) to meet a thin crack leading to the top.
Joe Arts, 2012.
TS The Shoveller 13 25m
1.02
wire representing trad
A prominent left-facing corner, with steep bridging at the top, exiting to the right past the block. Good Protection.
Mike Franklin, 1973
No Horror 16 20m
0
wire representing trad
Another link-up. Climb most of The Shoveller before moving right to the finish of Bygone Error.
Hugh Logan, 2011
BE Bygone Error 19 25m
2.01
4bolts wire representing trad
The arete on the left. Climbed mostly on the right past 4 bolts. Steep finish directly over blocks with excellent cams and wires. Take care on the large detached block.
Hamish Dunn, 1992
UH The Ultimate Horror 16 20m
3
2bolts wire representing trad
A classic, varied testpiece with some great moments. A wall which was serious before it sprouted two bolts leads to a headwall with well-protected bulges. Sustained.
Tim Wethey, 1973
A Main's Calling 21 20m
0
1bolts wire representing trad
Probably 22. A direct finish to A Pleasant Interlude. From the ledge pull up past a bolt to a jug on the lip.
Marty Schmidt, 2011.
PI Pleasant Interlude 19
2.01
2bolts wire representing trad
Start as for TUH with a cam placement and angle across and rightwards of a small triangular roof. Pass two bolts on their left to gain easier ground, with a run-out to gear. From the blocks finish up overhanging leaning hand crack to right.
Hamish Dunn 1992
Gorsegeous Groove 16 20m
0
wire representing trad
Start up the corner past the gorse stumps and gain the crack on the right to skirt a gungy section, climbing past a flax bush. Then back to the corner for a squeeze chimney/off-width struggle to summit.
Lindsay Main, 2011
Hb Hubble 19 25m
0
wire representing trad
Up an obvious crack curving slightly left, with good jams. Step left and cruise up the crack to the crux on the headwall, where a hard pull gains the top crack.
Joe Arts, 2012.
SS Space Spirals 16 25m
0
Start as for the previous route up the crack (crux), and continue up the right fork of the crack.
Joe Arts, 2012.
SC Seismi City 18 25m
0
2bolts wire representing trad
Start in the corner and move left with fingery moves to the first bolt; then up the arête past the second bolt to good holds. Place gear and climb the right side of the crack and directly up the slab with gear in the two horizontal breaks.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
Deforestation 17 20m
0
wire representing trad
An obvious corner and crack, steepening to a bulge about 8 metres up. Climb the crack and continue through the bulge, or step left to thin cracks. Easier climbing up the vegetated crack, concluding with the left-leaning ramp.
Lindsay Main, 2011
L'Abre Day 18
0
wire representing trad
Start below the arete to the left of Flowers In The Night. Swarm up the tree, then move right onto the wall. Climb thin cracks (poor pro) and through the roof to join Flowers In The Night.
Alan Hill and Hamish Reid 24/10/94
FN Flowers in the Night 16 15m
0
wire representing trad
Up the slope on the left flank of Gorse Gully. Start in a short corner, then bridge past a block, move left to a rib, and on up the arête.
Daryll Thomson, 1973
DH Dead Heroes 19 15m
0
4bolts
Start from a small tree on the left side of Gorse Gully and move up to a big jug. Follow the holds and bolts to a horizontal break. Up and left to the groove to exit (crux). The four bolts were added in 2011 due to a misapprehension. There is an anchor just above the finish.
Lindsay Main, 1983
GG Gorse Gully Left 11 10m
0
wire representing trad
The chimney of the left side of the major vegetated gully, finishing over blocks.
Climbing 101 17 10m
0
wire representing trad
Walk up through the flax to the broad buttress in the centre of the gully and scramble up the easy start with good holds and protection in the crack to the right. Surmount the halfway ledge, and then move delicately up the left side of the slab with protection well below to meet a short crack. Then awkwardly past the jammed block to gain the top ledge, and move right to the Diploma anchor.
Lindsay Main, 2014
Gorse Gorse Right 13 10m
0
wire representing trad
Corner with good bridging on the the right of Gorse Gully.
Acid Queen 17 6m
0
wire representing trad
A short overhanging crack on the upper right wall of Gorse Gully, starting from Gorse Gully Right.
Lindsay Main, 1980
Da Diploma 14 15m
2.01
wire representing trad
A really good little route. Start directly in the gully and climb the crack, exiting up the steep, wide crack splitting the top block. Commonly started as for N.S.U. with a move to the left about halfway.
Warwick Anderson, 1973
NS N.S.U. 15 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
Not as poxy as the name suggests. Climb the crack on the prow to the headwall. The normal finish is a committing mantle straight over the top, although it is progressively easier as you move right.
Mike Perry, 1973.
El Eliminator 18 18m
2.01
wire representing trad
An excellent, bold wall route. Start 3m R of N.S.U. under a thin crack. Follow this, then move L on to the arete.
Hugh Logan, 1978
Super Vegeman 13 20m
0
wire representing trad
A prominent vegetated corner. Exit L or R. I solo top-roped this using a prussik and carrying a pack, a bag(?), and a slasher!
Tim Wethey, 1973
FM Falaise Malaise 20 20m
2.01
5bolts wire representing trad
A metre right of Super Vegeman. Boulder up past two bolts and balance up to a ledge; then up on good holds to a second crux at mid height. Lower off the rapide, or finish up a hand crack and a V-groove with cams (17) to a DBA on a block directly above. Retro-bolted - there were originally only two bolts.
Hamish Dunn, 1992
Ob Oblivion 16 22m
1.02
wire representing trad
Delicate moves with little pro on a steep wall lead to a very pleasant corner. A good route but not one to fall off at the bottom. DBA as for FM.
Mike Franklin, 1973
VC Voie Classique 17
1.02
wire representing trad
Start in a thin seam two metres right of Oblivion and move into the seam to the left for a few metres (good protection), then back to the right. From the horizontal break reach high and pull left on to the ledge; finish up the crack.
Hamish Dunn, 1992
Fr Falter 22 24m
2.01
wire representing trad
Apparently this climb is gooood. Directly up the Altar wall and bulging headwall (don't F.!). Pro in horizontal break.
John Howard, 1980
Ar Altar 21 24m
2.01
2bolts wire representing trad
This spectacular arête line was spotted and toproped as early as 1973, but it was left to John Allen to make the first lead. Start either up the shallow groove on the arête past 2 bolts, or on the L wall with little or no pro. Up the overhanging bit on the R, then move L at the horizontal break and exit.
John Allen, 1979
CERA The Terror 18 25m
0
6bolts wire representing trad
Start in the right-facing corner of Altar past 2 retro bolts. Move right on the ledge, place a mid size cam in the crack, and climb the right side of the wall beside Claymore to a steep finish. Technical and sustained.
Joe Arts, 2011.
C Claymore 16 22m
0
wire representing trad
The huge black corner prominent from the road, steepening towards the top. Since recent cleaning the start has become much harder, with some thin bridging. Above this climb past vegetation to the steep finish, which is more intimidating than difficult. Good protection.
Hugh Logan, 1973.
Path de Pierre 19 22m
2.01
5bolts wire representing trad
The left line on the wall right of Claymore. Start below a small, short corner; climb this to gain the easy slab(directly over the bulge at the first bolt is 21), and continue up an irregular break to the ledge. Exit over blocks to the CdP anchor rings. Five bolts (after retrobolting), with gear to finish.
Hamish Dunn, 1992
Cheniv de Pierre 21 22m
0
2bolts wire representing trad
Start as for Little Vibrator and continue up the face, using protection in the crack to the right to reach a small ledge. Move up on small slopey holds (crux), passing two bolts on their right to gain the obvious finger crack. Climb this and step right to the anchors. This route feels very contrived as there is much easier climbing just to the right.
Rob Battersby, 1992
LV Little Vibrator 17 22m
0
wire representing trad
Starts in the middle of the wall R of C. at a small crack. Just below vegetation in the crack move R to a ledge and up the central one of three cracks to a sloping ledge. Step L up crack to ring anchors.
Tim Wethey, 1973
Cabbage Milkshake 22 22m
1.02
2bolts wire representing trad
**RetroBolted** Climb the groove which rears into an overhang (crux) past two bolts. Then up a thin crack on a steep wall with adequate gear then finish up Little Vibrator to DBA. ** Wiggly block in the middle of route seems to be keyed in well, for the moment**
Roddy McKenzie, 1983
Eleanor 17 20m
0
wire representing trad
The arching corner. Spaced protection up the corner, followed by small gear in a thin crack on the slab to reach a traverse rightward along the ramp. Finish up the thin crack.
Tim Wethey, 1973
Space Inflation 16 20m
0
5bolts
Up the first slab on good holds trending right past four bolts to the break (optional gear placement). Traverse right to the 5th bolt and climb the face directly (crux) to gain the mantle finish. Ring hangers just to the right.
Joe Arts, 2012
Forewarned And Forearmed 18 25m
0
wire representing trad
Starts up the wall just left of Greenfingers, with good holds to clip the second and third bolts of Space Inflation. Above the break climb leftward through the roof crack (crux), and up the exit crack past the flax. Anchor to bolts at the top of Cheniv de Pierre.
Alan Hill, 2012.
Greenfingers 17 20m
0
wire representing trad
Vegetated corner and V-chimney. Bridge up past the flax and pull up on good holds trending right (crux) to the V-groove. Chimney up the V. The last bolt on Space Pooh can be clipped if needed.
Alan Hill, 2012.
Space Pooh 17 20m
0
5bolts
The second slab right of the corner. Starts at a very low bolt, then up and right to the break. Pull on to the top slab (crux) and climb left of the 4th bolt and past the 5th to the anchor rings.
Joe Arts. 2012.
Retrospective 18 20m
0
1bolts wire representing trad
Start in the shrubbery and climb under and over the five-finger tree, with a stretch above the protection to clip the bolt. Pull through on spaced jugs and balance up the slab (cam to right). At the undercut vegetated corner-crack move up and right onto the small platform (delicate and committing), and balance up the headwall past the horizontal breaks. Walk right to the anchor.
Lindsay Main, 2012
The Constant Gardener 16 20m
0
wire representing trad
A metre right, this is the left of two cracks near the log. Steep crack easing after the start. Climb past a vegetated section (sling the totara) and over the bushy ledge. Climb the undercut off-width crack and over an apparently secure jammed boulder.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
The Tailor Of Panama 17 20m
0
wire representing trad
Directly above the large log that marks the start of the track to the car-park. Steep start up the overhanging crack and wall to the right with limited gear. Then up the slab to the scrubby ledge. Place a good cam under the overhang, and either climb the undercut crack, or move left about a metre and pull on to the wall with good holds. DBA.
Lindsay Main, 2012.
Greenstick Fracture 19 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
At the log across the track go right five metres to this obvious finger crack. Balancy climbing with good protection on a great line. At the top place gear to protect the second and move left five metres to the anchor.
John Howard, 1980
Attribution: 
Information by Lindsay Main & Previously hosted on website by John Davis

Places

Type Title Edit link
Wall Lefthand Buttress (18 routes)
Wall Middle Buttress (15 routes)
Wall Right-hand Buttress (5 routes)

This place appears in