Place info

Crag X

(24 routes)

By Lindsay Main

Location

On the eastern side of Mt Pleasant just south of the summit ridge, and just west of the old World War II concrete gun emplacements. The crag faces west, and runs south from the zig-zags in the track up to the gun emplacements.

Climate

There's good shelter from the north-east, and it's nice and sunny on a winter afternoon. It can be hot in summer. It's exposed to the south, but there's a degree of shelter in a north-wester, though others would be preferred.

Climbing

There are 24 climbs ranging from 14 to 22, concentrated in grades 20-21, and most of these are excellent climbs. Most routes are well protected, many with bolts, but three of the oldest routes, on the right end of the cliff, are awaiting re-bolting and the bolts may not be safe.

The rock is the coarse-grained Mt Pleasant trachyte, which gives excellent friction. As with all the Mt Pleasant cliffs, beware of loose flakes, especially as many climbs have had only a few ascents.

History

The initial climbing by Brian Fish and Joe Arts in 1981 of five routes on the south-facing right hand end was an odd quirk in the development of Christchurch climbing. At Lyttelton Rock, Scratching Julius, which was the catalyst for development of the crag, had not yet been done. To reach Crag X more accessible crags were bypassed, and the largest part of the crag was ignored. Little wonder that the crag was mostly left alone for a decade, until Joe Arts started a second phase of development in 1991-92, of which the notable route was the crag's showpiece, Gripping Scales.

Finally, in October 1997 Lindsay Main and Joe Arts set some kind of a record by doing eight new routes during one hot spring day to clean up most of the obvious remaining lines.

 

  • West

    Aspect

  • 300m

    Altitude

New Zealand map
Type: 
Crag
Aspect: 
West
Altitude: 
300m

By Lindsay Main

Location

On the eastern side of Mt Pleasant just south of the summit ridge, and just west of the old World War II concrete gun emplacements. The crag faces west, and runs south from the zig-zags in the track up to the gun emplacements.

Climate

There's good shelter from the north-east, and it's nice and sunny on a winter afternoon. It can be hot in summer. It's exposed to the south, but there's a degree of shelter in a north-wester, though others would be preferred.

Climbing

There are 24 climbs ranging from 14 to 22, concentrated in grades 20-21, and most of these are excellent climbs. Most routes are well protected, many with bolts, but three of the oldest routes, on the right end of the cliff, are awaiting re-bolting and the bolts may not be safe.

The rock is the coarse-grained Mt Pleasant trachyte, which gives excellent friction. As with all the Mt Pleasant cliffs, beware of loose flakes, especially as many climbs have had only a few ascents.

History

The initial climbing by Brian Fish and Joe Arts in 1981 of five routes on the south-facing right hand end was an odd quirk in the development of Christchurch climbing. At Lyttelton Rock, Scratching Julius, which was the catalyst for development of the crag, had not yet been done. To reach Crag X more accessible crags were bypassed, and the largest part of the crag was ignored. Little wonder that the crag was mostly left alone for a decade, until Joe Arts started a second phase of development in 1991-92, of which the notable route was the crag's showpiece, Gripping Scales.

Finally, in October 1997 Lindsay Main and Joe Arts set some kind of a record by doing eight new routes during one hot spring day to clean up most of the obvious remaining lines.

 

Access: 

Approaches
The simplest approach is from the Summit Road at the Major Hornbrook Track, as for Lyttelton Rock, and walking along the bluffs track. However this is quite long. One alternative is to park at the end of Broadleaf Lane as for the Three Sisters and walk along the ridge eastward; another is to park on the Summit Road about 100 metres west of the macrocarpa trees and walk south across Richmond Hill Farm to the ridge crest and then drop down.

Restrictions
No access across Richmond Hill Farm during lambing (the month of August). Use the bluffs track from Lyttelton Rock or the Middle Sister. Otherwise there is access across the farm without permission.

NZMS260: 
M36 885349
Topo50: 
BX24 785 733
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
0
  Starts on the left of the crag and seeks the difficulties - very contrived. Move up and right, then up over a bulge into a crack. Carry on up the arete with good pro, exiting just to the left. Lindsay Main '97
1.02
  A lovely route on good rock at the left end of the crag. Start up a steep short wall just left of the low-level 45 degree roof, moving right three metres up. Continue up and right to exit in the steep crack. Excellent natural pro. Lindsay Main '97
1.02
  Start up an easy corner with a harder move just below a ledge with a small tree. Move left and up a slab to exit. Originally soloed but should be protectable. Lindsay Main '97
0
  Done in 28 degree heat. Start below the corner of Be My Guest and boulder up a few moves (pro), them swing left a metre or so to a rat-hole which takes a 3« Friend. (Take care not to fall off into the matagouri). Then up the wall into the groove past two bolts. Rightward to the arete and finish directly up over blocks. You should top out at a very large anchor boulder. Lindsay Main '97
0
  Ascends the obvious right-facing corner, but start a couple of metres right and follow good holds up to the corner and pro. Move right to clip the second bolt of Modern World, then up and flail around for some jugs on the arete. Finish right to the anchor chain. Lindsay Main '97
0
  A powerful route up the left side of the black wall, vaguely following a white streak. Three bolts with chain links. Technical moves to reach the second bolt, then left a little and haul up (beware loose holds) to a ledge with natural pro; then up to the third bolt and the anchor chain on good holds. Joe Arts '97
2.01
  A magnificent route up the right side of the black wall and through the overhangs above. Tricky moves with natural pro to the first of three bolts, then past the second bolt on the right and into the overhang on huge jugs past the third bolt to ledges. Anchor at a boulder at the top. Joe Arts '91
0
  Up the easy crack right of Gripping Scales, avoiding the lawyer by traversing right on to the ledge halfway up. Place a wire, then clip the bolt and climb the steep wall as for the finish of Something Fishy (crux). CD and wire anchors. Marcus Thomas '95
0
  An overhanging weakness about three metres right. Natural pro to reach the first of two bolts to the ledge. Then finish straight up as for Defence Lawyer with a wire and a third bolt for pro. Joe Arts '92
1.02
  Short wall with a bulge a few metres up and two bolts (the lowest has a hanger and the other has links). The trick is getting stable above the bulge. Anchor chain. Joe Arts '97
0
  Pleasant climbing up a vague crack with reasonable pro from wires. Pleasant climbing up a vague crack with reasonable pro from wires.
0
  Vague line a metre right. Rather lichenous and completely lacking in pro. Joe Arts '92
0
  A weakness a metre right with natural pro. Adrienne McLeod '92
0
  A steep wall route featuring three bolts with links. The crux is around the first bolt. Joe Arts '97
1.02
  Just before the turn in the cliff. Good cranking through two small roofs with a bolt each, plus another to protect the finish. Joe Arts '92
0
  Very steep arete just right with three bolts with links. Start in the corner with wire pro. Good for a pump. Joe Arts '97
0
  Obvious corner with a fushia bush two metres up. Good bridging with tricky moves to keep the vegetation out of your face. Anchor with a long sling and/or CDs. Joe Arts '97
0
  Prominent arete with red lichen, climbed on the right. Grunty bouldering start to reach the first bolt (no hanger) - somewhat serious with the three metre drop below the starting ledge. Then on up the wall to the right of the arete past a second bolt with a Joe Arts '81hanger.
0
  Indirect start to Cash Cow Machine from the right. Up to a wire placement, then move across to the second bolt and up. Quite steep. Murray Ball '83
0
  A strong line right through the overhangs in the centre of the red wall. There are paired bolts, then natural pro and another bolt. Brian Fish '81
0
  Start on the right of the wall up a broken corner, and then up past a bolt on the steep wall above. Brian Fish '81
0
  A solo route on the arete to the right of Existential Climber, possibly protectable. Brian Fish '81
0
  Obscure short solo route right of Champagne Breakfast. Joe Arts '81
0
  On the red pillar below the main cliff, accessed by crashing down through the broom scrub. The route is believed to be up a thin crack on the arete, minimally protected with small wires behind a possibly secure block. The grade is a guess. Brian Fish '81
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