Cloudy Stream provides the usual access to Mt Onslow and Cloudy and Ferrar Peaks.
Cloudy Stream provides the usual access to Mt Onslow and Cloudy and Ferrar Peaks. It is reached
after walking for an hour or so upstream from the confluence of the Clyde and Havelock Rivers. Head
up Cloudy Stream following terraces on the true left, then sidle around to the stream negotiating scrub
near the stream itself. There are several campsites on grassy flats further upstream, which provide good
bases for rock climbing in the area.
Since 1974, sporadic bursts of attention have established a good concentration of alpine rock routes
on the south-western buttresses of Mt Onslow and Cloudy Peak. The rock is of somewhat variable
quality : in general, the harder routes have much better rock, and indeed Bill McLeod has suggested
that some of the climbing here is the equal of climbing in the Darrans. The compact nature of the rock
can make protection hard to arrange, but many of the routes climbed in the 1990s on the lower walls
use some bolts for protection.
Close to Christchurch and with relatively good rock and dry weather, these routes deserve to be
climbed more often. However, the Clyde River must be crossed to reach Cloudy Stream, something
that should never be taken lightly.
The brief descriptions given here should give an indication of each route’s character and provide
enough detail to locate them. More detailed pitch-by-pitch information can be found in South Island
Rock, which also describes several shorter cragging routes not listed here.