Place info

Mt Williams

(2 routes)

Mt Williams is the highest peak in the Rolleston Range and higher than any on the Divide in this
area – its distinctive twin summits are clearly recognisable from the Arrowsmith Range and other
points to the south. Mt Williams may have been first climbed in the 1880s by Arthur Dobson, when
he was supervising the construction of a road over Mathias Pass. The earliest recorded ascent was by
Nowell Syme in 1949 and the second ascent occurred about one year later, but after that the peak
was pretty much left alone until 2003, when it was rediscovered by Christchurch climber Philip
Tree. Subsequently the peak has seen an increase in popularity, although these days it is most often
attempted from the Wilberforce side.

  • 2300m

    Altitude

Type: 
Mountain
Altitude: 
2300m

Mt Williams is the highest peak in the Rolleston Range and higher than any on the Divide in this
area – its distinctive twin summits are clearly recognisable from the Arrowsmith Range and other
points to the south. Mt Williams may have been first climbed in the 1880s by Arthur Dobson, when
he was supervising the construction of a road over Mathias Pass. The earliest recorded ascent was by
Nowell Syme in 1949 and the second ascent occurred about one year later, but after that the peak
was pretty much left alone until 2003, when it was rediscovered by Christchurch climber Philip
Tree. Subsequently the peak has seen an increase in popularity, although these days it is most often
attempted from the Wilberforce side.

NZMS260: 
J34 625 856
Topo50: 
BW19 525 240
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
0
  The first recorded ascent was made from Moraine Hut via grassy sidles and snow slopes. It was most likely climbed by the small glacier between the two summits and from there to the top.

Nowell Syme, December 1949

2
0
  From the head of Moa Stream climb to the saddle just north of Pt 2054 metres. The tussock rib on the left of the couloir sometimes provides the best route to the saddle. Cross the glacier on the south-west face of Mt Williams and head up, aiming for the col between the twin peaks of Mt Williams. Access to the col may be complicated by a schrund. From here, move slightly out on to the north-west face and climb loose rock to the summit.

Philip Tree, Jeff Hall, Honora Renwick, February 2003

Attribution: 
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club
This place appears in: 
The Canterbury Westland Alps: a climbing and transalpine guide
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