Place info

Karitane Rock

(18 routes)

Almost a good little crag, Karitane rock features crack lines on well featured, good quality, idiosyncratic basalt (Marcus calls it ‘volcanic limestone?!’), and a fine 15m pinnacle with hard face and crack climbing on its front face, and chimney climbs rising from within the bowels of the cliff behind it. The downside? Facing south to southeast, and exposed to moisture-laden winds off the sea, the outcrop sports luxuriant growths of moss and lichen. The climbs are mostly short and many are broken up by large ledges. A great place to visit on a hot summer’s day.
Marcus Thomas ‘discovered’ the outcrop during a risk management course in 1996, and returned with Kevin Donoghue and Joe Arts to climb many of the cracks, buttresses and aretes. Surprisingly they left alone the choice front face of the pinnacle except for the fine arete (Perfect Sound Forever) and it was left to Dave Brash and Mike Simpson to put up climbs on this great piece of rock.
There is potential for further routes here but it would be a shame to lose the beautiful hanging fern and moss gardens on the cliffs – this is why some areas have been left alone.

  • South East

    Aspect

  • 5 min

    Walk in

New Zealand map
Type: 
Crag
Aspect: 
South East

Almost a good little crag, Karitane rock features crack lines on well featured, good quality, idiosyncratic basalt (Marcus calls it ‘volcanic limestone?!’), and a fine 15m pinnacle with hard face and crack climbing on its front face, and chimney climbs rising from within the bowels of the cliff behind it. The downside? Facing south to southeast, and exposed to moisture-laden winds off the sea, the outcrop sports luxuriant growths of moss and lichen. The climbs are mostly short and many are broken up by large ledges. A great place to visit on a hot summer’s day.
Marcus Thomas ‘discovered’ the outcrop during a risk management course in 1996, and returned with Kevin Donoghue and Joe Arts to climb many of the cracks, buttresses and aretes. Surprisingly they left alone the choice front face of the pinnacle except for the fine arete (Perfect Sound Forever) and it was left to Dave Brash and Mike Simpson to put up climbs on this great piece of rock.
There is potential for further routes here but it would be a shame to lose the beautiful hanging fern and moss gardens on the cliffs – this is why some areas have been left alone.

Access: 

From Dunedin, follow the main road north for 22.5 km, turning off 3 km past Waitati into the Coast Road. Drive through Seacliff (stop off and visit the site of the former mental asylum described in Janet Frame’s autobiography), and exactly 9 km from the turn-off, park at an obvious carpark. If you reach the Karitane viewpoint, you’ve gone 1.km too far. The outcrop is visible on the hill-side above the road, surrounded by a stand of native bush; it’s 5 minutes walk uphill through farmland to the base of the pinnacle.
'The farmers, Mr and Mrs O'Connell, ph 465 7402, are happy for people to visit 'Big Rock' as long as they are contacted beforehand.
The usual care on farmland applies:
No dogs!!
Please leave the gates as you find them, and stay away from stock.'

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Walk time: 
5 min
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
1
17
0
9m
  A fine little climb – you’ll wish it was longer. At the LH end of the crag, climb direct to the undercling at the break, then up the crack to a slightly run-out finish (might be worth cleaning the top-out before climbing it).

Kevin Donoghue, 1996.

2
18
1.02
12m
  Doesn’t look very alluring, but this crack climb only reveals its charms when you climb it. It may be short but this sustained little cameo makes Kindling Crack seem like a one move wonder.

Marcus Thomas, 1996

3
24
0
9m
  Two bolts lead to a rounded problematic finish.

MarcusThomas, 1997

4
23
1.02
13m
  Sometimes you can make your contract with a less than powerful hand – but you will need to finesse. Sustained and devious. Up the crack with increasing commitment until you can move R into the upper crack. With small to medium wires and CD’s (with a #3.5 to protect the step R from the top of the main crack), the pro may be adequate – maybe a bolt should be placed.

Dave Brash, 1999.

5
25
2.01
15m
  A superb testpiece to open the millennium. Powerful climbing up the incipient flaring crack L of Perfect Sound Forever leads to a welcome rest in the big scoop before the tenuous final moves R and up to the chain.

Mike Simpson, 2000.

6
20
1.02
12m
  Really good. From the canyon, step out onto the arete to the apex of the awesome spire. The moves – and the view! – get better the higher you go. Add a grade if you can resist bridging the start.

Marcus Thomas, 1996.

7
18
0
15m
  Climb the face of the leaning pillar with chainlink hangers and natural pro in the breaks, finishing up the steep main wall just R and behind the pinnacle.

Jo Arts, 1996.

8
15
0
15m
  The beautiful but short top section is marred by the nasty off-width start. Awkwardly mantle onto the ledge at half height then nervously off the ledge on marginal pro, which quickly improves to protect the steep crack above.

Kevin Donoghue, 1996.

9
22
0
8m
  Rock up through large pocket moving R to the arete. Brush the top before you climb it.

Marcus Thomas, 1996.

10
15
0
7m
  The obvious jam crack is quite good. .

Marcus Thomas, 1996

11
11
0
6m
  Wow, a multi-pitch climb. The crack above Losing or Cruising? has amazing hex placements. Exit R.

Marcus Thomas, 1996.

12
15
0
8m
  An awkward start up the crack from the ledge leads to a move R onto the wall, then through the small inverted V roof on jugs to the top. Belay way back in the rocks. .

Marcus Thomas, 1996

13
9
0
8m
  Easy access route on R end of crag.
a
0
 
b
0
 
c
0
 
d
0
 
13
0
8m
  30m to the R of Spiral Stairs is a block split . The obvious off-width thrutch. There is also a boulder problem up the arete (a dangerous 18/19).

Kevin Donoghue, 1996.

Attribution: 
Dave Brash
This place appears in: 
Dunedin Rock
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