Hourglass & Centre Walls

(17 routes)

The big wall, on the lower west side of Cloudy Pk.
It is now possible to abseil down the Hourglass Wall following the line of Sharp Shooter, using a single 60m rope.
Go to the top of the small gully to find the top rap station, the finds it’s way onto a large flat ledge, and then down the right side of the gully.
At the bottom of the the gully the descent route follows the Sharpshooter line.
At the 5-6 pitch change, the rap station is 10m right of the belay station.
At the 3-4 pitch change, go rightwards, there is a marker made of webbing, the rap station is just below that.

Face (Alpine)
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Dm Demondim 24 150m
wire representing trad
Start 100m left of the main corner below the Great Prow. Four pitches to the big ledge through the main overhang. Some bolts and bolt belays.
Martyn Clark, Bill McLeod, 1992
Ub Unbeliever 22 180m
wire representing trad
Good wall climbing to reach grooves and then overhangs. Five pitches, some bolts, bolt belays.
Bill McLeod, Peter Dickson, 1992
Sharp Shooter 17,21,20,19,19,22,20,21,19,18,19,10 350m
67bolts wire representing trad 3
A straight up route on the left side of the Hourglass Wall. Start 70m left of The Whole Nine Yards. 9Y. This involves a quick scramble to get to the start. You will notice the bolts for the first pitch and the left facing corner that makes the 2nd pitch. The whole route can be descended using a single 60m rope (raps are 30m or less apart even if pitch is 45m long) There is a small amount of trad gear required, BD cams from #0.3 - #1.0. Extendable quick draws are also very useful. There is enough bolts in places to aid through cruxes above grade 20.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Traverse right and scramble up to belay.


(18 M1), 5 bolts + trad, out right into imposing corner system close to arete.


Head right from belay then traverse (10 m ?) left and up headwall. Once off the steep wall, carry on 10m upwards to back of ledge and belay station.


Head leftwards 10m from belay then following diagonal system on sloppy ledge. At ledge height, move left and use Lh belay station. If you shooting for the stars, do pitch 4 of Mission to Mercury.


Head right up over belay and over diagonal breaks, at 6th bolt head left to belay, use 1st 2 bolts on Lhs. ( Ignore 1st 2 bolts on Rhs which are in the wrong place).


Go right off the ledge and across to a groove then onto headwall, using thin foot holds, horizontal and vertical rails.


Follow the bolts, though balance moves to a small ledge.


Climb steep slab on small holds to overlap at top. Go left below 3rd bolt finger crack for gear if needed.


Start on stretchy moves. Pass 2 bolts, then go up to the base of the gully. Belay is on the left below gully.


Across gully and back left onto jugular wall.
Or there’s an easier option; go up the right side of the gully and onto ledge, and carry on to top following a few bolts for navigation beacons.


Up overlap to ledge. The best place to finish the climb.
Abseil down the route from here.


Follow left up rising ledge to another rap station. (Optional but needed if you want to top out at the top of the wall).

Grant Piper, Bernard Frankpitt, Kate Bailue, Richard Kimberly, Kevin Barratt -2023
Mission to Mercury 12,18,18,21,16,18,22,18 352m
57bolts wire representing trad 2
A mixed bolted and trad climb that runs up the left side of the Hourglass Wall. To descend, either walk off the ledge rightward to the scree around the base of the Hourglass Wall; or abseil the pitch 7 & 8; then pick up the pitch 5/ 6 change of The Whole 9 Yards, and straight down to the base of the Hourglass Wall.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Start at 9Y carved in rock, go towards V to the Whole 9 Yards rap station and go left 10m to next belay/rap station.


Climb chimney to upper ledge


Continue up chimney, and move left onto wall after overlap. At ledge go left to next belay/rap station


Go up leftwards, then up left facing corner onto the wall, zag back rightwards, to right facing corner, zag left over feature to belay/rap station on the ledge


Climb ramp/ corner system to 4th bolt then go right at ledge to belay/rap station


Climb through overlap then up face, then onto scramble up corner/ ramp to belay/rap station on the left of corner


Up the wall above the rap station up steep, crispy wall, then through a series of walls and small ledges.


Up the right corner system to big ledge, options (A) go left around the overhang past 3 bolts, (B) go right at the big ledge, to easier ground, then back left to the top belay/rap station.

Anna Brooke, Grant Piper, Ed Machado, Jonathan Tye, 2022
MI Mission Impossible 17 325m
wire representing trad
Eight pitches on the left of the wall. The first four climb up to and through the big roof; the route then follows the prominent diagonal up and right, easier climbing but few runners.
Marty Beare, Lindsay Main, 1981
MA Mission Accomplished 19 300m
wire representing trad
This direct finish to the previous route makes a more sustained climb. Move left onto the face and up for four pitches, once the diagonal is reached.
Steve Elder, Bill McLeod, 1990
The Whole Nine Yards 13,18,17,19,21,19,17,17 330m
50bolts wire representing trad 4 4
A climb that goes from the bottom of the Hourglass Wall to the top of The Great Prow. You have to walk a short distance, from the top of the tier above the Hourglass Wall to the base of the Prow Wall. All belays are equipped with rings making it possible to rappel the route. The Prow Wall section is Ok, but the upper Hourglass Wall has diagonal, leftward rappels which are moderately difficult. Take a comprehensive rack of cams between BD #0.3-#3 and a single set of wires. The most practical descent route is to abseil down the upper section to the base of The Great Prow, and using the access way down the big shelf to near the start of the SW ridge.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Scramble up ledges past one bolt


Climb straight up v grove, skirt left around overlap and up past eight bolts. Under the next overlap, move right to an anchor.


From corner on right of overlap, step up and climb right facing corner (trad.) to roof. Step left onto face and move up past well-spaced bolts on easier ground to the big ledge. The anchor is on your left.


Start at left corner of big ledge, Climb past three bolts onto the face left of the corner (crux). Climb up the face past two bolts, angling right to a splitter crack. Climb the 10m splitter crack (BD 2 and 3) to overlap. Step up onto the face and continue climbing to DBBS.


Climb through the overlap to the right of the anchor. Make a delicate move to the left and continue up the black face until capped by another overlap. Skirt right of the overlap into a vague crack. Climb up to a third overlap and move right onto easier climbing. The pitch finishes on a small ledge under the next overhang.


Climb through the overhang (crux) and continue up the face above. After the second bolt move left across the face to gain an off-width feature with good right-leaning, left-facing edges. Continue up the edges to a horizontal ledge. Traverse right to an orange left-facing corner and trad. gear. Move up the corner onto the brown face and past a single bolt. Finish on a big ledge with a rap station.


Follow the line of bolts starting at the right of the ledge, traverse right onto the red rock face, and then veering left until you reach the rap anchor at the top of the Hour Glass Wall (can be split in two pitches).


This pitch starts 30m to the right of rap station at the top of the previous pitch, at the back of the ledge that joins them. From the DBB, Scramble left up the ramp to a big red face with a bolt at its base. Climb straight up using a mixture of bolts and trad. crack gear. You finish at a rap anchor below the big scree that takes you to the prow buttress

Grant Piper, Bernie Frankpitt and Greg Low 2021
FR Fiddler on the Roof 20 280m
wire representing trad 1
The first route through the spectacular overhangs on the left side of the wall. Nine pitches – the roof pitch and the wall above are very good. Finish up the Mission Impossible diagonal.
James Jenkins, Lindsay Main, 1980
BD Big Dipper 25 300m
7bolts wire representing trad
Tackles the most impressive features on the wall. Climb over three sets of overhangs to reach the big arch. Through this and across the big roof (crux, bolts) and straight up the wall above.
Bill McLeod, Peter Dickson, 1991
FL When the Frog Lifts 17 80m
wire representing trad 2
Yup, frog. Two good pitches on the compact orange rock of the upper wall. Accessed by abseil.
Fiona Bowie, Richard Thomson, 1987
SM When the Snow Melts 21 300m
wire representing trad
‘The line of greatest resistance’. Sustained climbing up to and through the main overhang via corner systems at its right-hand end.
Peter Dickson, Bill McLeod, 1991
HL Hourglass Left 19 300m
wire representing trad
The big natural line in the centre of the wall. Three good pitches (crux on first pitch) are followed by uninteresting climbing in loose, vegetated gullies and chimneys.
Marty Beare, Lindsay Main, 1980
HR Hourglass Right 16 300m
wire representing trad
The bottom right line of the ‘hourglass’ is sometimes loose and sometimes barely protectable.
Brent Davis, Brian Fish, 1981
The Hourglass Has Turned 19 300m
wire representing trad
Sustained climbing, spaced protection, immaculate rock. P1 - 50m (16) Start on right hand edge of overhangs. Up vegetated terrain to rib and onto face above. Traverse left to belay in second groove. Excavation of protection was required on this pitch. P2 - 45m (16) up groove to shallow right corner. Belayed below roof. P3 - 10m (10) Traversed left, belayed in the 'Hourglass Right' groove. P4 - 50m (19) Traverse right then straight up through roof. Heading right up shallow cracks which are fused and rounded higher up. P5 - 20m (19) Right hand side of shallow recessed corner P6 - 25m (17) Bridging up twin cracks then step right to corner and up to large ledge. P7 - 30m (18) The sneaky groove through the roof. Traverse left along ledge to an awkward belay on wall above. P8 - 50m (17) Traversing right following cracks, through a small corner chimney then up onto large ledge. Belay in top left corner P9 - 30m (15) Traverse right then up right leaning crack to scree slope. Walked off by traversing right.
Michael Eatson, Tawny Wagstaff, March 2016
US The United States in Mind 18 300m
wire representing trad
Some delightful climbing on a direct line, following the enigmatic left-facing feature.
Steve Elder, Bill McLeod, 1990
Yg Ytivarg 17 250m
wire representing trad
Five good pitches on sound rock, sometimes committing and exposed.
Marty Beare, Lindsay Main, 1981
SA Slip-sliding Away 15 200m
wire representing trad
Sustained and enjoyable, meandering but logical. Climb the right-hand side of the wall.
James Jenkins, Lindsay Main, 1980
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club


Lindsay Main would be the person to ask.

FR Fiddler on the Roof is still incorrectly marked on the updated topo.

grubbie's picture

Is it too far right? I am skeptical about the topo, copied from Cant/West Alps Guidebook.

Further right, I believe. Halfway between where BD and FR are currently marked on the topo. Might have been incorrectly copied across from the South Island Rock hand drawn topo. I thought it was a pretty obvious line, particularly the roof pitch and wall above. Climbed with Tawny Wagstaff in Mar 2016