White Horse Rapids
This area was developed by a local climber named Scott Woods who, when he
came to his senses and realised where he was, bailed out of Palmy and moved
to the South Island!
The two climbs that are accessed from the most westward set of bolts on the
northern face are nice climbing:
The westward route is a grade 15 crack and involves delicate face
moves and a fun hand crack.
From the west on the north face the climbs are 15, 18,21,14,14,16,
18,19,20 then ledge 1m above river.
The more eastward route is about 21 an has thin face moves, topping
out at the same point as the above climb.
On the west face their is a 12 and a 27 to 29 which hasn't been done
There are more climbs are on the other side of the river but these have
to be finished first.
The best landmark is the bay 1.7km from the start of the
gorge and is the only one which is not sealed (it is dirt and gravel). From this
bay, the climbing area is another 0.3km up on the left at a sharp bend in the
road. It is easily identified by a very vegetated bluff which sticks out into the
river. It is also directly across from the train bridge and a big waterfall. After
CAREFULLY making your way to this point (there are a few narrow sections,
so please watch out for vehicles), hop the guard rail and head down a sketchy
path (through blackberry bushes) to a stand of small trees. The first 2 routes
are accessed by abseiling off to the right (from one of the trees) onto a good
sized ledge 1 meter from the water (3-4 people can stand on it comfortably).
The other routes are all accessed by abseiling down from the top of the cliff
(just after you go past the trees, straight out towards the river) to bolted,
hanging belays. Due to the dodgy nature of both the parking AND the access,
this area is NOT a recommended climbing spot. Please use extreme caution if
you DO decide to ignore the voluntary ban on these routes.