Minarapa Valley

(8 routes)

The Minarapa Valley is an atmospheric and uncrowded spot in winter, with the best collection of reliable ice routes in easy reach of Tahurangi Lodge.
All climbing to date has been on the east side of the valley and up from Minarapa Col. A long line of cliffs form a number of major buttresses broken by gullies. The first buttress is split by a number of major grooves and crack lines, the most prominent of which takes the form of a large left-facing corner in its upper section with a line of ice spilling over overhanging rocks at its base. This forms the line of the following magnificent pitch.

Face (Alpine)

From Tahurangi Lodge follow the Summit Track to Drinking Rock then sidle over the Flounder to Minarapa Col a short distance above the Sawtooth. Descend into the valley.

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Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Underworld WI5 45m
The direct entry to the groove wasn’t formed on the occasion of the first ascent so the big corner was gained by steep grooves just to the right. The big corner was then followed on superb ice to an unstable exit. The name derives from the strong smell of sulphur, which was somehow wafting around in the blizzard during the climb!
Iain Young and T Viets, Aug. 1996.
Gully 1 WI3
The obvious gully bounding the big buttress on its left. Can have big mushroom formations at its top.
Kevin Conaglen, Chris Prudden, M Davidson, late 70s.
Malcontent WI4
The big buttress has an obvious line of grooves up its left arete, taken by Malcontent (could be the summer line of the Wright Route). Excellent mixed climbing with rock protection and a belay at the mid-height on a huge spike makes for an enjoyable and relatively safe outing.
Mark Hall and Greg Banks, Sept. 1995.
The Silver Screen WI4 80m
In the centre of the big buttress is an obvious continuous wide smear of ice. This forms the line of the climb (summer line of Summer Shadows), with a big spike belay at mid-height shared with Malcontent.
Iain Young and Alec Heilbron, Sept. 1995.
Upper Gully WI2
The gully bounding the big buttress on its uphill side.
Russell Braddock, Chris Prudden, Colin Wright, late 70s.
TV Block WI4
To the right of the upper buttress. Look out for TV blocks.
Dave Bolger, Greg Larkin (solo) Sept. 1997
Whakaropai WI3
Follow the crest of the upper buttress in one or two pitches.
Gareth Sharp and S Parker, Oct. 1994.
Headwall WI3
The headwall of the Minarapa Valley can probably be climbed direct early or late in the season. However, for much of the time, it is covered in steep and unstable chandeliers of ice. (it catches the sun) In these conditions an enjoyable pitch can be had at about grade III up a short ramp groove system lower on the right side looking up.
Mark Hall and Iain Young, Sept. 1995.