Warwick Castle (South Face, Left Side)

(38 routes)

Warwick Castle is the distinctive crescent shaped formation on the east profile of the mountain as seen from New Plymouth. Most climbs are on the south face, which can mean a cool belay even on a fine sunny day.
This crag gives both excellent short routes at moderate grades as well as some of the best long routes on the mountain.

Most of the cracks on Warwick's Castle are filled with vegetation. If you want to climb any of them you'll need to clean them. It's recommended to prepare your climb on abseil before leading it. Climbing is best after a dry period.

Ice Climbing.
The traverse of Warwicks Castle provides a fine, interesting winter scramble with the top end offering mixed climbing at times. The South Face has a few good lines in the mid section where there is more moss.
Many of the larger cracks or mossy sections will freeze providing a winter line, the overall quality will generally be dependent on prevailing conditions and how keen the climbers are to tackle the new coating after a storm clears.

Type: 
Crag
Altitude: 
1600m
Aspect: 
South
Access: 

It is about 30 minutes walk from Tahurangi Lodge, or about 1 1/4 hr up from the Stratford Plateau.

The best access is from the Stratford Plateau/Manganui Skifield. Follow the Round the Mountain Track under and past Warwick's Castle, follow a spur up on the northern side to arrive the top of the crag, between Warwick's and Lion Rock.

To descend either abseil off, or walk along the spine of the ridge towards Lion Rock. The spine or arête of the ridge is considered a good scramble and not to be underestimated. You may desire the protection of a rope at certain places. There are two naked anchor bolts at the top of BB Char.

Lat/Lon: 
-39.296115000000, 174.084377000000
NZMS260: 
P20 036 116
Topo50: 
BJ29 935 498
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Edit link
1 This One’s a Twenty-Two Too Chris 16 8m
0
wire representing trad
Climb broken ground to crack on left hand side of the Possum Claws arête. Climb crack direct (crux).
Lionel Clay (solo), 08/04/85.
2 Cobalt Blue 20 15m
1.02
wire representing trad
Start as for This One’s a Twenty Two Too Chris and move right and surmount the small overhang then continue up the arête directly above. Continue up bolted line on sharp arête to top. The moves keep one thinking. The old, naked bolts - which require hangers or wires - don't look too flash, needs a rebolt.
Kevin Conaglen, Ross Hoffman, 14/03/93.
3 Possum Claws 17 19m
0
wire representing trad
Climb the right side of the first sizeable buttress of rock encountered. Climb the easy slab to the left trending hand crack. Hand-jam this crack through the bulge (sharp crux) at two thirds height.
Kevin Conaglen, Pete Swanson, 1981.
4 Anti Climax 16 19m
2.01
wire representing trad
A very pleasant route up the prominent open corner. Follow the wide shallow groove with the thin crack in the back of it. Climb past the peg, over the bulge and into the corner.
Lionel Clay, Richard Kirk, 04/84.
5 Cardinal 13 16m
0
wire representing trad
Starts in a short broken left facing corner to the right of Anti-Climax. Surmount a large flake at two thirds height which is solid.
Kevin Conaglen, G Nightingale, 07/02/80.
6 Dynafrog 16 18m
1.02
wire representing trad
Starts in a short right facing corner to the right of Cardinal. From the top of the large block move right onto the arête and past the bolt at three-quarters height. Delicate moves over bulges with excellent pro at horizontal cracks.
Kevin Conaglen, Ross Eden, 01/01/98.
7 Rope Boy 16 16m
1.02
wire representing trad
This is the crack up the centre of the buttress to the right of Cardinal. A crack in a sloping ledge leads up and left to the crux. Follow obvious crack to the top.
Kevin Conaglen, Stuart Skene, 06/12/81.
8 Sunrise 15 17m
1.02
wire representing trad
Up the large right facing corner to the top. Double bolt and abseil chain at top.
Kevin Conaglen, John Edwards, 07/02/82.
9 The Way of The Orange 17 18m
1.02
wire representing trad
Climb the face between Sunrise and Five Mill, exiting directly through the overhanging blocks.
Ross Eden, Kevin Conaglen, 30/12/97.
10 Five Mill 16 18m
0
wire representing trad
Move up the crack over the diamond shaped moss patch until under the overhang. At the top, traverse right into the next crack to avoid the overhang. Not a classic.
Kevin Conaglen (Rope-solo), 07/02/82. A direct finish (22) was done by Neil Parker, Simon Carr, 26/02/83.
11 Menage a Trois 18 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
Climb the thin crack through a gentle overhang. After a steep and fiery start the crack is climbed direct.
Nigel Shepherd, Nick Banks, Kevin Conaglen, 18/04/82.
12 Friend 18 20m
1.02
wire representing trad
Surmount the distinctive large triangular overhang to a ledge. Then climb the groove above with the crux at two-thirds height. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.
Kevin Conaglen (second failed to follow), 13/12/81.
13 Chuff 18 20m
0
wire representing trad
This route takes the crack 2m to the right of Friend. Climb the overhang (adequate protection may be difficult to arrange) then climb the easier crack to the top.
Kevin Conaglen, Stuart Skene, 13/12/81.
14 El Cap 15 20m
0
wire representing trad
To the right of Chuff is an easier angled groove, about 4m wide, called El Cap Groove, which yields the following two routes.
Kevin Conaglen, Geoff Nightingale, 07/02/82.
15 Pussy Lips 16 20m
0
wire representing trad
Take the crack right of El Cap which runs just right of centre of El Cap Groove.
Kevin Conaglen, S Barlow, 1982.
16 BB Char 21 36m
0
2bolts wire representing trad
Direct start project - 2 bolts. The face arête with lots of bolts. Maybe hard for the grade if you keep on the face and out of the crack on the left.
Kevin Conaglen, Lee Drew, 08/01/00.
17 Le Climb 20 35m
3
wire representing trad
The crack right of the El Cap Groove which splits the prominent pillar. Jam and layback the crack. Excellent sustained climbing. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.
Neil Parker, John Pawson, Dave Skilton, Phil Castle, 29/12/84.
17.5 Last Night on Earth 26 20m
3
8bolts
The arete between Le Climb and Jam Gambit. Start on the left of the arete, in the LC corner (a 0.4 Camalot placement is available here if you want it). Excellent balancey and smeary climbing on friendly holds all the way to the anchor.
Kester Brown, 5 March 2016
18 Jam Gambit 22 35m
3
wire representing trad
The crack right of LNOE. Climb the shallow square backed groove via the left hand crack. Technical climbing leads to a small ledge. Continue up on superb jams to the top. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.
Neil Parker, John Pawson, 12/84.
19 Diplomatic Immunity 24 35m
0
wire representing trad
You had better hope you’ve got it!! (so says the notes). Takes the right hand crack in the square backed groove to the right of Jam Gambit. Technical bridging and finger tip locks and layaways with marginal pro. Take lots of large RPs, thin fingers, three cam units, small wires; a RP #6 would be handy. Beyond this group of cracks the crag steps in about a metre, with impressive overhangs running at 3/4 height. Needs a clean. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.
Lionel Clay, Richard Kirk, 18/02/87.
19.5 Art Nouveau 27 20m
3
8bolts
Climbs the square cut pillar right of Diplomatic Immunity. A series of compression sequences lead to a bouldery crux at 2/3rds height. Double ring anchor.
John Palmer, 25 February 2018
20 The Quick 18 43m
0
wire representing trad
This route takes the corner on the left hand side of the section below the overhangs. Climb the left facing corner to the overhang. Turn the overhang by the crack on the left edge.
Nick Banks, Kevin Conaglen, 25/11/81.
21 Dig This 16 40m
0
wire representing trad
This is the crack one to the right of The Quick. Climb the crack to the roofs at three-quarters height which are then exited by traversing to the right and finishing up the thin crack.
Phil Castle, Neil Parker, Murray Langdon, K Chapman, 31/12/84.
22 Small Nuts Have Their Uses 18 40m
0
wire representing trad
The thin crack immediately to the right of Dig This. A tricky start leads to some balance climbing with some superb bridging at the crux. Finish the same as Dig This.
Phil Castle, P Maxim, 02/03/85.
23 Terminal Dive 25 35m
0
wire representing trad
The arête left of Tees Line. Start from the mossy ledge to the right. Climb up and left to a peg then on up to a bulge. Place two friends in a crack to the left, then crank up past the crux to a bolt. Go up past another bolt, and then finish—still on the arête. ‡ Bolts are unsafe and are overdue for replacement.
Lionel Clay, 15/03/87.
24 Tee’s Line 19 40m
0
wire representing trad
Crack and groove to the left of The Disappointed. One peg is in place at the crux. Superb route. Mostly small and medium wires.
Simon Carr, R DeVelice, 09/02/85.
25 The Disappointed 16 43m
1.02
wire representing trad
About 19m down El Cap Groove are a pair of large blocks, leaning over to the left, one on top of the other. Start from on top of these blocks. Using the crack on the right, climb the wide flat backed groove to the top. A fine route for the grade—considerably better than The Elated.
Kevin Conaglen, Nick Banks, 25/11/81.
26 Feat Of Clay 17 40m
0
wire representing trad
This route shares its middle third with The Elated. Start up the crack left of The Elated which leads you into The Elated. At two thirds height tend left into the groove.
Hugh Logan, Chris Morris, 03/87.
27 The Elated 16 45m
0
wire representing trad
Starts 2m to the right of the base of the leaning blocks, the start of this climb is by a steep broken face. Then climb up over the blocky bulge into the awkward crack out to the large ledge (possible belay). Climb the obvious crack above, turning the bulge on the right. Good jugs lead to finish on easier ground. Rope drag and running out of pro can be problems when this climb is done as a single pitch.
Phil Roberts, Neville Dickson, 18/12/83.
28 Physical Graffiti 21 , 38m
0
wire representing trad
Climb The Elated until just above the roof. Traverse right at the obvious line. Then climb the nice crack up to the big belay ledge.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad
12122mYes
 Climb The Elated until just above the roof. Traverse right at the obvious line. Then climb the nice crack up to the big belay ledge.
216mYes
 Climb the roof via the crack above the ledge, continuing up this to the top. After the roof the wall lays back to a slab and the route eases considerably. There is also a direct start avoiding The Elated.
Chris Morris, M Brown (alternating), 02/03/85. FFA by Neil Parker, John Pawson, 01/02/86.
29 Ethics, That’s Near London Isn’t It? 18 , 39m
0
wire representing trad
Climbed as a two pitch route skirting the right hand edge of the roof above the large belay ledge. Start in the obvious crack which is two to the right of The Elated.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad
11822mYes
 Climb the strenuous start and up the dirty finger crack to the off-width bulge. Do the final 6m to the belay on face holds, or via the off-width.
217mYes
 From the right hand edge of the ledge negotiate the roof via the shallow right facing corner formed by the crack line. Then up the same crack.
Chris Morris, M Brown (alternating), 02/03/85.
30 Riders of the Purple Wave 19 40m
0
wire representing trad
Climb left up the ramp to gain the finger crack. Surmount the roof (crux) then follow the crack. Interesting moves.
Simon Carr, Carol McDermott, Pete Manning, 07/02/93.
31 Firing On 18 30m
1.02
wire representing trad
Located by the distinctive arch-cum-roof just above the track. Use the crack to ascend the left hand side of the roof. Then continue up the crack. Hand jamming to half height.
John Pawson, John Skilton, 01/01/85.
32 Aerobic Delight 20 30m
0
wire representing trad
Starts to right of same roof as for Firing On. Climb right hand crack through roof (crux). On first ascent the initial crack under the roof was full of mud, and a single point of aid was used get off the ground.
Simon Carr, D Johnson, 09/02/85.
33 Scotty Dog 16 30m
0
wire representing trad
A chow-mein of Bop Girl and Aerobic Delight—a variant taking the easier sections of both routes. Commence Bop Girl but follow the strong left trending feature into Aerobic Delight.
Hugh Logan, Chris Morris, 03/87.
34 Bop Girl 18 36m
0
wire representing trad
Climb the crack above the detached leaning flake, about 3m to the left of a large overhang. Where the crack divides, start up the left crack, and then swing into the right crack, a shallow pod. Difficult moves (crux) lead to a crack followed on bridging moves to the top. Excellent thread belay. Climb onto the top of the crag or abseil off.
Phil Roberts, John Edge, 08/01/84.
35 Sun 17 35m
0
wire representing trad
The next two routes go through the blocky ground to the right of Bop Girl.
Kevin Conaglen, Richard Kirk, 10/02/90.
36 Fun 18 35m
0
wire representing trad
The last line before a 30m section of broken and grassy ground. Climb the moss for about 6m to a groove with a loose block below a small overhang. Climb the groove then move over the overhand on good jugs to small cracks. Take the left hand crack (crux), then up onto a one move fist jam crack, and onto the top!