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East Ridge and Sharks Tooth

Topo ref

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2+

East Ridge is an excellent summer or winter route and is easily discernible from the main highway descending due east from the Sharks Tooth. In summer it offers good rock under foot and in winter, excellent ice. Travel south from Tahurangi Lodge on a rising traverse commencing immediately above the Around the Mountain Circuit to Organ Pipes Valley. Climb the Organ Pipes Valley adjacent to the Eiger Wall taking the left hand exit gully and traverse south under the East Face to East Ridge at 2000m. Once on the ridge, follow the crest with increasing exposure to an obvious change in grade (crux) at approximately 2200m. Maintain a close contact with the edge to increase the difficulty of the climb or traverse to the north to less steep terrain. Continue climbing to the top of Sharks Tooth (2510m). Descend due north 60m along the arête from Sharks Tooth to a ‘chimney’, marked by wire and old steel standards, back climb the chimney into the Crater. In winter the chimney may be blocked. If this is the case continue north along the ridge and by dropping down the east face for a few metres should reveal a small series of ‘steps’ onto the top of Surrey Road route. Descent: Down the easier North Ridge route. ‡ During Winter: At the base of the crux, at 2200m, a short flattening of the ridge occurs and a small step in the bluff line is passable in winter. Traverse to the south and gain the easier slopes above the crux of Teds Alley. This alternative avoids the more icy conditions found at both cruxes but, does involve an airy traverse.

Eden, Ross. Taranaki Mount Egmont; A guide for climbers. NZAC, 2003.