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Warwick Castle

Type
Altitude
1600m
Part of

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.

Image
Aspect
South
Lat/lon
POINT (174.084377 -39.296115)
Topo50
BJ29 935 498
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.

Add Place Add Route

Places

Type Name
Sector Warwick Castle Right Side
Sector Sunnyside Wall

Routes

Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
1 1This One’s a Twenty-Two Too Chris, 16 16 8m
0

  • P1
  • 16
  • 8m
  • Trad

Climb broken ground to crack on left hand side of the Possum Claws arête. Climb crack direct (crux).


2 2Cobalt Blue, 20 20 15m
1.02

  • P1
  • 20
  • 15m
  • 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.


3 3Possum Claws, 17 17 19m
0

  • P1
  • 17
  • 19m
  • 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.


4 4Anti Climax, 16 16 19m
2.01

  • P1
  • 16
  • 19m
  • 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.


5 5Cardinal, 13 13 16m
0

  • P1
  • 13
  • 16m
  • 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.


6 6Dynafrog, 16 16 18m
1.02

  • P1
  • 16
  • 18m
  • 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.


7 7Rope Boy, 16 16 16m
1.02

  • P1
  • 16
  • 16m
  • 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.


8 8Sunrise, 15 15 17m
1.02

  • P1
  • 15
  • 17m
  • Trad

Up the large right facing corner to the top. Double bolt and abseil chain at top.


9 9The Way of The Orange, 17 17 18m
1.02

  • P1
  • 17
  • 18m
  • Trad

Climb the face between Sunrise and Five Mill, exiting directly through the overhanging blocks.


10 10Five Mill, 16 16 18m
0

  • P1
  • 16
  • 18m
  • 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.


11 11Menage a Trois, 18 18 20m
1.02

  • P1
  • 18
  • 20m
  • Trad

Climb the thin crack through a gentle overhang. After a steep and fiery start the crack is climbed direct.


12 12Friend, 18 18 20m
1.02

  • P1
  • 18
  • 20m
  • Trad

Surmount the distinctive large triangular overhang to a ledge. Then climb the groove above with the crux at two-thirds height.


13 13Chuff, 18 18 20m
0

  • P1
  • 18
  • 20m
  • 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.


14 14El Cap, 15 15 20m
0

To the right of Chuff is an easier angled groove, about 4m wide, called El
Cap Groove, which yields the following two routes.


  • P1
  • 15
  • 20m
  • Trad

Climb the left hand corner of the groove onto a ledge. Then continue up the corner, over a rock spike to a large mossy ledge. Then climb the easier angled rock above to the overhangs. A direct route through a cleft in the overhangs (15) is possible. So too is an easy exit out right (13) but the original exit was between these. A deep two-finger hold solves the problem. Note: now very mossy!


15 15Pussy Lips, 16 16 20m
0

  • P1
  • 16
  • 20m
  • Trad

Take the crack right of El Cap which runs just right of centre of El Cap Groove.


16 16BB Char, 21 21 36m 2
0

  • P1
  • 21
  • 36m
  • 2
  • 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.


17 17Le Climb, 20 20 30m
3

  • P1
  • 20
  • 30m
  • Trad

The crack right of the El Cap Groove which splits the prominent pillar. Jam and layback the crack. Excellent sustained climbing.


17.5 17.5Last Night on Earth, 26 26 20m 8
3

  • P1
  • 26
  • 20m
  • 8

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.


18 18Jam Gambit, 22 22 35m
3

  • P1
  • 22
  • 35m
  • 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.


19 19Diplomatic Immunity, 24 24 35m
0

  • P1
  • 24
  • 35m
  • 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.


19.5 19.5Art Nouveau, 27 27 20m 8
3

  • P1
  • 27
  • 20m
  • 8

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.


20 20The Quick, 18 18 43m
0

  • P1
  • 18
  • 43m
  • 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.


21 21Dig This, 16 16 40m
0

  • P1
  • 16
  • 40m
  • 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.


22 22Small Nuts Have Their Uses, 18 18 40m
0

  • P1
  • 18
  • 40m
  • 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.


23 23Terminal Dive, 23 23 30m 8
2.01

  • P1
  • 23
  • 30m
  • 8

The arête left of Tees Line. Start from the mossy ledge to the right. Climb up and left then on up to a bulge. Crank up past the crux and continue – still on the arête – all the way to the top. Rebolted 1 March 2020.


24 24Tee’s Line, 19 19 40m
0

  • P1
  • 19
  • 40m
  • 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.


25 25The Disappointed, 16 16 43m
1.02

  • P1
  • 16
  • 43m
  • 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.


26 26Feat Of Clay, 17 17 40m
0

  • P1
  • 17
  • 40m
  • 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.


27 27The Elated, 16 16 45m
0

  • P1
  • 16
  • 45m
  • 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.


28 28Physical Graffiti, 21 21 38m
0

  • P1
  • 21
  • 22m
  • 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.


  • P2
  • 16m
  • Trad

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.


29 29Ethics, That’s Near London Isn’t It?, 18 18 39m
0

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.


  • P1
  • 18
  • 22m
  • Trad

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.


  • P2
  • 17m
  • Trad

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.


30 30Riders of the Purple Wave, 19 19 40m
0

  • P1
  • 19
  • 40m
  • Trad

Climb left up the ramp to gain the finger crack. Surmount the roof (crux) then follow the crack. Interesting moves.


31 31Firing On, 18 18 30m
1.02

  • P1
  • 18
  • 30m
  • 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.


32 32Aerobic Delight, 20 20 30m
0

  • P1
  • 20
  • 30m
  • 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.


33 33Scotty Dog, 16 16 30m
0

  • P1
  • 16
  • 30m
  • 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.


34 34Bop Girl, 18 18 36m
0

  • P1
  • 18
  • 36m
  • 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.


35 35Sun, 17 17 35m
0

The next two routes go through the blocky ground to the right of Bop Girl.


  • P1
  • 17
  • 35m
  • Trad

Takes the prominent and open corner and roof to the right of Bop Girl. Climb the crack up to the groove below the overhang. Climb the groove, then take the overhang out left and up the left hand crack.


36 36Fun, 18 18 35m
0

  • P1
  • 18
  • 35m
  • 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!


6.04 6.04Warwicks Traverse, 11 11 80m
1.02

  • P1
  • 11
  • 80m
  • Trad

Travel to the bottom of Warwicks Castle. Approach from the AMC via the ridge leading to Sunnyside Wall or descend from Warwicks Col following the South Face. From the eastern-most edge – the lowest point: move 10m to the north and begin ascending steep moss and tussock ledges. Keeping near the edge. (watch for holes and loose boulders), ascend the ridge to gain the wide-open moss field. Central in this area are two large rocks which could offer a nice lunch or camping spot. Continue along the narrowing ridge to where the spine becomes jagged and rocky, move along the top of the rocks and descend slightly to the top of El Cap Groove. Sidle along to the southern side of the ridge until it widens out at the top of sunrise. Abseil off here or continue: move along the ridge for 5m past the abseil chain then descend the north side for 3m and squeeze between two large rocks. Step along the blocks and finish with a layback to the south and down the moss slopes. Climbing the last part in reverse to the belay chain provides quick access to the top of Warwicks Castle.


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