Middle Earth Crag

(13 routes)

This small crag is at the north-eastern end of Pukekaikiore. The many short routes here are ideal for people learning to lead and place protection; the crag was developed expressly for this purpose by Jo Straker and others at OPC during 1980–81.
There are several fixed anchors at the top for belays, as natural belays are difficult to find. Be wary of the loose rocks that litter the slope above the crag. Walk off either side to descend. Climbs are described from left to right.

Type: 
Crag
Altitude: 
1400m
Aspect: 
North East
Walk time: 
45 min
Access: 

The crag is at the north-eastern end of Pukekaikiore, 100 metres beyond the end of the poled track to the 1954 lava flow and 50 metres up the slope.

Lat/Lon: 
-39.150098030000, 175.610275270000
NZMS260: 
T19 356 250
Topo50: 
BH34 256 633
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Edit link
1 Gandalf 11
1.02
wire representing trad
Climb easily up to the ledge and then up the wide crack on the left, to a spike on the face a little above half height. Stand on this and step right to climb to the top.
2 Arête Of Despair 21
0
Top-roped only. The lack of runners would make this a bold lead. Climb straight up the flattish arête, marked by an obvious patch of orange lichen.
3 Baggins 15
1.02
wire representing trad
Layback or bridge the bottom corner, then jam and bridge through the bulge to easier ground above.
4 Bilbo 14
1.02
wire representing trad
The second layback crack has a short, strenuous start before reaching easier blocky ground.
5 Shadowfax 12
0
wire representing trad
Climb the two converging cracks to a ledge, move up to another ledge, then tackle the final chimney/corner.
6 Mordor 12
0
wire representing trad
This left-sloping chimney can lead to the finish of Shadowfax. Alternately, finish up the blocky face.
7 Gollum 15
0
wire representing trad
Climb up to a finger crack, which is laybacked to a ledge. Straight up to finish.
8 Unclimbed Crack 16
0
wire representing trad
Starts as a handcrack but blanks out at the top. Strenuous moves on large holds lead out of the crack onto the right arête. Finish up Frodo.
9 Frodo 10
0
wire representing trad
Climbs cracks in the slab.
10 Hobbit Hill Slab 10
0
wire representing trad
The slab right of Frodo.
11 Easy Gully 4
0
wire representing trad
Climb easily up the blocks in the obvious gully. Take care though: some of the blocks are loose.
12 Rivendell Arete 14
0
wire representing trad
Climb the arête on the left of the slab (easier if you step right).
12 Rivendell Slab 10
0
wire representing trad
There are three routes on this slab, graded 9–10.