The complete traverse of the Pinnacle Ridge is one of the best alpine adventures in the North Island. Here is what Geoff Sweet and John Edwards had to say, after making the traverse in February 1954: “The climb is varied and technically interesting over most parts, but by no means as difficult as many people make out. Rock is sound over practically the entire traverse and there are any number of sound and adequate belays. Probably the most satisfying traverse is from north to south, as this involves the descent of the south face of the lowermost pinnacle — possibly the crux of the climb. It is possible to keep on the crest the entire way.” Although nowhere extremely difficult, the traverse is a reasonably long, exposed and continuous undertaking. Allow a full day. Nowadays the favoured procedure is to start at the top and move down. Climbing the Great Pinnacle direct from the Grand Gully col is not nearly as grim as it looks, but the Traverse of the Gods is an easier alternative. Obviously, climbing the ridge in reverse is also possible. Parts of the traverse can be completed; it is straightforward to access or descend from the ridge via Grand Gully or Gully 2. Although it is a classic route at any time of year, the traverse is best made in winter as a mixed route.
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Horace Holl, Frederick Worley, 1925; Margaret Fyfe, Graham McCallum, July 1949 (first winter traverse)