Margarets Leap (winter)

(8 routes)

The very prominent cirque that can be seen from the car park. This crag has the most accessible ice climbing in the country in June & July. The cirque is significantly overhanging, and offers challenges for the most serious rock and ice climbers.

Face (Alpine)
South East
Walk time: 
30 min

Best access is to ascend the ridge directly in front of the end of the road (left of the Aorangi (upper) tow shed, then traverse to the northern side of the crag. An alternative approach is up the Margaret's landing gully.

-39.280217090000, 175.601585060000
T20 345 106
BJ34 244 489
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
The Curtain WI2 50m
This is a superb wide wall that consistently forms well. There are three or four obvious lines to try, and many variations on these have been climbed.
The Shroud
In cold winters two impressive and apparently unclimbed free-hanging icicles form down the overhanging cliff left of the Curtain. The icicle immediately right of the Curtain is about 40m high. The stupendous main icicle is perhaps 60m high, 10m in girth and hangs free by four or five metres. Further left again on a sunnier aspect is a steep drainage line that would make another hard route.
Comedy of Errors M5,M7,M8 40m
The first multi-pitch mixed route at Margaret's! Something for everyone, the first 1.5 pitches are relatively beginner-friendly. Note bolts are painted black to reduce visual impact. Descent: You can climb the first 1.5 pitches ground up and lower off a maillon before the crux (M5+ to here). If you climb through the roof you will need to second the route or down-aid and clean. 30m rap from the second anchor to ground. The third pitch can easily be accessed from the top.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Start in the groove just left of the main icefall, look for the first bolt around head-height. Tricky mantle at the first ledge leads up to double ring anchor.


Up vertical face (M5+) to the base of the ice-choked roof crack. There is a lower-off maillon on the final bolt before the roof - wildly overhanging moves on good hooks! Double ring belay on the snowy ledge.


Burly moves off the ledge lead to thin climbing following the slabby crack. Fully bolted pitch but you will need to build a trad anchor well back from the lip (take a long cordalette).

P1-2 Edwin Sheppard 2018-2019. P3 Edwin Sheppard and Romain Albert 2021.
Can I Play With Madness M5,M6,M7 40m
12bolts wire representing trad
Up the groove left of Comedy of Errors then p2 heads up steep rock to the hanging icicle. Safety note: don't climb pitch 2 if the rock isn't well frozen together. Gear: P1-2 couple ice screws and a rack of draws. P3: Wires, cams and a couple of pitons. Descent: 30m rap to ground from the top of P2.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Place a screw in the ice at the start, climb up bolted crack then leftwards traverse to the double ring anchors.


Straight up vertical wall above the belay, then rising traverse through steep blocky ground to join the righthand side of the large icicle (M6+). Double ring belay in the cave above.


Pure trad pitch, climbed on pre-placed gear. There is a sling and biner anchor at the top of the groove, placed 2021.

P1-2 Edwin Sheppard and Prajot Sabnis 2021. P3 Edwin Sheppard and Romain Albert 2021 (on pre-placed gear).
Scottishish M3 25m
wire representing trad
Trad mixed climbing up the buttress right of the shroud. Build a trad anchor below the final headwall then escape to the gully on the right. Gear: Wires, small-med cams, couple of pitons.
Edwin Sheppard and Shaun Brown 2021
Squealing Frenchman M8 30m
Hard start past a bolt, take some trad, them into the steep face through some icicles.
Jono Clarke
Freak on a leash M10 30m
Steep powerfull climbing Following the obvious line of weakness that cuts right at the top of the roof.
FFA, Jacob kuchler July 2023
Mixed Metaphor M5,M9 30m
Pumpy technical climbing leads you left out of the roof.
FFA, Jono Clarke, June 2022