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Margarets Leap (winter)

Type
Altitude
1850m

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.

Image
Walktime
30 min
Aspect
South East
Lat/lon
POINT (175.60158506 -39.28021709)
Topo50
BJ34 244 489
Access

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.

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Routes

Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
 The Curtain, WI2 WI2 50m
1.02

  • P1
  • Water Ice 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
1.02

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 M5 40m 8
3

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.


  • P1
  • Mixed M5
  • 10m
  • 5

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.


  • P2
  • Mixed M7
  • 20m
  • 8

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.


  • P3
  • Mixed M8
  • 10m
  • 4

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).


 Can I Play With Madness, M5 M5 40m 7
2.01

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.


  • P1
  • Mixed M5
  • 10m
  • 5
  • Trad

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


  • P2
  • Mixed M6
  • 20m
  • 7
  • Trad

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.


  • P3
  • Mixed M7
  • 10m
  • Trad

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


 Scottishish, M3 M3 25m
1.02

  • P1
  • Mixed M3
  • 25m
  • 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.


 Squealing Frenchman, M8 M8 30m 8
0

Hard start past a bolt, take some trad, them into the steep face through some icicles.


  • P1
  • Mixed M8
  • 30m
  • 8

 Freak on a leash, M10 M10 30m 13
0

  • P1
  • Mixed M10
  • 30m
  • 13

Steep powerfull climbing Following the obvious line of weakness that cuts right at the top of the roof.


 Mixed Metaphor, M9 M9 30m 15
0

Pumpy technical climbing leads you left out of the roof.


  • P1
  • Mixed M9
  • 30m
  • 15

 Woke Sushi, M3 M3 0m
0

Goes up the end of the buttress on the small rigde on the far left side of Margarets. Top is accessible to set up a top route.


  • P1
  • Mixed M3

Head up the small conglomerate layer to the ledge, then head up on good hooks to the anchor.


Comments
UUID
 
9dddc70f-8174-487e-9cd2-b122db1d0a04