Whakapapaiti Cirque

(5 routes)

This rarely-visited and little-known ice climbing location (part of which was formerly known as the Barium Enema Face) has some premier routes when well-formed. Although slightly farther to walk, it is still relatively low on the mountain. The main face was discovered by Peter K Dickson in 1987, and developed by Dickson, Alex Palman and the late Dave Gurr the following year. More routes were added in 2007 on the left side of the cirque by James Russell and Joseph Nelson: http://www.mountainz.co.nz/content/article/article.php?article=260707_ba...

Walk time: 
45 min

The cirque is reached after about three-quarters of an hour’s walk west from the bottom of the Far West T-bar on the Whakapapa Skifield, at around 1900m. Grid ref 293129. Ice forms on shady southwest-facing aspects beneath broad, sunny snowfields. The bluffs can’t be seen from above – approach by sidling from below. The first routes are in a sunnier location on the left of the cirque; for the others continue on into a small lava canyon where a distinctive cave with a high, arching roof is prominent on the left side. It is possible, but by no means necessary, to camp in this cave.

-39.255119730000, 175.548906330000
T20 293129
BJ34 192 512
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
1 Qualifier WI2 20m
On the left side of the cirque, this is not really a technical climb, but a good warm-up. Follow the left slope up to an obvious chute. It is possible to finish directly over the top, but the left chute provides a challenge of solid ice, which can be well protected.
Joseph Nelson, James Russell, 15 July 2007
2 Qualified WI2 12m
Climb the obvious central line on the face on the left side of the cirque. The crux is the vertical lower third.
James Russell, Joseph Nelson, 15 July 200
3 Ascending Colon WI3 25m
The large, steep flow to the right of the cave.
Peter K Dickson, 1988
4 Rectum Direct WI4 25m
Sustained vertical climbing with a short freestanding section at mid-height. Alex Palman took a six-metre fall on the first ascent.
Alex Palman, 1988
Pig Face WI3 15m
This route is on a separate flow further right.
Alex Palman, 1988