Mt Ward

(7 routes)

A dominant but accessible peak, Mt Ward attracts many climbers with its variety of routes and its striking appearance from almost all perspectives. Mt Ward offers appealing climbs in summer and winter on faces and ridges.

-43.866672770000, 169.834261370000
H37 556 997
BY14 456 381
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
North Face 3
"The day was too good to return by the way we had come, so we started down the steep shaley face to the north of Ward. Were this less rotten, the climbing would be exceptionally fine." Scott Russell, Christopher Johnson, New Zealand Alpine Journal, 1935. Very few people have ventured around to examine the north buttress or steep north face of Mt Ward since 1934.
Descended by Jim Dawson, Christopher Johnson, Scott Russell December 1934
East Ridge 3
From the Hopkins Valley opposite the Dodger Fan, climb through the beech forest to reach the east ridge. The route stays close to the ridge crest throughout. The first ascent party reported reasonable quality rock as the route steepened and narrowed near the top, but subsequent ascentionists have disagreed with that assessment. Alternative access is from the head of the North Elcho, or from Thomson Stream. To low summit, Selwyn Grave, Neil Markham, Scott Russell, Edgar Williams, 1933. First east-west traverse, Des Beatty, Alan McNaught, Jim McNulty, Ray Slater, April 1956.
First complete ascent, SelwynGrave, E.A.Hogg, Edgar Williams January 1934
South East Face 4
The triangular south east face of Ward contains several obvious ice routes in winter. From the head of the North Elcho Stream reach the face by ascending a steep couloir and crossing the snowslope of the Elcho Glacier to reach the major ice gully. Follow the moderate angled ice and snow for16 pitches to reach the ridge 200m east of the high peak. The first ascent party descended part of the east ridge before 'powder eighting' down the lee snowslopes to the North Elcho - the original access route for the East ridge.
Rob Blackburne, Ross Cullen August 1981
Great Dane 5-
A 12 pitch climb that commences on a snowslope 100m right of the Blackburne-Cullen line. Climb through some mixed terrain to a right leaning snowslope, from there a series of ice runnels lead straight up linking with the terrain at the top of Blackburne-Cullen route. Descended by downclimbing the north east face and onto Foster Glacier, with one abseil into North Elcho.
Kynan Bazely, Paul Hersey, August 2004
South Face 3
"This face - really the neve of the Baker Glacier - is remarkable in that it not only feeds the Baker but also sends down avalanches to the Elcho Glacier on the other side of the Divide. At the head of the ice face a pleasant interlude was provided by turning the overhanging lip of a schrund, after which a short climb on slabby rocks brought us to the summit of Mt Ward at 9.30 a.m." Scott Russell, Christopher Johnson, New Zealand Alpine Journal, 1935. Mt Ward is a dominant peak in the valley and the south face amongst the most enticing climbs. From Elcho Col sidle past Mts Baker and Dundas before cramponing up the steepening south face. One crevasse bisects the upper part of the Baker Glacier. A steep long pitch up a rocky gully leads to a low point on the summit ridge 300 m west of the high point. A variation on this climb is to travel leftward after crossing the crevasse on the face and climb a 2-3 pitch rock buttress to reach the ridge crest approximately 500m west of the summit. Protection is reported to be sparse on the shattered rock.
Jim Dawson, Christopher Johnson, Scott Russell, November 1934
West Buttress 4- 16
The west buttress provides a steep rock climb which culminates on the west end of the near horizontal summit ridge. The route begins as per 3.55 then sidles around exposed western snow slopes on the Baker Glacier. Grade 16 rock climbing.
Stu Allan, Kevin Boekholt, Don Bogie, Kim Logan, Dave Walsh March 1985.
North West Chimney III 3+ 12
The north-west chimney provides an excellent rock route onto the west end of the summit ridge and is a big day from Elcho Stream. From Elcho Pass, traverse Barker Pk and Mt Dundas, then sidle around the toe of the west ridge on exposed snow or scree slopes. (Alternatively, drop into the McKerrow Creek basin and climb out at BY14 437 381.) Climb the western icefield to the col between Mt Ward and a subsidiary peak to the north-west. Superb steep rock for 70m eases off as the western shoulder is reached (can be descended in three 25m abseils). The ridge across to the eastern summit has been described both as ‘wide enough to take a bus’ and ‘overhung on both sides’, which are not mutually exclusive descriptions. Mt Ward is a steep mountain but the near horizontal summit ridge provides good access to the high point.
Norman Hardie, Jim McFarlane, April 1948