Skip to main content

Mt Burns

Part of
POINT (169.98475812 -43.74553598)
BY15 572 520
Accessed from
Add Place Add Route


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
 Watchtower (South West) Ridge, 3+ 3+

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 3+

Gain the ridge from the upper Mueller Glacier north of the Watchtower (a prominent knob near Fyfe Pass was first climbed by Otto Frind and Conrad Kain in Feb 1914) via a short face climb. The upper ridge is complicated by awkward slanting rock. The rock steps can be best turned on the slabby western face. The eastern side tends to be rotten.

 South Face, 3+ 3+

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 3+

From the Welchman Glacier ascend the obvious ramp which angles from left to right directly under the summit. Finish up the rock rib to the summit.

 Welchman Glacier Route, 2 2

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2

Ascend the glacier and up a couloir (sometimes cornice threatened) to an unnamed col. Then either follow the Main Divide to the summit or drop down onto the western slopes and ascend from there. It is also possible to cross to Bernard Col from the Welchman Glacier, but it is a longer climb. The Welchman Glacier route is the best means of descent from Mt Burns. Three or more abseils may be necessary to descend over a cornice at the top. (Bernard Col may present similar problems.)

 McKerrow Face, 2+ 2+

Mt Burns is the highest peak between Mts Sefton and Aspiring. Beginning from
the McKerrow Glacier, crampon up the west face directly to the summit. A
superb viewpoint as the Mueller, Dobson, Landsborough, Karangarua and Douglas
Valleys radiate from the peak.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2+

 North- West Ridge

  • P1

We’d expected the serrated rock crest of the upper ridge – with three prominent steps – to be the crux of the route, but just below the first rock step we discovered a snow slope on the north side of the ridge which appeared to offer an easy route all the way around the rock steps. This was partly disappointing, as the ridge crest itself would have made an impressive climb. A nor’wester was forecast to develop that afternoon however, so we decided to take the fast route and abseiled 20 metres onto the snow slope.

ALex Palman