Malte Brun

(23 routes)

The routes on the western side of Mt Malte Brun provide good rock climbing and can be gained either via the Turnbull Glacier, which joins the upper Bonney Glacier, or up the Malte Brun Glacier.

-43.562592690000, 170.304746600000
I36 923 348
BX16 823 732
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
North East Ridge 3+
Descend from Mt Hamilton to a narrow rubbly notch and climb up a steep slab for 150m, then on up the ridge, which rises in a series of short steps of good rock.
Harry Ayres, Bruce Gillies, Feb 1951.
North Face 3+
From the lower Bonney Glacier ascend the ribs and slabs of excellent rock between the North East and North Ridges. There is plenty of room for variations.
A C Rattray, J C Stamers-Smith, Dec 1958.
Multi Sport (North Face) V 5 18 700m
wire representing trad 2
Up prominent rock rib to the right of the gully on the North face to the from the Bonney Glacier. 15 - 20 pitches 2/3 of the route was on fantastic rock. The last 1/3 was quite chossy. First accent was done with bivy gear and the team descended down the Bonney Rib.
Asher March, Richie Jacomb FFA March 2019
North Ridge 3
This route usually commences from the Bonney Glacier just above the small icefall but there is wide scope for variations especially from below the icefall. The rock on the ridge is good and the climbing pleasantly interesting but nowhere difficult. An enjoyable climb for a sunny day.
Peter Graham, Henrik Sillem, Mar 1906.
North West Face 3+
Scene of Tom Fyfe’s remarkable 1894 solo climb. Fyfe’s route ascends to the left of a shallow couloir in the centre of the face. Other routes ascend to the right of the couloir while some variations keep closer to the North Ridge. Although the climbing is not very difficult, it is still quite sustained.
Tom Fyfe, Mar 1894.
Fyfe’s Couloir 3
From the névé of the Bonney Glacier, ascend the snow and ice couloir to within l00m of the summit. This can make a quick descent route, but it is a natural funnel for rock fall and avalanches.
F McMahon, A Simpson, R Yates, Dec 1964.
Bonney Headwall 4
From the Bonney Glacier climb compact rock that steepens progressively to a crux before a snowcovered ledge Access the ledge toward either the left or the right. Continue up rock directly to the Cheval or follow the ledge which ramps to the right, arriving on the West Ridge about 60m west of the Cheval. Not recommended as a descent.
Brendan Gaynor, Ewan Reid, John Zapp, John Menin, Dec 1971.
West Ridge 3
This route, or rather series of routes, starts from the head of the Malte Brun Glacier and joins the West Ridge proper well before the “Cheval”, a famous and spectacular narrow section of ridge. The easiest route begins by cutting left from the head of the Malte Brun Glacier up one of a series of couloirs onto a small snowfield and then up a short rock face onto the ridge. An enjoyable alternative, however, is to climb the beautiful rock rib from the col which separates the Malte Brun and Bonney Glaciers. The climbing on these routes is exposed, but not too difficult. On reaching the true West Ridge negotiate the Cheval and then up 200m to the summit. This route is used regularly for descents but be sure to remember where to turn off the West Ridge in order to reach the head of the Malte Brun Glacier.
Laurence Earle, Freda Du Faur, Peter Graham, Jan 1910.
Full West Ridge 3+
From the Beetham Valley the best route is probably to cut across the toe of West Ridge and ascend above the old Malte Brun Hut site, regaining the ridge at a col at 2300m. Follow the ridge on generally good rock. The climb steepens and provides some difficulty before easing off where West Ridge is joined. Cross the Cheval and continue up 200m to the summit. Laurence Earle, Freda Du Faur, Peter Graham, Jan 1910. At least one of the pillars on the north side of the lower ridge has been climbed, and provides excellent climbing (crux 16).
Max Dorflinger, Otto Von Allmen, Dec 1972.
South Ridge 3
From Malte Brun Pass head up the ridge, skirting the first pinnacles on the west side, and then up the crest of the ridge, which rises in two long steps. The rock is highly variable and in parts the ridge is quite exposed. Despite this most of the ridge is on snow and ice.
Peter Graham, Claude Macdonald, Jim Murphy, Feb 1909
Biophilia IV 4 14,12,14,13,14,12,6 421m
wire representing trad
An objectively 'safe' rock route with compact featured slabs. A great way to access the West Ridge and descend. Reached from the top of the Malte Brun Glacier either at the left hand edge (grade 16), or more easily up the right hand ramp (see white lines on photo). Rap stations (pitons and nuts) have been established at roughly 60m length on ascent. The route was first attempted up to pitch 4.5 in mountain boots in 2015, and retreat was due to lack of gear. The first complete ascent was done with rock shoes in optimal climbing conditions, switching to approach shoes at the apex of the West Ridge. BYO rap cord and expect to replace it completely. Route photo taken from summit of Rumdoodle in February 2015 with slightly more snow on the route than on the first complete ascent. Useful GPS waypoints, current in 2020 are: The point to aim for when climbing the moraine wall (this will get you to the old Malte Brun hut site: Lat: -43.54864 Long: 170.28069 NZTM 1380331 5174664 Elevation: 1640m Top of the access gully: Lat: -43.55025 Long:170.28311 Elev: 1828m Bivvy site (there are many others): Lat: -43.55298 Long: 170.28782 Elev: 2036m
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Head up from obvious start to join weakness. Chimney moves are the crux


Follow weakness/ crack then head left to Arete.


Continue up arete to large ledge, then follow right trending cracks up to belay ledge.


Step up to tiny roof, step right, then follow red rock keeping approx 10m right of grey corner.


Continue up 12m then cross left over grey corner onto new red rib. Steep and fun. Best pitch **


25m to ledge, ignore existing rap station 10m out left. Plug in .5 cam into grey roof, then step onto red prow.


Easy scrambling to apex of West Ridge. Some existing anchors/ bollards in place at approx 25m intervals.

Ruari MacFarlane, Gavin Lang 6th March 2020


Type Title Link to edit content
Face (Alpine) East Face of Malte Brun (3 routes)
Face (Alpine) South Face (9 routes)