South Face

(14 routes)

The South Face of Aoraki/ Mt Cook, generally starting on or above the Noeline Glacier.

Face (Alpine)

From the old Gardiner Hut site via Noeline or Upper shelf

Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
The Creamer 4+
200m left of Sweet Dreams.
Jo Kippax, John Smith, Jan 1990.
Sweet Dreams 5
Ascend two rope lengths up Wet Dreams and then head left up an ice smear to broken ground onto the West Ridge.
Andy Harris, Mike Roberts, Pete Sinclair, Dec 1983.
Wet Dream 5-
Start up a prominent gully 100m left of White Dream. The route follows a narrow gully/ramp which angles back to connect up with White Dream. In places it narrows to one metre in width. Mostly 50 degree angle but a few sections are steeper. The next section on rock and water ice can be hard to follow. The final third of the route follows a prominent gully that joins White Dream near to where the NW Couloir joins. Harder variations have been done that traverse around very steep rock to reach the slope below the ice-cliff of White Dreams.
Kim Logan, Feb 1983.
White Dream 5
Commencing from the shelf above the Noeline Glacier, the route takes the easiest line up the mixed ground on the left of the face, linking two ice pitches passing just left of the left-most icecliff (crux). Continue up the icefield above to where the rock of the West Ridge meets the ice of the same ridge. Variation start: begin left of the route, following moderate ice gullies for three pitches, Marty Beare, Steve Erickson, 1983.
Colin Brodie, Nigel Perry, Dec 1980.
Kiwi-Sherpa Route 5
Climbs an ice runnel between White Dream and the Slovenian Route – .
Guy McKinnon 1993
Slovenian Route 5-
From the shelf, head directly up the slopes beneath the two major icecliffs on the left of the face, up through a short rock band and between the cliffs. Then move back left and directly up above the left icecliff either to the top of the West Ridge or tending right again to Low Peak.
Vanya Furlen, Jan 1994.
Original Route 4
From the prominent shelf gained from Gardiner Hut, climb up to the right across the face and then up beside the main rock rib on the right. Then gain the rib and ascend to the South Ridge below the final rock step.
Pete Strang, J R McKinnon, J Milne, R J Stewart, Nov 1962
Direct Route 5-
From the Noeline ascend 70 ice gully on the R of the main ice cliffs and left of Gates of Steel, then directly up turning the first prominent icecliffs on the left and the next cliffs on the R. Not the safest line.
Bill Denz, Nov 1972
The Gates of Steel 5
Ascend the buttress right of the centre of the face, weave through icecliffs and then up the face to the South Ridge. The buttress is reportedly fairly safe but the rock is of mixed quality.
Bill Denz, Nigel Perry, Jan 1981.
David and Goliath 5
The prominent ice gully right of Route 2.73. 600 metres of good ice. Finishes at the top of the rock buttress of Gates of Steel, left of the big icecliff.
Paul Aubrey, Pete Axford, Nov 1987.
Nerve Runner 5+
Ascend the ice gully on the right side of the face, just right of the Starting on the buttress immediately right of David and Goliath. Fifteen pitches straight up mixed ground with steep ice runnels. Good rock pro. Exit 200 metres left of Romeo and Juliet through icecliffs. Aptly named.
Nick Cradock, Bryan Dyson, Dec 1987.
Romeo and Juliet 5
Ascend the ice gully on the right side of the face, just right of the prominent icecliff and exit onto the South Ridge.
Lionel Clay, Anne Palmer, Dec 1987.
Sodom and Gomorrah 5+
Start up Romeo and Juliet, then continue up a ramp 100 metres towards the South Ridge, then straight up for five rope lengths to small snowfield to exit below the third step on the South Ridge.
Brian Alder, Dave Vass, Nov 1988.
Pounamu 5+
13 pitches on R of face to join Hillary Ridge (South Ridge) just below the second step.
Marty Schmidt, Elke Braun-Elwert, October 2011