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
3.86 The Creamer III 4+
Climb a gully 200m left of Sweet Dreams to join the West Ridge.
Jo Kippax, John Smith, Jan 1990.
3.87 Sweet Dreams III 4+
Ascend about 100m up Wet Dream and then head left up an ice smear to broken ground and onto the West Ridge.
Andy Harris, Mike Roberts, Pete Sinclair, Dec 1983.
3.88 Wet Dream IV 4+
Start up a prominent gully 100m left of White Dream, which becomes quite narrow and angles back to connect up with White Dream at the edge of the upper icefields. Mostly 50 degrees but a few sections are steeper. The middle section on rock and water ice can be hard to follow. The final section before joining White Dream follows a prominent gully.
Kim Logan, Feb 1983.
3.89 White Dream IV 4+
A popular classic, for good reason. This route takes the easiest (most obvious) line up the ice and mixed ground on the left of the upper south face, passing just left of the left-most icecliff (crux). Continue climbing up the left side of the icefields to join the West Ridge.
Colin Brodie, Nigel Perry, Dec 1980.
3.90 Slovenian Route V 4
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 left and up above the left icecliff, either to the top of the West Ridge or tending right again to Low Peak. The route has also been gained via an interesting ice runnel further left. ( Guy McKinnon, 2003)
Vanya Furlen, Jan 1994.
3.91 Original Route VI 3+
A long diagonal route which cuts between the two steep zones of the face. From Pudding Rock, gain the Noeline Shelf, climb up to the right across the face and then up beside the prominent rock rib on the right. Climb the rib or the slopes adjacent to it, then ascend diagonally across to the South Ridge below the fourth rock step.
Pete Strang, J R McKinnon, J Milne, R J Stewart, Nov 1962
3.92 Direct Route VII 4
From the Noeline Glacier, ascend an ice gully on the right of the main icecliffs (crux), then go directly up, turning icecliffs as necessary. Tops out near the summit of Low Peak.
Bill Denz, November 1972
3.93 The Gates of Steel VII 5
Ascend the large buttress right of the Noeline Shelf icecliffs, then weave through icecliffs as necessary to gain the upper South Ridge. The buttress is reportedly fairly safe but the rock is of mixed quality.
Bill Denz, Nigel Perry, Jan 1981.
3.94 David and Goliath VII 5
The prominent ice gully that finishes by turning left onto the top of the rock buttress of The Gates of Steel. Provides 600m of good ice in fat ice years.
Paul Aubrey, Pete Axford, Nov 1987.
3.95 Pounamu VI 4+
A 13 pitch route that climbed five ice pitches to the left of Nerve Runner before traversing right on mixed ground (with a 30m abseil) past Romeo and Juliet. The upper half of the route climbed up and right on easier terrain, following natural weaknesses, to join the top of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Marty Schmidt, Elke Braun-Elwert, October 2011
3.96 Nerve Runner VII 5
Start 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. Unrepeated.
Nick Cradock, Bryan Dyson, Dec 1987.
3.97 Romeo and Juliet VI 4+ 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.
3.98 Sodom and Gomorrah V 5
Start up Romeo and Juliet, then continue up and right on a ramp for 100m, then straight up for five rope lengths to exit at a prominent level section of the South Ridge below the third step.
Brian Alder, Dave Vass, Nov 1988.
3.99 Remembrance V 6
A 550m climb that skirts up the left edge of the 2014 rockfall zone. A narrow ice gully through the lower bluffs turns to thin mixed climbing before reaching the right edge of a large snow ramp that splits the right side of the face. Climb to the top of the snow ramp into another corner system above, which provides a few more narrow ice pitches (WI4) and finally some left-trending mixed climbing (M5) to top out above the second step in the South Ridge. Ben descended the edge of the Caroline Face from this point after the first ascent.
Ben Dare, Nov 2017