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Mt Speight

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Mt Speight was first climbed by Roger Chester, R E McInnes and H C Wickett in April 1930. Mt Speight Buttress has some of the best quality rock in the Arthurs Pass National Park.

POINT (171.417004 -43.002873)
BV20 710 377

From the Waimakariri River access via Harper Creek. Follow Harper creek until reaching and impassable waterfall. Turn left up steep snow (or scree) gulley, be mindful of avalanche and rockfall. Trending left towards the top of the gulley. Upon reaching the ridge, drop onto the southern side and sidle towards Mt Speight. Allow 6-8 hours from Klondyke Corner.

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Type Name
Face Speight Buttress


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
 Camp Mum Couloir, 4 4 150m

A 150m long couloir that leads up to the North East Ridge. The first (crux)
pitch had some mixed (M4) moves, with good rock protection in solid orange
greywacke. Two more ice pitches in the narrow couloir lead up to the North
East Ridge. Follow the ridge to the summit.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 4
  • 150m

 North East Ridge, 12,4,IV 12,4,IV

This route has had several ascents over the past decade; though its first
ascentionists have not been recorded. Climb to the head of Harper Creek and
head towards the basin below the northeast side of the peak. Ascend a rock
slab on far left, which leads to the main North East Ridge. From here the
ridge steepens to a short 10–15m pitch (crux). Above is a nice red arete,
which is followed until broader, easier ground, to loose rock for the final
50–80m to the summit. Descend the North Ridge.

  • P1
  • 12
  • Alpine (Technical) 4
  • Alpine (Commitment) IV
  • Trad

 Normal Route, 1 1

Usually climbed from the old Greenlaw Hut site, by ascending the spur between
Greenlaw and Harper Creeks to the snowfield below the peak. The col at the
head of the snowfield, north of the peak, gives good access to the North

  • P1
  • Alpine (Technical) 1

 North Ridge from Harper Creek, 2+,II 2+,II

Gain the large snowfield east of the saddle between Mt Speight and Mt Harper,
by climbing out of Harper Creek and then up and across the spur bordering
Greenlaw Creek. Climb the ridge from the saddle.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Technical) 2+
  • Alpine (Commitment) II

 From Headwaters of Burnett Stream, 1 1

  • P1
  • Alpine (Technical) 1

From the head-waters of Burnet Stream. Ascend the scree/snow-slope north of the creek that drains Speight’s West Face. A steep pitch joins the permanent snow-slope (beware of bergschrunds) that leads to the prominent col north of Mt Speight. Follow the ridge to the summit.

 North Ridge from Burnett Stream

  • P1

From the head of Burnett Stream climb scree and rock to a small glacier that leads to the North Ridge of Mt Speight. Scramble along loose rock to the summit.

CD CDSouth-East Face, 3+,WI2 3+,WI2 350m

The lookers left gully of the two central gullies. Tops out directly to the
summit. Four pitches (WI2-3) and ~150 meters of moderate snow. Minimal rock
protection on lower pitches, with some pro found on the left shoulder of the
upper snow slopes.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 3+
  • Water Ice WI2
  • 350m
  • Trad


Gramae Kates.
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club