Mt Murchison

(5 routes)

Mt Murchison was first climbed by Charles Ward and Arthur Talbot in 1913 from the Waimakariri
River, via the White Glacier and North Ridge.

-43.003956680000, 171.376762390000
K34 777 991
BV19 677 375
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
1 White Glacier Route 1
The usual route follows the glacier (up the true left of the icefall on an ice ramp) almost to Kahutea Col. Stay close beneath the North Ridge, to avoid the crevasse areas and then ascend the last couloir which joins the ridge near the summit. (Note : Wet snow avalanches or stone-fall are not uncommon in this short 60m couloir!).
C.K. Ward and A.E. Talbot 1913.
2 White Glacer Variation 1
By late summer the above route may be cut by an icecliff for the width of the White Glacier. In this case a good route follows a scree/snow slope adjacent the ridge linking White Col and Kahutea Col. A cross over point onto the White Glacier neve is generally found about 200m up the ridge. In recent years (February) the White Glacier has been cut by a huge bergschrund for its entire width some 150m below Kahutea Col; rock bypasses are very risky to say the least.
3 Kahutea Ridge 2
The Kahutea ridge can be followed from White Col however be prepared for some very loose, exposed climbs, especially on the final two buttresses.
4 From Upper Wlberforce River 3
From the upper Wilberforce River via Denas Creek, by traversing upstream to a point directly below the summit rocks. A large scree leads up to a long steep couloir which meets the North Ridge not far from the summit. This route is fraught with dangers, avalanche, rock fall, and really rotten rock to name but a few. It is a seasonal route with a very narrow window of safe conditions (typically August to December, daily conditional). Descent is generally made over Kahutea Col, down the Kahutea Glacier (sticking true left), then sidling left diagonally down to gain the slabs and grassed slopes into Weka Stream.
KG From Kahutea Glacier 2
Follow the bouldery Weka Stream, to a basin at its head with bluffs on the eastern side. From here continue north along the base of bluffs, beyond the two side creeks draining the foot of the Kahutea Glacier, to a narrow scree slope hidden in the bluffs that trends up and right. Climb the scree and continue traversing up and right, crossing a rock rib above the northern-most of the two creeks that drain the Kahutea Glacier, and make a short descent into this creek down a slab with small ledges. This creek channels serac-fall debris from the snout of the glacier above and should be crossed quickly. Continue climbing up and right, and cross the top of the next side creek draining the glacier ; from here the glacier itself is a short climb. The true left of the glacier generally provides good travel to Kahutea Col ; from here traverse to the North Ridge and scramble up snow and loose rock on the north and east aspects to the summit.
Neville Barker, Charles Gordon Buchanan, December 1934
Photo; Graeme Kates Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club