Mt Avalanche

(8 routes)

Avalanche is a very attractive mountain, especially as seen from French Ridge. It
offers a variety of routes, several of which are ‘on’ in a relatively short day from the hut or if the weather is looking doubtful.

-44.422307010000, 168.741130530000
F39 710 341
CA11 610 724
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
1 The North Ridge. III 2
The ridge is reached from the head of the Bonar Glacier. Most parties, seeking protection from the weather, have climbed on very exposed ledges on the Kitchener side, however, the crest of the ridge or the western slabs may be more desirable in good conditions. Two prominent steps occur. The first is low on the ridge and can apparently be negotiated on either side, but the upper one is turned by ledges on the east. The ridge takes 3 to 4 hours from the head of the glacier or 6 to 7 hours from French Ridge Hut.
The first party on the North Ridge consisted of Neil Hamilton, Pearl Wright and Ron Knightley, who descended it on January 4, 1949, during the first traverse of the mountain. The first ascent appears to have been made unknowingly by David Somerset and Tom
2 The West Ridge. II 2 10
Climb to the Bonar via the Quarterdeck and continue up the glacier on the north side of the ridge to avoid the gendarmes of the lower section. Gain the ridge at the foot of the slabs. Although some of the rock is loose, the slabs offer pleasant climbing (approx. rock grade 10) and lead directly to the West (highest) Peak. The time necessary from the hut to the summit is usually between 4 to 6 hours.
Dennis Leigh, Bill Walker & Jock Sim, Jan 1935.
4 From the Maud Francis Glacier III 2
From the Maud Francis Glacier cross the schrund to reach the steep snow ramp leading up below but parallel to the slabs of the West Ridge. The ramp joins the summit ridge just east of the West Peak. This route has been skied.
5 Maud Francis Glacier (snow lead) III 1+
A less prominent, and less steep, snow lead rises from the Maud Francis Glacier almost directly below the notch of the summit ridge. The snow runs out about 30 metres below the middle peak and the climb is completed on the easy rock of the South Ridge. Late in the season this route may be almost clear of snow and may be followed on easy slabs.
6 The South Ridge. III 2
The South Ridge leads directly to the Middle Peak. Climb the Quarterdeck to the Bonar and descend the Flightdeck to reach the Maud Francis Glacier. The rock of the South Ridge is reached from a snow lead where the ridge begins to steepen towards the peak. During the first ascent most of the climbing was done on the steep loose rock of the eastern side of the ridge in order to escape the wind but in better conditions the slabby western side may be found easier. The prominent tower about halfway up is turned on the west. The first ascent was made in 5 hours from Colin Todd Hut and the climb would probably take a similar time from French Ridge. To traverse to the East Peak requires only a few minutes along an easy ridge. The traverse to the West Peak has not been made in this direction, but would probably involve rappelling into the notch.
Tony Bowden & Graham Bishop, Jan 1963.
7 Traverse from West to East Peak. IV 4
The traverse of the summit ridge is a far more exacting proposition than the West Ridge. The crux of the traverse is a deep notch, which requires a very delicate descent of a forty metre wall and an even more difficult climb out the other side. Kennedy and Innes took seven hours from the west to the middle peak, of which three were spent getting past the notch. The ridge from the middle to the East Peak is straightforward and normally requires only a few minutes. This route has probably not had a second ascent.
Laurie Kennedy & Dave Innes, Feb 1969.
Allen Uren & John Cocks, Photo: DL Homer/ NZ Geological Survey.


Type Title Link to edit content
Mountain Mt Avalanche East Pk (2 routes)