Rob Roy Pk

(16 routes)

Rob Roy is a mountain pushed up by the tectonic plates and in the process given multiple birth defects. Ridges and faces don’t come together with the symmetry of Aspiring and climbers shy away from the hunch-backed summit. Despite appearances however, the mountain has a magnetism and a wonderful array of varied and interesting routes. The first ascent, from the West Matukituki and the Rob Roy Glacier, was on March 2, 1935, when the mountain was overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers of a party consisting of Ernie Smith, Monty McClymont, Cedric Benzoni, Bob Fullerton, George Palmer, Don Divers, Russell Edwards, George Edwards, and Gordon Edwards.


Access to head of Rob Roy Stream and climbing routes: Above the bushline continue on the true left bank of Rob Roy Stream through light scrub and tussock, keeping 100m above the stream. After crossing a washed-out stream bed follow around terraces until a small silty flat is reached. From here find a convenient place to descend to the avalanche-threatened Rob Roy Glacier. During the summer the avalanche hazard comes from the glaciers above and in the winter from large gullies dropping from Homestead Peak. A broad spur to the left of the large gully dropping from Homestead Peak is then climbed which ends up merging with the snowfield underneath the Homestead Peak and Rob Roy Col.

-44.451360590000, 168.722677620000
E39 697 308
CA11 597 691
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
The East Ridge IV 3
Although tantalising glimpses of the East Ridge can be seen from the West Matukituki it was not until January 10, 1963, that the ridge was climbed, when Tony Bowden and Graham Bishop traversed the mountain from a bivvy at the head of Rob Roy Stream. The ridge rises from the Homestead-Rob Roy Col in two prominent steps. The lower one forms a triangular face with the snow shelf beneath giving access to the Avalanche Glacier. The route traverses this shelf to a point from which the north edge of the triangular face can be gained. This edge provides enjoyable climbing on steep rock, but it could be avoided by traversing the ledge further towards the Avalanche Glacier, where a snow route allows a return to the ridge above the first step. There is a variation on the left side of the first rock step up an ill defined gully involving grade 15 rockclimbing on sound rock. The second step, although loose and exposed, is straightforward, as is the rest of the mixed rock and snow ridge to the Low Peak, about five hours from the col. The traverse to the High Peak commences with a gentle descent on an easy snow arête until the ridge is blocked by a large gendarme. This is turned on the west side and beyond it 100-200 metres of exposed but technically straightforward rock lead to the snow cone of the high peak, two to three hours from the low peak. Slings and pitons would be the protection of choice for the traverse. The traverse from the foot of the East Ridge to Aspiring Hut via the High Peak and route 8 has been completed in 13 hours.
Tony Bowden & Graham Bishop, Jan 1963.
The South Ridge and Rob Roy Glacier. III 1
Across the Matukituki and slightly downstream from Wilson’s Camp there is a large avalanche gully which in winters of high snow fall deposits debris in the valley floor. This gully gives fast and unimpeded travel to above the bush line. There is a small waterfall at the bottom but this is easily negotiated on the true left on a deer trail. Most parties attempting this route have bivvied at 1600 metres, before crossing the ridge to gain the broad crevassed snowfields of the Rob Roy Glacier. These provide a staightforward route, on a rising traverse, to the high peak. ➠ Note. There may be a large schrund below the summit. The climb can take 10–11 hours from the valley floor and is a comfortable weekend trip from the Raspberry Flat carpark. The round trip from carpark to carpark taking in the High Peak-Low Peak traverse and down the Rob Roy stream has been accomplished during one long hot summers day.
E Smith, M McClymont, C Benzoni, B Fullerton, G Palmer, D Divers, R Edwards, G Edwards & G Edwards, March 1935.
The North West Ridge. III 2
Follow route to the col on the rib running down from the West Face. The snowfields to the north are easily traversed, climbing steadily towards a prominent col on the North West Ridge. Above the latter col the ridge is steep and slabby but consists of sound rock. The first two or three pitches are the most difficult and involve two awkward steps, both of which are turned over the Maud Francis Glacier. Above them the angle eases and the remainder of the ridge is straightforward rock and snow, leading to the summit ridge about 150m south of the high peak. The climb takes about five hours from the col on the rib from the West Face to the summit.
Follow route 8 to the col on the rib running down from the West Face. The snowfields to the north are easily traversed, climbing steadily towards a prominent col on the North West Ridge. Above the latter col the ridge is steep and slabby but consists of s
The North Face. III 2+
The expanse of the North Face dominates the view of Rob Roy from French Ridge. Although tantalisingly close across the slot of Gloomy Gorge, the only practicable access is via the Maud Francis Glacier. Follow route 14 across the upper slopes of the Maud Francis Glacier and continue until more or less beneath the High Peak. Access to the face is by a prominent snow chute, above which snow and ice leads are followed to reach the summit ridge about 50 metres north of the High Peak. The nature of the route can vary considerably depending on conditions. The first party took about two hours from the névé to the summit.
Bruce Robertson and Laurie Kennedy, Dec 1975.
The North Ridge. IV 3
The North Ridge leads to the Low Peak (2609m) which is separated by a long airy summit ridge from the High Peak (2644m). From French Ridge climb the Quarterdeck to the Bonar and then descend the Flightdeck to reach the Maud Francis Glacier. Cross the névé to gain the North Ridge where it begins to steepen towards the Low Peak and follow the crest to the summit. Time from the hut to the summit is about nine hours.
First ascent and first traverse to High Peak; Paul Powell & Frank Cooper, Dec 1954.
The North East Face.
The North East Face above the Avalanche Glacier appears to be a straightforward snow route and can be reached either from the head of Rob Roy Stream, or from French Ridge by crossing the divide between the Maud Francis and Avalanche Glaciers at its lowest point. It has potential as a rapid escape route from Low Peak.
Bonar Glacier-Rob Roy Stream traverse. III 1
This traverse, taking in the Maud Francis and Avalanche Glaciers and Rob Roy Stream is a way of walking out from climbing in the Mt Aspiring region and avoiding the walk down the Matukituki Valley. From the Bonar descend the Flightdeck and traverse around the Maud Francis and cross the ridge between Mt Avalanche and Rob Roy near the middle. Then continue down and around the Avalanche Glacier and link up with the snow shelf which runs underneath the East Ridge of Rob Roy. Use the access route for the head of Rob Roy Stream in reverse from the Rob Roy-Homestead col. The Avalanche Glacier may be a tangle of decomposed ice near the end of the summer and require more time than advised. Usual times are: Bonar to Homestead Col, 6–8 hours and Homestead Col to carpark, 4–5 hours.
The South West Ridge. III 3 14
This route climbs the South West Ridge to the pyramid peak east of the low peak. Steep rock (iced or grade 14) followed by a snow arête.
Phil Penney & Simon Harris, Nov 1998.
Allen Uren & John Cocks


Type Title Link to edit content
Face (Alpine) The South Face (4 routes)
Face (Alpine) The West Face (4 routes)