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Twin Stream

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Hugh Logan and Paul Scaife made the first ascent of the buttress in November 1976 via a line on the left edge of the Southerly Front Slab, continuing to the ridge via another buttress 70m up for four good climbing pitches (with one severe pitch). They had a slightly epical descent down a snow-ice filled Shindig Gully.
‘Andy Macfarlane and Murray Judge were the driving forces from 1995 of Twin Stream climbing. Andy had the vision to imagine the routes that could be created in the giant crackless slabs, and the drive to realize them – bolting long routes in the mountains is bloody hard work, even with a power drill, and not many visionaries have the stomach for it or the willingness to pay for all the glue and stainless steel as well, while sacrificing good climbing time. Murray’s incredible new routing drive was undimmed over 30 years. To quote Andy: “The best thing to happen to NZ rock climbing was Murray getting a petrol drill.” The petrol drill may have made modern Twin Stream possible, but don’t expect mindless clip-ups – you’ll need a comprehensive natural pro rack and the ability to use it for all but a few of the routes here.’
— Dave Brash, New Zealand Alpine Journal, 2001.
Two or three average rock bivvies exist under the litter of boulders below the Central Buttress. Three bivvies were formerly used, one at the top of the grassy flat and two under isolated boulders in the scree-field below Southerly Front. Both have water nearby. For larger groups it is worth taking tents, but the upper valley has little protection from a good norwester.
Litter and kea
Kea will attack gear left out during the day and at night, so cover camp gear well with rocks and put tents away while you are off climbing. Please do not leave stashes of gear or food. Carry out what you have brought in.
Carry out your waste
With increasing numbers of people climbing at the crags, humans are making a significant impact on this small alpine area. There are no toilet facilities at present in the valley. Carrying out your own waste is appropriate behaviour. Climbers can purchase and use special purpose bags to carry out their waste and dispose of the bags into toilet facilities.
The Walls
1 Half Moon Slab
2 Southerly Front Slab
3 White Corner Slab
4 Hidden Slab
5 Upper Wall
6 Lower Wall
7 Slabs
8 The Fin
9 Shindig Gully
10 Wrinkle Buttress


The Mount Cook road crosses Twin Stream just before Glentanner Station and airport.
Access by helicopter is from Glentanner Park, Helicopter Line, ph 03 435 1855 or 0800 650 651.
The walk in takes 2.5–3 hrs. Permission to cross Glentanner Station land should be obtained from Ross Ivey, ph 03 435 1843. Start on the true right of Twin Stream and follow the river bed from the bridge for 500m past the first hill and climb up to a farm track. Cross the side stream and climb the clearest spur (cairned) to the upper terrace, moving 5m right at the top and up a shallow gully to where an old bulldozer track leads around the edge of the terrace. Where this ends continue along the terrace edge to a dry stream at the midway shingle flats. Either follow the true right of the upper gorge or hop the stream to find the easiest travel to the upper basin.
Central Buttress is directly above the grassy landing site and campsite, Southerly Front Slab is out of sight further up the scree slopes to the left. Shindig Gully is visible from the tombstone-like boulder across the stream.

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Walked in and out 18th-19th January for a quick trip during a weather window. Not enough time to climb many routes during this time, would recommend flying in and walking out over a three-four day period to really maximize the amount of quality time you get. If you are walking in, follow the 4WD track closest to the river, this will give you the best success in following it the whole time and saving time. Once you get onto the terrace and have to descend into a bit of a gut, rather than go down to the river, follow it upstream to find a cairn on the bank which allows for safer travel. We followed the river from this gut which was a wee bit dodgy. Personally got assaulted by mother nature in terms of a rock-fall which could've ended a whole lot worse than it did.

Beta for gear: bring double rack of cams and double ropes. It would be worth while bringing in some offset cams. The routes at the moon area are a tad runout and cracks flared, tricky placements.

Thu, 19/01/2023 - 20:25 Permalink

Followed track in Jan 2022. Track in good condition but hard to find on walk in. A lot easier on the walk out. Small section of the track on the terrace is about to fall into the river. Will need something cut to replace it as the matagouri is thick there. Met two guys who said they paid over $500 for a helicopter so certainly getting pricey. Included GPX file above.

Thu, 19/01/2023 - 10:53 Permalink

Track into Twin Stream recut wide, winter 2021, and the variety of the track is now preferable to straight riverbed bashing. Two options exist to gain the terrace on true left: the left spur (easier routefinding but 5min longer), or the righthand clear spur (as per twin stream description). When coming downriver keep an eye for cairn on boulder on true right as open riverbed begins to constrict.
More routes developed on Sunnyside in 2021. Superb rock and more amenable to all-day climbing.

Mon, 20/12/2021 - 10:50 Permalink

Going up the spur to the terrace involved a bit of matagouri bashing. Going up/down the river is fine and seems faster.

Wed, 16/03/2016 - 11:04 Permalink

Awesome slab climbing! Helicopter was $248 (up to 5 people) + $25 per person DoC concession fee in March 2015. 2x50m ropes work well, and many of the abseils need abseil tat.

Mon, 13/04/2015 - 22:47 Permalink