At the heart of the Adams Wilderness, and situated entirely west of the Main Divide, these Ice Plateaus extend east-west semi-continuously for approx 15km, at an elevation of 1800m to 2200m. The Garden of Eden is approx 9km long. For over 70 years the area has been the focus of transalpine climbing parties, and it was an early one of these that provided the name. 'This neve area on part of the Adams Range was named the Garden of Eden', wrote John Pascoe in the 1935 New Zealand Alpine Journal (page 143) acknowledging in the The Canterbury Mountaineer 1934/1935 that AP Thomson in their party inspired the name. Routes through the area have often been as important as the climbing objectives, and this guide provides information on those routes as well as the climbing. Many of the climbs from the plateaus are relatively easy.
The main access to the Gardens from the east is Perth Col via the Clyde Branch of the Rangitata River. This is the easiest overall access but is dependent on Clyde River conditions. The Clyde is often uncrossable, especially in spring with snowmelt. It has usually dropped to crossable levels by late Jan or Feb. From the west, there are two main approaches to the Gardens. One is via the Wanganui Valley and Lambert Spur, sidling to the Lambert Glacier. The other is via the Perth Branch of the Whataroa River. See the Whataroa and Wanganui Valleys amongst others for those access details.
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club