The Crag is approx 60 metres long by 10 to 15 metres high. It consists of columnar trachy basalt. It faces almost due south and is excellently protected from the north-west and north-east. The crag dries quickly after rain, particularly where it has been cleaned. However, as it receives almost no sun, it is slow to dry in winter and can be very cold.
Descents are available at both ends, the easiest being at the left end as the right end is very overgrown. There is a two-ring anchor station at the top of Hump The Lump to allow abseil descents, and this works well with an abseil rope set up for the day. Protection is available with a set of camming devices and a set of wires. Most of the loose rock has been cleaned from the listed climbs, but there is still more to be found, particularly around the summit blocks. Please be careful if you are heaving rocks down into the scrub below as the goats give the native plants a hard enough time without us adding to the damage!
Grades have been updated from Murray’s original guide based on comments from Phil Stuart-Jones and Joe Arts. In every case the grades have gone up – typically by one or two grades.
Take the Akaroa highway to Hilltop. From here take the Old Pigeon Bay Road until the second cattle stop. At a fork in the road go left. Go 200m past sheep yards on the left side of the road. Park off the road before the gate, walk up the hill, parallel with the fence then cross down the small boulder field to to the left and through the opening in the bush.
Holmes Bay crag is on the 'Balcarres' property, owned by Andy Richardson who is quite happy for people to rock climb there. Call him before visiting the crag on 03 304 6822.
|Because It's There
|Yellow Matter Custard
|Cracker Jack Mac
|Easy Day for an Ageing Alpine Faggot
|Escalade du Jour
|Crack of Delight
|Fox On Rocks
|The Spies Are Out
|Hump the Lump
|Abandon All Preconceptions
|Death by Blocklets
|The Pigeons have Flown
|How Queen Guinevere Made Him a Nun
|Space Age Medasin
|Les Liaisons Dangereuses