The Altar @ Church Bay

(20 routes)

A wee crag clearly visible from road on the way towards Daimond Harbour. The climbs are generally about 10m high and bolt protected.
It was intially developed by Simon Courtois and Dave Shotwell around 2008/09.

Type: 
Crag
Altitude: 
100m
Aspect: 
West
Walk time: 
5min
Access: 

Park just east of the small bridge. The track starts just west of the bridge. Follow the track up the creek then cross the creek. Go uphill and there is a bit of fixed rope to get around the right side of the crag.

Lat/Lon: 
-43.635329000000, 172.723639000000
NZMS260: 
M36 877 302
Topo50: 
BX24 777 686
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Edit link
HF Holy Fatima 20 10m
1.02
3bolts
Very left end of cave up blocky chimney feature
Rachael Williams 2014
MC McChurch 27 3m
1.02
4bolts
The very left side of the cave. Short and steep. An easier variant can be done by climbing up blocks to the right of the bolts at 25/26
Derek Thatcher, 2014
FI False Idol 31 10m
1.02
5bolts
Starts on pocket and sidepull right of the corner. Up through roof via underclings (crux)
Equippers: Derek Thatcher, James Gunn
The Power of Christ Compels You 29
0
Climbs into meet The Altar Boy at the top
AB The Alter Boy 29
2.01
Start off the detached boulder climbing pockets and huceos then bust left through overhang on pinches to single ring lower off. Two knee pads are helpful ;)
Troy Mattingley, 2013
Ca Charismania 32 8m
0
6bolts 2
Climb up to roof and hard compression moves out to awesome jug on lip. Finish on Kneel to the Pope anchor.
Derek Thatcher 2015
Kneel to the Pope 30 10m
0
6bolts
Good moves to steep section of overhang then crazy knee bar action required - righthand side of roof. http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekthatcher/11138377606/
Equippers: Troy Mattingly, Derek Thatcher
David and Goliath 27 10m
1.02
4bolts
Awarkward corner to headwall - rightside of over hang
Troy Mattingley 2014
SP The Supreme Pontiff 30 8m
1.02
4bolts wire representing trad
Compress the overhanging prow then climb the face.
Derek Thatcher, 2013.
TP Thor's Hammer 21 10m
0
4bolts
Just past the right side of the cave. Climbs the right-facing corner and crack, trending right at the top; then step left to the anchor rings.
Simon Courtois, 2009.
TP The Pulpit 17
0
4bolts
Up the centre of the featured yellow and black face.
Dave Shotwell, 2009.
Werewolves Of Diamond Harbour 17 10m
0
wire representing trad
A gear route on the arête between The Altar cave and the main wall. Generally well-protected, with a cool move on to the protruding blade. Move left to the Thor anchor.
Simon Courtois, 2008.
CG Catholic Girls 19 10m
0
4bolts
Corner and groove to the right of the arête. Move right at top to anchor for HLG.
Dave Shotwell, 2008.
HG Hindu Love Gods 20
0
5bolts
Up thin crack line past a jutting flake on the right (bolt just above lip). Finish in hand crack or right thereof.
Simon Courtois, 2008.
RR Rasta's Revolution 23
1.02
5bolts
Clean-cut left-facing corner with a black streak. High first bolt followed by steep, technical climbing to ledge and then exit R-wards. Double anchors at top of HLG
Dave Shotwell, 2008.
Ad Altared 24 12m
1.02
3bolts
Reachy moves up the prow and into groove to join MBB at the last bolt
Rebekah Burbery, 2013.
Moroni's Blues Band 20
0
4bolts
Just around the arete. Start in the Rh-facing corner and climb on past the flaring crack and exit out L-wards.
Simon Courtois, 2009.
Joe's Route 20
0
wire representing trad
Up the obvious corner (clip the first Randall bolt) to the overhang. Place smallish cams and move left under the overhang. Very flaky rock. Belay at a tree.
Joe Arts, 2009.
RC Randall the Horny Clergyman 21
0
4bolts
Starts in the corner or on the face, trending right past a roof to the arête on the right. Steeper than it looks. Single anchor ring.
Dave Shotwell, 2008.
Face Scratcher 15 10m
0
wire representing trad 1
Start up the arête beside the obvious finger crack (can be used for gear), and balance up over the blocks. Steep left to the Randall anchor.
Simon Courtois, 2008.

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Comments

Church Bay's answer to the Wimmera both in terms of the immaculate rock and thought-provoking body position climbing. Just not long enough! The projects look amazing... and hard! Pulpit (~17), Catholic Girls (~18+), Hindu Love Gods (~20), Rasta's (~23), Randall (~20+). Numerous single ring anchors.

I've added the three trad routes and made some minor edits, including grade changes to bring them more in line with the consensus between Simon and me. I think Catholic Girls and Hindu Love Gods could move down a grade, but have left them as originally graded to see what other people think.

Just visited The Alter today and loved the place! Great rock, beautiful environment and fun climbing. Where is there more of this kind of rock around CHC???? It's a shame the routes are only 10 m. I thought I'd put in my 2 cents on the grades etc. as Simon mentioned. I thought overall they were a bit soft, however some were right on. Thors Hammer, yes 21, Catholic Girls I'd say 18. Hindu Love Gods, Yes 20. Rastafarianism 22 1 STAR. This route is awesome and would be a three star mega-classic if it was 30 m, but I don't on-sight 24 off the couch... EVER! Randal... Yes 22 but maybe a bit soft. Thanks for all the hard work in putting together a quality climbing venue.

Hi, It is good to see The Altar in your guide. I've added the route names from our 1st ascents in 2008/2009. The grades have not been changed and differ slightly from what we had thought originally. When more people climb these routes, we will have a better idea of what the grades should be.
2 gear routes exist, and that was how we accessed the top of the cliff. Not recommended.
Thanks, Simon Courtois