Mt Brown

(35 routes)

The central buttress on south face of Mt Brown contains excellent quality rock - best profile is from upper valley.

-43.845700000000, 170.047000000000
H37 726 027
BY15 626 410
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
North Face 1
Three and a half km up Freds Stream, climb the steepening tussock slopes to reach the alpine meadows, and plod to the summit. Scramble
South West Spur 1
From the upper reaches of Bush Stream, H37, GR 716 022 plod up the scree slopes and scramble to the summit.
Andy Macfarlane, 1995
ASL Actions Speak Louder 5 19 550m
wire representing trad 2
Central Buttress on South Face. Begins at a higher level than surrounding rock. Steep awkward strata, overhangs, and a prominent blackness make this the prominent line. Forcing past overhangs gives pause for thought on the first buttress. Second half of route follows prow up a series of towers. Pinnacles on upper section were avoided on the right side during the first ascent. Finish on the fangs. Truly a feast. Cruxes too numerous to mention. 550m vertical, grades 15-19.
Ross Cullen, Bill McLeod, December 1995. Direct mid-section, Bill McLeod, March 1996
M Mandate 20 450m
Beginning on a small block climb clean face on left side of south east face, concave wall. Higher up tend left to gain grassy groove beneath great black corner and head straight up. On reaching terrace, head up ledges to gain headwall. Follow the arrow straight corner/crack system that runs on a slight diagonal the entire height of this wall. Rock is compact and solid, predominantly vertical, but can be damp in places. Requires a positive attitude.
Bill McLeod, Chris Warburton, January 1997
No More Words 20 400m
wire representing trad 1
The route ascends an obvious feature - The Rocket - on the right side of the bluff. Immaculate rock, few options, small gear protection, and the top three pitches of sustained grade 20 climbing. 400 m.
Bill McLeod, February 1995
Leaning Tower WI4 130m
The imposing line directly above the campsite. Possibly the first route to form in the valley. Crux is the first pitch, the route steepens again on second pitch. Possible to do in two long pitches.
Erin Hawke, Jim Spenser 2002
Jaws WI4
Jaws is on a wall split by a large rock. The rock that splits the flow looks like the bit between the jaws of ice. Snow gully to access the flow. A two pitch ice route to the true left of the rock. H37, GR 725024
Erin Hawke, Jim Spenser, Winter 2001
Pugmuncher WI3
True right of the rock. H37, GR 725024. Two pitches, 50m of steepish ice with a few short bulges to keep it interesting.
Jono Clarke, Kester Brown, Winter 2001
The Urinator WI2 20m
Downstream 20m from Whatever, is a small wet climb with a tussock top out. The first time this little flow was climbed it was a bit leaky — hence the name.
Erin Hawke, Dave Williams 2002
South East Ridge 1
Up Bush Stream until third creek on right, follow up that stream until it runs out and scramble to the top of ridge. Follow ridge keeping the four tarns on your right, to reach the saddle. Cut through the ridge at H37, GR 734 031, and veer to summit knob.
Noel Pullan, Diane Mellish, March 2002
Gateway WI4 55m
The middle line of three. Enter the narrow gully that widens and steepens towards the top. Climbed in thinnish conditions.
Mal Haskins, Dave Williams, Alex Cottle, July 2003
Having a Cadbury Moment WI4 45m
At the right end of the gully. 45 m of fun climbing to the shoulder. Steeper at the bottom. Climbed with nice chandelier and curtain on the right hand side that was most useful for stemming onto. Rap off.
Mal Haskins, Brad Miller, August 2003
Diving in at the Deep End WI3 50m
Gain the routes either over the small shoulder at the base of the couloir, or climb Beginners Luck as a first pitch. Straight forward to the top. Beware thin ice near the top of the route. Generally in better condition than it may appear. Rap Off.
Mal Haskins, Paula Roberts, Rob Dunn, July 2003
Beginner's Luck WI3 50m
Top roped late in the afternoon after climbing DIADE. The route would be WI2 if climbed on the true left or WI 3 if the short vertical curtain on the right is climbed instead.
Top Roped by Mal Haskins, Paula Roberts, Rob Dunn, July 2003
The Thin White Line WI4 160m
The other route you always look at from camp! Approach by walking down Bush Stream for about 300m from the campsite and then climbing through the scree and scrub to the base. The obvious line bisecting the buttress. Pitch 1. Climbed in very thin conditions with detachable ice. Pitons and some natural gear required. Belay of natural pro/boulders above. Pitch 2 up and into the gully. Ice narrows towards the top. Quite thin ice. Belay under cave / roof above. Pitch 3 is straightforward to the top. Continue to climb to full rope length. The get off, walk above route to the first large prominent rock tower. Descend below tower on easy slopes to ramp leading down of shoulder. Beware of avalanche danger in this area.
Mal Haskins, Brad Miller, August 2003
Deformed on Palpation WI5
Climb the centre of the three lines immediately above and right of the triangle-shaped buttress at the lower right side of the south face of Mt Brown.
Jamie Vinton-Boot, Nick Hanafin, July 2011
Lat: 43.84395; Long: 170.04734 Predator WI4 50m
50m with several startlingly steep steps between slightly easier ground. Climbed in fat blue conditions.
Kester Brown, Jono Clarke, Winter 2006
Malformed WI3 35m
Immediately to the right of DIADE. Climbed in thin conditions with hollow ice at the top of the route. Descent of route via ice thread at top of DIADE. Natural anchor possible at top using small wire / pitons
Mal Haskins, Damien Gildea, Chris White, August 2004
Whatever WI2 20m
The middle set of flows on the lower tier of routes on the South Face. Good introductory climb. Snow stake may be of use as a belay instead of an ice thread.
Peter MaWhinney, Jono Clarke, July 2003
Wasted Moments WI3 70m
The bottom left of the sunny side. Tucked away around a corner, there is also a considerable amount of other ice in this area that is a as yet unclimbed. P1. Either go straight up the corner (depending on conditions) or use the ramp on the right hand side. Belay out of the way of potential ice fall from the chandeliers above. P2. Take the line of least resistance up the flow avoiding the long steep pillar (not in condition at time of first ascent). Belay off Abakalovs.
Scott Standen, Mal Haskins, August 2004
Toto We Ain’t in Canada No More No More WI3 160m
The obvious right hand book corner at the bottom centre of the face. P1. Straight up the gully/ corner over thin ice to belay at full rope stretch. P2. The corner above. In good conditions this corner could be avoided by heading out to the right but ultra-thin ice may make this a more unappealing option. Otherwise climb the left hand side of the corner, stemming onto the rock face where needed. Belay was constructed from three knifeblades and a knotted tape due to thin ice and no more rope! P3 Climb the pleasantly vertical and generally well formed short curtain above. Belay from rock above (slings and pitons). Rapp off.
Mal Haskins, Saul Dixon, July 2003
The Portal WI2 20m
This small pitch is the access to TRBB and Planet Tourism area. It is located at the bottom of the main gully splitting the Sunny Side. There is generally a generous amount of avalanche debris at the bottom of this couloir and at times this route maybe covered. Careful consideration to the avalanche conditions and the stability of the surrounding ice must be taken into account when approaching this area. Climb the short pitch and belay off to one side. Rap off or down climb
Mal Haskins, Thomas Shaovitts, July 2003
Planet Tourism WI4 120m
A hidden gem up the top end of the gully. Be very conscious of avalanche danger in this area. Climb up the stepped flows on the right to reach the top flow. There is another route to be done here continuing straight up the gully. Pitch one, 60 meters of fun going up and over a series of vertical steps. Belay out on the right. The second pitch consists of an interesting vertical to overhanging curtain which eases off to give a good rest at half-height before you launch into the remaining 30 meters of vertical steps. Good rests can be found on this route. Belaying from the top may require t-slots and rapping off can be problematic.
Mal Haskins, Dave Williams, winter 2002 or 2003
Reality Birdbath WI4 150m
A really great line. Pitches 4 and 5 are able to be seen from the road. This route is a good indication of the condition of the rest of the valley. Access the main gully via The Portal. The route starts up on the right hand side. P1. A Series of short, rolling steps leads to a corner and curtain system. Climb the corner with great stemming. Look out for the overhanging mushrooms and chandeliers near the top. Belay on snow slope above. P2. Short step up to another snow slope. Climb either the ramp or the vertical curtain. Can be avoided by walking up the snow ramp to the right. P3. Up and into the ‘Grotto’. Another great pitch in a nice setting, belay of screws in corner. P4. A full 40 meters of vertical to near vertical ice. Look out for some overhanging technical ice near the top. Pitches 3, 4 could be combined out on the right – maybe WI6. P5. The pleasant flow above leading to the upper terrace of The Sunny Side. Rap off.
Mal Haskins, Thomas Shaovitts, July 2003
Space Cadets WI3 60m
When you get out of bed it pays to actually have a plan. Pitch 1 is visually unimpressive but quickly makes you reassess why you climb. Moves through some technical ground before easing off. Pitch 2 continue up and around the corner. Straight forward.
Mal Haskins, Dave Williams, winter 2002 or 2003
Hanging Curtain WI2 60m
A fun short route without much fuss. Beware of rock fall in this area. P1 Climb the hanging curtain until it eases off and make a belay up on the left. P2 The moderate groove above. Gets a bit steeper than it looks.
Mal Haskins, Chris White, August 2004
Welcome to the Jungle WI3 60m
This is the entrance pitch to the grotto area. It is a wide gully which even in the coldest of conditions so far as had water running down the middle of the flow. Climbed on the left side.
Scotty Standen, Matias Petris, Mal Haskins, August 2004
Dos Locos Sin Cuerta WI2 25m
Two crazies without a rope. Soled on the way to the Pillar of Salt. The obvious flow in the centre of the grotto below Motion Drain.
Matias Petris, Mal Haskins solo, August 2004
Viva Chile Merrda WI3 30m
On the right hand side of the grotto, tucked away in the corner 20 meters to the right of DLSC. The initial easy flow leads into a sort steep section of ice.
Scotty Standen, Matias Petris, August 2004
Curly WI3 20m
Climbed to get to the top to take pictures of Scotty and Matias on Viva Chile Merrda. A short route best climbed quickly as it sits under a potentially rotten route with large amounts of hanging ice which has deposited a large amount of debris at the base of Curly and Viva Chile Merrda.
Mal Haskins, August 2004
Pillar of Salt WI4 40m
This little gem can be found at the top left hand side of the Grotto. A free hanging pillar of superb quality. The first 15m of the route is vertical with nice formations and durable ice. Climbed in a race to beat a southerly front.
Matias Petris, Mal Haskins, August 2004
Motion Drain WI4 120m
The main route that bisects the grotto. The original name for this route was proposed as Emotional Drain due to its effect on the climbers. Climbed on a very cold day. Awesome exposure on the top pitch of vertical ice. Pitch 1 climb through the steps for about 50m to find a belay – a possible belay position from a small ice cave was avoided on the first ascent due to dripping ice! P2. Step off the belay and into awkward territory! The top pitch is wildly exposed and steeper than it looks. Eases off near the top of the route. Descended by walking off left and finding an ice dribble to allow a rap past Pillar of Salt.
Scotty Standen, Matias Petris, Mal Haksins, August 2004
Bushwhacked 120m
The middle of the right leaning ice columns on the black triangular face to the right of the grotto. Walk up the creek/gully toward Welcome to the Jungle and spear off into the bush. Climbed in a spirit of mad adventure after a late walk in from the road. P1. Jump straight into the vertical world on the first 10m! After this the route eases off and narrows down until a broad ledge is reached which makes an excellent belay ledge. (other routes are possible from this ledge to both the right and left). P2. Up the rounded flow and onto the fin of ice until you reach a short shallow gully. Continue up easy ice until a suitable belay position is reached. This route may continue up the gully on alpine ice in certain conditions.
Scotty Standen, Matias Petris, Mal Haksins, August 2004
Comme Elle Vient WI5 40m
A super classic 40m Kiwi water ice route, the name is borrowed from Johnny's favourite Noir Desir song meaning 'As (Life) Comes'. “Comme Elle Vient is … [one] of the best ice routes I've climbed in New Zealand … super classic Kiwi water ice route .... solid WI5 by Canadian standards." Johnny Davison, NZAJ 2006.
Johnny Davison, Mal Haskins, Winter 2006
Skidmark WI3 35m
A 35m fat pillar on the sunnyside of the valley
Johnny Davison, Mal Haskins, Winter 2006


Three types of climbing on Mt Brown: scrambles such as South West spur; rock climbs such as Mandate, Actions Speak Louder; Ice climbs such as Leaning Tower, Gateway. Climbs on Mt Brown will be clustered by genre in the Ohau-Landsborough guidebook.