The Keep

(12 routes)

The Keep is the large steep buttress that dominates Castle Rock. Most of the routes on this wall – including some of the best climbs on the Port Hills – were destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Please avoid climbing here for now.

Altitude: 
365m
Type: 
Wall
Aspect: 
West
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Edit link
Gothic 15
0
Short groove on LH of Wall. minimal pro.
Lindsay Main, 1978
FC Falcon Crack 15 8m
1.02
1
Falcon Crack was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Popular. The prominent crack above Eagle Cleft. Steep sustained climbing with plenty of large holds. An optional extra is the boulder finish at the top.
G Gibbet 18 12m
1.02
1
Gibbet was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The groove line R of Falcon Crack. A thoughtful start leads to jugs. Sustained. Some pro. The first ascent was by mistake – it was assumed to be the finish to Gargoyle. The route can be extended by starting down in the Aviary and working your way up the crack in the right wall of Eagle Cleft until it joins the rest of Gibbet. Worthwhile.
Rob Rainsbury, 1971
E Executioner 19 15m
2.01
1
Executioner was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. From the belay ledge on Gargoyle climb R onto the pedestal then up the thin crack R of Gibbet, mostly on good holds and occasional locks. There's one difficult bit in the middle and some wobbly holds at the top. Excellent pro but it takes strength to put lots in (especially at the top) – short but quite sustained.
John Barnett, 1974
H Hangman 17 16m
3
1 4
Hangman was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. They don't come any more classic than this. The wide crack L of the main overhang. From the left of the belay ledge follow the crack to the top on good holds and optional jams and bridging. Sustained and good pro. The wall to the left provides challenging face climbing. Widely considered the best crack in the Port Hills. Follow the obvious hand crack up and left of the roof directly above Expedition Crack/Buttress Corner. This line, that steadily increases in steepness, is quite sustained but offers excellent jamming and pro.
J Judgement 20 16m
3
1
Judgement was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. ...according to the law of gravity. Go hard on the offensive or your defenses will be exposed for the shallow fabrications they really are. The crack 2m R of Hangman. Crux moving out from under the roof. Exit either straight up or R up Peregrinus. Solid and sustained.
Murray Judge, 1973
P Peregrinus 22 16m
2.01
1
Peregrinus was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Start as for Flying Buttress but climb the roof half-way across the undercling. The crux is just over the lip, where a semi-layback move leads to good holds. Continue up on the same line. Quite sustained. A small CD is useful on the overhang, and small wires for the crack.
Rick McGregor, 1979
FB Flying Buttress 16 16m
3
1
Flying Buttress was destroyed in the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. A superlative route. Climb the slab (no pro), shove something big up under the roof (#4 cam, #11 hex), then take a deep breath and ccc-commit yourself to the R-wards undercling (crux). Once over in the crack, relax, then bridge and jam to the top. Sustained, but has several rests and good pro.
Flying Bastard 23 17m
0
From the belay ledge, climb directly up through the roof to rejoin F.B. (protected by first climbing Ex Cathedra to the first runner). Dave Fearnley '82
Ex Cathedra
1.02
5
Start beneath the layered overhangs R of Flying Buttress. Move L to a flake and CD placement. Move up on small holds to a jug and rest. Easier moves up and R to arete which is followed to top. Tobin Sorenson '79
XCD Ex Cathedra Direct
0
Start as for Ex Cathedra, but above the roof take the formidable thin crack. Almost desperate (not the easiest 25 around). Using the L arete makes it easier. Excellent wires. John Allen '80
The S.S. 24 14m
1.02
The S-shaped crack R of Ex Cathedra. Technical. Move up the groove to a bolt, then up the thin crack. Dyno L to jugs and up. Dave Fearnley '81

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