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Split Pks

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Split Peaks are two prominent peaks of approximately equal height forming a heart-shaped outline when seen from Two Thumb Stream. They form blocky buttresses and prominent ribs of variable to good rock, potentially producing routes up to 150 metres long. The easiest access is from adjacent cols,
which lead to short scrambles of a few tens of metres of height gain. A traverse of the entire ridge from Tom Thumb Col to the col north of Mt Caton is yet to be completed and would involve negotiating a steep gendarme at the northern end and some short, steep faces. Split Peaks were first climbed by Bill Cullens, Stan Forbes and Frank Gillett in December 1934. The party had set out to climb The Thumbs but in the absence of any good maps or route descriptions they set off in error up Split Peaks. A view from high on the route revealed their mistake.

POINT (170.7376871 -43.60471669)
BX17 174 695

The cols north, south and between north and south Spilt Peaks can be reached via steep scree or snow from Black Birch Creek.

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Type Name
Mountain Pt 2343


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
NR NRNorth Split Peak, North Ridge, 2- 2-

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2-

From the broad, prominent scree slope that leads to the col on the northern side of the Split Peaks, traverse along a short ledge to a loose, rocky gully. Follow this gully to the summit.

SR SRNorth Split Peak, South Ridge, 2- 2-

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2-

Start by climbing the broad, prominent scree slope, aiming towards the col on the northern side of the Split Peaks. Well before the col, climb a steep, narrow, rocky gully that emerges from between the buttresses of the Split Peaks. After a short step, this gully leads to a narrow col between the Split Peaks. From here, clamber over steeply-stacked loose blocks to the summit.

NhR NhRSouth Split Peak, North Ridge, 2 2

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2

Gain the narrow col between the two Split Peaks (see South Ridge of North Pk, route above). Climb a short slab and loose rock to the summit.

ShR ShRSouth Split Peak, South Ridge, 2- 2-

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2-

Climb a steepening gully immediately south of the peak, to a small col. Negotiate a short step before moving right and climbing loose rock and boulders to the summit.

Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club