Mt Tutoko

(14 routes)

-44.594872730000, 168.012111300000
D40 142 117
CA09 041 499
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
South East Ridge III 3 14
From Turners Bivvy climb onto the Madeline Plateau. Either drop down towards the head of the Age Glacier and climb steep snow ramps to gain the ridge or, if crevassed or the snow is gone, cross the plateau to Turners Pass and traverse the ridge until a 30m drop to the snow at the base of the South East Ridge. The first rock buttress, crux 13, leads to a snow slope and the second rock step. Move out left onto a large rock slab and up to a snow ridge. The third step can be climbed directly, crux 14, or by skirting out to the left. Follow a long and often crevassed snow-slope to the summit. This is a long route and can require a bivvy on the descent.
Dick Irvin, Gerry Hall-Jones, Peter Robinson, Lloyd Warburton, 8 January 1956
South East Ridge and snowface IV WI2
The winter ascentioniststs avoided the the buttresses on the ridge by sidling onto the south face, continue up the snowface to the summit.
Jim Strang, Bruce Clark, Paul Corwin, Aug 1976.
Age Glacier Face (South Face)
Take the right side of the Age Glacier avoiding the rock steps of the South East Ridge. A good early season route. The Age Glacier route was used in the first traverse of Mt Tūtoko by Bill Blee, Ron Dickie, Bill Gordon and Ralph Miller in January 1955. The party descended the North West Ridge to the Donne Glacier and returned over Turners Pass. Turners Pass is now a more involved route due to glacial recession on the Donne Glacier side.
Colin Lea, Lindsay Stewart, Rod Ryan, January 1952
South West Ridge
Follow the dry creek bed which enters Limerick Creek 15m above Dave’s Cave then continue through bush, cutting back towards the Tutoko River 90m above the cliffs. There is a large un-named rock bivvy located in the bluffs. Climb over the small Tauihu Peak on the ridge, then continue up the steep snow slope beside the broken ridge to the prominent buttress split by a deep chimney. The buttress can be turned easily on the left, leading to the slabs below and the summit snowfields. The original party climbed the deep chimney (highly recommended) to gain the ridge above. A fantastic alpine journey.
Conway Powell, Richard Price, Mar 1973.
Rodda Route 2100m
From the last trees in the Tutoko Valley, gain a bush ridge and then steep tussock, bluffs and gullies on to the upper shelf to reach the southwest ridge above the great rock bluff. The first ascent required three days’ track cutting and three days’ climbing.
Jack Ede, Graham Ellis, Geoff Longbottom, Roland Rodda, 28 January 1951
Bouchier Hill Moore
From opposite the Pawnbroker Bivvy ascend a huge mound to the bottom of the face. Complex route finding for the initial 1000metres, the route moves through a series of water worn slabs connecting a series of ribs and buttresses. A more prominent buttress with a major gulley to its left and icefield on our right is gained at around 1100m. This is followed to the final headwall. The party retreated back down the face in heavy rain before gaining the summit.
Dave Bouchier, Butch Hill, Pete Moore, 1974.
West Face VI 5 7
2 3
climb the central weakness on the face (marked in above photo). He comments that he encountered ‘endless good ice climbing’ en-route and that the climb ‘was classic kiwi mountaineering style, gully and couloir ice with snow sections now and then. Two sections of technical grade 5 ice and mixed, but says that as he considered himself off-route for both of these sections, he hasn’t considered them in his given grade of VI, 4+. He does add that if the Darrans grading system was open-ended, the route would be grade VII.
Guy McKinnon 11 July 2013
West Face to North West Ridge
Ascend from the head of the Tutoko Valley to the North West Ridge. Follow grassy gullies between the cirque wall at the head of the valley and the West Face to slabs then turn right at the top of the slabs onto the snowfield below the North West Ridge. Continue alone the ridge to the summit. The party climbed the route in 18 hours return to the road. An extremely fast time considering over 2000m of vertical high gain.
Paul Coradine, Harold Jacobs, Feb 1971
Right-hand Buttress
Climb the right-hand buttress of the North West Ridge from the snowfield.
Alex Dickie, A Jackson, Gordon Speden, December 1931
North West Ridge
Climb the left-hand rock ridge to the headwall where a chimney on the west side gives a route to the summit.
Peter Graham, Samuel Turner, Mar 1924.
Scaife Route 15
Follow a corner system tending left for 100m before stepping left again into an easier gully with some loose rock, then climb broken ground to the North East Ridge. A short rappel brings you to the base of the summit headwall. One or two pitches to the summit. This line is the most objectively safe route.
Paul Scaife
North East Ridge
Mike Gill, Phil Houghton, Feb 1959.
Fee Fi Fo Fum 22,20,16,16,19,19,16
wire representing trad
Access is directly up the snowfield above the col between Tutoko and Tutoko Knob. Start just down and left from the highest snow patch.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Climb the arête right of the big corner.


Quartz wall, moving right to arête.


Continue up arête.


Left of the big block, then climb crack left onto quartz wall.


Green corner past overhangs, then up flake system.


Wide crack through roof, then up the wall above.


From alcove, head up corner and wall to summit.

Richard Thomson, Richard Turner, Dave Vass, February 2002
East Face
From the Donne Glacier climb an avalanche cone to a 60m rock band on the left leading to a snow shelf. Take the rock on the left of the couloir to the second step on the South East Ridge.
A J Cooper, Peter Egglestone, January 1960
Craig Jefferies