North West Face

(8 routes)

The north-west face is a fearsome wall that has seen little more than a dozen ascents. The aid-lines that tackle the central part of the face are very committing and at present unrepeated. There are possible flat bivouac ledges located under the face, once the snow melts, for attempts on the wall and these can be reached in a long day from Homer Hut.

Face (Alpine)
North West
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Herron Whiston Aitken 17
wire representing trad
13 pitches: From the ledges right of the Yak Pastures climb the corner immediately right of the North Buttress, angling right to the gully between the buttress and the North West Face. A committing line requiring an uncomfortable bivvy on the first ascent.
Rob Aitken, Phil Herron, Neal Whiston, Jan 1975.
Sarkasmos , 18 , , , , 18 , , ,
wire representing trad
Starting from the snow-field under the North West Face where the buttress meets the face. Right-facing corner.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Starting from the snow-field under the North West Face where the buttress meets the face.
Right-facing corner.


Traverse right and up a rib onto the right side of the ledges,


Up ledges and traverse right.


Twenty metre wall then up ledges.


Traverse right; take a chimney on the left side of a flake then across the top to a belay.


Traverse right into a slabby groove, up this and swing out left into a crack with some loose blocks


Up ledges and short walls on the left to join a large right-slanting corner.


Up the corner to a gully with a steep flake.


Traverse right to a slabby gully and up this to the ridge.

Calum Hudson, Nigel Perry, Feb 1982.
Kamikaze Line
The initial three pitches of slabs from the snowfield follow a right facing corner to the large terraces under the face, slabby and protection is scarce. Above the terraces a huge flake lies against the face, climb the chimney on the left side. Steep face climbing above a small roof leads to the base of a clean cut overhanging corner with a 30m knife-blade crack. This is followed by two further pitches of mixed free and aid climbing. A wildly overhanging chimney ends abruptly on a broad ledge where it is possible to scramble around to the East Ridge.
Bill Denz, Phil Herron, Murray Judge, 1975
Original Line
wire representing trad
Follows a line of chimneys splitting the buttress in the centre of the face. Start up a right-slanting ramp towards the big corner, angling back left to a pedestal below the large roofs. Climb a delicate wall to the roofs where a wild pendulum regains the main corner. Bridging, thin aid and the occasional ‘30 foot fall’ lead to a good ledge. Follow easier chimneys and slabs up and right along a prominent ramp to easier ground.
Bill Denz, Phil Herron, Murray Judge, Jan 1974.
Tora Tora Tora! 24 , 20 , 21 , 20 , 16 , 18 450m
wire representing trad
The first all-free route to be climbed on the central part of the face, with a hard first pitch. Take a standard small rack.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Continue up a gully and slabs to the top.

Jonathan Clearwater, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Derek Thatcher, January 2007
Rowell Route 19
wire representing trad
This route takes a vertical corner just right of the Original Line, with some aid, and then follows broken ledges across to the West Ridge.
Andy Campbell, Hugh Logan, Galen Rowell, Daryl Thomson, 1977
Garrity Parker 19
wire representing trad
Eight pitches to join the West Ridge; crux on the second pitch.
Dave Garrity, Robert Stavely Parker, Feb 1982.
English Hillary 17
wire representing trad
Climb slabs and walls to a large corner capped by a roof. Climb the wall to the left of the roof then a groove to broken ground and the West Ridge.
Merv English, Peter Hillary, Nov 1980.
Craig Jefferies