Homer Tunnel Bluffs

(14 routes)

Easily accessible and relatively safe. If the road is open then the area around the Tunnel should be at a low ava- lanche risk. Since the routes top out on the Homer Saddle / Moir ridge, then apart from cliff-bound snow, it is out of the firing line for large avalanches.
This cliff provides very good early season climbing, but its low altitude and aspect does mean that it is fairly susceptible to sunshine and rising temperatures. The short routes on the right-hand side of the cliff are well suited to less experienced climbers wanting practice. The turfy mixed routes in the centre section of the cliff rate among the best climbs in the country. The long mid-grade routes on the left hand section offer good traditional snow and ice climbs.

Face (Alpine)
Walk time: 
30 min to 1 hour

Access to the main part of the cliff is straight up from Homer Tunnel, keeping well clear of the slabby face of Belle
to the left of the tunnel. A lot of debris comes off this face, even in low avalanche risk conditions. The shorter, right-hand section of the Bluffs is also easily reached from the Homer Saddle path up through McPherson Cirque, unless there is a higher risk of avalanche. This section of the Bluffs might be useful for a short or bad weather day.
Descent from all the routes involves traversing the ridgeline back to Homer Saddle. Although reasonably straight- forward, it is very exposed, and a bit harder in winter than in summer. It can be time consuming in bad weather or darkness. For the lines on the left-hand side of the cliff, the descent essentially involves another full route.

-44.762780000000, 167.983055000000
D40 130 929
CB08 030 311
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
1 Chuckle Vision III 3 450m
wire representing trad
Takes a line between Night Vision and the obvious shortish wide gully high on the face, just to the left of the upper reaches of Night Vision. Start at the lowest rocks, at a ramp just to the left of the start of Night Vision. Start by climbing a small, 5m, step to gain the obvious right to leftwards trending ramp, pass under a small wall, and continue to the foot of an obvious rightward tending 30m corner at 60m. Climb the corner onto a small ridge which is followed leftward through a 25m rock belt that opens onto a small snowfield. Travel up rightwards over the snowfield towards an obvious weakness, belay under a alarge rock. Step out right and climb through 15m of broken ground to another snowfield. Move up and right over this snowfield, heading towards two short 30m parallel gullies, whhich lead to a 50m gully, running up leftwards hidden behind large rocks, to exit on the riddgeline.
A. Garvie, H. Gibbs, June 2012
2. Night Vision III 3 400m
wire representing trad 2
Takes the prominent shallow, right-facing groove in the centre of the face. Follow the groove for 3 pitches, then work up easier angled snowfields to the ridge.
Ant Morgan, Jimmy Harrison, Al Walker, July 2011
3 Homer Sapiens III 3 400m
wire representing trad
The obvious deep gully/groove line close to the centre of the face. 5-6 pitches of technical climbing then some easy ground to the ridge. The first 2 to 3 pitches follow an obvious grove/corner system up to the obvious snow field. Above the snow field the route follows the continuation of the grove/corner. The first pitch above the snow field was the crux and was climbed on good turf and thin ice. If this pitch was out of condition it would be possible to escape left from the snow field onto night vision.
Jon Taylor, Andy Eccleshall, August 2001
4 The Vortex III 5
10 pitches, tackles the buttress wall to the right of Homer Sapiens, starting up a vegetated gully just right of that route. P1: Follow the gully up and slightly right to a belay. 30m P2: Continue in the same line until a small snowfield is reached. 50m P3: Weave up slabs, limited protection, to a snowfield at the base of a blank buttress. 60m P4: Make a rising leftwards traverse, then straighten up towards a crack system. 45m P5: Climb the fractured corner system. 30m P6: Trend left up blocky steep ground to avoid a loose over- hang. Belay just below the crest of a ridge. 45m P7: Traverse left for 20m, then up a turfy corner system. 30m P8: Make a leftwards traverse to join the upper part of Homer Sapiens. 55m P9: Climb easy ground as for Homer Sapiens, then continue direct where that route tends slightly left. 100m P10: Move left from the belay, and find a way to the ridge, surmounting a series of steep obstacles. 30m
R Measures, K Parsons July 2014
5 Tunnel of Love III 5 350m
Up and right of Homer Sapiens is a large bay, at the back of which are two grooves. The climb follows the left-hand groove. A thoroughly superb route. May actually be in condition even when it appears not. Much of the climbing is deceptively steep. The first few pitches may be easier under heavier snow cover. Start at the foot of the groove. P1: Climb the turfy groove. 60m P2: Continue on tussock and snow. 80m P3: Up the corner on turf, over rocky steps. Steeper than it appears. 50m P4: Follow the steepening corner through two very steep bulges to a belay below a roof. 50m P5: Take the thin turfy groove to the right of the roof onto slabby ground. Sparse protection. Continue to reach and climb a steep technical chimney. 50m P6: Finish up vertical tussock. 40m
A Uren, L Clay, M Gilmour, July 2014
6 Blurred Vision III 4 350m
wire representing trad
Up and right of Homer Sapiens is a large bay, at the back of which are two grooves. This route takes the curving groove on the right-hand side of the bay. An excellent and varied climb. Snowed up slabs and turf lead to a belay on the right, 40m. Follow the steepening groove to a belay, 60m. Continue up the groove onto a slabby ramp, belay part way up the ramp, 40m. Follow the ramp, then head up right to a belay, 55m. Move up to a small arete, then up left to a belay under a small slab, 30m. Go round right and up a wide slabby groove to belay on a small snowfield, 55m. Go left and up an awkward chimney groove to belay under the final rocks, 40m. Move right and across to belay on the ridge, 30m.
J. Harrison, A. Walker, June 2012
7 Double Vision III 2 150m
wire representing trad
Double Vision (III, 2+) is in the next gully right of Blurred Vision. A turfy first pitch (60m) leads into a big easy snow amphitheatre visible from the road. From here, two pitches up a corner and gully system on climber's right (best split into 30m + 60m lengths due to a crux section about 40-50m up) leads to the Homer Saddle ridge. Exit via ridge to Homer Saddle. The route was named due to the unnecessary amount of time taken on the ascent with five people on two ropes.
Rose Pearson, Al Walker, Frazer Attrill, Anna Seybold, and Jaz Morris, July 2013.
8 The Visionary II 2+ 180m
Start up the first small gully to the right of Double Vision. P1: Easily follow the gully to the foot of some steps. 20m P2: Continue up until the gully meets some more steps leading to a head- wall. Move out onto a snow face and climb to a belay. 50m P3: Keep on up the snow face, which becomes a terrace above Double Vision. 50m P4: Finish up the terrace, entering Double Vision for the last 5m. 60m
R Hawes. A Garvey, July 2014
9 No Vision II 4 125m
Left of The Grovelly Chimney of Joy, a slabby start leads to some great rock and turf moves, keeping just right of the obvious roof. Keep right, avoid the snowy amphitheatre and exit up the right hand side gully, not visible from below. Enjoyable climbing with good protection. P1: Climb a slab to belay at a promin- ent protruding rock. 20m P2: Step right and climb mixed ground. Belay on a small arete right of the amphitheatre. 55m P3: Climb over the arete, some slabby moves left, then up right into the exit gully. 50m
M Buchanan, J Morris, July 2014
10 Grovelly Chimney of Joy II 3 60m
wire representing trad
Obvious Chimney lookers left of Failing Vision. Chimney to 1/2 height with nice climbing, poor pro and loose rock. Right from here into gully up nice turf with good wires. Tops out at ridge. Decent via traverse to Homer Saddle.
Rose Pearson, Jaz Morris, July 2013
11 Dancing on a Tin Roof II 3 70m
A variation on The Grovelly Chimney. Climb the small gully that leads to The Chimney, then traverse out onto the right wall until the face is reached. Once on the face work over some steps to reach a boulder blocking access to the ridge, just to the right of the gully above The Chimney. Pass over the boulder as best seen fit.
R Hawes, A Garvey, July 2014
12 Failing Vision II 2 80m
wire representing trad
A short route with a couple of well protected steep steps, up an open groove/depression in the buttress immediately to the left of the Homer Saddle approach gully. 3 pitches, finishing almost on the Saddle. May largely bank out after heavy snow.
J. Harrison, A. Walker, June 2012
Mātuitui 17,19,20,18,16,17,15 275m
54bolts wire representing trad
A moderate grade summer rock climb on a buttress on the Homer Tunnel Bluffs (between Homer Sapiens and Tunnel of Love). Seven pitches (275m) of interesting climbing, well equipped with bolts, 40 minutes from the road. Single rack of cams (0.2 to 2), set of wires and 14 quickdraws. Descent. Walking off over Homer Ridge is recommended (short scramble from top of route to ridge and then down to saddle). The route can also be abseiled (eight 30-40m raps), need two ropes to rap. Stay right when rapping the top pitch to keep the rope out of the crack. Bolted with support from the NZAC bolting fund.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Short face then move to arete feature.


Interesting climbing on the arete


Absorbing face climbing


Move left off belay then up easy ground to bolts.

To access pitch 5 walk 20m along grassy rib to base of short wall.


Follow crack up face and trend right past two bolts and up to rap anchor. Climb easy ground with some tussock up to base of headwall. [this pitch can be split in two using rap anchor]


Consistent face climbing with good gear


Climb right hand side of slab to top

Olivia Truax and Sam Waetford, November 2021
The Accesserbaiter 18,20,2,16,20,18,17 300m
50bolts wire representing trad 2
A good half day mission from Homer Tunnel to the Homer Ridge. Find the start of the climb as for Matuitui, 20m above the cairn that is at the start of the scramble approach of Matuitui. Rappelling the route is possible. Up to 12 bolts in some pitches. A few trad placements with cams upto BD #1
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Go left past 3 bolts the up broad gully to head wall, the back left to take steps onto belay
Recommend split this pitch in two.


Go rightwards onto the slab, up past the vegetation trending leftwards to belay


Go across the flat area to the left rear corner to start upper pitches


Start at 2bolts, the go across left to pick up corner the upto belay


Stay right of the vegetated crack up the vertical wall and onto slab. At the small overlap step left over vegetated crack and up steps to belay


Follow up the easy rib, until the bolt just before the belay.


Climb onto block, then onto slab.
Go up steps trending leftwards straddling vegetated gully. Climb up final slab then left to belay

Grant Piper, Sophie Jenkins, Liam Pyott. Feb 2022
Allen Uren