Homer Tunnel Bluffs

(8 routes)

Easily accessible and relatively safe, if the road is open then the area around the Tunnel should be at a lower avalanche risk. Since the cliff tops out onto 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 winter climbing, but its low altitude and aspect does mean that it is more susceptible to sunshine and rising temperatures. The short lines on the right-hand side of the cliff are well suited to less experienced climbers wanting practice, or for a short / bad weather day. Some of the left-facing grooves and corners hold snow and ice surprisingly well.

Walk time: 
30 min to 1 hour

Access to the main part of the cliff is straight up from the Homer Tunnel, keeping well clear of the big slabby face to the left of the Tunnel. A lot of debris comes down this face, even in low avalanche risk conditions. The shorter right-hand end of the cliff can also be easily reached via the Homer Saddle path from McPherson Cirque, but be more aware of avalanche conditions if taking this route.

Descent from all of the routes involves traversing the ridge-line along to Homer Saddle. Although reasonably straightforward, it is very exposed, and a bit harder in Winter than in Summer. It can be time consuming in bad weather or darkness. For routes on the left-hand side of the Bluffs, the descent essentially involves another full route. Roping off some of the routes might be problematic unless you are sure of where you are heading.

-44.762780000000, 167.983055000000
D40 130 929
CB08 030 311
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
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,
Night Vision III 3 400m
wire representing trad 3
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Allen Uren