|Reference||Title||Grade||Length||Quality||Bolts||Gone||Natural pro||Link to edit content|
|The Spruce Goose||20,24,21,21,18,19||168m||
A little slice of Verdon in New Zealand. Superb face and slab climbing on mostly excellent rock (after Pitch 1) to the top of the pinnacle on Point 1764. 6 pitches, ~175m, climbable on a 60m rope with 12 draws. The route is set up to rap the pitches as described for climbing, including a short mini rap from the Sanctuary Ledge to the Eagle Cave in order to then make the ground. The rope pulls are pretty clean but beware there are plenty of sharp, snaggy bits of rock around.
Peter Allison and Tom Hoyle, March 2020.
This crag consists of the large west-facing walls on Point 1764 in Sanctuary Basin on the Mt Owen massif. It offers exceptional climbing on marble limestone, including large overhangs as well as slabs and faces marked by continuous large water runnels and is unique within New Zealand climbing in providing a Verdon-style climbing experience in a magnificent and tranquil alpine setting. The wall is home to both single pitch bolted climbs and to multi-pitch routes, the first route established was the six-pitch The Spruce Goose by Peter Allison and Tom Hoyle in March 2020.
The rock, where weathered, is exceptionally hard and can form quite sharp features, so climbers should take care that their ropes do not rub excessively on sharp features when climbing or abseiling. The yellow less-weathered rock is not as compact and can be loose or flakey in places. Despite the routes being equipped with modern stainless steel protection, this is not a sport climbing crag, the alpine setting and remote location means that climbers should exercise considerable caution as they may encounter loose rock and other hazardous conditions.
This crag is within Kahurangi National Park and therefore the area should be treated with all the care and respect a national park deserves. Climbers should seek to minimise their impact on flora, fauna and other park visitors as much as possible. The crag is accessed from, and visible by, the route from Granity Pass Hut to Mt Owen itself. Climbers should be aware that this is a popular route with trampers and seek to minimise their impact on the wilderness experience of those walking the track.
The crag is best accessed from Granity Pass Hut. Follow the Mt Owen track south from the hut through Sanctuary Basin and after around 20-30 mins it flattens off in an area around the tarns. At this point the crag is very obvious to the east. Leave the track in the direction of the crag, head down the slope and cross a small stream, and then up through grasses and then scree to the base of the crag.
As the walls face west, they are shaded in the morning and then receive sun until sunset. The alpine setting means that rock in the shade can be very cold, but in mid-summer it can also be very hot in the sun, with little shade to escape to on the longer routes. There is almost always a breeze of some kind once higher on the wall. Good climbing conditions can be found any time outside of winter.