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Lake Dunstan Bluffs

Part of

First developed by Russell Braddock, Mark Simmonds and others during the early 2000’s over a couple of weekends involving 7 or 8 people in total. Some unfinished projects remain and there is an old fixed rope or two that are now well worn by the Central Otago sun. These projects could do with being finished.
In 2021, Graham Smith provided the enthusiasm to rediscover the crag and repeat the routes along with the Cromwell crew, including the link up of two projects with Akira Umezawa.
The Cromwell crew met with Mark Simmonds at the Bannockburn Hotel and over beers more details came to light. Some of the details are still incomplete. In many cases routes have been allocated numbers for reference. FA’s have been mentioned where known. A topo covering the main area will be added soon. Some routes have now been given names but if you were a part of the original development feel free to make corrections.
Work has begun on developing the Think Big wall which already has an excellent, super steep crack that goes at about 25/26. This wall has the potential for a handful of harder sport routes about 30-35m in length.
Some routes have likely been repeated sporadically in the almost 20 years since the initial development. In places there are options for deep water soloing.


The easiest access for non-motorised boats is via rapid number 2393 on the Cromwell Clyde Highway 6km south of the cromwell bridge as per picture below. Take care turning left back onto the highway as cars travelling south often pass other vehicles at this point. For motorboats the most reliable access point is probably the boat ramp at McNulty Inlet, Cromwell. The Butchers Drive boat ramp is no longer reliable due to build up of sediment.
Access to the top is possible from the Lake Dunstan Cycle/walking trail. Bike to the top of Cairnmuir Ladder, above the bluffs. (About 30min bike from Cornish point). Stop at sign: ‘Stabilising land to construct a dam’ and break off track towards lake. From boulder angle down rightwards towards a gully. Stay on true right of gully. Cut across ledge to base of steep wall. (Cairns) Down left around another wall, then back right onto broad lichen covered rock spur. Anchor with chains on this is top of Troglodyte Wall. Rap to base of wall.

Add Place Add Route


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
SW Shard Wall 17 10
TW Troglodyte Wall 17 10
TW-var Troglodyte Wall - Upper Wall Variation 17 5
Wellerman Wellerman 24 38m 7
1 Overhanging Crack 25 30m
1-ext Overhanging crack -extension
2 Big Corner 21 45m 5
3 Fancy Feet 21 41m 5
4 Slab and Double Overlap 19 25m 5
5 Fixed Rope 22 6
6 Unfinished Project
7 Mostly Trad Pitch 17
IOTC Icing on the Cake 19 38m 4