Bolt City

(17 routes)

Interlaced with mainly bolted climbs on generally good quality rock, but blighted by lichen on less than vertical rock and lack of sunlight. Many climbers think ‘chainsaw’ when they contemplate the huge macrocarpa guarding the area.

South East
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
3 Pseudomania 21 15m
2bolts wire representing trad
From above Philanderer Wall, traverse easily right past old bolts, then over bulge to corner. Climb the corner (crux) to ledge. Belay here or continue (grade 15) to upper anchor.
Graham Love, 1985
4 Jeremy’s Route 24 13m
A testament to Jeremy’s strength (and reach). It turned out that it was not as bad as it looked. Direct up the black streak and through the overlaps to join Labours of Love at the piton. There is a variation that heads left at the top to another bolt and chain.
Jeremy Strang, 1988.
5 Labours of Love 24 15m
Perennially popular testpiece, due to the sustained series of quality moves (and the unusually close spacing of the bolts?) Every young wannabe dogs this to death, usually as their next project after conquering Alesia. The great name gives a clue to the route’s history - cleaned, bolted and rehearsed by Graham, and stolen by Phil!
Phil De Joux, 1985.
5.5 Bell Boy 23
On the wall directly above Labours of Love. Up into the corner of Pseudomania, clipping the first bolt before moving out tenuously onto the left wall (clipping the second bolt on Pseudomania temporarily with a long sling will remove some of the anxiety). Now direct up the steep juggy wall.
Mike Simpson 1999?
6 Twenty Twenty 25 15m
Twenty-five! 3 bolts and a peg lead to the Labours of Love belay. The pedigree of the route above (6a) is somewhat muddied in the mists of time. Greg Aimer named, bolted and worked on the upper arete without success (he may have climbed past the top 2 bolts out of Pseudomania), and was enraged when Jeremy and Andy claimed to have climbed it. Andy now doesn’t remember climbing it, and thinks they must have been ‘just stirring Greg.’
FFA Bill Bradshaw.
7 Day of the Vijaks 20 ,21 30m
wire representing trad 2
The marginal pro low down has held a fall from the crux just below the visible fixed piton, but don’t count on it. The grade has been inflated to allow for the ground-fall potential. Soloed by Luke.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

The marginal pro low down has held a fall from the crux just below the visible fixed piton, but don’t count on it. The grade has been inflated to allow for the ground-fall potential. Soloed by Luke.


This great pitch has dealt out some big wingers, especially when the RP’s have been left behind. Unable to find an abseil anchor on the first ascent, Dave and John down-climbed loose blocks, then the entire pitch. Traverse R under the roof, then up R facing corner (crux) to bridge R and finish up Pearly Gates. Originally with two pitons which have since rotted out, the final moves are now quite serious.

John Allen, Dave Fearnley, 1980.
8 John Allen Corner 21 15m
1bolts wire representing trad
A hard move past the bolt to gain the corner above Day of the Vijaks belay (or pull on the bolt to give you a great adventure at grade 17, A0), then up to the ledge. Move L to finish up Pseudomania (grade 17), or finish direct (grade 21+). John Allen, 1980. Direct finish (a.k.a. Maundering Mind)
Graham Love, 1985.
9 Squeal Like a Pig 23 15m
3bolts wire representing trad
Al’s triumphant return to Long Beach after a new route hiatus here lasting 11 years. Direct through the reachy roof above Vijaks belay and up the airy arete. Great position.
Al Mark, 1998.
9a Gracilis 24 6m
1bolts wire representing trad
Traverse L past a bolt from Vijaks pitch 2 corner into Squeal Like a Pig.
Al Mark, 1998.
10 Acid Queen 23 12m
wire representing trad
The sustained sickle crack is barely adequately protected with RP’s and old pitons.
Graham Love, 1984.
11 Bdoing ! 23 12m
1bolts wire representing trad
is the sound (of an uncoiling spring) you must make when you dyno. Do it from the piton on Acid Queen, up and R to finish on Hunger. Very bold.
Phil DeJoux, 1985.
12 The Hunger 23 15m
1bolts wire representing trad
Ungradeable, really. Phil cleaned and bolted this, then traded the first ascent for a lift to the beach. He watched in amazement as Luke baulked at the obvious dyno and climbed it statically.
Luke Newnham, 1984
13 The Solitary Vice 25 15m
Originally graded 24; apparently a key hold broke off this route making it more difficult, although it has been climbed in its present condition. Clip 2nd bolt on Murray, then go L, then up past another bolt.
Luke Newnham, 1986.
14 Murray 19 15m
Described in the 1987 guide as ‘the beach’s classic face route’, it has clips annoyingly far to the L to try and steer the climber away from Pearly Gates. The previously desperate first clip has been moderated with rebolting..
Al Mark, 1984.
15 Pearly Gates 19 30m
1bolts wire representing trad
Justifiably popular, this varied route only looks unpleasant. Progressively harder and more interesting moves up the L facing corner to a mantle, and balancy face moves (take RP’s) lead to the finale moving R over the arete at the bolt.
Graham Love, 1984.
16 My Spine is the Baseline 23 30m
5bolts wire representing trad
Intriguing and frustrating: worthy of greater popularity. Up the scooped wall R of Pearly Gates and into the crack climb above with difficulty.
Al Mark, 1985.
3.5 Capricious 25
Immediately left of Jeremy's Route. Staight up the line of bolts to the left hand chain. The variation form Jeremy's Route uses the same last bolt and chain.
Mike Simpson


grubbie's picture

Someone has recently (January 2000) anonymously destroyed the bolt by removing the hanger and bashing it flat. The following points arise:
1. While retrobolting is discouraged here, it has been generally accepted that rotten piton placements (where there is no other protection) can be replaced by a bolt at the same level. Other examples of this at Bolt City are John Allen Corner and Labours of Love.

2. In this case, there is a small wire placement immediately above the piton, but it could best be described as adequate, and the consequences of its failure in a fall from the crux moves could be very serious.

3. Bolt placement and removal on or close to existing climbs should be done by consensus: anonymously vandalising is not the best way to go. One of the virtues of the Dunedin climbing scene is its laid back and friendly atmosphere.