Mt Huxley

(12 routes)

The 800m high south face of Mt Huxley presents an imposing sight and was not climbed until 1990. The completion of three new lines on the south face during 1990-93 may attract more attention to the mountain. Mt Huxley has now been climbed from all sides with starting points in the Ahuriri, Hunter, Huxley, and Temple Valleys.

The west face of Mt Huxley is secluded, but once in view it is obvious that the central section is fine rock. The rock is unblemished and of a character that allows even the steeper sections to be climbed with abandon.

The valley was quite enchanting with its blanket of snow, patches of beech forest, and the river with its amazingly clear pools. The mountains are moderately glaciated, offering good training climbs, but also good technical routes up steep rock faces or sharp rock ridges. Mt Huxley rises sheer from the end of the valley, a 2000' rock face, most impressive. There's a challenge for the boys.

Nicholas Shearer, OUTC Antics, 1981.

-44.071236470000, 169.678504550000
G38 440 765
BZ14 340 148
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
North East Face 3-
The north east face of Mt Huxley is an extensive snowfield. Access to the slopes is limited by the presence of some moderate angled bluffs. From the upper South Huxley Valley a rock rib gives steep access through the middle of the bluffs to the upper slopes and the summit. The first ascent party departed in time-honoured style from the Oamaru pie cart, carried 5 foot skis for a day and a half up valley through beech forest and up an interesting bluff, for a 600m altitude gain across the top snowslopes, and a careful ski descent back to the bluffs.
Scott Gilkison, Roland Rodda, Harry Stevenson, Rod Williams, Max Willis October 1939
North East Ramp 3-
A variation on 4.29 is to follow a ramp on the eastern side of the bluffs until near the east ridge, climb through the bluffs and rejoin the original ascent route.
Peter Barker, John Chivers, Bob Cunningham twice, on consecutive days December 1959
East Slope 2+
From the Ahuriri - Huxley Col traverse toward the mountain on the slopes just north of the east ridge, maintaining altitude as much as possible. One short bluffy section has to be surmounted to gain access to the upper slopes and the short summit pyramid.
First ascent unknown
South Ramp 3-
Pick your way through the icefall on the right hand side of the south face and climb the snow ramp and broken rock to reach the east ridge to the right of the East Peak.
Eric Feasy, Syd Woods, June 1979
South Face 3
Follow the hanging glacier in the centre of the face, then up a couloir which is mostly hidden from view in the valley, up the right central portion of the face to near the East Peak, 800m from the main summit. A heavily crevassed section at mid-height presents the major difficulty on the route.
John Graham, Nicholas Shearer, February 1993
Vein V 5+
A mainly mixed route apart from the first 3-4 pitches which is steep ice. Start at the toe of the south spur up a narrow gully of steep ice for two pitches then take a gully to the left which leads on to the south spur proper. The crux two pitches are at the top, finishing just east of the summit. Ten pitches of grade 4-5 ice. The first ascent party took 17 hours for the complete climb. Erik Bradshaw climbed a variation on this route in summer conditions with a full tramping pack in two and a half hours. Good positive rock all the way interspersed with gravel ledges.
Al Uren, Phil Penney, Glen Einam October 1990
Begin on the left side of the large snowfield in the middle of the face and angle up left to meet the centre of the south spur at around 2200m where the route joins The Vein to the summit.
Nick Brown, Don French, Rob McBrearty, Brian Smith, March 1991
Oma Rāpeti 4+ 17
2 1
Accessed on left side of pinnacle, between pinnacle and glacier. Climb rib above glacier, to left of 42 St. Climb left angling crack to crest of rib, then follow crest. 4 pitches to easier ground. Continue up rib to left of hanging snow patch. Traverse left to gain crest of pinnacle, before swinging onto slab on left side of pinnacle. Finish up amazing splitter cracks to summit ridge.
Steven Fortune and Kieran Parsons, March 2016
42nd Street 4+
A rock pinnacle stands at the bottom centre of the 600m high west face. The small col between face and pinnacle is reached by a snow couloir and is the starting point of the route. Once established on the face, gain the rib that runs up the left side of the shallow gully. Glaciation has left few holds on the lower pitches. Follow the rib to finish on the summit about 70 metres to the right of two rock spires which can be seen on the skyline. Crux pitch 14.
Peter Dickson, Bill McLeod, March 1993
North East Ridge 3
An impressive west-east traverse of the mountain began in the the Hunter valley near Forbes Hut, ascended the cwm passing Abseil Pk, climbed steep slabs to gain the north east ridge, and gained the summit. The group completed a circuit back to the Hunter Valley via the Huxley-Ahuriri Col, head of Ahuriri Valley and the 1935m saddle to the south of Peak 2414m.
Lloyd Beech, Brian McGlinchy, Bill Stephenson, Stephen Thompson, January 1976
West Face
James Edwards and Sam Barron completed a winter ascent of a new line to the right of 42nd Street on the west face of Mt Huxley. The 800m high line goes up a big couloir and exits via some tricky ground just short of the summit where the pair spent the night in a hole. A pleasant introduction to New Zealand climbing for Sam, who was straight off the plane from the UK.
James Edwards and Sam Barron, September 2005
Hey I ordered a cheeseburger 4-
Climb the 700m south spur leading to the east peak 2300m. Some nice rock near the bottom up to grade 16, then into less pleasant stuff higher up. Plenty of snow and verglas rock and snow over steep blocks. 10ish pitches, plus plenty of scrambling and soloing.
Paul Hersey and Dannie Baillie, February 2007


See Spotlight on Mount Huxley, NZAJ, 2010, pp108-114. And Hey, I ordered a cheeseburger, NZAJ, 2010, p 215. Both articles are accessible at