The Notch

(12 routes)

Backside of Telecom Tower, access from Queens Drive.

Face (Alpine)
-45.062427250000, 168.802013400000
F41 795 633
CC11 695 015
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
69 The Notch Route
An easy angled snow gully which provides access to Telecom Tower ridge.
69a Yeah, Yeah, Nah, Yeah M5 70m
2 pitches; 'Starts down and to the right of the easy snow gully (route 69 on the guide) to the right of The Clearances. Head up the most obvious/clean, steep corner. Some climbing on the right hand face and some climbing on the corner. Over small bulge onto short, steep snow gully to belay on top of this. From belay head straight up the next corner, and climb the tricky start til corner ends in an small steep section. Step right onto arete, and up the step, before stepping left into new corner that leads to the top of this buttress onto the easy snow gully (route 69). The snow gully will provide you with easy terrain to reach the notch or alternatively with a fast walk/rap off. Both pitches about 30-35m with sustained, hard, but well protected climbing. Grade around M5. Highly recommendedif you are tired of making track up snow gullies.'
FA Snorre Sulheim, Gon Nido, Martine Frekhaug, 2013.
70 The Enforcer M3
A left to right leading route, which follows easy mixed ground to top out at the notch.
Dave Bolger, Rupert Gardiner, 2004
LJF Little Jono Frostbite M5
On clean buttress to right of Notch. Start up Enforcer. Climb 2 50m access pitches to base of clean buttress on right of Notch gully. Start up right facing corner, traverse rightwards up to underneath obvious roof. Climb out roof to right. Follow thin face crack into wide crack. Where wide crack angles left, branch off to beautiful right angling pick seam towards block. Mantle and belay. Final pitch straightforward to top. Total Classic 3rd pitch, M5+
Conor Smith, Merry Schimanski 27th Aug 2016
PR The Precariat M5,M8,M5, 120m
wire representing trad 4
A line up steep cracks on buttress to right of the Notch. Start up snowy gully of Equinox to gain buttress. 3 pitches of superb, technical climbing. Each pitch finishes at ledges and alternatives exist and have been climbed at different times, the best combination is described. Double rack up to #4 Camalot required, 1 x #5 recommended.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

P1: Traverse under first steep buttress to 2nd nice crack. Climb to ledge system. (FA S Fortune)
The alternative 1st crack is a bit harder and more awkward (FA Rose Pearson)


P2 Awesome crack system on right of wall. Thin precarious climbing the whole way, crux offwidth bulge at top, a #5 camalot useful to protect. (#4 adequate). FFA Jonno Clarke. The right leaning crack/ramp to left finishes at same point, is easier and looser (FA J Clark).


P3. Up awesome steep offwidth angling left. Pumpy can openers and strenuous bridging. FA Merry Shirmanski
Alternative exit up chimney to right. Some loose rock. (FA S Fortune). Alternate, alternative exit: Can traverse snow ledge to left (Traverse of the Dogs M1, FA D Joll) then easily up ridge.

FA: S Fortune, K Ladiges
72 Equinox M5
Climb the steep mixed gully on the right hand side of the first pinnacle after the notch.
Tony Burnell, Sally Ford, Aaron Ford, 2009.
TPD The Principal's Daughter M5,M3,M3,M5
A good fun, varied route with a stellar final pitch. Descend by traversing back north to the Shadow Basin.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

P1: Start in a crack which leads through an overhanging pyramid. This pitch can be avoided by climbing in from the left.


P2: Through corner system.


P3: Up slabs angling right and through cool chimney/tunnel feature.


P4: Through roof crack below triangle shaped roof straight above belay, swinging left to a technical
corner. RAD!

Steve Skelton, Ben Dare, Adam Carlson
73 Searching for Inspiration M4
Ben Dare, 2012.
ESP Espirit M6
A quality steep corner line up immaculate rock on the left side of the top of the notch. Easily accessed from the ridge as a 2nd route. It is possible, but tedious to traverse to the top of Telecom Tower, a short abseil to descend is easier.
Janette Hueng, Steven Fortune Aug 2016
S2T Shoot to Thrill M6 60m
wire representing trad
Obvious deep v groove coming out of notch. Starts as offwidth, finishing as chimney. One abseil required off backside.
Ben Dare 2012 with a fall and points of aid.
Maximum Security M5, , M5, M4 160m
wire representing trad 4
Exciting moves over diverse terrain and good gear (yes, tricams). Start: On Queen's Drive walk past the Clearances and the Notch snow gully and around the lowest point of buttress. You will be out of sight of those routes but can see the face further south. Look up for a broad 90 degree corner cut off at the bottom (see photo. There is a topo attached but it gets more approximate for each pitch).
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

(M4+ sustained) Fantastic pitch of technical stemming on thin edges and rattly hooks in the fist-sized crack at back of corner. Well-protected throughout and the occasional jam for a breather. At the rooflet exit right and belay on a little jutting snow ledge that is walled in from two sides and seems to continue round to the steep snow at right.


Don't follow the ledge but boulder up from your stance and wade onto the Notches superhighway. Cut straight across and up the steepest part of the slope trending left. If snow is a bit spooky get some gear in at each of the rock steps. At the final rock barrier, belay under two prominent sharp beaks that marks the spine of the main buttress (see photo- there is nothing further left but open space). 


(M5 crux) Overhanging right-leaning corner about 5m high. Torque to glory on bomber pick and nut placements. Pray for ice on the lip as you haul/mantle over and scratch around for a possible 0.3 camalot or piton placement. Follow moderately angled groove with very sparse pro but decent ice (even in a lean year). To the left be nothing but blank slabs and that then drop away to the Telecom tower. Follow groove as it trends to the right until a small cave and a good belay among the broken blocks just past it.


(M4 crux) A few metres above the belay is a weird moderately angled chimney inside a giant flake (see photo). Keep this to your right and instead march into a corridor sized slot higher up with some gear at the back. The right wall of this slot is a steepish corroded slab about 10m high that takes nuts with some imagination. Delicate moves get you to an easy scramble to ridge. Exit: Traverse left along ridge 50m to find hidden platform behind Telecom Tower. Rap off flake and pull really hard to get your rope down!

FA Mic Cavazzini, Dave Goldie, Aug 2017
SA Split Ambitions M4,M5
A good punchy route, with two long pitches. Great for a short, athletic adventure in the alpine. Descend off the back by walking back north to Shadow Basin. This climb is right of the Notch Route about 50m. It starts up the snow gully to the right of the overhanginging pyramid which marks the start of The Principal’s Daughter. The snow gully can be soloed for approximately 60m.
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad

Pitch one (M4, 50m) climbs the direct line to a good belay just below an obvious off-width face crack. There is an unclimbed (as of yet) variant to the left which would likely be the same grade to reach the same belay.


Pitch two climbs the rad, obvious line with great hooks on the face to the right. Above this the line above is not well protected and it is best to step right, then to the top (M5+, 60m).

Kyle Ryan Walter, Steve Skelton - June 2019