Mt Alack

(8 routes)

Despite being a relatively small peak, Mt Alack is fairly steep, with no simple way off. The easiest descent is to scramble/pitch down either the North West Ridge or South West Ridge. If this idea makes you squeamish, go as far down either ridge as you feel comfortable, then abseil down the West Face to the Cleves Glacier. In winter, with two ropes, abseiling the south face on V-threads is usually the best option.
Over the years several ice routes have been climbed on the South Face. Who actually climbed them first is unclear, although most are claimed by Nick Cradock. The moderate angled snow on the far left of the face has been used many times as access to or from the South West Ridge.

Type: 
Mountain
Altitude: 
2759m
Lat/Lon: 
-43.539838180000, 170.193843840000
NZMS260: 
H36 833 370
Topo50: 
BX16 733 754
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
11.49 North West Ridge II 3
0
Reportedly very loose, but in a great setting and begins very close to Pioneer Hut. Some gullies on the south side of the lower section of Alack’s North West Ridge provide fun ice and mixed climbing—there are many variations.
Frank Alack, Harold Douglas, Bill Wilson, December 1934
11.50 The TV Slab 16,,17 80m
1.02
On the left side (looking up) of the South West Ridge of Alack, above the Cleves Glacier, is a beautiful proud slab with a prominent hand crack near the top. It gained notoriety and a name when Graeme Dingle and Murray Jones climbed it for a TV crew during the 70s. Recently, Nick Cradock added a couple of bolt belays making this a must do route. Pitch 1: climb 40m on good rock (grade 16) to a double bolt belay. Pitch 2: scramble up loose, but not obnoxious rock, past one bolt. You can use this as a runner but it was primarily placed for abseiling. Pitch 3: the TV Crack. A 40m, grade 17 hand crack that requires some bigger natural protection (#2 to #3 Camalots). Stonking. Double-bolt abseil rings at the top. Two ropes are required for abseiling off. Graeme Dingle, Murray Jones, 1970
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad
11640mNo
 

Pitch 1: climb 40m on good rock (grade 16) to a double bolt belay.

20mNo
 

Scramble up loose but not obnoxious rock, past one bolt. You can use this as a runner but it was primarily placed for abseiling.

31740mNo
 

The TV Crack. A 40m, grade 17 hand crack that requires some bigger natural protection (#2 to #3 Camalots). Stonking. Double-bolt abseil rings at the top. Two ropes are required for abseiling off.

Graeme Dingle, Murray Jones, 1970
11.51 South West Ridge II 3
0
Better rock than the North West Ridge, but still loose in places. A few parties will want a rope for some short steps. If you’re tempted to descend by abseiling the south face, remember that it’s further than it looks.
Lella Davidson, Alastair Duthie, Greta Stevenson, Kurt Suter, November 1933
11.52 Alack Attack III 5+
0
A fairly direct seven-pitch line leading to the right of the summit. The first three pitches are on the icefields and the next four are on the upper wall. A good technical climb that usually involves some mixed ground.
Nick Cradock, Andrew Marquis, December 1996
11.53 Southern Gully III 4
0
Six pitches of 50–60 degree ice.
Paul Wopereis, Andy Taylor, February 1985
11.54 Sharp III 5
0
A steep start followed by a 50–60 degree gully for a couple of pitches. After the gully steepens and curves right, take the left branch to continue straight up, finishing near the top of Southern Gully.
11.55 Blunt III 5+
0
Shares its start with Sharp, but heads right, following a weakness over the buttress to join the upper pitches of Frank.
Frank III 5+
0
Start at the base of the gully below the Alack–Douglas col, but head left, parallel to Sharp. The upper mixed pitches provide the crux.
Attribution: 
Alex Palman (2001) Rob Frost (2018)
UUID: 
ab18e5ed-a740-47b7-8eed-db052d25c802