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Adams Col


Adams Col is at I35 227627, not the col marked at 2071m on some maps. Access to the col is easy from the Garden of Eden at any time. On a fine day there is no better place to be on the planet. It is commonly used as a base for climbing on the Gardens, and there are low rockwalled campsites on rocky outcrops on the eastern side. Dont be fooled though if arriving in fine calm weather. The sites may look secure, but many parties have been stormed out of here with ripped tents. Wind can surge through here at phenomenal speeds with ice riming the rock, and hail lashing the col. Take care with rubbish and toileting here

POINT (170.688915 -43.321556)
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Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
 Adams Col to Icefall Lookout

  • P1

A small tongue of ice from the Garden of Eden flows through the col and peters out in a small basin. Below here, at about the 1860m contour, a series of rocky knolls lead to small bluffs with a series of gullies draining between them. The easiest route down doesnt follow the gully on the far true left (which normally requires confined rock moves if there isnt continuous snow) but instead goes down the gully to the immediate right of it. This gully is more open and all that is required is easy scrambling between the bluffs leading down to gentler scree slopes. From Adams Col, head down the snow basin and as it starts to drop off keep left under rockwalls on Guardian Peak. Near where it actually drops off, switch over the first rocky rib to the right and scramble down to an easy gully of scree and snowslopes below. You're down. In the reverse direction going up from near Icefall Lookout follow snowslopes towards the col then sidle slightly left (looking up) onto scree. Follow the scree up a gully through a break in the bluffs to the basin above and the col. Continuing to the Garden of Allah From the gentler snow slopes north of Adams Col at about the 1800m contour, follow down under bluffs swinging east across a snow and gravel basin past I35 226632. It is normal to descend to about the 1740m contour before gaining height again. Travel varies from snowslopes to gravel and a bit of easy bedrock, depending on conditions. Thirty years ago continuous gentle snowslopes filled this basin. Steeper snow leads up again to the snow shoulder south of pt 1874m. Watch for changing snow texture climbing up to this shoulder, as snow frequently thins here over summer to expose old ice. A good route sidles up to the left through the middle of the snowbank between two small rock bluffs onto the gentler slopes above. Alternatively stay over near the John Pascoe Ridge side.

Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club