/ New Zealand South Island, Charleston Sea Cliffs

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Wood for Trees on 14 Oct 2016


Have you climbed here?

What gear can I get away with? Set of wires and 4 cams? (Will have a sport rack but need as little stuff as possible as we're travelling around)

Are there many lines left to be done? It looks very good.


Post edited at 14:19
heleno - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:

One visit twelve years ago, so I'm not exactly an expert, but in the absence of other replies...

It seemed a friendly accessible place compared to many British sea-cliffs. A lovely setting with resident seals. IIRC the routes were quite short so you might well get away with a small rack.

For what it's worth I did my first trad lead after a year of injury here, though it was prob only a 14.

I hope someone with more recent and extensive knowledge will be along shortly!
Wood for Trees on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to heleno:

Thank you
damowilk on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:

It's as good as NZ trad rock gets, very solid granite. One of my favourite venues, great climbing.
The gear is generally pretty good: you could get away with a slimmed down rack, you just might need to climb within your grade and avoid some routes.
How long is your window there though? Weather or high swell can stop play often. The very best conditions are after a few days rain with low swell: washes away the salt residue off the lower routes.

My understanding is there's plenty of new routes potential, but it's a bush slog to find them and you probably need to have a good idea of where to look.

There's also a lot of interest in Bullock creek on the way, on the offshore side: v different climbing, mostly sport limestone, but apparently lots of potential.
Wood for Trees on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to damowilk:

On the South Island for 6 weeks so we're hoping to get here on the way to/from paynes ford. Will just be sampling the classics and can't resist some sea-cliffs but I've had waking dreams of unclimbed overhung aretes above crashing seas.

I'm interested to hear about these limestone new places as the SI rock guide I've got makes mention of the potential and that's in what, 2001?

Tobes on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:

Worth checking with the Alpine Club database on new(ish) routes that may not be in Rock Deluxe or SI rock. I helped a mate with a couple of new routes in that area about 7-8 years ago though not sure if they are now included in any newer guides. My mate put up several new routes over a period of time. There was a brief write up in the NZ Alpine Club mag around that time. I have a copy somewhere(!?) I'm sure.
damowilk on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:

Climbnz is probably the most up to date online resource for climbing here.
Though I find the website itself a bit clunky (sorry to those who put in the effort, I'm sure it takes a lot)
There is this new web resource which looks promising: http://crags.nz/guide/10794

You could also ask on the FB pages: Where are you climbing tonight Christchurch, and Christchurch climbing, for ideas and up to date info.

Ps, thanks for the reminder and motivation, it's been too long since I've been there, must get back soon!
Post edited at 22:48
Wood for Trees on 16 Oct 2016
In reply to damowilk:

That's a great site, thank a lot

John Southworth on 21 Oct 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:
If you're interested in Limestone, have some time and don't mind some bush bashing the Fyfe River Gorge looks amazing. Topo here: https://alpineclub.org.nz/product/fyfe-river-gorge-pdf-download/ it's located near Murchison, between Paynes and the west coast. It looks way better than the limstone on the coast ( like Portland vs Ceuse)

You might want a bit more gear for Charleston- if you're flying in and out of Chch I could lend you some gear and show you some choice routes in the Port Hills.

Message me if you need any more info
Wood for Trees on 21 Oct 2016
In reply to John Southworth:

Hi John,

Funnily enough I downloaded that new e-guide at the start of the week and then read the blog about the area development too. Very Jealous

It certainly looks like an exciting area and a real adventure getting to and then staying there (waterfalls and bivy ledges!?). I'm quite keen to head up the gorge if time and girlfriend allow, if only just to have a look, though I'd love a go on hitchhikers on the intergalactic wall.

Do you know if it's a popular* venue? I can see the 2-hour hike putting people off.

*relative to NZ
John Southworth on 22 Oct 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:
Yeah, even for NZ the Fyfe isn't that popular - too far from Chch, dodgy mountain weather and a fairly epic walk in. You wouldn't walk in on your own and expect to find someone to climb with!
I think someone mentioned 'where are you climbing tonight Chch' on FB, if you post on there you might be able to coordinate with a squad heading up there.

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