Alpine - 39 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75 3+

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Access: The upper reaches of the three main branches of the Mathias River drain the Main Divide, but they are rarely visited by climbing parties despite the variety of peaks with easy to moderate routes. The Divide summits are not particularly high but provide good objectives nonetheless, and access is generally straightforward once the Mathias River itself has been reached. The head of the North Mathias River was the scene of an energetic effort to tick the numerous unclimbed peaks in the area in the summer of 1930. In an undertaking led by Roger Chester and including John Pascoe and Allan Willis, eleven summits along the Divide were climbed in a single day; Chester then went on to climb a further four unclimbed peaks in the Agassiz Range in a single push two days later. Dismissed at the time as peak bagging, a later flippant comment suggested Chester was forced to complete the 11-peak traverse because he couldn’t find any other way down ; there is certainly potential for a number of original ascents from the Mathias River and its tributaries. The lower reaches of the river flow between the smaller peaks and tramping country of the Ragged and Rolleston Ranges before merging with the Rakaia River. The Rolleston Range contains many little-known peaks, the most commonly visited being Mt Williams (at 2300 metres the highest peak in the area) and Turret Peak at the southern end. The Ragged Range comprises numerous rocky peaks linked by broad ridges and scree slopes and makes good tramping and ski touring country. Huts Mathias Hut (NZDA): A tidy six-bunk hut. Shown, but not named, on map sheets J34 and BW19, it is located on the true left of the Mathias River opposite Moraine Creek. Centennial Cabin, Manuka Point Station (private) West Mathias Bivvy (DOC): This hut, shown but not named on map sheets J34 and BW19, is a tidy two-bunk bivvy situated on the north bank of the South Mathias River at its confluence with the West Mathias. The walk-wire outside the hut across the South Mathias River has been destroyed and (as of 2010) not replaced. Canyon Creek Hut (DOC): A basic two-bunk bivvy opposite Canyon Creek, at the scrub edge on the true left of the North Mathias, on the north side of the spur. Its position is shown incorrectly on BW19. Moraine Hut, Algidus Station (private) Unnamed hut at the mouth of Mistake Creek, Algidus Station (private) Mathias River access The Mathias River is rather isolated, being reached by crossing either the Wilberforce or the Rakaia River. For the Rakaia approach, ask permission from Manuka Point Station (phone Don Patterson, 03 318 5878). Follow Blackford Road, which becomes Double Hill Run Road, taking the turn-off to Manuka Point about 2 km before Glenfalloch Stream is reached. Find a suitable crossing of the Rakaia River and pick up the 4WD track to Manuka Point Station, where intentions should be left. A 4WD track continues to the Mathias River and it is possible to drive as far as the confluence of the North and West branches. A less commonly used alternative reaches the Mathias River via a crossing of the Wilberforce River. Ring Algidus Station (phone Malcolm Taylor, 03 318 5846 or 021 318 584) for permission and take the Lake Coleridge road all the way to the Wilberforce River. Pick the best crossing and continue along a 4WD track on the true left of the Mathias River. Travel on foot up the Mathias Valley is generally straightforward, usually following the true right of the river to the confluence of the North and West branches.

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

Showing all routes 1 route total 2191 m

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Jackshill

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

SR
South Ridge
Grade 1.25
From the foot of the broad slopes west of Chimera Stream, link a network of open clearings and animal tracks through manuka scrub (not as bad as it looks) to the broad tussock slopes leading to the col between Pts 1791 metres and 1971 metres. From the basin north of this col follow a gully that leads to the ridge north of Pt 2008 metres. Climb the rocky ridge to the broad flat summit, avoiding obstacles on the east side.

Showing all routes 3 routes total

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Access: Travel along the South Mathias River is straightforward, generally utilising the true right. Despite providing access to four peaks on the Main Divide, the valley is rarely visited by mountaineers. The col at the head of the river is informally known as Observation Col (1816 metres) and leads to Cattle Stream and hence the Rakaia River via a straightforward crossing.

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

Showing all routes 3 routes total 2304 m

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P259

Southern Alps Ka Tiritiri O Te Moana

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

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From South Mathias River
Grade 0
Follow the South Mathias River, climbing scree and snow slopes immediately south of Bonds Peak. The bluffs are passed without difficulty – above the bluffs take a long snow slope to the summit rocks then up some tricky slabs to the top.
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South Couloir
Grade 3
From the north side of the South Mathias River, climb gentle slopes to the base of an obvious couloir and follow this almost directly to the summit.
BC
From Bond Creek
Grade 1
A small glacier gives easy access from the north. A straightforward scramble follows on rock and scree.

Showing all routes 20 routes total

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Alpine - 20 routes - avg. grade 1 0 - 2.75

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Access: Travel is straightforward, mainly following the true left of the river. The walk-wire across the South Mathias River has been destroyed and not replaced (as of 2010), but a suitable crossing may be found downstream of the hut. The West Mathias can usually be crossed fairly readily if needed and camping exists at the confluence with the unnamed side creek draining Mt Warner.

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

Showing all routes 3 routes total 2119 m

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Marion

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

NW
North West Ridge
Grade 0
Completed as part of a traverse along the Divide. The broken rocky ridge is time-consuming.
WF
West Face
Grade 2
Follow the steep creek on the south side of Mt Carl until a gap in the spur on the right allows access to rock ribs and the glacier draining the ridge between Mt Marion and Pt 1883 metres. Continue up here alongside a rock wall until slabs below a prominent arête allow access to the glacier and West Face of Mt Marion. Climb the glacier towards the rocky summit. The final few metres involve some awkward rock climbing and lead to the ridge just south of the flat top.
SE
South East Ridge
Grade 0
Completed as part of a traverse along the Divide. The broken rocky ridge is time-consuming.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 2249 m

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

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From the North
Grade 1.75
Travel is straightforward along the unnamed side creek that drains Mt Warner and Mt McWhirter. From the head of this creek climb scree and low-angled rock slabs through bluffs to a small glacier draining the north-east of Mt Warner. Climb the glacier to avoid Pt 2211 metres, then cross to the North Ridge and follow easy rock to the top.
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From Bond Creek
Grade 1
A small glacier gives easy access to rocky slopes that lead to the peak from slightly north of west.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 1967 m

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Splitopen

Aptly named, Mt Split Open comprises two peaks separated by a large chasm. The chasm is filled with rock debris, which can be easily crossed.

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

SR
South Ridge
Grade 1
The lower reaches of the creek draining the south side of Mt Split Open are steeply gorged and impassable. From Kea Pass, or the shelf below the pass, sidle across relatively flat ground above the gorge (true left) and below the bluffs of Mt Split Open to scree and rock slabs leading to the col at the foot of the South Ridge. Follow the ridge to the summit.
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East Ridge
Grade 0
From Kea Pass. No record. Climbers attempting to descend reported smooth rock faces.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 2080 m

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

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Via Pt 1803 metres
Grade 1
The lower section of the creek draining the south side of Mt Split Open is steeply gorged and impassable. From Kea Pass, sidle across relatively flat ground above the gorge (true left) and below the bluffs of Mt Split Open to scree and rock slabs leading to a small snow basin. Above Pt 1803 metres, shingle basins to the east provide easy travel, skirting around pinnacles on the Divide. Beyond, at an easily accessible col, regain the Main Divide at about 2000 metres. Gravel leads to the summit.
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Main Divide from the South
Grade 0
Snow and gravel slopes from the west lead easily to the Divide and the summit

Showing all routes 3 routes total 1527 m

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Access: There are three options when crossing Kea Pass. All involve following the West Mathias River to the confluence with the side creek draining Mt Carl. ▶▶ The most direct route is also the most unattractive, because of a short but extremely loose and active section of rock immediately below the grassy shelf at 1460 metres, south of Kea Pass. Continue up the West Mathias River from the confluence with the side creek draining Mt Carl. This section is steep and bouldery but travel is good. Follow the creek directly to Kea Pass (do not follow the branch that flows from the west) until a small rock slab and waterfall are reached. From here, climb the short section of extremely loose, steep rock on the left to the shelf below the pass. This step has turned parties back. From the shelf the pass is straightforward. ▶▶ Follow the West Mathias to forks at the 1300-metre contour, close under Mathias Pass, and continue up the true right branch. At J34 537864 / BW18 437 247 head south up a steep gravelly tussock slab, on to a rib that becomes broad and easy. Cross the stream draining Pt 1803 metres on steep gravel and use the bench on the true left to reach Kea Pass. ▶▶ An early season alternative involves heading part way up the side creek draining Mt Carl and sidling across steep slopes to join the basin immediately east of Kea Pass. When not snowcovered this is a difficult sidle on steep loose rock. From Kea Pass, sidle Button Peak, descend into Harcourt Creek and then climb a steep rocky gut to reach a small plateau east of Pt 1644 metres. From here, sidle and descend to the north-east and to Frew Saddle. The geological survey party reached the pass in about 1908, but did not cross ; W B Cullens, A R Cant ( first crossing), April 1935

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

‘A large heap of stones held together by fate and mutual goodwill’, wrote Deryck Morse, who also noted that the rock on the route to Kea Pass, ‘holds together fairly well, so long as you don’t step on it’.

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

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From Harcourt Creek
Grade .75
Easily approached up gravel and rock from the west.
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South Ridge
Grade 1
Gain Kea Pass and then climb the ridge.

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

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From Kea Pass
Grade 0
From Kea Pass climb easy snow and rock slopes to the small glacier between Mt Carl and Mt Frieda. Climb the South Ridge to the summit

Showing all routes 3 routes total 2080 m

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

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South West Ridge
Grade 1
From Kea Pass the South West Ridge is a straightforward climb, negotiating a rock step on the north side of the ridge.
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North Ridge
Grade 1
A straightforward ridge linking Mt Carl with Mt Frieda, first climbed on a traverse of the range.
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South East Ridge
Grade 1
This ridge comprises very loose rock, which is difficult to negotiate unless covered with consolidated snow. A lack of snow will increase the grade.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 2090 m

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Comyns

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

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North Ridge
Grade 0
A straightforward climb, loose in places.
ER
East Ridge
Grade 0
The East Ridge was originally reached from Canyon Creek and is a straightforward climb to the top, loose in places.

Showing all routes 3 routes total 2132 m

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Urquhart

Named after the Urquhart family who managed Algidus Station in the 1920s and 30s.

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

NWr
North West Ridge
Grade 0
Originally reached from the long ridge commencing from the confluence of the North Mathias River and Canyon Creek.
NWf
North West Face
Grade 1.25
From the West Mathias River, follow the side creek draining Urquhart Peak to a basin at its head. From here climb mixed snow and rock to the top.
SR
South Ridge.
Grade 0
From the West Mathias River, follow the side creek draining Urquhart Peak. Before gaining the basin at the head of the creek follow a rock spur leading to the South Ridge. Scramble up the ridge, negotiating a steep tricky step before the summit.

Showing all routes 15 routes total

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Alpine - 15 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75

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Access: Travel is generally easy on both sides of the river. A crossing can usually be found below the Canyon Creek confluence. If continuing to Unknown Col, traverse a small gorge a couple of kilometres upstream of Canyon Creek Hut, on the true right.

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

Showing all routes 2 routes total 1925 m

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

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South Ridge
Grade 1
A simple climb from Mathias Pass.
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Ayran Ridge
Grade 0
The Ayran Ridge rises from upper Canyon Creek to Pt 1896 metres and then on to Mt Tancred.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 2065 m

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

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From Mathias River
Grade 0
The first ascent was via Treachery Ridge, a route requiring a long snow sidle to reach the summit. However, a more direct route is likely to exist from the head of the north branch of Canyon Creek via snow slopes leading to a col east of the peak.
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From the West
Grade 1.25
The upper Hokitika offers a reasonable western approach, while the east ridge from Sir Robert Creek is more challenging.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2042 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
Once on the Main Divide, travel is straightforward.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2130 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
Once on the Main Divide, travel is straightforward on steep, sound rock.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2148 m

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P267

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

MDR
Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
A bump on the ridge, easily traversed on steep, sound rock once the Main Divide has been reached.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2036 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
A bump on the ridge, easily traversed once the Main Divide has been reached.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2023 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
A bump on the ridge, easily traversed once the Main Divide has been reached.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 2107 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
Once the Main Divide has been reached, travel involves steep, sometimes tricky rock.
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South Ridge
Grade 0
From the head of the North Mathias River climb loose rock. A steep tower near the head of the ridge is passed on the glacier to the left and from here the Main Divide is reached west of the summit. Follow rock to the top.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2085 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
Once on the Main Divide, travel is straightforward.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2070 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
A bump on the ridge, easily traversed once the Main Divide has been reached.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2090 m

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

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Main Divide Ridges
Grade 0
Once on the Main Divide, travel is straightforward.

Showing all routes 1 route total 1815 m

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Access: From the lake below the Omatane Glacier, climb a narrow scree gut followed by steep, rotten rock to the col. The descent into Unknown Stream involves following the Stewart Glacier and then downclimbing a tricky, steep waterfall on the true right. This waterfall has turned many parties back and a rope may be required for two short abseils. There are two further waterfalls, which present lesser difficulties, and the next 2 km of stream are straightforward but prone to rock fall. The final 5 km to Unknown Hut present no problems. Descent from Unknown Col is a straightforward walk when snow and avalanche debris cover the waterfalls and upper reaches of Unknown Stream.

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

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

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North Ridge
Grade 1
Straightforward from Unknown Col.