The Palmerston North region's "premier" bouldering destination. History: This fun little climbing venue was discovered on a rainy day by Matt Natti, Heme Wallace and Fabian (work mates from a local arborcultural firm) in the early spring of 2006. Matt's goal was to drive around the access roads to the southern Ruahinies in search of solid rock, the other two just wanted to get out of the house, see some sights and have a bit of an adventure. Despite the fact that everyone got wet, the day was tons of fun and did turn up some potentially good areas. The pick of the lot was a group of sandstone(?) blocks at the end of line 2 just outside Ashurst..... and with that, the Ashurst Boulder Area was born. After the initial discovery, a handful of the local climbers started making fairly regular trips up to the "tea tree boulder" (the main bouldering event in the area) trying to pull as many lines out of the rock as possible. There is still plenty of rocks in the area, but do to the walk involved to some of the other blocks.... progress in the development of other boulders has been a bit slow.
Access: Directions: From State Highway 3 between Palmerston and Woodville, take the main turn off into downtown Ashurst (Pohongina Rd.). Head North through/ past town about 10km and turn right onto East Pohongina Valley Rd, just after the Waterford Cafe and Bar. 6.5km down the road, turn right onto Line 2 and drive all the way to the DoC parking area/ trail head at the end. Follow up the track up hill until you can see a big boulder (this is the tea tree boulder, and you CAN just cruise down the hill to it) down low on the left hand side. If you walk as far as the fenceline/ DoC gate, it is best to head down left to the stream. From here, the Tea Tree Boulder is down stream 1 minute and the rest of the rocks are up the river between 2 and 15 minutes.
Attribution: Hosted on www.freeclimb.co.nz. Written by Matt Natty.
This is the main event of the area. As the above directions imply, it is the first boulder you see on your left when walking up the DoC track from the parking area. Although it may not look like much from above..... it offers some beautiful overhung problems as well as a few TALL (6 meter+) slab climbs. This guide only lists the obvious lines on the boulder, but there are HEAPS of eliminates and variations to play with if you really want to get the most mileage out of the trip out!
The advantage to these 2 boulders is that they are the easiest to find. From the car park, they are on top of the first hill to the right. One of the boulders is so prominent it can be seen from half way down the road! The disadvantages are that they need a to be cleaned as they are a bit out of the way in regards to the other rocks, they have no routes yet, and the "to be" lines aren't all that inspiring.
Just before reaching the bushline heading up the hill on the river, there is a cool boulder about halfway up the hill on the right hand side. Although this boulder has a great little roof on it.... there are SO MANY HOLDS that there are not really many "pure" lines on it. That being said, if you head up there you can spend a good bit of time doing HARD eliminate problems or playing "add-ons."