Alpine - 19 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75 3+

On a clear winter's day the snowclad peaks of the Inland Kaikoura Range are a dramatic feature, easily visible from the Marlborough plains and from many vantage points to the west and south.

No information has been found for the remote 2000-2400m peaks on the Inland range south of those described below. Access to these presents few challenges from the Clarence Valley, apart from remoteness and long ridges. Climbs to the Seaward Kaikoura peaks from Fidget Stream and Dubious Stream are seldom done due to the remote access.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2449 m

Crow’s Nest can be reached from the North Ridge of Pinnacle.

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North West Face
Grade 0
From near the Hodder/Staircase junction climb the spur and then slopes onto the north ridge. Follow ridge, sidling on the west if necessary, to the top. Alternatively, from further up Staircase Stream, climb a gully to the col just south of Pinnacle, then traverse western slopes to a small rock rib which leads to the top. Crows Nest can be reached from the north ridge of Pinnacle.

Showing all routes 15 routes total

Alpine - 15 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75 3+

This is the most common approach to the Inland Kaikoura Range peaks

Attribution: Ben Winnubst

Showing all routes 1 route total 2720 m

Pinnacle is usually reached from the Hodder Valley.

Attribution: Ben Winnubst

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North West Face
Grade 0
From near the Hodder/Staircase junction climb the spur and then slopes onto the north ridge. Follow ridge, sidling on the west if necessary, to the top. Alternatively, from further up Staircase Stream, climb a gully to the col just south of Pinnacle, then traverse western slopes to a small rock rib which leads to the top. Crows Nest can be reached from the north ridge of Pinnacle.
Alpine - 8 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75 3+
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Tapuae-o-Uenuku is the highest point in New Zealand north of the Aoraki Mount Cook region.

Access: Via Clarence valley or Hodder River.

Attribution: Ben Winnubst photo Rob Suisted, naturepics.com

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South Ridge
Grade 0

BS
Branch Stream Route
Grade 0
Via CLEARANCE VALLEY. Park your 4WD vehicle near fertiliser bins at 640m at an airstrip near Branch Cottage. Head west to a tributary of Branch Stream, follow an old farm track, then ascend a tussock slope with regenerating totara to gain a scree ridge on the true left of Branch Stream. At about 1450m, before the first rocky knobs on ridge, descend a large scree slope to the stream. Alternatively, sidle at about 1300m to the scree slope. Then climb a tussock ridge, heading north-west, and sidle into a good campsite at 1500m (map ref. O30/671108). Follow the gully and couloir at its head onto the south-west ridge, thence the normal Staircase Stream routes to the summit. (NB: don't descend the ridge between central and southern branches of Branch Stream - it ends in steep cliffs, or is guarded by dense scrub).
ER
East Ridge
Grade 0
Via CLEARANCE VALLEY. From the campsite of Branch Stream route , sidle an easy spur, into another campsite at about 1580m in the next tributary to the north. From a high basin east of the summit climb a steep couloir through bluffs and onto the summit slopes.
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Dee Stream Route
Grade 0
Via CLEARANCE VALLEY. Go upstream through a patch of beech forest and past bluffs to a spur, which leads westwards to the summit slopes of East Ridge route. This spur can also be reached from the Branch Stream routes.
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Staircase Stream Routes
Grade 0
Via HODDER RV. ‘Tappy’ is mostly rock and scree in summer, when foot trails and occasional cairns mark the route. In winter this route is not technically difficult, but it's still a big climb. From the huts follow the terrace and then across scree to the junction with Staircase Stream. Keep to the true right of Staircase Stream, across terraces, to the waterfall creek. Continue up easy slopes towards the saddle between Alarm and Tapuae-o-Uenuku, then head east, angling left under a rocky peak 2711m and up the south-west ridge to the summit. An alternative is to sidle into a basin above the waterfall and then into the basin north-west of the summit. Climb from the head of the basin to the north ridge, or else directly south-west to the top. Descend the same way, or follow the north ridge and drop down a gully just before Pinnacle (2720m).
TS
Tongue Spur
Grade 0
Via HODDER RV. The spur is easily gained from the Hodder at a low saddle. Bypass Pinnacle by a traverse (on either side). A long route.
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The Ornery Goat
Grade 4

-41.99927, 173.6653
The notch
Grade 2

Showing all routes 4 routes total 2877 m

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps

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Second highest peak in the Inland Kaikouras, featuring a spectacular steep drop from the summit to the south into Dart Stream (a tributary of the Clarence River).

Access: Via either the Clarence River or the Hodder River.

Attribution: Ben Winnubst Photo Craig Potton

A
North East Ridge
Grade 0
Via Hodder River. Follow Staircase Stream routes, to the saddle between Alarm and Tapuae-o-Uenuku and onto the ridge. The last 100m before the summit is steep and may require a rope.
B
North Face
Grade 0
Via Hodder River. An excellent winter or spring route. Ascend the highest Staircase Stream basin north of Alarm, angle southward up to a couloir in middle of face (with a steep step at the base which may be icy). Climb couloir directly up to the north-west ridge, slightly west of the summit, and scramble to the top. Two tools recommended.
C
North West Ridge
Grade 0
Via Hodder River. The ridge is gained by easy slopes, either directly from Staircase Stream or by traversing from Muzzle Saddle. It consists of a jagged ridge with six major towers of loose rock, some of which require a rope.
BS
Branch Stream Route
Grade 0
Gain the ridge above the campsite in the central branch of Branch Stream, sidle into the southern branch, and then to the col between Dart Stream and Staircase Stream. From here, follow the normal North East Ridge route.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 2621 m

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps

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A prominent couloir reaching to a small col between the two summit pyramids gives the peak the appearance of a bishop’s mitre.

Attribution: Ben Winnubst photo Craig Potton Shaun Barnett/ Black Robin Photography

NE
North East Couloir
Grade 0
Via HODDER RV. From the Staircase Stream junction continue up the Hodder, and climb the prominent couloir to a narrow col at the top. Beyond here, some parties may require a rope. A short steep descent and then a short traverse leads to a final steep climb to the very small summit. (via North ridge)
SE
South East Ridge
Grade 0
Via HODDER RV. This impressive rock ridge can be gained from near Muzzle Saddle, or else via a snow couloir. Good scrambling on steep rock.

Inland Kaikouras

Access: These Awatere River tributaries are seldom visited by climbers. The Winterton River is negotiable to Totara Stream, but beyond here the main river has awkward gorges. An old pack track follows up the Tone River, leading to routes on Mt St Bernard (2256m) and Mt Major (2269m).

Routes exist from the Hodder Valley, Otterson Stream and the Winterton River (all tributaries of the Awatere River).

Attribution: Ben Winnubst

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South East Couloir
Grade 0
From the Hodder River, cross the Red Hills, either at map ref. O30/615142 or at O30/605118, and traverse to the saddle at the head of Trail Stream. Climb a long couloir to the summit.
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Otterson Stream Route
Grade 0
Follow the Otterson till it forks (good camp site here). Climb to the ridge above and follow it, over points 1382m and 2012m, then onto a scree slope and the final climb to the peak.
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Winterton River Route
Grade 0
Follow the Winterton to a small stream coming off Mt Gladstone and climb onto the ridge south of Gladstone Stream. A fairly long route, easy at first, then higher up the rock outcrops and buttresses give good scrambling.