In this small section the mountains on the eastern side of the valley from The Nun’s Veil to Mt Blackburn are described.
Access: There are no huts on the upper eastern side of the Tasman River but some bivvy rocks can be found. Accessing this area usually involves crossing either the Tasman or Murchison rivers or the Tasman Lake. A boat, used for glacier sightseeing, can provide transport. Enquire at the Visitor Centre for more details.
Attribution: Alex Palman
Sebastapol Bluffs are located in close proximity to the NZAC Unwin Lodge. Most of the best quality lines are the bolted slab routes; the quality of rock on the crack climbs can be variable. The best place to start and orient yourself with the crag is the Twin Cracks Wall.Alpine Guides have produced a brochure which is a helpful source of information, availible from Alpine guides at the Mt Cook village or Unwin Hut. Other crags in the vicinity - Kowhai Crag, Unwin Crag, and Shakey Town have been included under Sebastopol so that climbers visiting the area don't miss them.
Access: The cliffs are located on the west side of state highway 80, between Unwin Lodge and Mount Cook Village. Specific directions are under each crag if appropriate. For most of the Sebastopol climbs park at the 3rd pull out on the left after leaving Unwin Lodge (approx 1km). There is a DoC sign there and the main track starts from there. Alternatively it's about 10-15 mins flat walk from Unwin along the old 4Wd track. This may be impassable after heavy rain.
A craggy outcrop up behind Unwin Hut. “Secret Squirrel” the 2 pitch climb offers an alternative to Red Arete when its busy, although harder & obviously shorter. Be good to get some traffic on the track to get it more established and confirmation of grades. Would appreciate feedback.
Access: There is now a marked track to Unwin Crag & takes about 20 mins. Walk behind Unwin Hut, cross the fence and head along the base for 75m to a large cairn. Head up the faint gully then work up and R. Traverse to the clearings until well right of the crag before heading up. Tyhe tape mentioned on the photo does not exist.
Attribution: Ray Button
Slightly overhanging to vertical rock, the southern aspect protects it often from rain
Access: Mt Cook Village, start as for the Red Tarns track but instead of crossing the bridge follow the Black Birch Stream for about 2 minutes (stay on the true left of the stream). It's the same place as the Shaky Town Traverse.
Sawyer's Crag is a sub-alpine crag located above Sawyer Stream, behind Unwin Lodge, at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. The crag starts from the stream at about 740 metres altitude and tops out on Hoophorn Spur at 1000 metres. It faces north and catches the sun. Most of the routes are bolted, but take natural gear for additional anchors and placements on some routes. There have been some fixed ropes left in place, use at your own peril. There is plenty of scope for more routes, both natural and bolted. Note that this area is a domestic water catchment area and must not be polluted. It is possible to scramble between the top of "Paper Tiger", past the "Joggers' Special" wall, to the climbs centered around "Bone China".
Access: To gain access to Sawyer's Crag, walk up the vehicle access track behind Unwin Lodge past the watertanks. When opposite the old wooden "A"frame, enter the bush and follow the track up to the remains of the old pipe-line bridge. Cross the stream, onto the true right, by using the rocks down-stream from the bridge. Climb "Pipeline Rib" to the left of the bridge. Above the rock rib, ascend the grass slopes to the crag. There is also a steep access route directly above the end of the bridge, to the top of "Pipeline Rib". If Sawyer Stream is too high to cross safely then access can be made by crossing the stream near the gravel pit and ascending Hoophorn Spur via the grass slopes. You can then abseil down the crag with double ropes from the chain anchors on top of "Jogger's Special". Warning: DO NOT ATTEMPT THE GRASS SLOPES WHEN WET! BE PREPARED TO FIND YOUR OWN ANCHORS AND GEAR PLACEMENTS. TAKE A HELMET. CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Attribution: From the mini guide in the NZAC Website. By Grant Pearson
Outcrop across Sawyer stream and up the grassy slope, visible from Unwin Hut kitchen. First route added summer 2013 with Murray and Bronwyn Judge, with room for a few more routes on steep left and right ends and up central groove.
Access: From behind Unwin, cross Sawyer stream 100m below the water tank, head up animal track to low point on grassy slope. Follow your nose and tracks up and right to the stand of Kowhai trees at the base of the crag. Access to the top possible via careful scrambling up gully to the left (when facing the crag).
The Waterfall Wall is located on the true R of the obvious big cleft to the east of the main crags -
Access: the best access is to ascend the route as described in Rock deluxe to get to the Orange Wall. Via the grassy slope at the far left of the crag. At the top of the grass traverse R into the creek bed.
The Javelin Wall is the light grey coloured wall left and higher than the Twin Cracks Wall. The best approach is to go to the base of the scree below Twin Cracks Wall and take the tagged track which starts on the far left of the scree. Where the gully runs out below a steep wall climb follow track hard R to the start of some fixed ropes When the track regains the ridge traverse L on a faint track to below Javelin. There is a 30 Metre rap a short way down from Javelin back to the top of the gully.
The rougher looking wall below and right from Orange wall. Approach up the gully left of Twin cracks as for Javelin starting on lower left of scree. Follow track around to R , up some handline until back on the spur directly across from Javelin Wall. Track to Javelin heads L at this point and you should see the Crimea Wall up and R. Continue up a few more m the duck into gully on R, arriving at L end of the Crimea Wall. There are several newer routes not yet added here including 1 to the R of Battle Fatique (Judge) about 21.
Attribution: Topo by Dave Brash, Photo Topo Simon Middlemass
The orange coloured wall with a small overlap crossing it, above the Crimea Wall and above and right of Javelin Wall.
Access: Approach as for Javelin and Crimea Walls. Start up the LHS of the scree below the Twin Cracks wall may be marked. Follow track until you below a against a smooth wall - follow the track R and up until you are on the spur again continue past the turnoff to the Javelin Wall and instead of moving R to reach the Crimea Wall climb over a small rocky knob. A rough track with some fixed rope heads up to end below the middle of the Orange Wall. NB The description in Rock Deluxe South should be avoided as it is about twice as long as the new one. DESCENT: Back the same way or head to the left of the wall and follow the old track into the stream bed - descend down this with some downclimbing or abseil options and eventually you will arrive at the bottom of the Javelin Wall.
Central Crags includes the following walls... -Twin Cracks - Crucifix Wall - The Gully - Revenge of the Podge Wall - Drug Abuse Wall - Lunar Wall
Access: From the main parking area follow the track as for the Red arete then after crossing the dry riverbed veer left and follow your nose. The obvious feature is the large scree at the base . The Central Gully being the obvious gully rising from the apex of the scree.
Attribution: Photos. Clayton Garbes. RHS Jeremy Smit Crucifix topo Simon Middlemass
This is the small wall above the scree to the R of where the Javelin Wall track begins.
Access: From the car park cross the dry creek on the track to Red arete then head left towards the left end of the larger scree and the start of the Javelin/Crimea/Orange Wall tracks
The Crucifix Wall is a short wall developed years ago that is mostly trad though some bolts protect the longish scramble back to higher anchors. There are loose rocks on the ledges above.There are several longer routes here also climbing up and left of the Crucifix Wall
Access: On left side of the big scree below the Central Gully area.
The main slabby wall to the right of the Central Gully. Probably the most climbed section of rock on the Sebastopol bluffs
Access: Park at the second lay by after the corner when driving towards the village from Unwin Lodge (about 1km). There is a DoC sign and a track that leads to Black Birch stream. On the other side of the usually dry creek bed a track heads towards the prominent slabby looking areas on the R. There is a scrubby scree further R. The R arete is the famous "Red arete". On descent, the rap stations on the Red Wall are a long way apart, requiring 2 x 50+m ropes, however there are also several mid stations around 30m apart. Alternatively walk off the top or rap down the Red arete if there is no one on it as there are plenty of abseil stations. Lets Go Bushwalking,Shark Attack and Red Arete have double rings for abseil descents mid-pitch on the first pitches, these are better left alone until you're descending. They are not pitch anchors. Normally people climb Red Arete and descend down Mako or Shark Attack. Mako is better if your ropes are even slightly less than 60m as the S.A station is a stretch on half a 60m rope. Life is better on descent with double ropes. WARNING: In case your rope is a bit short tie knots in the end. NOTE: The number of bolts may be different to that listed - feel free to update this.
Attribution: Topo Simon Middlemass
Take Red Arete track and continue up scree and right to gully below the Grey Wall. Keep on the left side and up broken ledges rightwards to the base. Rap anchors in left gully for descent.
A small outcrop of red rock slabs to the right of the main Sebastopol crags.
Access: From the carpark follow the track towards the Red Arete but veer R along the dry stream bed until you are below the crags. A well formed track zig zags up the hill arriving below Keep Left arête.
Slightly overgrown climbs behind the sewage ponds.The lowest (first) climbs are those on the Poo Pond Slabs.There are 2 (or 3) climbs (one protected by an old piton) on the lower wall. The R and L being bolt protected.
Access: Cross Black Birch stream opposite the oxidation ponds and follow tracks up the scree. The first obvious area behind some trees is the Poo Pond Slabs.
Attribution: Alex Palman
Attribution: Alex Palman
Attribution: Alex Palman
Attribution: Alex Palman