Fetched from ClimbNZ on Aug 25th, 2017

Showing all routes 17 routes total

Alpine - 17 routes - avg. grade 4 0 - 2.75 3+

The upper névé of the Balfour Glacier is remote and access is not easy. It is cut off from the lower glacier by a 700m cliff, over which the glacier plunges, not to mention the infamous Balfour Gorge. The peaks surrounding the upper névé are spectacularly steep. On the northern side there are demanding ice climbs and classic rock spurs on Torres Peak and Mt Tasman. On the southern side are a series of rock buttresses on Mts Magellan and Drake. These buttresses are comprised of arguably the best quality rock in the region and can only be described as outstanding. The area’s remoteness and lack of huts, however, makes climbing a more demanding undertaking. In the Lower Balfour, Kupe (name pending approval) is situated between Drake and Vanguard on the Balfour Range.

Access: From the east the best route is from the Grand Plateau over Silberhorn or Graham (see Routes 6.23, 6.24 and 6.25). An alternative route from Empress Hut is also possible. This involves traversing the La Perouse Glacier, climbing the South Face of either Drake or Magellan and then descending in to the Balfour (possibly using the abseil routes on either of these mountains), not a suitable option for those with big packs. A traverse of Clarke Saddle and Teichelmann from the La Perouse also allows access to the head of the Balfour. From the summit of Silberhorn the route is straightforward, but sometimes complicated by crevasses. From the Fox Névé, Katies Col provides the best access: sidle round snow slopes below the first subsidiary spur of the West Ridge of Torres, moving across to an obvious small col/notch on the Left Rib of the South Face of Torres. Descend a steep gully on the south side of the col to the Balfour Glacier. The right hand side (looking down) of this gully is now equipped with two double bolt belays that allow the slope and schrund below to be abseiled safely. Under some conditions, when crevasses are closed, it may be possible to cut around under the toe of the rib. It is possible to fly to the Big Mac landing strip, north-west of Katies Col. Shelter The Balfour Glacier is narrow and prone to avalanches, especially off Mt Tasman and under Mts Graham and Teichelmann. Shelter usually involves bivvying, snowcaving or tenting. Remember to site your abode away from any avalanche danger. A ledge on the Satellite Buttress, under Mt Drake, provides a good-weather perch for those climbing on Drake or Magellan. Times Pioneer Hut - Katies Col 2-3 hours. Katies Col - Balfour Névé 2-3 hours. Grand Plateau - Balfour Névé via Graham Spur or Silberhorn 6-7 hours. Alpine Rock The nature of alpine rock routes means the climber generally needs more route information to ensure s/he is on route. The descriptions that follow are brief, so for those intending to visit this area Balfour Rock is recommended. This is a separate and more detailed guidebook that provides pitch-by-pitch descriptions, topos and equipment requirements (for more details see the back section of this guide). Many of the routes on Mts Magellan and Drake have been established using rockshoes and these peaks have been equipped for abseil descent. Other descents involving snow may be possible but only with mountaineering boots and equipment. It is therefore advisible for those parties wearing only rockshoes to carry one ice axe, in case snow is encountered on summit ridges etc.

Attribution: Aelx Palman

Showing all routes 13 routes total 3160 m

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Alpine - 13 routes - avg. grade 4 0 - 2.75 3+

Tba

Attribution: Alex Palman

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Torres-Tasman Col
Grade 4
A short route of steep snow and ice, which unfortunately tends to act as a funnel for any rubbish falling from the surrounding slopes.
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North East Face
Grade 5
From the Abel Janszoon Glacier ascend steep, loose rock and steep snowfields (which may not exist later in summer) reaching the ridge 200m west of the summit.
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North East Couloir
Grade 3.25
A steep, but relatively straightforward route involving 200m of snow, a 70m leftward traverse, and then a couloir to the summit ridge.

Showing all routes 2 routes total

Accessed from the Abel Janszoon Glacier, Fox Neve.

Attribution: Alex Palman

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Red Rib
Grade 3.75
The obvious rib, next to the North East Couloir consisting of a buttress of good rock, with a 20m gendarme 1/3 of the way up.
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Coberger Route
Grade 3.25
Further west another route ascends the bluffs from the snowfields above the Abel Janszoon Glacier.
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West Ridge
Grade 4
Access onto the ridge varies. Starting from Katies Col ascents have been made on the northern side of the lower buttress (the first ascent in 1907) and up the ridge itself from the col. The best routes, though, involve skirting round onto the snowfields above the Balfour Glacier and either ascending a snowslope onto the ridge above the first step or ascending the first prominent rib falling south-west from the ridge. Then follow the winding arête and rock steps to the summit.
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Left Rib
Grade 3.25
Ascend the glacier on the Katies Col side of the rib until confronted by a 200m rock step. Climb the step near the crest (crux) and follow the snow arête to the summit. A variant, Torres Forres, follows the same general line but takes an ice gully above and left of the suspended snowfield, rejoining the main route above.

Showing all routes 4 routes total

From the Balfour Neve

Attribution: Alex Palman

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Left Side
Grade 4
From the Balfour Névé, snowslopes and gullies on the lower half of the buttress lead up through rotten rock. Cut left through the rotten rock band onto the ice crest leading to the summit.
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The Man From Head Office Who Found It Harder To Get Off (formerly Central Gully)
Grade 4
Ascend the major gully that separates the Left and Right ribs. A series of ice steps in the lower part of the gully are followed by snow and ice slopes leading right onto the Torres-Tasman Ridge near the summit of Torres.
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The Direct Harder To Get Off Than Get Up (formerly Central Gully Variation)
Grade 5
Ascend the gully as for the Harder To Get Off Than Get Up Route, and then break left and climb steep ice directly to the summit.
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Right Rib
Grade 4
From the Balfour Névé, start up steep rock in the centre of the rib, which after three rope lengths eases back and leads on to a snow and ice rib curving up to the Tasman-Torres ridge.
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Lost in Translation
Grade 0
The South Face, from the Balfour Glacier. 6 pitches
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Degrees of Illness
Grade 4
The south face of the west rib, from the Balfour Glacier. Six pitches to the ridgeline. First two pitches are the crux with vertical bulges, then progressively easier climbing to the top.

Showing all routes 3 routes total 2510 m

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A distinctive peak with a 600m triangular north face visible from Katies Col. Kupe was first climbed (by accident) by the Wopereis brothers in 1980 during a traverse from Drake to Vanguard. The peak was not visited again until Bryan Moore and others added three new routes to the North Face in 1992 and named the peak Kupe, in keeping with the explorer theme of the area. Access to Kupe is not easy. Options include travelling up the Cook and Balfour valley systems or arriving from the lower Fox Glacier via the Paschendale range. It appears that more new route potential exists.

Attribution: Alex Palman

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Captain Incredible & The Naked Dancing Girls
Grade 5.25
From the avalanche cone on the left of the face, gain the edge of the headwall and continue to the summit (crux 16). Descend by abseiling the route.
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Kupe Direct
Grade 6
This is the central line on the headwall. Balancy climbing on solid red greywacke leads to an overhang (crux 19) two pitches below the summit. Descend by rappelling the route.
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The Sinusoidal Ridge
Grade 0
Takes the right hand ridgeline to a gendarme at 2/3rd height where it joints the headwall. An abseil is needed to pass the gendarme. The climb was abandoned somewhere on the headwall due to a difficulty that couldn’t be passed. The climb remains uncompleted. A crux of 16 was encountered before the headwall.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2331 m

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tba

Attribution: Alex Palman

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From the Balfour Glacier
Grade 0