Sports - 24 routes - avg. grade 17 0 - 16 17 - 21 22 - 25
Boulder - 21 routes - avg. grade V0 V0 - V1 V2 - V3 V4 - V5
Trad - 2 routes - avg. grade 13 0 - 16

Showing all routes 28 routes total

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps

Sports - 24 routes - avg. grade 17 0 - 16 17 - 21 22 - 25
Boulder - 2 routes - avg. grade VM V0 - V1
Trad - 2 routes - avg. grade 13 0 - 16

It's nothing great, but it's close to Palmy Nth. Introduction Ok, so we will assume that the only people REALLY interested in the Manawatu Gorge are from the Palmerston North area, so that is where this guide will base it's driving directions from. Warning- The rock here is Greywhacke and is therefore not the most solid of climbing mediums. Be aware that over time routes may change slightly as holds may break. On this note, it is advisable to wear helmets while climbing/ belaying here. Also, as stated for all climbing areas in the Gorge, mind your valuables in the car as that theft can be a problem.

Access: From downtown Palmy, hop on Main St. heading east, Main St. becomes State Highway 3. Follow Hwy 3 east towards Woodville. Just after the turn off for State Highway 57 there is a big car park on the left side of the road (this is the parking area for the gorge hiking track). This is a good landmark to base odometer readings for the 3 climbing areas through the gorge, so when you get to this point, keep track of your distance travelled. For the sake of directions, this parking area will just be referred to as the start of the gorge. On a side note.... it is technically illegal to park anywhere along the road while driving in the gorge, though many of the pull-offs can (and often do) happily accommodate a few cars. It should also be mentioned that the gorge is unfortunately well known for break-ins, so it is recommended that if you park at any of the locations mentioned it is advisable to lock your car and leave all valuables out of site (or take them with you.

Attribution: Hosted on www.freeclimb.co.nz. by Cliff Ellery. Written by Matt Natti.

Sports - 12 routes - avg. grade 16 0 - 16 17 - 21
Trad - 2 routes - avg. grade 13 0 - 16
Boulder - 1 route - avg. grade - V0 - V1
Bay1

This is the first bay on the left AFTER the gorge hiking track parking area.

Access: It is located (0.4)km from the start of the gorge and is easily identified by a yellow "S" (wiggly road ahead) sign just past the pull off. Bay 1 offers both bouldering and lead climbing possibilities. There are some decent cliffs, some of which can be top roped from the guard rail using a few long slings. The bouldering is an interesting (albeit small) venue which is actually UNDER the highway. It can be reached by walking just past the yellow "S" sign and then down a makeshift path on the left. The cliffs are actually directly below the car park. To reach the roped climbs, you can walk down the hill (past the boulder) and make your way along the river using a series of guide ropes. The other option is to abseil from the guard rail and pull your rope when you reach the grassy patch at the bottom of the crag. "Groovy Gecko" is the face you will typically abseil down and because of it's location and easy grade, it makes a great "final climb" as that you can opt to place a quick draw at the belay and continue up to the guard rail. This enables you to belay the remaining people up the route from the parking lot (perhaps while listening to the car radio even!).

1
Nathen's project
Grade 0
This fun, possible 2 pitch line starts at ground zero on the left end of the cliffs and heads up to a good belay ledge. It then continues up the tricky face, trending slightly right. Currently just a Top Rope from the guard rail.
2
Choss Heap
Grade 0
This seems like it would be a great line to bolt..... but the rock quality is poop. It can definitely be done as a top rope (long slings on guard rail), but it made need a bit of cleaning and a helmet should DEFINITELY be worn by the belayer!
3
Mankey Brown Crack
Grade 13
What? A trad line!!! This line climbs the crack which starts at the belay ledge at start of "Trundler's Delight's" second pitch. It cruises up the right facing corner, left of the bolted line, using lay-backs and good face holds. It appears the best placements are IN the corner, seams on the face may be subject to blow-outs! Due to Chucky's height, only 1 cam was placed for this whole line, but I think it is a good training piece for placing gear (perhaps done as an aid climb!). Due to its location, it will probably need cleaning now and again, especially after a rain. For the record, the boys actually continued on as a 3 pitch climb for this by topping out on the last 2 bolts of "Trundler's Delight." Trad gear (small- medium cams and full rack of nuts), (DBB)
4
Trundler's Delight
Grade 19, 17
12 Bolt
1.
2. or run it as one tall pitch, clipping one of the belay rings, 13 draws in all). (DBB)
-
Erica's Delight
Grade 17
13 Bolt
(variation) This is a great, easier option to run a nice, tall line. Start up "Erica's Arete," but rather than heading to the rings on the right, go left, clip the "cross over" bolt (a long sling is helpful here to reduce rope drag) and head up the second pitch of "Trundler's Delight." Although you CAN use Trundler's mid belay and do this var. as a 2 pitch, it is WAY better to do as a long, 13 bolt line!!!
5
Erica's Arete
Grade 13
6 Bolt
Originally lead as part of "Erica's Delight," this is also a great route by itself. Start in the middle of the face (middle of the whole crag, close to the river) and follow the bolt line trending left to the arete. Finish at the rings in the middle of the first ledge. (6 bolts, DBB)
6
Bling
Grade 15
5 Bolt
Shares the first bolt of "Erica's Arete," but cruises up to the right on good holds. This line was named because of the amount of shiny new "stuff" used during the first ascent (bolts, hangers, rings, Clay's rope, Matt's harness etc!). (5 bolts, DBB)
7
Groovy Gecko
Grade 15
6 Bolt
This was the first route bolted at Bay 1. It was cleaned with the intention of being a good access point and exit point for the area. It also turns out to be a very enjoyable route. Climb the left side of the low angle face on good holds. (6 bolts, DBB)
8
The Gorge-us Arete (aka Ben's project)
Grade 18
6 Bolt
This is a "still to be cleaned" project with all the bolts (minus hangers) in place, on the left side of the big slab (right of "Groovy Gecko"). To keep it simple, if it is clean and there are hangers on it when you get there... it has been sent and is fair game to climb. If it has seen no love by 2008, buy a few hangers at Bivoac, scrub it and send it.... this line looks too good to be ignored! (6 bolts, DBB)
9
Chainsaw Pants Massacre
Grade 19
8 Bolt
This is a great line (probably the nicest in the whole gorge) with a lot of cool moves. Climb onto the block above the river and up the middle of the steep angled face. (8 bolts, DBB)
10
Have a Cigar
Grade 18
6 Bolt
This is the bolted line just left of the off width. It starts with a left, hand jam! The bolts are set up on this line to steer you away from the opposite wall of the crack but there are a few places where it is inevitable, just don't hug the right side the whole way,(6 bolts,DBB)
11
The Aweful Offwidth
Grade 12
This is the obvious, wide crack. Due to the size of the gear required to adequately protect it, it is realistically either a solo or it can be top roped from the rings at the left-hand top of the crack. Andy, however, lead this using "French Nuts" (ie, he clipped the bolts from "Andy's Arete" on the way up!) This is the obvious, wide crack. Due to the size of the gear required to adequately protect it, it is realistically either a solo or it can be top roped from the rings at the left-hand top of the crack. Andy, however, lead this using "French Nuts" (ie, he clipped the bolts from "Andy's Arete" on the way up!)
12
Andy's Arete
Grade 15
6 Bolt
This is a super fun line which starts just to the right of "The Awful Off-width" which cruises up the face using the left facing arete for most of the climb. The start of the climb uses the face left of the crack but after pulling up and standing above the 1st bolt, use of the crack or opposite wall is....... shunned! This line was cleaned AND bolted by Matt Natti as a "thank you" to Andy (for assisting in the acquisition of almost all the bolt hangers used in the Palmy area), it was sent in good form. (6 bolts, DBB)
13
Sticky Situation
Grade 17
5 Bolt
Start up the bulge right of "Andy's Arete" and trend right up the low angle face on good holds. Due to a lack of suitable bolt placements near the top of this climb, a mallion was added for clipping into the top bolt, allowing the bottom caribiner to hang over the edge of the small ledge (rather than on it, which could lead to a snapped biner!). (5 bolts, DBB)
-
The Bay 1 Boulder
Grade -
After many return visits, the holds that are still there seems fairly solid, the landing has been improved and COUNTLESS variations of dumb moves on bad holds have been tried! For anyone with a bit of imagination, there is potential for a bit of fun for all climbing levels.
Sports - 12 routes - avg. grade 19 0 - 16 17 - 21 22 - 25
Boulder - 1 route - avg. grade V0 V0 - V1
Balance

Balance bridge offers the best "ground up" climbing in the gorge. The Corner- In between Red Block and the Main Wall is a short, steep and blank face. If the landing was better it would be a great boulder problem! The Main Wall- This one is fairly obvious..... it is the big cliff right along the water.

Access: Unlike the White Horse Rapids area, it is possible to walk to the base of most of the routes at the bridge (depending on how high the river is). It is also a bit different as that the rock there is limestone as apposed to greywhake. The bridge is located 6.6km from the start, and signifies the end of the gorge.

1
Desperation
Grade V0
A sit start boulder problem which goes up the face between (eliminating) the right edge and the massive lay back flake on the left.
2
The River So-Low
Grade 14
2 Bolt
This line is basiclly a face move, followed by a pull onto the ramp above. The crux is low, the top is PISS easy. As that this line shares the last bolt of "Jarhead," try to stay left of the bolt to keep the lines somewhat seperate. For the record, the first ascent was done just after the hangers had been placed.... with out any quick draws, harness or belayer! (2 bolts, DCB)
3
Jarhead
Grade 19
3 Bolt
A fun face climb, just left of the arete. As with "The River So Low," the top bolt is shared so try and stay right of the 3rd bolt as you pass it on the way to the top. (3bolts, DCB)
4
project
Grade 0
3 Bolt
4) project. This route starts with a very bouldery move and a "not so hot" landing so the first bolt was placed so it can be clipped from the cheater stone around the corner, making the first move protected from above. After pulling off the ground, follow the arete up and right to the highest point of the face and then up to the chains. (3 bolts, DCB)
5
Breath of Freshers
Grade 20
2 Bolt
The right hand face offers one beautiful, steep line with good holds and cool moves. (2 bolts, DCB)
6
One Little Tri-cam
Grade 0
2 Bolt
This short, pocketed climb was originally lead using just a single tri-cam for protection but as that is was hard to protect before the crux and most kiwis don't have tri-cams.... the bolts were put in to make it fun for everyone. (2 bolts, DCB)
7
Little Red Riding Hood
Grade 20
6 Bolt
This climb offers cool, thought provoking slopers which lead to an easier, pocketed top out straight up the tall face in the middle of the rock. (3 bolts, DCB)
8
Slippery When Wet
Grade 18
4 Bolt
The right-hand line. Yes, the arete is in! Be careful of the top clip as that it is a bit reachy. (4 bolts, DCB)
9
The Soggy Scottsman
Grade 14
3 Bolt
This is the left of the 2 lines on the non-water side of the cliff. Although the line was originally sent by Matt Natti (after bolting, scrubbing, memorizing EVERY hold and practising the moves with an ascender while on top rope), Andy is given FULL credit for this route after sending the line a mere day or 2 after it was bolted..... on-site, at night (it was really dark), in the rain (it was REALLY wet) and with a slight beer buzz on (why else would you be out climbing in such conditions)!!! If you really want to do this route properly........ never mind, Andy is a nutter! (3 bolts, DCB)
9a
Out patient
Grade 16
This is the indirect start to "Impatience," which eliminates the washed out, bouldery, crux beginning moves. Start at the same belay ledge as "The Soggy Scottsman" but traverse right, using the painted bolt hanger as the first clip, until you get to the 3rd bolt of "Impatience." Finish straight up the wall to the "Impatience" belay.
10
Impatience
Grade 20
5 Bolt
This was the first line bolted by Matt in the Gorge. Originally this route was a grade 19. After the high waters of the '06-'07 winter, the banks have washed away a bit and now the start is a bit harder and a LOT lower than it was originally. As that the crux is within the first few moves, a new "first bolt" was added so that the start can be worked with less chance of injury. (5 bolts, DCB).
11
Wasabi
Grade 21
4 Bolt
This highly satisfying line starts just before the drop off into the water. The crux, which offers a good burn that is over quick, lies in between the 2nd and 3rd bolt and is good for logging a bit of air time. Yes, the 4th bolt is a bit run out..... but if you can make it through the crux, the rest of the climb should just be no sweat. (4 bolts, DCB)
12
Get your Gri-gri On
Grade 23
At the top of the cliff there are a few old bolts, which were the protection for the original climbs at Balance. The status quo for the "routes" on this face is a) get someone to lower you down and then top belay you, or b) set up a single line abseil, go down on a gri-gri and then belay yourself back up. Hopefully a way to place a platform at the bottom of this climb can be devised and a line of proper bolts can be placed. Of course, there is always the deep water solo option!

Showing all routes 19 routes total 400 m

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps

Boulder - 19 routes - avg. grade V1 V0 - V1 V2 - V3 V4 - V5
Ashurst

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.

Showing all routes 14 routes total Time 1 Min

Boulder - 14 routes - avg. grade V2 V0 - V1 V2 - V3 V4 - V5
T%20tree

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!

1
Walk in the Park
Grade -
(Vscary) Starting from just left of the true arete, step onto the main face and walk up diagonally right on slopey holds, following the angle of the rock. This is a no hands climb and the crux is just keeping your balance so ONLY your feet touch as you walk up (no leg smears!).
2
Nathen's Nasty Arete
Grade V3
LOW sit start by the left edge using bad holds and a miserable toe under the "roof." Pop your left hand up to a gaston, then roll up to a good hold higher up. Finish straight up the (VE) slab.
3
Game On
Grade V3
Practically a laydown start, use two bad slopers and a right heal hook to pull your arse off the ground and creep your fingers up to a somewhat positive rail which always seems JUST out of reach. Once you've pulled up from that, finish up the (VM) slab above or just jump down.
4
proj.
Grade -
sit start on the massive undercling, pull up onto the face on desperate slopers and go ..... somewhere!
5
Sunnies
Grade V3
Sit start using the 2 good crimps on either side of the bulgy arete/ low roof, just left of the center line of the boulder. Pull up and pop to a right hand sloper, then up to a BIG jug on the left. mantle the bulge and either finish up the face or just walk off left.
6
Maud
Grade V2
Start standing in between "Sunnies" and "Momen-Tea-Tree Lapse of Reason" with the left hand on the slopey edge and the right on the undercling of "MTTLR." Toss up to the "MTTLR" jug with the right, pull up and exit left. A HARD sit start is currently in the works and is open to anyone to try.
7
Momen-Tea-Tree Lapse of Reason
Grade V5
Stand start by the black streak with hands matched on the "good" undercling. Pull off the ground and throw to the good jug on the left edge of the arete, just by the corner. Pull up, mantle and run up the whole arete to the top. This quality line was a standing project for a LONG time... it was finally sent when all previous beta was forgotten about and nothing but a good honest "ompff" was used!
8
Jetlagged Direct
Grade V4
Sit start just right of "MTTLR" foot hold on a good crimp and a BIG jug. Head straight up to a good sloper, a pocket and then the "Jetlagged" gaston. Pull up to the next good rail of "JL" then finish above the tea tree on the left arete.
9
Jetlagged
Grade V3
Starting at the big "x" made up of 2 crossing crack/ rails on the right side of the boulder from a crouching start, pop up to a good jug then head up and left to a gaston, a good rail and then the sloper/ jug on the low portion of the arete. Pull up by the tree and exit off left. This climb was sent 4 hours after getting off a 36 hour plane ride (including lay overs) from Boston, Massachusetts.... USA! After SOOO much sitting, sending a few lines was DEFINITELY in order.
10
Snagglepuss
Grade V0
Stand start at the "x" and head straight up on good holds. There is one delicate move at about 2/3rd height. This climb is technically fairly easy, but it definitely has a fear factor due to the fall potential. It is recommended to have a few spotters and at least 3 pads!
11
X-it Stage Right
Grade VM
Stand start at the "x" as for "JL" and "Sp," pull up to the big jug and head right with good feet. Finish standing on the small detatched boulder on the right.
12
Searching for a Safer Hobbie
Grade V1
Somewhat of a direct start for "x-it," stand start just to the right of "x-it" on 2 crimps. Pull up and grab for the slopey right hand hold. Finish same as "x-it."
13
proj.
Grade -
The blunt, right hand arete. This line wants to start sitting on the bum breaking "cheater stone" using an odd, right hand undercling/ side pull/ pinch and pulls straight up and over the bulge on small, slopey holds go straight up to finish as for "x-it."
14
Charlie's Arete
Grade VM
Sit start in the corner formed by tea tree boulder and the detatched, smaller boulder. Climb up the short, sharp, lay-back arete.

Showing all routes 3 routes total

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.

-
project
Grade -
On the small boulder just down hill from the "big" boulder, there is a fun looking 1 move wonder from a sit start that finishes with a grovely mantle.
-
Project
Grade -
On the "big" boulder, there looks to be a good line up the broken left arete.
-
Project
Grade -
The slightly overhung face of the "big" boulder.

Showing all routes 2 routes total

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."

-
Claydon's Traverse
Grade V2
Sit start on the low end of the roof lip (left side) and traverse the edge up and right to top out at the high point on bad slopers.
-
Undefined Up
Grade V1
Sit start in the right hand corner (around the arete from "CT"'s top out) and go up the slightly overhung face using the slopey crack and face holds.