Trackside Boulder

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 2


An approximately 10m wide by 6m high, high quality, well-featured and slightly overhanging, bouldering wall for beginner to intermediate boulderers. The rock is welded columnar andesite with the columns lying horizontally. The steepness ensures that the problems are not as easy as they first look.

You can boulder at will on the wall - listed are the obvious sequences/lines. It's possible to finish at the row of jugs at the top and down-boulder/jump - or climb further carefully into the bush (at 5-6m). Take care especially when higher on the left hand side of the wall - the track narrows and it is entirely possible to miss the track if you fall or jump carelessly. The top-outs might require a brush, especially after rain until any loose soil stabilises. Do everyone a favour and help polish and buff the boulder by bringing a wire brush. The boulder seeps after heavy rain, for a day or two and may take a while to dry in winter. A great boulder for summer as it remains in the shade for quite a while and its nearness to the river means it can be quite cool when it is sweltering elsewhere, however it is possible to boulder all year round with a few dry days.

Access issues inherited from Wainora Boulders

Careful exploring the true right of the river as the fenced-off area literally contains undetonated shells.


Park at the Wainora Campsite. After around 5-10mins (750m) of the Cookson Kauri walk, the boulder appears on the right.

To descend, walk directly back for about 10m until a simple track leads off to the left and down the left hand gully (easy going).

Ethic inherited from Kauaeranga Valley

Gradingwise, The Kauaeranga Valley follows standard ewbank and strict V grading based on ARG and Port Hills standards, roughly:

VB = absolute beginner level bouldering V0 = 16,17 V1 = 18,19 V2 = 20,21 V3 = 22,23 And then: V grade = Ewbank - 21.

Please follow NZAC guidelines. Minimise ecological impact at all times. Additionally, the Department of Conservation has given the permission to boulder on the andesite boulders of the valley IF:

  • there is no modification of the boulders
  • ecology is respected at all times
  • bio-assets are respected at all times
  • brushing is minimised to those holds which are used or could be used (ie touched) to ensure progression and the climbers safety
  • the climber is considered as part of the environment and preserved

Enquire at the DOC Valley Visitor Centre if at all unsure of the application of the NZAC guidelines.


History timeline chart

Initially cleaned and climbed by Phil Higgins while resident in Thames, who realised the bouldering and climbing potential of the area.


Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route

Traverse the boulder from the furthermost right hand holds to the left arete, just above the ground. Dropping down to bum-drag the crux drops a V grade or two.

RHS to matchstick that joins that problem with the left hand on the next hold from the incut. Better than the direct.

FA: Phil Higgins, Nov 2021

Follow the line of least resistance up the right hand side of the boulder, making use of the deep incut, topping out to the tree, with it on your right. The sit start from side-pulls does not add to the grade.

FA: Phil Higgins, Nov 2021

Follow the hair-line crack, mainly on its left hand side. Move right at the top to finish as for Matchstick. Harder than it looks. The sit start from side-pulls does not add to the grade.

FA: Phil Higgins, Nov 2021

Squeeze job up the line of the water streak which appears after rain and takes a few days to dry, to finish on great jugs. Contrived as shares the good hold with Stalag 13.

FA: Phil Higgins, Dec 2021

The left-most line of a couple of slopey edges then crimp edges, directly above the obvious crux of the traverse. Move right (slopey) to finish on the awesome jugs and gingerly into the bush. Harder than it looks.

FA: Phil Higgins, Nov 2021

This boulder is unlocated

If you know where this boulder is then please take a minute to locate it for the climbing community. contact us if you have any issues.


Check out what is happening in Trackside Boulder.

Deutsch English Español Français Italiano 한국어 Português 中文