Whakapapa Gorge




Andesite, giving the appearance of sideways columnar basalt, 20 minutes walk from the skifield car park.


Walk east from the Top of the Bruce toward Meads Wall, turn left up the ridge, continuing along a vague track. Stay to the left of the cliff top and walk down the slope to the end of the bluff, turn right and walk back up the valley along the base of the cliff.

Where to stay

Nearest accommodation is at Whakapapa Village.


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Grade Route

Climbs through the center of the triangular buttress, starting from the large ledge.

FA: Tim Robertson & Mark Morrison

1 17 15m
2 18 15m

P1: (17) Climb 5m left of Trenchtown on the black rock the juts out of the wall to a DBB. (3 bolts)

P2: (18) Continue up the wall, trending left below the overhang and finishing around the arete.

FA: Mark Morrison

1 16 15m
2 23 20m

P1: (16) Climb directly left of Trenchtown to a DBB.

P2: (23) Continue upwards, left through the bulge at mid height to the top of the wall.

FA: Tim Robertson & Mark Morrison

Start as for Trenchtown, then depart the stairway and head directly up the wall.

Warning Rock: Loose block

Follows the trench staircase that trends upwards through the wall. DBB of Chocolate Coated Mammaries can be used as an anchor for two pitches.

Start up Ruffer Version or Trenchtown and finish up Authorised Rockers

Start left of Chocolate Coated Mammaries in an alcove right of Trenchtown. Head up through the overhang, initially trending left and then right as you tackle the headwall.

Thuggy moves on geometrical blocks through the slightly overhanging face in the middle of the wall. DBB.

FA: Paul Rogers

Climb left of The Scribbler and follow the two bolts up the wall.

FA: Tom Wilson, 2006

Follows the arete to the left of the obvious cave.

FA: Tom Wilson, 2006

Follows the line through the cave to the top of the wall. No bolted anchor. Sling large boulders at the top of the crag.

FA: Marcus Thomas, 2006

Starts left of the rounded buttress. Once a ledge at 1/3 height has been gained establish on the buttress and continue up to the top. Great climbing but fiddly gear.

Initially heads into an alcove on the right side of the wall, then out through the overhang following a thin line right of the buttress to the top of the wall. A hard lead, but possible one of the best for its grade.

FA: Paul Rogers

Climbs between the two obvious recesses in the wall, going past two more smaller recesses to the top.

Climbs under Under Heavy Manners to the cave, the exits left finishing where Crazy Baldheads finishes.

FA: Paul Rogers

1 15 15m
2 17 25m

P1: (15) Start below the big round cave in the middle of the wall and climb straight up to it. DBB. (6 bolts)

P2: (17) Climb out right of the cave and continue upwards, generally right of the vague crack system. DBB. (8 bolts)

FA: Paul Rogers

Same start as for Under Heavy Manners, exiting the cave on the right side following the vague crack system upwards, which then cuts left to Under Heavy Manners anchor.

1 20 25m
2 19 20m

P1: (20) Steep and juggy climbing through the obvious overhang followed by much easier climbing on the slab above. DBB. (7 bolts)

P2: (19) Continues upwards on trad gear for 5 meters before another steep section at the first bolt, followed by easier climbing to the top. DBB. (4 bolts)

FA: Mark Morrison & Tim Robertson

1 17
2 17

P1: (17) Sneak through the step in the overhangs trending left (passed a thread) and once on the face head up and rightish following the line of weakness. Belay in the middle of the shield like wall.

P2: (17) Heads up through the obvious line of weakness finishing with jams as a great finale.

Can be combined into one pitch with rope drag management.

FA: Paul Rogers

Start up the slab and navigate your way through the first overhang before continuing upwards and left to a second overhang. DBB at 9th bolt can make this two pitches, but better as one if you manage rope drag well.

FA: Paul Rogers

Starts in the scoop under the big overhang, going up and following the vague line of weakness to the top of the wall.

Trad belay off the big horn or go to the bolted anchors 5m left or right of the top.

1 21 18m
2 18 22m

P1: (21) Route goes in and out of the "cyclops" eye in the roof, then up and right to a natural belay.

P2: (18) Continue up the wall following a line of weakness to DBB.

1 26 15m
2 17 25m

P1: (26) Goes up the steep overhang directly on the left hand side of Golden wall, moving left after the third bolt. DBB. (5 bolts)

P2: (17) Second pitch as for Electric Earth.

Set: Kester Brown

FA: John Palmer, 2005

1 23 15m
2 17 25m

P1: (23) Start on the left hand side of Golden Wall as for Sous Le Monde, but continue straight up. Awkward moves will bring you through the slight overhang on your left. DBB. (7 bolts)

P2: (17) Continues to the top of the wall on trad gear. (0 bolts)

FA: Kester Brown & Dave Kennedy, 2004

Link up of electric earth into ape to angel. Start as per electric earth then go direct at the 4th bolt into ape to angel. More sustained than either of the other 2 routes and incorporates the cruxes of both, could be 25 but felt 24, however I have climbed all of these routes numerous times this week. I’ll let others decide

FA: Chris Hailey, 2 Jan 2020

Immensely satisfying climbing up the middle of the styly orange face and through the bulge slightly left before charging up the face.

FA: Kester Brown & John Palmer, 2005

The central line of Golden Wall. Start as for Ape to Angel but tackles the roof directly with a crushing finish. DBB as for Arturism.

The right hand line of Golden Wall. Up the lower slab and through the roof, grappling your way around the fridge-sized block to the anchor. DBB.

FA: Kester Brown, 2005

Goes up the overhanging chimney right of Arturism. Great gear and great exposure, try not to lose your Trango cam.

FA: Cliff Ellery & Kevin Baratt, 2004

Tackles the overlapping waves of overhang with thought provoking movements.

FA: John Palmer, 27 Feb 2021

Start in the groove below the overhangs, then move leftwards under the upper overhangs to an alcove. From here prepare yourself for facing the overhang and headwall head on. Double ropes and cams (0.3-4) recommended.

Starts as for The Full Monty, but exits right around a crack and bulge to an easier top out.

FA: Cliff Ellery & Kevin Barratt, 2005

Left of Electronomicon

FA: John Palmer, 2021

Climbs up the left hand side of the bulge with funky movements.

FA: John Palmer, 2015

Easy (but often wet) slab leads to a steep boulder on a rope. Juggy fun to finish.

FA: John Palmer, 9 Apr 2021

Head up the wet slab to the back of the roof, then force yourself into the wide crack and struggle to the top. Big Cams are useful!

FFA: Jacob Kuchler, 4 Dec 2022

The clean pillar left of the water streak, move right at the top.

FA: Paul Rogers

Climbs right of Serial Pillar past the bulge and up the steep face. DBB as for Serial Pillar

FA: Paul Rogers

Climb on the left of the small cave.

FA: Prajot Sabnis, Jan 2020

Climb straight up into the small cave to the right of Goldie (crux), then directly up the wall. Small cams and wires handy. Double bolt belay.

FA: Tom Wilson & Brigid Borlase, 2007

An extra bolt was added at the bottom when it was rebolted. The old bolts are still protruding with hangers removed.

FA: Bryce Martin, Cliff Ellery & Kevin Barratt, 2005

Start up the slab into the slippery V groove.

FA: Bryce Martin, 2009

Climb an easy ramp leftwards then up a flake, traverse right along a ledge to reach the obvious chimney. Sling the chockstone and go for it. Exit left at the top.

FA: Angel Vila & Kathleen Lee, 2004

Climbs up the white-streaked wall to a steep face before easier terrain.

FA: Sean Campbell

Climb the steepening slab with a sting in the tail.

FA: Paul Rogers

This is a great little crag for teaching/learning climbing, especially when combined with Halfmoon crag 100m away. There are access bolts on a small but easily accessible ledge at the top which allow you to safely access most of the anchors for quickly setting up top-ropes with groups.

Starting up left in the scoops, move up onto the slabs and finish with a tricky move to the anchor. Any guesses for who sang this song? 5 bolts, DRB (double ring bolt) anchor.

FA: Prajot Sabnis, Dec 2021

Starting in the lowest/right scoop, move right onto good holds then climb up onto slab (crux). The head wall has some good holds and moves. 5 bolts, DRB anchor.

FA: Sash Nukada, Dec 2021

Up the smooth lower wall (crux) which leads to the nice headwall. 5 bolts, DRB anchor.

FA: Annie Beisly, Jan 2019

Starting just left of the practice anchor bolts, move up the steep wall for a brief rest on the slab. Like a good movie, the climax/crux is at the very end; try not to use your belly or knees, instead use style and grace. 5 bolts, DRB anchor.

FA: Sash Nukada, Nov 2022

Up the clean stairway of solid blocks. Great first lead. 5 bolts, DRB anchor.

FA: Kea Nukada & Taj Nukada, Dec 2021

Same grade as its namesake, but about 120m shorter, although this one has 4 more bolts than the Ozzie version. 4 bolts, DRB anchor.

FA: Sash Nukada, Nov 2022


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Mon 22 May
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