New Zealand is a new country geographically speaking. The Southern Alps grow every year, and Aoraki has a go at shrinking every year.
For a NZ rock climber, the primary goal is to find “good rock”. Not to seek out nice “starred” routes with lovely outlooks and beautiful sequences. No, the goal is to find rock that stays on the rock face and doesn’t fall on your head.
Mt Taranaki delivers good rock in spades. The solid volcanic spires and cracks of Warwick Castle and the Organ Pipes are a dream come true for those use to the crumbling missiles of Titahi Bay.Just a leisurely 25 minute walk from Taranaki Alpine Club’s Tahurangi Lodge, our group spent a happy two days shoulder jamming, smearing, and balancing our way up some very nice climbs. Shame about the off-colour route names at the Organ Pipes–some memorable numbers included dog shit, rat shit and right nostril.
Warwick Castle was kinder on the sensibilities – some great climbing was had on Sunrise and Rope Boy, though I still reckon BC Brendan needs to try out the 16 – This One’s a Twenty-Two Too Chris. He has a habit of climbing 22 16’s…