Arthur's Pass Climbing Guide WIKI

This page contains ALL routes in the current Guidebook (Edition 8) with new updates applied, it also contains numerous new routes, and additional mountains not previously documented.

You can make a comment on any route (Select only ONE route, and check the "Leave Comment" box). These comments will become immediately visible (so please be kind). They will be reviewed and adjustments made to the existing route information if necessary. Route images are not available to all routes at present. If you wish to submit one please email it to me at; please send two images, one raw high resolution, and another image marked up with the route.

If you think you have established a new route please email me at with the details, please include as much route detail as possible (including estimated alpine and/or rock grades), include a marked up photograph if possible.

SELECT MOUNTAIN & ROUTE (124 Mountains, 356 Routes)

  • 1. Snow up to 25° and/or low angled rock scrambling.
  • 2. Sustained snow of 30° to 35° or moderately steep rock scrambling, and/or may have a brief section of 50° snow/ice or exposed rock. Ridge travel may have brief exposed sections.
  • 3. Sustained snow of 40° to 45° or sustained steep rock scrambling, and/or may have a short step of ice, or a pitch of 60° snow or grade 10-11 rock. Ridge travel may involve some tricky gendarmes or very exposed sections.
  • 4. Sustained snow/ice of 50° to 55° or sustained grade 10-12 rock, and/or may have crux sections of WI3 ice, M3 mixed, or grade 13-14 rock. Ridge travel likely to involve massive exposure or numerous steep gendarmes.
  • 5. Sustained 60° to 65° ice/mixed climbing or grade 13-15 rock, and/or may have crux sections of WI4 ice, M4 mixed, or grade 16-17 rock.
  • 6. Sustained WI3 to WI3+ ice, M3-4 mixed, or grade 16-18 rock, and/or may have crux sections of WI4+ to WI5 ice, M5 mixed, or grade 19-20 rock.
  • 7. Sustained WI4 to WI4+ ice, M5 mixed, or grade 19-20 rock, and/or may have crux sections of WI5+ ice, M6 mixed, or grade 22-23 rock.
  • 8. Sustained WI5 to WI5+ ice, M6 mixed, or grade 22-23 rock, and/or may have crux sections of M7 mixed or grade 25-26 rock.
  • I. Close to civilization with non-technical access and no significant objective hazards. Simple to reverse. Requires good navigation in poor visibility and familiarity with movement in the mountains.
  • II. Generally climbed in a half day to a full day close to a base. Likely to need skills relating to crevasse rescue, abseiling, and placing snow/ice/rock anchors. Descent is probably the same route as ascent, i.e. on familiar ground. No unusual objective hazards.
  • III. Moderate to long routes close to a base, or shorter routes a few hours from a base. Can be reversed but this may involve brief sections with tricky downclimbing or abseiling. Easiest descent could be different from ascent route, but if so is straightforward. There could be short sections exposed to significant objective hazards.
  • IV. Getting into the big stuff now. Requires sound mountaineering judgement and experience to complete with a good level of safety and to manage objective hazards. Could be long, but if so should be straightforward to reverse. Routes at this grade that are not so long may require multiple abseils to reverse, or may involve a traverse of the peak to get to an easier descent route.
  • V. Very long routes close to a base, or moderate length routes in a fairly remote area. Likely to be very tricky to reverse. Easiest descent is moderately complicated and is probably different from ascent route. Access, climb, or descent could involve significant objective hazards.
  • VI. Routes at this grade are generally very long, and are challenging to reverse even for very experienced climbers. Potentially major objective hazards. The best descent route is likely to be complicated, and a night out is likely for most parties.
  • VII. Very experienced, strong climbers will have a tough climb. Start of route is remote and route is very long. Objective hazards could be severe. Retreating from the route would be difficult and would put you back in a serious spot. Easiest descent is probably very complicated and involves a traverse of the peak.

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