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The Darrans

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Macpherson Cirque (winter) 

The Darrans Rock Climbing 

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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Steve Skelton on Oct 21, 2008  with updates from JuJu

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BETA PHOTO: The Darrans from the air after an early winter sno...


Ah the Darran Mountains... there are very few places in the world as spectacular! These mountains offer something for every climber; roadside sport crags, multi pitch adventure routes, big walls, mixed winter climbing, pure ice, mountaineering and a little hut-side bouldering!

The Darrans potential is only limited by its number of climbable days. It rains here more than anyplace in New Zealand (9 meters of rain one year) and the winter conditions are variable. March is the best month to rock climb but the Darrans are worth visiting anytime of year.

The rock is diorite, a granitic that varies in quality but is generally very solid.

The Homer Hut, a New Zealand Alpine Club has bunks, a kitchen with (usually) running water and gas cookers and toilets. The hut is open to all, but discounted to NZAC members. It is worth becoming a member of NZAC if you will spending a bit of time in NZ.

All supplies are in Te Anau about 1.5 hours away. You can get a few basic supplies at the Milford Lodge in Milford Sound. Good cheep accommodation is also available there, as well as showers, laundry, Internet, coffee and beer. The Blue Duck Cafe on the Sound has good pizzas, great lamb and is one of the best drinking establishment in New Zealand!

NZ has recently clamped down on "Freedom" camping (see for more info). Pay attention to rules and signage or you could be liable for an instant $200 fine for camping near the road if not at a designated campsite!

A great guide book is available. There has been a flurry of activity recently, especially in the realm of hard sport climbing. Check for updates in the new route book at Homer Hut.

Getting There 

Follow the only road to Milford Sound. Just before the Homer Tunnel, look for a sign to Gertrude Valley. The Homer Hut is about 500 meters down this dirt road.

Climbing Season

For the South Island area.

Weather station 2.2 miles from here

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