Smith Rocks Climbing
DescriptionWARNING - this area is currently closed to climbing thanks to the thoughtless actions of a few discourteous people. Check at Bryce's Outdoor Centre for more information and current status.
That said, the rock at Smith Rocks is "ignimbrite"--a type of volcanic rock that was buried, then exposed by erosion; it's made up of hundreds and thousands of pocks, from tiny to huge, that might go in for meters, or millimeters. It's EXTREMELY sharp, and care should be taken when climbing to not slice one's fingers. It also is brittle, and will not accept any type of trad gear; all the climbing here is sport, and bolted with 12" glue-in bolts put in at a downward angle for added strength and safety. The nice thing about this type of rock is that you can climb it in the pouring rain; the friction is unbelieveable.
The man responsible for opening this area is Bryce Martin, owner of Bryce's Outdoor Centre; he's also responsible for nearly every FA in the place, and has essentially written the guidebook.
The routes are at different "crags", spread out over the entirety of a cow pasture system; approach times range from 15-45 minutes, generally over muddy lanes with a slog across a field at the end. Wellingtons or high rubber boots are VERY HIGHLY recommended, as the mud and cow pies are everywhere.
This area is currently closed to climbing thanks to the thoughtless actions of a few discourteous people. Check at Bryce's Outdoor Centre for more information and current status.
Getting ThereFrom the school, drive down Wharepapa South/Seafund Road for about 3km. Smiths is just past the bridge on your left. The Smith Rocks crag is spread over 2 properties: the Pinnacles, Swamp Wall, Dry Valley are on Len Smith's property; the End Wall, Southend Wall and the Back of Beyond are on the Bruce & Chris Watkinson property. Bruce & Chris are happy for climbers to enter their property from Smith's, so please, let's not give them any reason to change their mind. A separate sign-in book is located on the boundary fence between the two farms. Please sign this book if climbing in any of the following areas: The End Wall, Southend Wall and the Back of Beyond.
Once you have signed this registration book, continue down the milk-tanker track till you reach the milking shed. Park in the area allocated, the grassed area inside the tanker turning circle. Do not under any circumstance park on the metal track leading to the milking shed or the turning circle in front of the shed. This area must be kept clear at all times for the milk tanker. On busy days, the parking area inside the tanker turning circle may be full, in which case please park off the property on the road.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
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