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The Darran Mountains and Cleddau valley, near the famous Milford Sound in south-western New Zealand, contain the best rock in the country.
The valley crags are steep sculpted bowls of perfect stone, and are suited well to hard sport climbing. The diorite walls above the snowline are generally coarser grained and slabby with few cracks—your classic Darrans multi-pitch route will include some healthy run-outs on both smears and edges.
The place to stay is at the New Zealand Alpine Club’s Homer Hut.
Rock Deluxe covers the Cleddau valley crags (Chasm, Babylon and Little Babylon).
For the multi-pitch sub-alpine routes, you need the Darran Mountains guidebook.
Check out Craig Jefferies and Bruce Dowrick’s article on the Moir region and Big Babylon from issue 58 of The Climber magazine.
And John Palmer’s article ‘New Religion’, on Little Babylon, from issue 65 of The Climber magazine.