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North Otago

North Otago offers scenic bouldering at Elephant Rocks, and easy to moderate mountaineering and ski mountaineering in the St Mary’s Range. The Southern Alps can be accessed via the nearby Ahuriri, Hopkins and Dobson Valleys.


The section

The North Otago Section is the smallest in the NZAC. The section has a rich history with many first ascents by members over the years. Members have contributed greatly to hut building, hut maintenance, overseas expeditions, and club affairs. In 1952 North Otago Section Member and NZAC President Harry Stevenson wrote the letter of endorsement for a young Edmund Hillary to be a member of the 1953 Everest Expedition.
The Section has core group of climbers who remain very active rock climbing, alpine climbing , ski mountaineering, overseas climbing, and alpine botanising.


Section meetings are usually held 3 or 4 times a year, depending on the availability of guest speakers, but members meet at The Climbing Wall twice weekly. An annual Christmas Barb-B-Que and Bouldering evening is held at Elephant Rocks. See the latest newsletter below for more information on upcoming meetings.

Courses & Trips

The Section does not run formal courses or trips. Local members meet and arrange many private trips in NZ and overseas.

Climbing Wall

The Waitaki Community Recreation Centre ‘Rock Wall’ is run by the section.  It is open on Tuesday 8-10pm, and Thursday 5-6.30pm. Members receive a 25% discount. Click here for full information: Rock Wall.


Image Gallery





Hugh Wood




Rob Connolly


Section Rep


Nick Shearer



hut responsibilites

Elcho Hut, near the confluence the Elcho Stream and the Hopkins River, is the responsibility of the North Otago Section. Annual hut work parties are held, usually in mid-winter.


gear hire

Avalanche gear – 4 sets includes Ortovox M1 transceivers, shovels and probes.  Members $5/day, Non-members $10.  Courier costs additional.

Black Diamond Raven Ice axes  x4. Members $5/day, Non-members $10.

Personal Locator beacon – free hire to local members, booking essential.


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