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Trip Report – Bouldering at Elephant Rocks

Written and photos by: Ryan Thomas

Source: The Otago Climber Newsletter (July 2019)

After two days of rain and snow on Queen’s Birthday long weekend, a group of about half NZAC members and half new climbers (and one random Canadian tourist!) met for a day of bouldering at Elephant Rocks.

Despite the wild weather of the previous two days, the Monday was warm and calm with the snowy mountains of the Saint Mary’s range clearly visible in the distance. Elephant Rocks has a huge range of bouldering problems with a few at grades below V0 – a good thing for those of us who are not boulderers!

We warmed up on some of these easier bouldering problems before moving onto slightly harder problems at grades of V0 and V1, with a V2 tossed in there for good measure. Attempts were made on a V3, but the taller climbers among us had an unfair advantage in height, necessitating a few extra bouldering pads to even the score…

The climbing at Elephant Rocks is markedly different to climbs around Dunedin. The rock is all limestone, not basalt, and there is a distinct lack of large jugs. Most of the holds are either slopers or crimps, although there are enough “Oh, God!” holds around to keep you grateful.

There is even an easy crack climb, at grade V0, for those who want to try out their hand jams. Just watch out for descent from the top, as you have to down-climb the route. Jumping down is not recommended!

Thanks to Dave Kelbe for organizing this unofficial trip!

Posted: 05/09/19

Posted By: Narina Sutherland