Trip Report – Kawakawa Bay
Source: Alpine Central Newsletter
April’s trip was to Kawakawa Bay and once again, K-Bay doesn’t disappoint. After getting to Kinloch, we used the most excellent services of Susan at Fish Her to get out to the where the action was happening. Accompanying us in our vehicle was Joe, a visitor from the Arizona, and Norbert’s young daughter, Louise. Many others participated in this day and the rocks were filled with climbers.
We had one good day of solid climbing from morning to dark on Saturday. We ran up some ropes up The Point area including Mellow Yellow (15), High Hopes (16), Sidewinder (19) which were all tall multi-pitch climbs of different skill levels.
As always, the views from any of the climbs at Kawakawa Bay are stunning.
Personally, I learned a few things about rope management from our AZ guest that I was eager to try out. I spent some time hanging from the rafters in my garage trying out some new load balancing techniques. Joe and I trusted each other enough to do our abseils simultaneously on each end of the rope. Also, since many of the lines were not straight I found it useful to keep the coils with me while abseiling on at least one climb. That’s the gift that keeps on giving!
There were plenty of clouds around during the day which kept the temperature, the sun’s burning capacity, and the bugs down quite a bit. Coincidentally, this also kept down the temperature of the lake for swimming later on in the evening. Even so, a quick dip was definitely called for as no trip to K-Bay seems complete without a dip in the waters. Brrrr… Luckily, there was plenty of heat around the campfire on the beach to help dry off. Some brave souls even took a dip in the morning too.
The next morning the weather seemed to be moving in so after breakfast we broke down camp and went out to the Bluff for some more climbing.
We ran a rope up for Louise up a climb which she seemed to enjoy. Later on, Joe and I moved our way up Aliens (21). It sported some interesting moves with plenty of options for a climber like myself with still plenty of steep for that oh so lovely forearm burn. There were tiny caves and all sorts of interesting moves required. I was a ripe whiny bitch about it, but at the end of the day I managed. Mucho gusto thanks to Zach for the beta on the final move. It would have taken me a while to figure that out on my own. Those hand holds weren’t as beautiful as they seemed while looking up at them!
Thankfully, the tight areas for Aliens protected us greatly from the rain which had started while we were climbing it. The top of the second pitched was thoroughly exposed though. The beautiful rhyolite that is Kawakawa Bay is so very grippy even wet which was a good thing.
Joe was hard core and decided to carry on climbing even in the drizzle. He ran a rope up for Louise up Jug Addiction (16) for her climbing pleasure. Again, the bottom was pretty dry, but at the top was starting to get pretty wet already.
After this, the climbing part of the trip was over. Luckily, we had broken down our tents already and happy that there was a shelter near the beach now. We took all our gear to the shelter to wait for our return ride on the boat. The ride back to Kinloch was fantastic as well. The lake was quite calm, the low clouds and fog with the peaks were poking up were wonderful. It was a fine trip.
Posted By: Narina Sutherland