The General v5a3VI****

Highest drop 45m

Public access

8-16hrs (depending on how high you start)

One of the most committing, sustained and narrow canyons in NZ.  44 pitches, super solid dark schist, deep, narrow, sustained. Don’t forget the “Slot of Doom”, with a handline to access 3 pitches (one including a deviation) on a 45m drop. If it had jumps it might be a 5 star canyon…

Download the top for The General

Read the account of the early exploration of The General at Canyon Magazine.

The video below starts at the ‘intermedio’ access and features the “Slot of Doom”

Images below by Dan Clearwater and Toine Houtenbos.

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One Response to The General v5a3VI****

  1. Patrick Timm says:

    Second trip to the General (23/2/19) and much has changed! A big flood has gone through and damaged many anchors. This is why anchor materials (drill and bolts) need to be carried (especially on these big canyons). Two months prior the canyon was in great shape and had survived years with no issues.

    From the Superiore entry, we found most anchors had been hit by rocks, some sheered off and others bent or partially ripped out, and many nuts had come loose.

    Due to time constraints was only able to do the worst of them, there are still a couple of drops to join together so stay on the rope and find the next anchor before last person raps! I wasn’t able to keep track of all the changes, I replaced R16, 17 and 26 and a few others (just can’t remember the rap numbers). I believe R17 may be the one in which my new anchor is up on the ledge and behind some rock to help protect it from a future flood. A bit hard to find sorry, its the only spot that looked like a new flood wouldn’t affect it.

    The canyon itself has changed with some anchors now even more exposed to new floods as the boulders and gravel filled up pools and increased the height of them.

    Its worth noting that there are still many anchors not optimal. Use your own judgement when committing to them!

    A important mention, and not related to the flood, is that the canyon is escapable from R25 in the slot of doom. The ledge you can escape from is just up from the R25 anchor and can then be traversed out on the TL into the bush. We know this to be 100% true as we have done a reccy mission and accidentally stumbled onto the ledge and had a peek into the canyon and stood above the R25 anchor, only 1 meter away!

    You can also skip the R24 anchor in low to moderate flows, with a short bit through the waterfall itself before you come out underneath it. I’ve been doing this on every trip so far.

    Still an amazing canyon, and one of NZ’s best! Starting superiore entry is the best in my opinion, the intermedio lands you in the narrow section and the group tends to get cold waiting for everybody to rap in, and you also miss some quality narrow canyon! The superiore entry is open and roomy but R10 narrows straight away and is an epic (and perfect) start to the canyon! Its worth that extra bit to get there. 3-3.5 hrs seems standard to the superiore entry.

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