Goat Hill Canyon v4a4IV*

Canyon name:Goat Hill Canyon
Grade:v4a4IV*
General area:Arthur’s Pass
Character:A very scenic alpine approach, and some fantastic, deep slotted canyon sections. Several jumps and mandatory swims.

Unfortunately there is a sizeable boulder bash in the middle, and then a larger one at the end.
Start of the canyon (topomap link):http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-42.813551,171.601107&z=15&pin=1
Carpark (google maps link):https://goo.gl/maps/jmFnC4ZEN7KsAyha7
Highest waterfall:30m
Suggested gear:1x60m rope minimum
Canyon dimensions:400m vertical 1200m horizontal
Rock:Greywacke
Anchors:Natural anchors from trees and threads, single 10mm stainless tru-bolt.
Approach time:3hrs
Descent time:6hrs
Back to your car time:30mins
Approach by car:Park at the Deception footbridge and either hitch or sweet talk a coast to coast runner into taking you back up the road to the Barrack Creek carpark.

Suggest doing this shuttle in the morning as it is a long day.
Access:Public access
Approach on foot:Follow your nose up the Barrack Creek route to the tops and along the ridge to where it swings around to the summit of Goat Hill. Find a good spot to drop off the ridge and pick your way down through the snow grass.

Choose a good spur to drop you down into the canyon as low as you can whilst avoiding as much scrub as you can. There are a handful of small scrubby waterfalls in the upper basin which are not worth the effort.
Canyon descent description:Mostly tree anchors higher up in the canyon, which slowly transitions from an open sunny alpine excursion into a bush clad slot, culminating in a massive chock stone above a long slotted section with several pitches on bolts. The bolts were placed as much as possible to be sheltered from high flows, but suggest taking a drill as a backup.

There is a couple of good jumps in the upper section (approx. 4m and 10m).

After this, there is a moderately long intermediary boulder bash, followed by some more great pitches and narrow slots. There is some interesting downclimbing in this lower section, and lots of mandatory swims throughout. Just when you are really starting to enjoy yourself, the canyon finishes and the very long boulder bash begins.

This is a long day, with a lot of pitches (30+).
Committment/Escapes:Other than the slotted sections, escape out of the canyon into the bush is easy enough. It would be a long steep sidle or climb to get out of the valley though, taking much more time than continuing with the descent.
Other notes:
First descent:John Harris, Tom Johns, 31 December 2021 (lower section descended by Troy Watson and Aaron)

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