Wesley Creek v5a3IV***

124 m (2 x 70 m ropes)
10 hours (5 hours up 5 hours down)
Public Access
Bolts and natural anchors

The canyon is well worth the walk up consisting of about 13 pitches broken up into 4 sections.

Section 1 (listed as the 56 m waterfall on NZ TOPO maps) is actually a couple of short down-climbs (2 x 2 m) followed by 4 almost continuous waterfalls ranging in height from 10 m up to 30 m. The 3rd pitch (15 m) uses a tree branch about 3 m up the cliff on the true left as the anchor. One end of the rope was thrown up and over this branch then grabbed on the other side, last person came down on double ropes.

Following section 1 the canyon may or may not be escapable by climbing the banks on the true left. However, it would not be an easy climb and is a long walk back down.

Section 2 begins about 500 m downriver from Section 1. Section 2 consists of 1 pitch that spans 2 waterfalls (written R5&R6 in the topo). The anchor is a tree on the true left. The full length of the pitch (both waterfalls) is 40 m. After this pitch you are fully committed to the canyon until after the 124 m waterfall.

Another 500 m downriver, section 3 contains the highest waterfall in the canyon (124 m) broken into 3 pitches (pitch 7, 8, and 9). Pitch 7 is small drop just before the big one. Stay on the rope until you reach the hanging anchors at the top of pitch 8 (requires 25 m of rope to reach these), these are just around the corner on the true left.
Pitch 8 is a little less than 60 m and ends at hanging re-belay less than half way down the waterfall. Pitch 9 is 70 m and anyone at the base of the waterfall should stand well back to avoid being hit by rockfall dislodged by those still coming down this section.

Escape may or may not be possible after Section 3 on the true left, however it would be very difficult climbing and slower going than continuing downriver.

Section 4 consists of 4 pitches ranging in height from 7 m to 30 m. Then it is about 1 km ish walk downriver to the road and bridge.

First Descent March 2019. Ashley Stewart, Tom Johns, John Harris, Tom Guy.

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