Castle Rock – Wharepapa South

Houston we have a problem ..

What does one do when their 13 year old loves climbing outside BUT she’s the best climber in the house and isn’t confident enough to lead climb routes and clean them?

Well, my friends – you take the 13 year old to Castle Rock!

Castle Rock is a large area of pocketed ignimbrite cliffs on private farmland in South Waikato. There are 10 sectors and the lower tier has 41 climbs all of which have pull cords to quickly and easily set up top ropes (I mean – even I managed to set up the top rope (after a little instruction from a friend)).

The climbs are reasonably easy which is fabulous for our family as although Isabelle is a competent climber the rest of us would be receiving participation medals (if there was such a thing).

Even though ignimbrite is hard on the hands I really enjoyed climbing here, even if I only got in a few climbs before succumbing to an injury that had flared up the day before we were set to leave (typical right).

But as I explained to Isabelle, I enjoyed being outside in the sunshine, watching and taking photos and it’s close enough to drive back again, so it’s not that big an issue that I didn’t get in much climbing on this visit.

Isabelle and James both did some lead climbing and I made a not so valiant attempt .. *sigh* Isabelle did so well on her lead climbs, that she earned her lead licence (climber only). She also earned a “surprise” reward from her Dad – I think it’s a surprise reward as both of them have no idea what it is .. 😉

We only had Isabelle in tow this time, but we plan to put a trip to Castle Rock on our itinerary for our school holiday family road trip. Isabelle is SURE her brother is going to love it. I think love may be overstating it, but I definitely think there are enough climbs he’ll succeed at that he won’t complain when his sister wants to stay for hours.

As the crag is on private land, there is a $10.00 fee per climber per day, which I’m happy to pay for the “powers that be” to maintain the anchors and pull cords – they make a day out rock climbing super easy for newbies like us also, the facilities (toilets) are also top notch – so honestly, I think it’s a bargain!

Till next time

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