Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club

Section Event

Mt. Somers Trad Climbing Trip

Friday, November 15 2019 — Monday, November 18 2019

The Basics
Event type: Rock climbing
Start date: Friday, November 15 2019
End Date: Monday, November 18 2019
Registration cut-off Monday, November 11 2019 11:00 AM
Trip organizers
Eve O'Brien [Otago]
Cost Mt. Somers Domain Campground = $20, Pinnacles Hut ($15 x 2 nights = $30) Fuel = approx. $40-50 per person if 4 people in a car
Participant Information
Who's invited Members and guests
Attendee screening Attendees are pre-screened
Maximum number of participants 12
Total number registered 0
Who's registered You must be logged in to view participant list


This is a trad rock climbing meet, not an instruction course, and participants are to provide their own rock climbing gear, safety equipment and camping equipment. 

We plan to leave Dunedin by 4pm on Friday 15th November and drive to Mount Somers Domain Campground for the night (approx. 3.5 - 4 hours drive) The pub is 20m across the road from the Domain Campground and we can have our evening meal here, or eat takeaways on the way. Camping is $20 per tent, with showers and kitchen. 

On Saturday we will pack up early and drive from the Domain to Sharplin Falls Reserve (13.3km,13 mins by car). We will walk the Sharplin Falls Track to Pinnacle Hut Track, 5.2km, 3 hours.Once we have dropped gear it’s time to climb….sunrise is 5.51am and sunset is 8.38pm… until Monday morning.

Due to the walk in required for this climbing area we plan to take Monday off work so that a full day of climbing on Sunday is possible. Early birds may also want to squeeze in some morning climbing on Monday before leaving Pinnacles Hut mid morning for 3 hour walk out to Sharplin Falls carpark. Planning to be back at cars around 1:30 - 2pm before driving back to Dunedin (those who need to leave earlier are welcome to head out whenever it suits them...please note your plans in the sign up form).

Would aim to be back in Dunedin by 6pm Monday.

Pinnacles Hut is a popular hut and online bookings are now required in advance (sleeps 19 on single and double bunks). Due to demand I would recommend booking beds as soon as you sign up to the trip. Cost is $15 per night. Water is supplied from either a rainwater tank or directly from a stream. All drinking water should be sterilised, filtered or boiled for 3 minutes before use. Hut has a wood or coal burner for heating but cooking facilities and utensils are not provided. There are also several campsites near the hut if you would rather tent.

To book follow the sign up link on this page:

Climbing at Mt. Somers is mainly top quality trad lines in a variety of grades on impressive columns of volcanic Rhyolite. 

For more info on the amazing rock climbing can be found at

Pinnacles Hut Area, Mt Somers (106 routes)

Tumbling down the north side of Mt Somers are huge columns of rhyolite which form one of the best climbing areas in Canterbury. The routes are long and sustained outings up grooves and arêtes up to three pitches high. Over the past two years these, together with andesite pinnacles lower in the valley, have been developed mostly by a small group of Oamaru climbers. There are now over 60 routes, grades 9 to 25, with potential for many more.

For more info about the walk in track and topo map location see below:,171.3752&z=14&pin=1&lbl=Mount%20Somers%2C%20Canterbury%20%28-43.6211%2C%20171.3752%29

Getting There

We will aim to carpool from Dunedin leaving at 4pm to arrive in Mt. Somers Domain Campground by 8pm on Friday 15th November. Then will drive back to Dunedin by 6pm on Monday 18th November. Happy to pick up people along the way if we have space. 

What to Expect

  • 3 hour solid hike to Pinnacles hut and then at least 1 hour walk/scramble up steep hill to climbing areas.

  • Need a reasonable level of tramping fitness as the 3 hour tramp to Pinnacles Hut is a rough tramping track with several solid climbs and you will be carrying a heavy pack full of camping gear plus trad climbing gear.

  • Must be comfortable belaying and preferably leading trad climbing outdoors. If you are not comfortable leading trad then you would need to pair up in advance with someone who is happy to lead and has own trad gear.

  • Must be able to clean an anchor and set up a rappel safely.

Possible Hazards


  • Must have own safety gear (helmet/PAS etc)

  • Must have full personal climbing kit including own trad climbing gear or organise to share with someone else.

  • Guidebook or printouts if you have them are recommended.

  • Clothing and equipment for 3 days in an outdoor environment that can have extreme weather including snow at any time of the year. Rain jacket and pants plus warm layers e.g. down jacket, polyprop top/bottoms, fleece.

  • Camping gear for tenting at Mt. Somers domain for one night plus staying at hut e.g. tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag. There are currently bunks available in Pinnacle Hut via online booking system but if you miss out on booking a bed then you will have to tent.

  • We cook together as a group for evening meals on Saturday and Sunday in groups of four (max), to save weight carrying in surplus fuel bottles and pots. Please bring own breakfasts, lunch, snacks and trip leader will delegate items for you to bring for shared dinners.


Click the button below to be taken to the sign-up form. If attendees are not screened, then you will be automatically added to the participant list.

For screened events, the trip leader may contact you for further information about your experience and skills.

The start date for this event has passed.