Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club

Section Event

Sebastopol Multipitch Climbing Trip

Friday, April 22 2022 — Monday, April 25 2022

The Basics
Event type: Rock climbing
Start date: Friday, April 22 2022
End Date: Monday, April 25 2022
Registration cut-off Friday, April 15 2022 5:00 PM
Trip organizers
Eve O'Brien [Otago]
Cost Approx. $20 (members) or $40 (non-members) per night plus at least $60 for fuel if carpooling
Participant Information
Who's invited Members and guests
Attendee screening Attendees are pre-screened
Maximum number of participants 14
Total number registered 9
Who's registered You must be logged in to view participant list
Main Walls at Sebastopol Bluffs


Please note that this trip is open to NZAC Members and non-members but if the trip is oversubscribed then members will be given priority.

The Plan: Multi-pitch rock climbing trip to Sebastopol Bluffs, a major crag just up the road from the Club's Unwin Lodge in Mt Cook National Park. Staying at Unwin Lodge for 3 nights and exploring the range of top notch climbing in the area. Many great walls that cater to a range of ability levels including excellent sport multi-pitch climbing starting at Grade 14 and upwards with magnificent mountain views.

The aim is to leave Dunedin by 5pm on Friday night (22nd April) and travel to Unwin Lodge - to give us a full day's climbing on Saturday and Sunday before heading back around lunchtime on Monday (25th April). Please note clearly in the sign-up form if you are interested in leaving earlier or later on Friday or if you are travelling from a different destination.

The trip leader may decide to cancel or reschedule the trip at short notice depending on weather and conditions. The call will be made on the Wednesday or Thursday before and you will be contacted via email or TXT.

Getting There

Trip participants in each vehicle will share petrol costs for the travel to and from the destination. Based on a round trip of approx. 600km from Dunedin to Unwin and back at a rate of 40c per km shared between 4 - 5 people in a car expect to pay around $50 - 60 each for fuel but due to fluctuating fuel prices this could be more especially if we have less people in a car.

It is suggested that drivers fuel up with a full tank before leaving Dunedin and then refuel once back in town to make it easy to calculate how much fuel has been used then split it between all members of the carpool group.

It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that fuel costs are recouped so talk to your passengers about how you'd like them to pay e.g. cash or bank transfer.

What to Expect

This crag has a range of walls with climbs for people of all abilities but as it is predominantly a multi-pitch climbing destination we are asking that all trip participants will have previous basic multi-pitch climbing experience including the ability and knowledge to abseil/rappel safely on their own as most of the multi-pitch climbs require multiple long rappels to descend. If you do not have much personal multipitch experience but do have a climbing buddy who is experienced and is willing to mentor you then this will be considered on a case by case basis by the trip leader. Please get in touch to discuss with Eve if you wish to come but don't have a lot of experience.

You will likely need to be comfortable belaying a lead climber and climbing as a second on multi-pitches at minimum. A reasonable level of fitness is required particularly if you wish to do multi-pitch climbs which may involve being on the wall for 2 - 4 hours.  This is not a training course and is not a suitable trip for beginners. It is important that you are able to fully manage your own safety on this trip as the group tends to get quite spread out over the big walls.

If you haven't climbed there before, you can find all the details at

Parents with young children are welcome to participate in this trip as the lodge is family friendly and there are options of activities around Mt. Cook that kids can do while parents take turns at climbing. However, if under 18s are to participate in climbing then parents must seek approval from the section first as per the section policy.

Possible Hazards

Standard rock climbing hazards such as falling, rock fall and other overhead hazards, heat exhaustion and hypothermia.

Covid 19 is a risk currently due to the spread in the community. Please get tested before the trip if you have any symptoms even if they are slight to ensure we don't spread it around. You can choose to ask passengers to wear masks in your car if carpooling and if you wish to drive separately in your own car this is up to you but be aware that we will be sharing bunkrooms and communal facilities. Obviously practise good hygiene with regular handwashing ect and practise distancing where possible. 




We have a group booking at Unwin Lodge so please let us know which nights you plan to stay if you aren't going to be there for the whole weekend. Lodge fees:

  • Member $20/night
  • Non-members $40/night
  • Members’ children (5-17 yrs) – $10/night
  • Non-members’  children (5-17 yrs) $15/night
  • If you have a child under 5yrs you must book a room exclusively as below:
  •           4-bed family room  $80 members/$160 non-members   

The Lodge is well equipped with full kitchen (with crockery ect.), showers, toilets and bunkrooms so you only need to bring sleeping bag/bedding, pillow, towel, toiletries, food, outdoor clothing and climbing gear. 

However, they do ask that all rubbish, food scraps and recycling be taken out with groups due to the lack of consistent local collection services so we will need to plan for this as a group!!

Food: We plan to cook a shared meal on the Saturday and Sunday nights, the trip leader will delegate items for you to contribute. It will probably be a BBQ on Saturday and Roast Dinner on Sunday. Please indicate any food preferences or allergies on the sign-up form. Dinner on Friday night is up to you (either eat before you come or grab something on the way as we will arrive late at lodge). You are responsible for bring your own food for 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and snacks for 3 days. Be aware that there are no cafes or shops currently open at the Mt. Cook village so bring all the food you need for the long weekend.


Climbing gear: 

Everyone is responsible for sourcing their own climbing gear but we will bring the club's ropes and a few anchor set-ups.  If you need to rent club climbing gear please contact Eve as soon as possible so that you can book what you require.   Otago has a limited range of rock climbing gear which is free for members to use or $5 per day for non-members.

Other gear: 

Trip leaders will bring a PLB & First Aid kit but please ensure you are personally well prepared for a full day in the outdoors including warm clothing and rain gear as it is a mountain type environment.


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.