Climbing

Climbing Montage - Panyes Ford

Welcome to Paynes Ford and the Golden Bay climbing xtravaganza. Here you will find enough hard rock to wear out a Husqvarna Jackhammer. Even Gabe Walker (Stallone/Cliffhanger) would be nanna-napping after a day on Paynes’ steeps.

You have two main crag options for climbing in Golden Bay, with a few other off-track spots scattered around. However, between the bush clad limestone bluffs of Paynes Ford and the sunbaked Pohara Sea Cliffs you have over 300 climbs to keep you pumped for months on end. Route guides for the crags are available at the Hangdog office.

The high majority of the climbs are single pitch sport routes with fixed protection and lower offs. A rack of 10-15 quickdraws, some ‘biners, belay devices and the other basic necessities will generally see you right. Some routes can require some extra natural protection, and there is the occasional trad route, so if a small rack of trad gear might be handy for the more adventurous.

A standard 50m dynamic rope will get you up and down most of the climbs, with one or two at Paynes and a few more at the taller Sea Cliffs requiring a 60m rope. Nearly all of the climbs have lower off/ abseil anchors at the top, and while lowering is the easiest descent, abseiling is recommended to preserve the anchors, your rope and the rock.

If you’re worried about not having enough equipment, all of the basics (except ropes) are available for hire at Hangdog as well as plenty of helpful hints and tips.

Here’s a rundown on what you can expect at each of the crags: