CMC Otepatotu, Banks Peninsula, climbing meet on 26/9/2020

With the Wynn Irwin climbing meeting cancelled due to adverse weather conditions over the weekend, Ben Mangan organised a climbing meet at the Otepatotu crag. Otepatotu has great quality rock and offers a large variety of climbing grades, making it suitable for a wide range of climbing abilities. This makes it a good choice for learning or brushing up on trad climbing.

The climbing meet had a great turnout with about a dozen people, blue skies and surprisingly minimal wind, due to how sheltered the crag was.

Ben and Jamie Macalistair were kind enough to set up a top rope on a great section with 2 low grade trad routes that had great cracks and seams for gear placements. Chris Dewhurst and myself (Leonard) used the top rope so we could practice trad placements while mock leading. This enabled us to take a couple practice falls on the gear to gain confidence in our placements with the safety of the top rope in place. After a couple of mock trad leads, I was comfortable enough to finally lead my first trad route. After an exhilarating climb and lots of gear placements I topped out and was rewarded with stunning views of Banks Peninsula and the great feeling of finally putting all the climbing skills I learned in play.

The group summed up the day with a stop off at the Hilltop Tavern to discuss the days climbing and other past and future climbing trips over drinks and pizza.

Author: Leonard Brockerhoff