Progress on Pakeho crag

ACAT has been working behind the scenes toward re-opening Pakeho crag, and has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the landowners and started re-bolting the crag.

Pakeho is a beautiful limestone crag in the Waitomo area popular with beginner-intermediate climbers and instruction groups. It was closed in 2022 for reasons including insufficient support from the climbing community.

Climber on a limestone cliff above native bush at Pakeho crag

Pakeho crag, west of Te Kuiti, Waikato. Photo: Chris Hailey.

Agreement with landowners 

Over the past 18 months ACAT has been liaising with the landowners to find a solution, and we recently agreed on the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding. This includes some key conditions:  

  1. ACAT will coordinate efforts by the climbing community to maintain safety check climbs and if required replace climbing anchors or installations that don't meet the NZAC Bolting Standards.  
  2. ACAT will develop and manage a booking system so climbers can register for each day that they access the crag. There is a daily limit of 25 climbers and 5 vehicles.  
  3. ACAT will install information signage and assist with maintaining a toilet at the crag.  
  4. ACAT will encourage climbers to donate to the Pakeho crag, which will support the landowners’ native replanting efforts.  

Re-bolting project 

We have assessed the existing anchors and found that unfortunately, most do not meet the NZAC Bolting Standards which require stainless hardware. Corrosion was observed on some galvanised steel anchors. 

As a result, we have committed to a major re-bolting project to replace existing gear with glue-in 316-grade stainless steel, including rap rings that will increase the longevity of the anchors. Chris Hailey is leading this work, which is well underway.  

We still have a lot to do before the crag can be re-opened, and there will be ongoing work to manage bookings and maintain relationships.  

So, if you want to climb at Pakeho, we need your support! Join us as a regular donor.

Alloy corrosion on red carabiner at Pakeho crag.

Alloy corrosion on equipment at Pakeho crag. Photo: Chris Hailey.

Thank you 

Massive thanks to:  

  • The landowners for their incredible goodwill toward the climbing community.
  • Myles Perry for leading this project on behalf of ACAT.
  • Chris Hailey for his mega re-bolting effort.
  • Aspiring Safety and Ramset Reid for providing us with substantial discounts on gear.
  • The Tūpiki Trust, NZAC Bolting Fund, and Kimi Worrell Fund for contributing to the re-bolting project.
  • The original developers for establishing such a great crag.

Reminder: the crag remains CLOSED until further notice.