This week saw the resurgence of traditional rock climbing at Stone Valley in the Waikato district, New Zealand. Gareth Jones, owner/operator of Raglan Rock and his trusty 2nd guide Marten Ten Broek had been itching to get back on the limestone to place some gear!
The conditions were perfect and Gareth had been eyeing up this line for a while now. He came about the route when himself and Marten were performing some mock abseil set ups for the up and coming tourist season for Raglan Rock " I abseiled down the line to check if there were enough holds for the route to link up, but that's about it. So it's about as close to an Onsight as I could make it"
With Matt Daniell on belay Gareth roped up and began to climb his way skyward. The start was a handful of exciting moves leading to some balancy gear placements, one which was a crazy thread through. Slowly and steadily he made his way up the route towards a welcomed crack system where-by he managed to place a number 4 Black Diamond nut. After that it was fun climbing leading all the way up to the top. Gareth gave the route the grade of 18 for the onsight. He named the route 'The devil wears prAna'
Story by Hilti man
Photos by Ravi Chouinard
Raglan Rock has been beavering away on their new 'Skycastle' Crag. Here is Martin Necas leading the already super classic line 'Saturn 5' grade 17. Skycastle has many plums for the picking which we found out later that day when we made an assault on the cracking new line, around grade 20. But had to bale as time got away on us. I can't wait to spend more time developing the crag and taking people here for a great days climbing.
Once again Alex Honnold is in fine form soloing up this giant line. He really is on top of his game at the moment and us mere mortals think he is out of his mind. Where-by what he is thinking and knowing is that he is in full control. His dedication and wonderful self belief lets him enjoy the ultimate freedom of the purest form of rock climbing. Hats off to this radical youngster.
Calum Muskett Leading the crux pitch of Paciencia on the North Face of the Eiger. He teamed up with rock hardman Dave Macleod on this incredible journey.Wicked job guy's, you truly rock!
For the full story check Callums blog out at
Ever since I saw this stunning cliff with a waterfall cascading from the bush back down to the ocean, I have been wanting to climb its beautiful lines. This is just the start of a long term love affair with this very special place.
I've graded 'Chasing Waterfalls' an easy 17, but full of excitement and a touch of exposure at the top.
Raglan Rock headed out for some heart pounding excitement this weekend with Alex and Catriona. We strolled through pristine native bush to a 20m cliff with a view to die for. After full instruction of how to abseil there was only one thing left to do, DO IT!!
Watching their eyes light up as they abseiled over the edge was priceless and seeing them in awe of the beauty they were surrounded by made me feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world.
Raglan Rock has been busy developing new lines out on the 'Ocean Wall' for their customers. Introducing 'Chasing Waterfalls' at the pleasent grade of 17. This climb has it all and puts you in one of the most spectacular vistas you have ever dreamed of.
Ocean Wall is set on private land and is for climbers that are climbing grades 17 and above. It offers a real sense of west coast adventure climbing. Get ready to feel exposed! Contact Gareth to organise a crowd free climbing day, one that you will never forget.
Stone Valley has seen some impressive traditional rock climbing over the last summer. Lines were being found,cleaned then climbed. Which is always very satisfying because the world is a small place nowdays and to discover new lines is becoming more rare.
He's Gareth Jones on the first ascent of 'The Gathering Storm' a two star grade 18.
Alex Honnold is regarded as one if not the boldest rock climber of our generation. Check out this short clip of him doing his thing.
19 th of June saw some impressive bouldering from our new friend Andrew Theobald who has recently moved into the Raglan area with his lovely girlfriend Sarah.
Andrew preceeded to flash a few of the Stone Valleys classics, then turned his eyes on to an unclimbed line. Andrew bagged the first ascent of 'The Gobbler' V3 on his second attempt. Jolly good show old boy!!
Raglan Rock will be running 'Bouldering for beginners' in the summer months. So if you are interested get it contact and we will get things moving.
This photo was taken last summer by our friend Paul Abbitt out at Whale bay in Raglan New Zealand. It was before I set up Raglan Rock and before we got a bouldering pad!. This climb took me ages to work the problem as I didn't have a pad, so it really was a 'no fall enterprise'. It's called 'Castles in the Sky' at the grade of V2.
It's because of this very boulder that I became insprired to set up Raglan Rock and decided that I wanted to captivate and teach people the joys of rock climbing.
Raglan Rock has been working hard and scoping out new and exciting deep water solo routes around the Raglan Whaingaroa Harbour.
Check out our lastest pictures on the Raglan Rock facebook page.