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Barron Saddle to Mt Brewster, 2nd Edition

27 April 2010

A guide for climbers

A publication by the New Zealand Alpine Club. The first edition of the Barron Saddle to Mt Brewster guidebook, edited by Ross Cullen, was published in 1993. It was a pocket-size book of 160 pages, covering the Ben Ohau, Naumann, Main Divide, Barrier and Hooker Ranges. It included a basic difficulty rating for each climbing route (scramble/intermediate/technical), as well as a list of recommended climbs.

Barron Saddle to Mt Brewster guidebook, 1st Edition (left) and 2nd Edition (right)

The second edition, edited by Ross Cullen again, was published in 2o02. The layout is modified and the size increased to A5 to fit within the style of the other NZAC publications, and the number of pages augmented to 198. The contents and the structure however are the same as in the first edition. Over 150 new routes have been added, lots of new sketches and photographs, and rock climbing routes in alpine crags such as Twin Stream, Shindig Gully and Hemi’s crag. The difficulty rating of all climbing routes has been adapted to the Mt Cook scale, with grades from 1 to 7.

Ross Cullen is an undisputed authority about this mountain region, where he seems to have climbed nearly every peak. This makes for a guidebook that is both consistent and rich in first-hand information. One feature I especially appreciate is the list of recommended climbs. There is no reason why a guidebook should be limited to a mere list of mountains and ‘objective’ route descriptions – especially since the difficulty rating of routes is also highly subjective. An author may as well give us his opinion and tell us which climbs he likes the best. After all not everyone will chose to climb every single peak in the region.

A web update to this guidebook is available.


Cullen, R. (2002) Barron Saddle – Mt Brewster. A climbing guide to the Ben Ohau, Sealy, Naumann, Main Divide, Barrier, Ohau, Huxley and Hooker Ranges. Published by the New Zealand Alpine Club. 198 pages

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