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A mate and I tried to find the rap point to Arthur's Circus - Mt Wellington, and we failed!

The guide provides the details provided below, however they proved insufficient for our abilities :(

After driving to the top of the mountain, then walking down the track to the top of The Columns, we spotted a massive cairn located south, presumably above Central Buttress. We made our way to this cairn, however once there we were unable to find any rap point. From my marvellous vague description, can anyone shed light on where we were supposed to go from there? Had we perhaps found the "prominent cairn" mentioned in the guide? We were looking for some rap rings, however is one supposed to build an anchor at this point? What route is the big cairn above?

Much thanks to anyone who can help! :)


taken from thesarvo...

Arthur's Circus

First of all, however, high on the L at the top of Pooch Gully, is a large reddish wall, Arthurs Circus, with a prominent inverted L-shaped crack. The routes, Line Tamer to High Wire, are probably best located from the top by following the cliff line round to south of the Bert's Fear top abseil (GPS MTW170. Note this abseil is below the cliff tops so don’t go down to it), then continuing easily on past Pooch Gully, still along the cliff tops, and descend to the top of the Circus. A prominent cairn can be seen at the top. (built May 2008). From here, abseil in. Alternatively, scrub bash up Pooch Gully... ouch. Positioned at the top of the cliffs Arthurs Circus catches the sun and is a good location for the cooler months. It is only 15 minutes walk down from the top of the mountain.

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  1. You don't seem to be having much luck with this "bogus" guide, Ben! No rap station, rig your own, and check the location of routes from the top as suggested in the Guide. They are actually quite easy to identify but it may be worth a good look from the bottom to check out landmarks next time you are up on the mountain. Access to fixed rap stations, if there is one, is marked in the text for each climb.

     If/ when you find where everything is, we would welcome any suggestions as to how to improve the info on this area. The mountain is very complex from the top and landmarks few and far between - I seem to remember the cairn is just generally in the right area as the routes are relatively close together. Haven't personally been up there for a year or two but Phil and Kim added a couple of new lines last year and they would know.

  2. Tony pretty much summed it up. Finding routes from the top of the mountain is always hard. I also had trouble finding Arthurs Circus the first time.

    Ben check out the topo for the whole pipes and compare to pic below and that should give you a better idea of where to go.

    Also when you are at the top of the cliff try and look for the top of flange buttress where Fiddlesticks finishes for a point of reference.

    Hope this helps

  3. From Phil:

    Yep. You found it. Kim and I built an obvious large cairn at the top of Arthurs Circus, easily visible to the S as one heads
    down toward the Columns. There are no other cairns around at the present time.
    Just put a sling or two around a piece of rock and abseil 50metres.

  4. Ben Wiessner AUTHOR

    Thanks a bunch fellas! Much appreciated. Next time I'm up there I won't go hunting around for rings :)

    Good cairn construction Tony & Kim, inspirational stuff! That sucker is visible from a mile away

  5. Ben Wiessner AUTHOR

    Dean and I had fun dithering around at Arthur's Circus yesterday. For those who want to get oriented...

    A few metres below the big ol' cairn is a tunnel in the rock, through which you can see the finish of "What a Circus".