Niobe North Rib

One of the most exciting and aesthetic moderate routes in the Tantalus.

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
6.1 km
Ascent
941 m
Descent
941 m
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
34˚
VIEW ON MAP
Niobe North Rib Map

Description

From the Tantalus Hut, head clockwise around the lake following the trail to the Sandspit Camp (start of route line). Climb away from the lake along the creek to Niobe Basin and then traverse up and across slopes to gain the base of the North Face of Niobe. Cross snow slopes or rock slabs to the base of the prominent North Rib.

The crux may be getting across the moat from snow onto the rock but aim for a ramp that will take you out onto the rib. Follow generally good rock with a bit of bush/heather up to a slab and steeper portion where you'll find stiff 4th class up to 5.5 climbing taking you to the summit! If you find yourself in 5.10 terrain, you're off route. Generally the crest or slightly right is the best rock. Not a great choice when the weather is wet.

From the summit, descend east on snow slopes from the Niobe-Pelops Col (as shown). If there's exposed ice on these slopes, it's easier & safer to go up and over Pelops via the 3rd class scramble route to get back down to the basin.

This is a long route so most parties will opt to solo the majority of it, if not the whole thing. Belaying the entire thing would be an all-day affair. That being said, a short rope and very small rack isn't a bad idea to have along - especially if the moat presents a big obstacle.

Difficulty

Moderate

May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The route features some exposed and/or difficult to protect sections.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Quickdraws
  • Wires and Friends

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area