John C Bidwell, an arrogant British trader, made the first ascent of Ngauruhoe in March 1839 against the express wishes of Te Huehue the Tuwharetoa chief. Then after his climb Bidwell proclaimed to an angry Te Huehue that he was greater than the mountain god because he alone had stood on the top.
Bidwell used a route up the north-west slopes which is now regarded as the standard ascent and which has been followed by thousands of other climbers. This route in summer is a straightforward, if frustrating, scramble up the loose scoria slopes but with the inherent dangers of falling rocks especially those dislodged by any others above.
I recently spent several lovely days wandering through some of the less-trodden places in the Tongariro National Park and in one of the more remote areas I unexpectedly came across a route up Ngauruhoe that has never been reported but which appeared to be the simplest and easiest imaginable way to the summit (refer to the picture). All that is involved is a short sandy slope and then a final step right on to the top.
I passed by the opportunity to try the route as I had other places to go but if you like the look of it and would be interested in a probable first ascent then, to get more information, send a self-addressed return envelope to the journal editor, not forgetting to include your bank account number and password.
But now that I have your attention perhaps you also have made a recent discovery in the hills somewhere like the one above that you could let others know about it. Or maybe you have made a trip that was a bit special, or was just a nice outing and you could write a story that could be included in this year’s club journal. Because at the moment the journal consists of the title and contents pages and one story about someone called Arthur Range whoever he was and that’s it.
You don’t have to be a gifted writer because the editor’s job is to help you get rid of those pesky speeling mistakes and grammatical error’s.
So how about getting to and writing between 1,000 and 2,500 words. Add a few nice photos and send the lot to firstname.lastname@example.org. Become famous in the WTMC – you will be popular and people will like you and want to go tramping with you. And the journal editor won’t be so bored.