Taranaki Hard Core

16 plus hours of plodding, scrambling, crunching, kicking and (bum) sliding, half of it in the dark, with no sleep, up one of the most serious and steepest mountains we know? Tony, Matt, Byron, Emily, Marie and Aimee all said “yes please!” (well, maybe not yes please, but at least they didn’t say no…) A … Read more

A Magical trip to the Mighty Mounga

Two weeks out from the trip, leader Debbie emailed us two plans.  Plan A would be Taranaki South Face ALP1 (M) – subject to the weather, snow conditions and avalanche risk.  Should the weather, snow conditions and avalanche risk not be to Debbie’s liking, then Plan B – a tramp around the Pouakai Loop (M) … Read more

Taranaki East Ridge

Driving up to the Sratford Plateau car park at 5.45am on Saturday morning I’m hoping someone has spread lots of grit on the road so there is no ice to cope with. It’s a mild morning and the damp road has not frozen overnight. Relieved I park and we clamber out and assemble our gear … Read more

Helicopters, Haemorrhages and Himalayan Hilarity: A Sherpa Assisted Ascent of Mt Taranaki

We met at Wellington Railway Station at 1730 on Friday night: Tony, Illona, Rachel, Becky, Meena, Dave and I. We were very interested to meet the Sherpas who were to do all the hard work. Tony introduced Illona. Hmm just the one Sherpa then – apart from Tony. We set off in the usual peak … Read more

Better luck next time

Dear Mt Taranaki, Such a tease!  Forever sitting aloof and proud on the western side of the North Island, often half hidden behind mist and cloud, giving off strong hints of, but seldom revealing, your full splendour. We were hoping we might get lucky this time. Mid-week the forecast looked promising. By Friday night I … Read more

Syme Hut

We left Syme Hut at 10.30am and stepped straight into a howling gale and horizontal hail. Visibility suddenly vanished and we were forced to quickly don sunglasses to avoid squinting into a near white-out. I looked back at the hut into the teeth of the storm and was rewarded with a painful pelting of hail, … Read more