Tongariro Alpine Crossing by moonlight

We had this trip on the schedule back in July, only for it to be scuppered at the last minute by rubbish weather. There were only two months this year where the full moon fell on a weekend during the snowy season, and they had now passed. We’d kept this weekend free just in case … Read more

A day for summits

A pillow, curtains, carpet, even a hot shower. I like this style of alpine climbing! Staying at the lodge on Whakapapa is a great way to soften the blow of an alpine start. Our crew were up at 5am and out the door by 6am on Saturday morning, and we enjoyed the soft glow of … Read more

Girdlestone Peak, sunburn and coffee

A whole week of snow made for an ominous avalanche forecast on Ruapahu, however we knew we’d be heading up to Ohakune as we had booked non-refundable accomodation at the LKNZ hostel in the town. On the morning of departure our other two members of the team reluctantly withdrew on the basis that it was … Read more

Small steps to a first summit

Like the other snowcrafters who had recently completed the WTMC snowcraft course, I was itching to get out on a “real trip” to see what it was like. I had found snowcraft hard. The physical and mental effort required was so much greater than tramping, and I found it frustrating that I couldn’t seem to … Read more

There and Back Again

It was the weekend before last, a double bluebird day, a rarity. As a recent ‘snowcrafter’ I found myself visiting the Tongariro Alpine Crossing to get in some practice. However, my eyes were constantly drawn to beauty. Stood there, timeless, always in my peripherals, Mt Ngauruhoe. It was then I knew I had to return, … Read more

Summiting Ruapimple

Two van loads of happy WTMC trampers reached our lodge close to midnight. Everything was completely fogged in. Luckily the green lights up at XXC gave a good hint where to stop and try to find the stairs to the lodge. Most of us were lodge virgins and when we arrived we were all in … Read more

A Summer Weekend at the WTMC Lodge

Journey prep at the station after work on Friday involved us fitting five bikes, eight people and eight packs into and onto the van. The jigsaw came together well with people generally strapped in seats and bikes generally strapped to the bike rack so we had a comfortable if slow journey up to the lodge … Read more

Ski Touring from Ruapehu Lodge

There’s a good reason why it’s been several years since the last ski touring trip was held at Ruapehu. That large volcano is a magnet for wind, rain and fog but this Labour Weekend, WTMC hit the jackpot. Well, sort of. For one day, Simon, Tony, Jan, Brian, Emily, Graeme (leader) and I slapped on … Read more

Ruapehu Summits from the Lodge

INTRODUCTION The purpose of running the trip as an Alp1 “PLUS” was to give experienced Alp1-level members a chance to try something with a bit more exposure, and maybe needing the occasional rope to make crossing certain features safer. This proved to be a very popular proposal, and despite this being a Fit trip I … Read more

Squeaky Clean Ruapehu

I signed up to this trip with very unalturistic motives – I was enormously curious to see the “lodge” that everyone at the club keeps talking about. In my head I pictured one of the huts on the great walks – which most trampers consider the height of luxury – and have flush toilets, lights … Read more