Objective – Ringatoto East Ridge from Rangipo Hut

Friday – Wellington to Rangipo Hut Excitement was in the air as we left Platform 9 at 5pm on Friday – we had a great group, a promising forecast and a full moon to look forward to. 4.5 hours later we turned on to the Tukino Access Road. It’s a bumpy ride at the start … Read more

Getting mobilised – Ngāuruhoe and beyond

Some trip specifics Friday night – 2.45pm left Wellington. Arrived Mangetepōpō hut (1,190m) about 8.30pm (20 min walk in from carpark) Saturday, circa.9am (well hydrated and fed) – Tongariro Crossing track to South Crater. Track started getting icy near the top of Devil’s Staircase. Good place to put on crampons. Met tour group at junction. … Read more

Rangipo Hut

Lahar valley. Photo: Jon Keyzer

Tash was the original leader of this trip but caught covid leading up to it so handed over the reigns to me. Luckily for me she still did all the pre-trip organising, and what a thorough and excellent job she did! It was super easy for me to take over, and as a result things … Read more

I had not done the Tongariro Northern Circuit for many years so signed up for this tramp when it was advertised.  Dan was the leader but unfortunately he had to pull out a few days before we left due to blisters that he had developed on a tramp to the Kaweka range.  Luckily Dan had … Read more

Ruapehu Summit and Tama Lakes

Mt Ruapehu

At 7.45 am seven bright-eyed and eager trampers stepped out of the WTMC Ruapehu Lodge and set off up Mt Ruapehu. It was a great day for a climb—blue skies with barely a breath of wind. It didn’t take long before we left the road and stepped our way across shingle and large rocks, tinged with … Read more

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Saturday morning 6:30 we set off from Whakapapa village to join Juan to tick off his final great walk. The crisp morning led us to shatter the DOC times and tramp to Mangatapopo hut in 2:15 instead of the designated 4 hours. After a quick break we joined the refugee caravan on the Tongariro crossing. Hundreds of … Read more

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