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

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