7. Te Araroa (side trip), Mount Taranaki

So, after completing the Whanagui River we decided to take a break from the trail and headed up to New Plymouth with the intention of climbing Mt Taranaki. On our drive up we didn’t even see the mountain as it was so overcast; the omens weren’t great and they weren’t improved when, after visiting the isite, we were informed we would need crampons and axes to reach the summit. That evening the clouds cleared and we got a spectacular view of Mount Taranaki from our campsite and we were desperately hoping the weather would hold for the following day.

When we saw this on google earth we had to climb it!
When we saw this on google earth we had to climb it!

We set off early and reached North Egmont to discuss our plans with the DOC warden. We decided to climb as high as we could before needing the use of ice equipment. As we set-off the mountain was still wrapped but as we climbed the summit track the cloud started to disperse, giving way to amazing panoramic views. We reached Tahurangi Lodge in good time, and then proceed to the start of the ‘real’ climbing. The track crosses a boulder field then takes a long staircase onto the biggest scree field I think we’ve ever climbed! After the scree we climbed an ever narrowing band of rock to reach the summit crater. The climb became quite a scramble towards the top but it was definitely worth it! On the way down we took the same route until the Lodge where we then chose to descend back to the car via the Holly Hut Track. All in all it took us about 7hrs, with 6hrs 20mins of moving time. It was probably one of the best walks we’ve ever done and we were certainly rewarded with good weather and amazing views!

 

Cloud clearing to reveal the summit
Cloud clearing to reveal the summit

 

Harriet jumping above the clouds
Harriet jumping above the clouds

 

Alex climbing up
Alex climbing up

 

Harriet climbing with great views below
Harriet climbing with great views below

 

At the crater of Mount Taranaki
At the crater of Mount Taranaki

 

On the way down!
On the way down!

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