Weekend Trip - Saturday 20 August 2011 to Sunday 21 August 2011

The perfect climb on a perfect weekend.

After big storms and heavy snow drifts we were uncertain of conditions and started out very cautiously. In from Mangatepopo, what we got was crisp ankle-deep snow, no glassy ice, minimal wind and clear skies. Stunning views of the Kaimanawas and Mt Taranaki.

 As perfect as it gets on Ngaruruhoe! We all successfully summitted Mt Ngauruhoe, most in around two-and-a-half hours. I was the slow old plodder taking three-and-a-quarter hours but, whoosh! down I slid to the saddle in twelve minutes. Exhilarating! No falls or gear failures, and fantastic conditions especially for beginners.

On to Oturere Hut for the night via the short cut under Red Crater. Next day over Emerald Lake and Red Crater to summit Mt Tongiriro and back to the bus.

The big crisis occurred atop Ngauruhoe. Most of Max’s lunch had been left behind at the saddle and he dejectedly munched his dry crackers with a quivering bottom lip. Great weather made this the best! Thanks to Ian and Max for their alpine expertise. Congrats to Simon, first time in the snow.

Participants: Carol E (leader and scribe), Max C, Kathy E, Margaret L, Boyd G, Simon B (photo), Graeme P, Ian S, Gary W, Dennis B, Cory H.