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The adventures of Fe & Chris

The high life

After our failure with Mt Taranaki, we headed for some more volcanoes in the centre of the North Island - luckily there was not a cloud in the sky and we took the opportunity for a spontaneous climb to the crater of Mt Ruapehu - an active volcano which most recently erupted on the 25th Sept last year… Oh, and also known as Mordor by LOTR buffs.

We took a ski lift up to knock off a few hundred metres of the ascent and then climbed up scree, snow and rocks to get to the crater itself at an elevation of ~2673m (forget exactly) - probably the highest we’ve been on our travels so far. The crater lake was impressive and steaming, although our view was quickly obscured by incoming cloud, so we had to head back down, doing some glissading (skiing in walking boots!) along the way and stopping at the toilet perched near the top- almost obligatory to pay it a visit I thought.

Chris on Mt Ruapehu

This was a good warm up for the next day’s activities which involved walking the Tongariro Crossing -  the most popular day walk in NZ apparently, and judging by the number of people on the track (literally thousands) this claim seems quite true. The track took us up some more steep slopes (so I’m feeling fairly fit just now, although whether my knees will ever forgive me…), past Mt Ngauruhoe (AKA Mt Doom) and some beautiful lakes - the appropriately named Emerald and Blue Lakes which were rather smelly (think sulphur, think rotten eggs). I learnt another mountaineering skill for getting down mountains fast (unless you’re a wimp like me) - scree sliding - we both ended up on our bums at some point on the way down.

To add to our list of ascents we also took the side track up to the top of Mount Tongariro (only 1978m!) where we had a lunch with a spectacular view. Lovely.



  Lorna (Lil’ sis) wrote @ January 15th, 2008 at 6:23 am

Scree sliding sounds a bit like heather bashing like we used to do at Vane Farm! Lx

  Keir wrote @ January 16th, 2008 at 9:02 pm

why were you bashing heather at Vane Farm?

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