Mt.Taranaki

Mt. Taranaki or Mt.Egmont, 2518 metres high to the summit is the most climbed mountain in New Zealand due to easy access and proximity to a big city. To climb this beautiful mountain, there are three approaches to the top. My choice was starting from the North Egmont Visitor Centre, near to Inglewood.

I drive to the Visitor centre the night before and stay in the car park. They keep the toilet at the visitor centre open all night, so getting water for a cuppa isn’t a problem at all.

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If you need a cozy accommodation in the mountain, the camphouse offers bunk beds for $25 a night upto 32 people or you can charter the whole for $600. It is a corrugated iron cladding barrack style building with water/electricity. Very basic though.

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I want to get down back before the sun goes to other side,so start working up around 6 AM. Weather seems to be my side with a belt of cloud winding the mountain.

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The base camp(Visitor centre) sits around 1900 metres high, and it is less than a km ascending vertically, but the sign says it requires 8~10 hours for a return.

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The first hour runs on really firm ground, partly on gravel and some on concrete steep walkway to the Translator Tower.

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Sun hits me straight at the Tahurangi hut(private club house), at which I take my morning tea, well with a million dollar view.

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When you get to the scree slope, make sure you are following the sign sticks. There is no obvious track sign here. Just use your gut feelings or follow others if there is any.

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After the loose scree, you get on this rocky terrain where you might hide your body well away from the strong wind for a break.

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You’ve got to look back from time to time, to appreciate this aerial view of the nature. The river snakes its way down to the ocean.

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Don’t sit on the edge of the cliff like this. Well it’s gonna be a hit and miss.

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Trekkers having lunch on a steep slope. Watch out, I may make a rock loose and roll it down to you.

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I see it as snow, no it is ice as hard as rock.

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This Mars bar matches well with the background looking like  I am on A little bit of Mars.

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When you stride up, you will lose half of your distance you try to get as the ground slide down. Hardest part of this climb lasts about 30 mins.

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This lady steals the title of “the first person on the summit of the day”. I get there number two.

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Did you expect something of a monument at the top? Yep this is a humble stick saying “go back”

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Lots of wind and snow field in the caldera of the mountain top.

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I get down back to the car park in 5 and half hours, and I think DOC’s recommendation of 8~10 hours is set for beginners.

Having a hot coffee at the cafe in the car park is a real reward. What a great hike.

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