13 November, 2008

Ruapehu: Camping and Traversing

Just a quick post to put up a link to some photos from last weekend at Ruapehu. N., Erich, Bruno and I drove up to Whakapapa after work on Friday and headed up the mountain. The ski field on that side had been closed for a month or so and snow conditions were perfect. 20cm of fresh snow from earlier in the week, no tracks, no ice. We were a bit slower than expected and so camped at Knoll Ridge rather than on the summit plateau as we first planned. Woke on Saturday to bright sun with neither a breath of wind nor a cloud in the sky. Packed up, stashed the tents near the groomer shed and headed up to the summit plateau. Perfect snow conditions for walking most of the way. We didn't need crampons until going up the crater wall. We ate lunch on the crater wall above the plateau then had a quick look at Dome shelter and the crater lake before making a quick side trip to the summit of Pare-te-tai-taonga, the second highest peak on Ruapehu (I think). Bruno and I then traversed across to Turoa ski field, laughing at the ant trail of skiers and snowboarders sloooooowly inching their way up to the summit saddle (Turoa ski field had been open that day), while N. and Erich skied/snowboarded back down Whakapapa to the car, before meeting us at Turoa carpark. Anyway, here are the photos. The Picasa gallery features some from Erich and Bruno too.

08-11 Ruapehu Traverse