A few months ago when I first got word of the job down here in NZ I immediately started scouring the internet for some info on ski touring in the area. Within minutes a peak called Ngauruhoe was in first place on my to do list. Its a proud little volcano on the northern end of Tongariro NP, beautifully symetrical and with a relief of around 1400 metres above the surrounding plateau its a local icon. It might just have become the world's most recognized mountain profile since being used as the filming location for Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings films.
|Ngauruhoe as seen from the slopes of Ruapehu a few weeks ago.|
After over a month of waiting for a day off work to coincide with the right conditions (ie. winds less than gale force, visibility more than 20 metres), I headed up yesterday. Its been a few weeks since the last snowfall, and in the interim we've been enjoying spring like temperatures and a blazing sun, so conditions were a little "summery".
|More summit crater|
|Rime in all shapes and forms on the upper slopes|
|Post ski: snus in lip, and hiking towards a meat pie.|