Taranaki Mt Egmont

(320 routes)

A solitary peak on the North Island's west coast, the mountain dominates the landscape. Its graceful shape and visibility have made it one of New Zealand's most photographed and painted mountains. That attraction and the ease of access to this lone alpine peak have probably made it New Zealand's most climbed mountain.
Rock Climbing.
Humphries Castle a broken spine of good rock.
Hongis Valley for short climbs with easy access from Tahurangi Lodge.
Organ Pipes Valley for long sustained climbing on excellent rock.
Warwick Castle lots of quality routes, short and long.
Tahurangi Bluff only one route to-date.
Bobs Bluff a distant crag of variable rock quality.
Okahu Bluff highest and largest crag on the mountain, but only a handful of routes.
Minarapa Valley two pitch alpine style climbing.
Summit Area Crags great climbs in a unique location.

It is possible to ski on Mt Taranaki from April to February, but more reliably between June and December. Snow depths vary with up to 1.5m on the ridges and 15m in the deep valleys, with the surface conditions very changeable particularly during early/mid winter. An icy winter can make skiing on the upper portion of the mountain, above 2100m, impractical until late August. Spring skiing (September to late November) can be excellent.
Climbing on skis (skinning) has never been very popular as the terrain and usual snow type is not ideal for skinning. In most cases a skier will make faster and easier headway uphill on foot wearing crampons. A sound rule on Mt Taranaki is to always climb up the route you intend to ski down. This is in order to judge the ski route for snow conditions as hard rime, ice or spring sluffs can make unpleasant surprises.
Most of the summit runs could be classed as adventurous—in particular Surrey Road, and Pleasant Valley. Ultimately enjoyment on the day is dependent on the skier and snow conditions. Teds Alley runs adjacent to and south of East Ridge and could be described as extreme.
It is expected that those who want to ski away from the commercial ski areas should be a mountain-wise and well equipped party and at least strong intermediate skiers, preferably better—the upper slopes are continually steep. With good snow conditions skiers can traverse between routes, and very fit skiers can do two routes in one day.


Crag Access
While access can be described from the road ends, it is more practical to provide access information from Tahurangi Lodge, as it is central amongst the crags and provides an excellent base. Access to Tahurangi Lodge is gained by following the Translator Road from North Egmont (1 hour, 15 minutes), or the Around the Mountain Circuit from Stratford Plateau (1 hour, 40 minutes).

-39.295865060000, 174.063805590000
P20 018 116
BJ29 917 499
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
6.01 Crater Rim Traverse
A seldom-completed circuit of the entire crater rim. Most of the crater rim is an exposed, easy scramble in summer time; with occasional ‘crux’ sections—some parties may require a rope. Suggested direction is counter-clockwise. This would give a couple of abseils and the easier climbing. Winter, however, involves a series of steep climbs and descents over some, dubious at times, ice formations. Direction is a matter of personal preference depending on how much steep climbing the party wishes to accomplish. It is best climbed clockwise. The best time to do the traverse, in winter conditions, is late winter when the ice has consolidated.
The earliest recorded winter circuit of this route was by John Jordan, Ted Thomson, Rob Trusler and others during the mid–late 1960s.
6.02 High Level Round the Mountain Circuit
Starting from Tahurangi Lodge climb initially on the North Ridge to 1800m. Travel west on a rising traverse to the middle of the Flounder at 1950m. Continue west to Minarapa Col at 1860m. It is an obvious break in the ridge above the prominent point of Saw Tooth (1820m). Traverse Minarapa Valley under the Hammer and climb south-west to 2000m and to the base of the Turtle at 2000m. Gradually descend towards the Big Pyramid 1458m. Passing above the Big Pyramid and beneath a long line of bluffs above the Kahui moss slopes, the route goes just above Turehu Hill (1420m). A lone snow pole stands on the col immediately above Turehu hill. Cross into the Okahu Gorge and gain Hughsons Ledge at 1585m. Gradually climb to Bobs Ridge above Bobs Bluff (1967m). Descend to Skeets Ridge and traverse to Fanthams Peak (1966m). If condition are unsuitable a descent of Bobs Ridge to the Around the Mountain Circuit at 1400m and a climb up to Fanthams Peak may be more appropriate. From the top of Fanthams Peak it is necessary to climb slightly across the head of the Kapuni Gorge, and then to descend gradually to the Policeman (1876m) and to then to Warwick Col between Warwick Castle and Lion Rock. Descend into Organ Pipe Valley and traverse under the bluffs at 1500m to Tahurangi Lodge. The best time to undertake the high level circuit is early to late summer. In November and December some of the deeper gorges still have a depth of snow sufficient to ease the crossings. After March, however, the scoria on the southern slopes is liable to be frozen, making conditions difficult even for experienced climbers. Time: 12 hours (in good conditions).
6.03 Humphries Traverse 11 50m
Starts from the top end of Humphries Castle at the base of the Nose. Follow the eastern ledge to gain the mossy tussock slopes near mid height of the Castle. Climb the spiny ridge to the high point and abseil off.
6.04 Warwicks Traverse 11 80m
Travel to the bottom of Warwicks Castle. Approach from the AMC via the ridge leading to Sunnyside Wall or descend from Warwicks Col following the South Face. From the eastern-most edge—the lowest point: move 10m to the north and begin ascending steep moss and tussock ledges. Keeping near the edge. (watch for holes and loose boulders), ascend the ridge to gain the wide-open moss field. Central in this area are two large rocks wich could offer a nice lunch or camping spot. Continue along the narrowing ridge to where the spine becomes jagged and rocky, move along the top of the rocks and descend slightly to the top of El Cap Groove. Sidle along to the southern side of the ridge until it widens out at the top of sunrise. Abseil off here or continue: move along the ridge for 5m past the abseil chain then descend the north side for 3m and squeeze between two large rocks. Step along the blocks and finish with a layback to the south and down the moss slopes. Climbing the last part in reverse to the belay chain provides quick access to the top of Warwicks Castle.
Eden, Ross. Taranaki Mount Egmont; A guide for climbers. NZAC, 2003.


Type Title Link to edit content
Face (Alpine) Summit climbs from Dawson Falls (4 routes)
Face (Alpine) Summit climbs from East Egmont (8 routes)
Face (Alpine) Summit climbs from North Egmont (10 routes)
Face (Alpine) Summit climbs from Holly Hut (4 routes)
Area Summit climbs from Kahui Road (2 routes)
Crag Tahurangi Bluff (1 route)
Area Hongis Valley (48 routes)
Area Organ Pipes Valley (160 routes)
Crag The Policeman (3 routes)
Crag Bobs Bluff (5 routes)
Area Okahu Bluff Area (8 routes)
Crag Minarapa Valley (12 routes)
Area Summit area (36 routes)
Crag Humphries Castle (West Face) (5 routes)
Crag Humphries Castle (East Face) (9 routes)
Wall Turtle (1 route)