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Taranaki Mt Egmont

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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.
For rock climbing on the mountains see
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.

POINT (174.06380559 -39.29586506)
BJ29 917 499

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).

Add Place Add Route


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
6.01 6.01Crater Rim Traverse

  • P1

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.

6.02 6.02High Level Round the Mountain Circuit

  • P1

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).

Eden, Ross. Taranaki Mount Egmont; A guide for climbers. NZAC, 2003.