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Khyber Pass

Topo ref

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 1

This is a popular route with locals and those familiar with the mountain, it offers the quickest route to the summit. Leave North Egmont via the Holly Hut Track adjacent to Camphouse and pass by Ambury Monument after 50m. Continue up steps that lead to the base of the ‘Razorback’ ridge above Tahurangi Trig station at 1180m. Follow a well defined but, not maintained, steep track on top of the ridge to the Around the Mountain Circuit junction at 1480m. Continue directly up the ridge and then traverse west to gain the ridge immediately above the prominent rock pinnacle of Humphries Castle at 1600m. From this point the route tends to be a line of depressions and footmarks in moss and scree going in a south-west direction on the north flanks of the upper North Ridge. The route follows above and below small buttresses and outcrops with increasing exposure to the Khyber Pass gully (S Gully and Ambury Bluffs) below. A steep clean lava flow leads to the run-out of Crater Valley at approximately 2000m. The tail of the Lizard is to the east. If the snow has receded from Crater Valley the climb up the smooth lava flow is the best route, bearing more south to gain the Lizard at approximately 2300m as the lava flow ‘runs out’. Traverse south onto the Lizard and follow the poled route to summit via the North Ridge route. Alternatively, traversing further west at around 2100m will provide access to the top of the Flounder and some excellent views down into the Kokowai Valley and Ahukawakawa Swamp. Follow the ridge all the way to the crater or climb west onto Heberley Ridge directly to the summit. Winter ascents generally follow Crater Valley directly to the crater at 2440m. Descent: Via the North Ridge route.

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