Ringatoto Pk

(7 routes)

The north-east face of Ringatoto dominates the view from Whangaehu Hut, providing much of the alpine atmosphere: in other words it is big, steepish, and loose. The East Ridge and North Buttress, however, are Ruapehu classics.

-39.288409180000, 175.577359200000
T20 323 097
BJ34 223 481
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
East Ridge 1000m
This excellent climb mixes easy to moderate rock scrambling with harder cramponing (depending on the season). Some great exposure and views. The route is best begun from Rangipo Hut (one hour from the Tukino Road via the Round-the-Mountain track). Head up broad slopes which merge into the ridge proper. Follow the crest of the ridge all the way to the summit, except for one or two gendarmes that are sidled on the Wahianoa side of the ridge. Descend the same way. An alternative approach from the Tukino road-end heads more or less due south over the gullied terrain of the Whangaehu valley to reach the bottom of the ridge. Continuing from Ringatoto to the summit of Tahurangi is well worth while.
Tufa Spur 1000m
A different approach to the East Ridge. From the edge of Karioi Forest, on the east bank of the Wahianoa River, make your way along the spur above the valley to join the ridge at 2100m. Seldom climbed.
East Face 600m
This face has been climbed in summer – but it didn’t sound all that great: “Work east along the shelf below the steepish lower wall then scramble up an easy gut on the left (east) of the easternmost small waterfall. Easy, tiring, much zig-zagging on patches of snow and crumbling rock. Not recommended” (Tom Barfoot, 6 January 1973). While there is some danger on the face in warm conditions from falling ice and rock, it presents few difficulties under good snow cover.
Bolt Burgess Nankervis 450m
From the turn in the Whangaehu valley, climb the extreme edge of the East Face, just under the North Buttress.
Clive Bolt, Phil Burgess, John Nankervis, 9 February 1969
North Buttress 450m
Pleasantly exposed and varied mixed climbing. Start on the edge of the East Face, up to some interesting slabs to reach the ridge proper. A short steep section on the ridge, then straightforward climbing. The difficulties can be avoided by beginning up a snow couloir east of the initial tower. “I have used this route to introduce North Island climbing partners to conditions other than steep snow and ice slopes. I recently climbed it with a friend to ‘approximate’ conditions on the summit rocks of Mt Cook. It’s not a great substitute, but it is probably as good as one can get up here, and certainly the rock is as bad as anything at Cook.” – Bruce van Brunt
From Upper Whangaehu Valley
Access to the Mitre–Tahurangi col is more difficult since the eruptions of the mid 1990s. Take care picking a line through the steep section just below the lip. Without snow cover these slopes can be dangerously unstable.
South East Face 900m
Relatively long and remote, although not much more than a snow plod. Probably best climbed in early winter, and certainly when hard, icy conditions prevail.