From the Tūkino ski field car park at 1700m, climb the rocky spur south of the upper rope tow. Avoid the gully on your left (south) at all costs; it can harbour a significant avalanche hazard. A poled route leads up in a westerly direction, past a large lava outcrop (the Luncheon Rock) and crossing several shallow gullies, to a prominent marker pole at 2150m. From the marker pole, the NZAC Whangaehu Hut can be seen about 100m below to the south, perched on a spectacular bluff above the Whangaehu River. Pick a traverse line across and onto the lower Whangaehu Glacier. Take care here: these slopes can get very icy. In good snow conditions it’s possible to keep fairly high, but often it is better to descend to about 2000m and then traverse across and down into the valley. Once on the glacier it’s a long, steady climb up the gently convex slope.
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