Tūroa Skifield

(5 routes)

On and near Tūroa ski field some nice water ice can be encountered, including a couple of the most outstanding lines on the mountain. There is a good range of difficulty: the routes on the ski field are more straightforward and easily accessible from above and so readily top-roped. The routes outside the ski field boundaries are generally longer and harder.
For rock climbing see climbnz.org.nz/nz/ni/tongariro.

Walk time: 
15-90 min
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Massey Flat Waterfall WI4 40m
A couple of kilometres before reaching the skifield, the Massey University Alpine Club Hut sits at 1460m on Makotuku Flat. Clearly visible from here is a 40m waterfall which rarely freezes due to its north-west aspect and 1500m elevation.
Possibly first climbed by Massey club members in the mid-1970s, also Mark Sedon, Kane Henderson, July 1994
Broadbent Waterfall WI4 20m
Perhaps the most obvious ice route on Ruapehu, as it can be clearly seen from Turoa’s High Flyer chairlift. This 20–35m formation (depending on the depth of the snowpack) is consistently vertical and provides excellent steep water ice. It is a popular instruction venue as it is just a five minute walk from the top of the Mövenpick chairlift. Be careful at the top, where good ice frequently mutates into near-vertical mush. Often, water runs inside the pillar and there can be a dangerous hole at the top; if you fell in you would end up on the inside of the ice, which would be bad. Left and right of the main flow are two other good routes, shorter and not quite so steep.
Most likely first climbed by Massey climbers
Clay’s Leap WI2 20m
The Clay’s Leap waterfall varies from nothing to 20m high, depending on the snowpack. It is in the valley about 250m west of the Giant Café. The best time is early season (June or July). A nice stepped route, although often the ice can be brittle.
First Finger WI2 15m
Above and east of the Giant Café are several short gullies: the Five Fingers. At just over 2100m, this gully has good beginner ice in early winter or during low snow years. The main fall has three routes: the right-hand line is well-featured and off-vertical; the central line is steeper with a couple of bulges; and the left line has a short vertical section. Left again a short mixed route can be done.
Surprise Ridge Waterfall WI3 35m
Best climbed in low snow years, when it is at its highest and steepest, with a tricky overhang at mid height. This waterfall is at 1800m on the skyline ridge north-west from Turoa’s Giant Café. Grid ref 290108.
Mark Sedon, Kane Henderson, 1998


Type Title Link to edit content
Face (Alpine) Mangaturuturu Cirque (0 routes)