(8 routes)

The true summit of Ruapehu, Tahurangi has a surprising range of routes on four main ridges and the intervening faces. The ridges from Ringatoto and Girdlestone are two of the best alpine routes on the mountain.

-39.289438840000, 175.562639240000
T20 311 096
BJ34 210 480
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Crater Face
A number of lines offer different challenges. The best of the bunch, a justifiably classic approach, takes the most direct line to the summit. Watch for falling ice and surface avalanches once the sun warms the face.
Summit Col Route
Climb the slopes right (west) of the Crater Face, to reach the col immediately west of Tahurangi. Although this is a popular route to the summit, these slopes become very slushy and unstable in sunny conditions: avalanche-prone and not at all pleasant. There are much better alternatives. From the col, the easiest route heads out across southwest slopes to the south ridge, then back to the summit, although climbing the top of the West Ridge is better.
West Ridge
The full ridge starts from Pare Traverse and climbs over Te Ataahua. The only significant obstacle is a steep, often iced cliff which can be avoided by sidling. Once at the summit col, climb the ridge direct to the summit – in summer this is a lovely, blocky scramble.
Skyline Ridge
The climbers’ route of old. Best climbed in a longish day from Blyth Hut, at about 1370m on the bushline just off the Round-the-Mountain Track. Alternatively, from Turoa skifield gain the crest of the ridge as soon as possible (say, from the bottom of the High Flier Chairlift). Higher up you can enjoy expansive views out right (east) above the Mangaehuehu Glacier towards Girdlestone. From the top of the skifield, the summit of Tahurangi looks close. The broad gully directly above the skifield is an unappealing but strangely popular route; the featureless slope gradually steepens and builds exposure to where a short steep few metres take you on to the last few steps of the Skyline Ridge. On a warm spring day you’ll be trudging up along with many others taking a break from the skifield.
First recorded ascent, George Beetham, Joseph Maxwell, February 1879
Ringatoto Ridge I 1
Straightforward climbing along the elegant, low angled ridge from Ringatoto. Especially worthwhile when combined with the East Ridge of Ringatoto. There are a couple of steep steps; these can be avoided altogether by moving out onto the upper Wahianoa Glacier.
Wahianoa Glacier
Climbing the upper névé of the glacier takes you right to the top.
Girdlestone–Tahurangi Traverse
A very nice climb, in either direction, which varies in difficulty depending on your choice of route: either over the various outcrops en route, or skirting them on the Wahianoa side.
Mangaehuehu Headwall
A fine technical ice pitch with solid rock protection takes the obvious weakness in the centre of the wall. Best as an early-season winter climb.
Matt Quirke, Mike Peat, Kristen Foley, May 1996