Peak Desire #1

I have a fascination with a mountain I knew when I was young. Then it was Mt Egmont. Now it is Mt Taranaki, having reverted to the original Maori name. This extinct volcano is located on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, and boasts being the second most “regular” volcano, after Mt Fuji in Japan. Anyway it rises about 2300m (~7550ft) from the surrounding land to a total elevation of 2518m (~8260ft).

Its been a while since I have climbed it. In March 2011 I went with some friends to have a go. Initially I was excited as the weather looked like it was going to actually be fine. However the fine weather followed on the heels of a short cold snap which we found had deposited a layer of snow on the upper reaches. A bit unseasonal, but quite the normal weather for this mountain.

Undeterred by the snow we set off before sunrise, expecting that with the now warmish weather, it would melt or at least soften before we got there. Wrong! Unfortunately the heat never quite eventuated and when we reached the snow it was still hazardously frozen showing no signs of yielding to our desires.

Oh well, another attempt failed. Still, there is another year…

NZ 201103 - 028

Mt Egmont/Taranaki before sunrise

Mt Egmont/Taranaki at sunrise

Mt Egmont/Taranaki at sunrise

Mt Egmont/Taranaki after sunrise

Mt Egmont/Taranaki after sunrise

Mt Egmont/Taranaki after sunrise

Mt Egmont/Taranaki after sunrise

Looking back from our turn-around point

Looking back from our turn-around point

Mt Egmont/Taranaki from the water tower in Hawera

Mt Egmont/Taranaki from the water tower in Hawera

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