Author Topic: Tahurangi in the winter  (Read 3471 times)

Tahurangi in the winter
« on: July 10, 2009, 02:24:51 AM »
Climbed Tahurangi (grade one mountaineering - definitely not a tramp, needs alpine gear and skills) this July on an NZ Alpine Club trip.  We had good weather at least on that day.  Snow was a bit soft and annoying but never really a problem, and no serious avalanche issue on this side of the mountain (wind had been from the south for a week and dumping snow on the north-facing slopes).  Fair bit of ice on the skyline ridge. 

Started walking from Turoa at about 6.30, reached the top of the ski-field at 8 or so, and the very top at 11.20 just before the clouds came in.

Matt Thomson took some amazing photos, the best of which I'm afraid are way too good for me to post in public.  Photos below give an idea of the day.

Re: Tahurangi in the winter
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 04:17:52 AM »

Im giving this a go in the summer, same route as you took probably.  I have read a couple of reports that it is trampable at the end of feb/ early march.  I have even read a tramping club report where an 11yo accompanied the team to the top.

Assuming there is no ice/ snow on your route what is your feel as to the possibilty??  there is no technical sections aside from those caused by the ice/ snow??  Could you describe the trip up, there just is no detail on the internet at all aside from the "ex turoa, up skyline and up to summit".  What is skyline ridge like/ how steep? any obstacles? any sections to look out for? any tricks/ routes to avoid trouble??

Obviously from your photos and what i have read elsewhere the last ridge up to the summit is a doddle but how is the trip up skyline ridge to the final summit ridge?

im definitely gonna give it a go. if i have to turn back for some reason then so be it, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. any detail much appreciated

btw, cool pix

« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 04:35:05 AM by vinodrinker »

Re: Tahurangi in the winter
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 03:38:03 AM »
The very last ridge should be straightforward, it is just a bit exposed.  It would probably be scary in a strong wind.

So hard to tell what it would be like without the snow and ice.  The skyline ridge was really heavily iced up; and where it wasn't ice it was  snow above our knees. Average angle maybe 25-30 degrees (we did measure it at one point and it was about this). I'd say it got up to about 40-45 degrees in a couple of short sections near the top, which is pretty steep.  We were in soft snow at that point, and it felt very safe, just a bit tiring.  It could actually be harder without the snow - I presume it is scree underneath with the odd rock outcrop.

We turned most of the obstacles on climber's left when we were going up skyline ridge.  That is, there are a few big blocks of rock (covered in ice when we were there) on the ridge that you wouldn't want to go straight through/over, but the way around on our left was so obviously better than on the right (where it is a steep drop down to the glacier) that it hardly needs to be mentioned.

No technical issues other than the ice and snow; we never wished we had a rope.  So I would agree it is probably trampable if you get good weather.  But absolutely, be prepared to get out of there fast if the weather goes bad!


Re: Tahurangi in the winter
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 10:42:04 AM »
Thanks Pete

ive seen some scary photos but then sometimes you look and the horizon is not straight so slope is exaggerated. slope cant be any worse really than taranaki, ngarauhoe or the last section on hikurangi. snowchicks photos make me think its definitely possible and using photos from various sources i think my route will be up skyline ridge (get across reasonably early to here to avoid any remaining p frost, and then near the top veer off slightly to the left to hit the main ridge just to the left of skyline. looks like chunky scree and semi loose rock to pick your way through. summit ridge looks broad and easy

First week of March, fit, fine day, great fcast, well equipped, with a partner, gps, map, warm gear, leave early, watch for ice and lets give it a lash

Should be fun!!  Afterall if it was all too easy why would you try?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 04:05:10 PM by vinodrinker »

Re: Tahurangi in the winter
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 03:40:03 PM »
Just posted a reply on this topic in the forums. Oh well... I don't know what it's like up there in the summer (apart from being brown and ugly), but I don't imagine you should have any problems at all provided it's not icy. It would be prudent to carry crampons just in case (you can hire these from outdoor specialist places such as Bivouac, or NZ Alpine Club).The easiest route up is a straightforward plod up Skyline. The summit ridge is not broad, but not difficult by any means. The view from the top is beautiful. Well... at least in the winter it is!
Vinodrinker, your enthusiasm for bagging this peak is inspiring. You know, you don't have to wait until the summer...

« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 03:58:04 PM by GuanoGerbil »
'There is always a risk in being alive, and if you are more alive, there is more risk' -Ibsen

Re: Tahurangi in the winter
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 11:55:00 AM »
Thanks Pete

The reason for summer is:

1 Dont have snow experience (yet). Ive never even been skiiing once!!
2 I like taking leave in summer
3 Im assuming accommodation is cheap in Kune over summer!
4 The days are long and light is friendly for longer
5 Weather is easier to take a bet on
6 I dont have gear/ clothes for a full winter assault and investing in stuff I will use once a year isnt economical

Re: Tahurangi in the winter
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 05:46:06 PM »
I took my son up to Dome Shelter in March 06 when he was 8 years old. It's the only time I've been on the mountain in summer, and I was stunned at how different it looked (although the crevasses were quite interesting!). You can see Tahurangi in the background - completely bare of snow this side, although I dare say there would more than likely still be some ice to negotiate near the top on the Turoa side.
I didn't mean to put anyone down for climbing this in the summer - I was just trying to say that it is so much nicer in winter. It's a shame more people never get to see the summit plateau in all its winter splendour. I've been up here so many times and I never get tired of it.
Vinodrinker, what I was implying is that if you are really THAT keen to bag this peak, let me know & maybe I can take you up there before all the glorious white stuff has gone. You'd only need a pair of polyprops, a cheap Warehouse style rainjacket and trousers (just in case) and some decent stiff hiking boots. Only cost would be $30 for crampon, ice axe and helmet hire which I can organise and show you how to use. If you're going to have a go at this peak, you might as well do it in style!
'There is always a risk in being alive, and if you are more alive, there is more risk' -Ibsen