Author Topic: Syme Hut to Summit & Back to Dawson's Falls Visitor Centre  (Read 1574 times)

Syme Hut to Summit & Back to Dawson's Falls Visitor Centre
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:56:56 PM »
Having spent a very cold, wind chilled night at Syme Hut (see the Fantham's Peak trip report), we got up early in hope that a clear weather window would give us the opportunity to scale the southern, un-marked route to the summit. Our early start meant we witnessed the most incredible sunrise over the distant Tongariro National Park peaks.

As we climbed Taranaki away from Fantham's peak we felt privileged to be able to view no less than FIVE national parks. Obviously we could see Egmont, also there was Whanganui & Tongariro, however we were amazed to see all the way to Kahurangi and Abel Tasman.

We made a point of following the dry stream beds as high up the scoria slopes as be could. We then tried to follow the rough zig-zag tracks wherever we could, however we still strayed onto the loose and treacherous marbles and tennis balls and then it got real hard to progress. However after about 2hrs we made it to the edge of the crater. Again the sights were spectacular. There seemed multiple options for getting to the summit but we opted for the straight up the middle approach. We weren't quite the first to the top but the were less than 6 people to have to share the summit with. After a bit of morning tea we started our descent as the cloud began closing in again.

It helped descending the unmarked path in the cloud because we noted all our landmarks when we were climbing. We also developed a great technique for descending the scoria, which meant seeking out the softest and loosest places on the slope. It was actually really enjoyable. Eating a bit of lunch in Syme Hut and packing up all our overnight gear meant we were on the track back to Dawson's by 1pm. Having learnt  to use a stick these days, has saved me a miserable knee destroying experience when descending all those so many steps. I don't think I would have made it otherwise. However the getting back to the car park for 4.30 was a wonderful feeling of achievement.

At a push you might do the southern route from Dawson's in a day but why would you??? The stay at the hut is definitely the way to go. If I could have stayed 2 nights, it would have been even better!!!
Fortune Favours The Brave or The Unlucky Learn To Be Cautious?

Re: Syme Hut to Summit & Back to Dawson's Falls Visitor Centre
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 08:03:29 AM »

Sunrise across Tongariro NP.

Syme Hut as we climbed away.

Climbing into the southern side of the crater

Views from the Summit.
Fortune Favours The Brave or The Unlucky Learn To Be Cautious?