Author Topic: Ngauruhoe with GuanoGerbil  (Read 1327 times)

Ngauruhoe with GuanoGerbil
« on: April 29, 2012, 02:01:58 PM »
I did this with GuanoGerbil and a few others. Instead of taking the new ‘Pussies Staircase’ up (as my Dad calls it), we opted for the original Devils Staircase. More direct and a bit more adventurous (as well as getting away from the maddening crowds for a while!).
Definately easiest keeping to the left and climbing up the rock band on the way up the mountain itself. A lot safer too - we saw some very big rocks hurtling down the scree slopes nearby that were tripped off by people descending this way. Not a good place to be trying to climb up with people descending above you!
Instead of following everyone else straight up to the crater, we veered left as we reached the outer crater and went straight to the steam vent on the ridge nearby. This is always visible from below and it was so much fun having a sauna with the other guys in our group at the top!
We then ignored the crater again and followed the ridge from the vent on to the true summit further on. Outstanding views out over the Tama lakes and Ruapehu.
It was only after this that we dropped down into the outer crater after spotting a tiny bit of snow. We made some snowballs, carried them up to the main crater and sacrificed them to Mt Doom.
We then circumnavigated the crater rim before heading down. Very dodgy descending the first part, as it was steep enough to make it difficult not to fall on your butt. But more importantly, not to set off any rocks rolling down on the others below. Had to carefully position ourselves so there was a clear run below, and then we sucked it in and just went for it at full gallop down. A lot of fun!
Be very, very careful of rockfall both coming down at you, and of accidently dislodging rocks onto people below. Not a bad idea to wear a helmet - we saw a school group all wearing them and I can now understand why!