Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ascent Of Mt. Doom

After a late start, I reached the summit of Ngauruhoe about 4PM--a very long and discouraging 3,800 foot grind for these old bones. The main difficulty is the ground, which is largely tephra, sharp, jagged volcanic rock that comes in every size from fine sand to large boulder. The crux of this mountain is to stay on or near the rock to the left of the white band. The white is an awful scree and talus slope that some use for descent but that is dangerous for rockfall. I used it--a slow-motion glissade lasting more than an hour--but only after I was sure I was the last person on the mountain.
On the Tongariro track, at the start of the climb; the white
slope and the rock ridge to its left

Looking across Tongariro's south crater, the Tongariro track
in plain view

A mile or so away, trampers at a high point on the Tongariro

The terrain...keep left!

The slope, variously estimated between 33 and 45 degrees

In the distance, Lake Taupo

"Smoke rises from the Mountain of Doom...the hour is late..."

Thus, up closer, near the crater rim

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Looks like Vicki is glad she stayed behind!