Taking a break from a long road trip to highlight one specific activation. For those not in the know we have been on the road in Au/Nz for 6 weeks now and the trip is winding down with a couple of weeks on the South Island starting later this week. However today I rolled the dice with the weather and decided to head up the North Island High Point. Mt Ruapehu is the proper name for the entire volcano, but the summit block that claims the HP is named Tahurangi. ZL1/MW-001.
This peak has only been activated once, and given some of the other issues I have been having getting contacts (that will be explained in a full write up ar a later date), I was a bit worried about getting this successfully activated on a Monday. Geoff/ZL3GA helped hook me up though with getting the word out to some of the other local cw chasers!
It was also hard finding good approach data for this peak, so well lets just roll the dice and see how we fare!
Most write ups did talk about walking up under the ski lifts and that works well, but is not the highlight of the hike. Once at the top of the High Noon chair head to the right/Easterly. There is a creek/ice field that does need to be crossed. Today there was a decent crossing however in my mind tbis was the crux and a bit unnerving. The runout would not have been good, I did find a place further downstream to cross without ice. The next goal is to make the shoulder that runs SW to NE. Take the time to notice the amazing slab that goes from about 2500M to a cliff band around 2650M. The slab is very sticky, and I found it easy for going both up and down in a straight line. Most of the tracks I found avoid the slab, but if you are comfortable on rock its safe and fun. The next bit oh fun is a lot of switchbacks, or some mild class IV climbing, but this is the steepest part of the approach.
Top out on the false summit and the last 100M is pretty mellow, do note though there is about 20-25M of a spine before the shoulder gets really mild. The drop off on both sides is a bot precipitous 🙂
The view from up here is amazing, there is a huge lake down in the crater, a cone on the other side of the lake, and a few more summits as well. The mountain did burp a couple of times while I was up there and that was a touch unnerving, but I did not see anything spewing.
This was my best activation so far of the trip, I managed to get 9 contacts total across VHF 20/30/40M (not used to getting so few, but as noted above another story for a much bigger post).