Mount Taranaki is an iconic mountain in New Zealand. Without the right equipment, climbing to the top can be very difficult and dangerous. It is better to pack appropriately. Here’s how.
Mount Taranaki is an active stratovolcano. Which means it is much steeper than other volcanoes. Its last eruption occurred in 1854. The mountain is located in Egmont National Park and is the second highest peak in the North Island of New Zealand.
The park is named after Mount Egmont, another name for Mount Taranaki. There are also several glaciers on the mountain, including the Manganui and Taranaki glaciers, which are home to a variety of snow hiking and ice climbing.
The climate of Mount Taranaki is variable. The weather can change quickly and unexpectedly. So it is important to be prepared for all conditions when climbing the mountain.
I recently climbed Mt. Taranaki And we’ve put together a quick gear list for those that have that high on their stuff list.
Climbing Mount Taranaki, New Zealand
Fast facts on Mt. Taranaki
- to rise: 8,261 ft (2,518 m)
- Hiking season: December – April
- Winter climbing: May-November
- base for top: 5-6 hours
- Top to bottom: 3-4 hours
My four friends and I had spent the previous night in our van near the National Park Visitor Center, where 6am was the agreed-upon wake-up time to begin our trek. We left when it got bright, first a walk through a beautiful woodland area – the last trees and shade for the rest of the climb. We chose to climb via Egmont Road, one of the standard route options.
Not long after, we arrived at Hongi Valley, which consists of more than 1,000 steps. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more difficult! This led us along the following 600 metres.
Next was Scoria Slopes. They can be treacherous and icy in the winter. This is where the pole track starts, and you really start to get high. This section took about 1-2 hours.
The final 1.5-hour climbing section passes through a field of large, steep boulders. This section is called “orchid”. You’ll want to keep in mind how you’re traveling as a group, and watch for a meltdown.
Finally, you’ll reach the ‘top crater’, where it snows all year round. This place of bliss is the last landmark before the summit. When snow is present, straps and laces can be useful in addition to poles.
Once we reached the summit, we sat down to enjoy the stunning view of the Tasman Sea on one side, and the mountain ranges in the middle of the North Island on the other. It was like nothing I’ve seen in my life.
Is it difficult to climb Mt. Taranaki?
Climbing Mount Taranaki is a challenging hike. Not recommended for beginners.
The trail is steep and rocky in places, and the terrain can change from rocky to muddy, or icy to muddy very quickly. The hike to the summit can be very tiring due to the steep incline, as well as the elevation. Like other technical hikes, you’ll want to make time for landing and ensure enough time to get back to base before dark.
Note: Back down through The Lizard and Scoria Slopes is a very technical scramble, with a lot of loose rock. Poles and gloves can be your best friend on the slopes.
Mount Taranaki Basic Equipment
Mount Taranaki is a popular mountain for solo and group climbing. In either case, everyone will want to be as self-sufficient as possible, and fill out files back bag With everything they need.
You can not underestimate the efficiency Packing the backpack correctly. It’s a good idea to use a trusted file Checklist when packing. It’s easy to forget the basics when we’re not organized.
A perfect backpack to bring it will be Speed Deuter Lite.
There are two types of climbers of Mount Taranaki: those who have Trekking poles And those who do not have. Better to be a part of the first, as trekking poles can provide extra stability too Increase efficiency on the road.
The trekking pole I recommend is Z . carbon black diamond distance.
hiking shoes A must when climbing Mount Taranaki. They should be comfortable, provide good ankle support, and have a good grip to prevent you from slipping. Your feet will require comprehensive protection due to slippery rocks and uneven surfaces.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of Salomon quest 4 gore tex.
Headwear / sun hat
Hikers and climbers attempting Mount Taranaki should use a good hat to protect the head, face, and neck from the sun. Remember that the ozone layer over New Zealand is thinner, so there is a shorter path for UV rays to travel through the atmosphere – which means less protection from the sun.
first aid bag
One of the most important things to remember at any height is Bring a first aid kit. This will come in handy in case of any accidents or injuries.
Gloves are necessary for climbing from the base to the top. The upper third of the mountain has a grade 2-3 climbing and scrambling section. Unless you have trekking poles, I recommend a sturdy pair of gloves to protect your hands from the cold and also from any rocks or debris you might come across while climbing.
Be sure to pack other outdoor essentials such as a map of the area, food, water, and sunscreen. With these packed items, and a bit of research on what to expect, you’ll be ready for an adventure up Mount Taranaki!
All in all, this is a great mountain to climb. Fresh air, stunning landscapes and an epic sense of accomplishment await you at the top.
About the author: Ciaran Coughlan grew up in Ireland but currently has base camp in Sydney, Australia. He has climbed to the highest peaks in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland and enjoys exploring the national parks and Sydney trails on weekends.