Feb 22, 2013 · 5:00 PM
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Time: 5 - 6 hr to summit, 8 - 10 return
Difficulty: Difficult! Steep and exposed in sections!
The plan for this tramp is to climb from the Dawson Falls visitor centre to Syme Hut, a strategically located hut on the 1962m Fanthams Peak, a subsidiary volcanic cone to the south of the main summit.
This hut offers exceptional views of Mt Taranaki and surrounding areas, all the way to Ruapehu in the distance:
Once there, we have two possibilities depending on the weather:
- we can unload our packs and push on to the summit of Mt Taranaki, and come back to the hut for a well deserved sunset.
- or if the weather looks better on sunday, we can spend the rest of saturday in the hut and climb to the summit on sunday morning.
Either way, we go back down to the carpark on sunday and drive back to Wellington.
This is very much a good weather tramp, the last section between the bushline and the hut will be very exposed and the climb to the summit even more so. Mt Taranaki is extremely unpredictable in terms of weather, even on relatively good days, so this tramp will only go ahead with a favorable forecast and will be subject to last minute cancellation. Plus it is quite a long way and it would not be much fun to drive all the way to find the mountain completely in the clouds!
In terms of difficulty, it will be a long and strenuous climb (roughly 4h to the hut and another 2h to the summit, 1600m climbing), with a lot of scree slope toward the end. I don't think ice axe and crampon should be necessary but I will check with the DOC.
In terms of logistics, the idea would be to leave on friday around 5pm and drive to the campsite a Patea, which will leave only one hour left to drive on saturday morning. I will have my car and can take two more.
You will need to have good tramping gear (windproof, waterproof and warm, including a warm sleeping bag) and have all your supplies and hut pass (the normal $5 pass) and a tent. We might hire a beacon due to high risk on the mountain. Cost will be split between us
Note - this is a tramp for experienced and fit people only. If you've got any questions get in contact with Geoffrey first