Image of the July 2013 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
July 2013 Issue
Home / Articles / Waypoints

In the hearth of Mordor

Ngauruhoe, with neighbouring Ruapehu and pale Taranaki in the distance, creates an exceptional camping spot. Photo: Jakub Cejpek
Time
4-5hr
Grade
Moderate
Access
Mangatepopo car park
Map
BJ34

Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park

Fighting against the tide of Tongariro Alpine Crossing day trippers, we started out from Ketetahi car park with large packs loaded with gear to aid our climb of Ngauruhoe.

As we climbed the upper slopes of Ngauruhoe, dark clouds began to gather and walking among the hot smoky fumes at the edge of the crater created an end of the world feel to the location.

There was plenty of snow at the summit for us to pitch our tent. The darkening clouds promised a storm, so we set the guylines tight with ice-axes, trekking poles and rocks buried deep into the snow. We were prepared for a blustery night, but we slept well and woke early to a surprise: in the early dawn light we could make out the clearest of skies with many stars still visible.

Still in our warm sleeping bags, we left the door to the tent open and enjoyed the best breakfast panorama imaginable.

I have spent many nights in colder and higher mountains, but this is one night I will never forget.

– Jacob Cejpek

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.