Well this is me at the Dome 2672m above sea level on the top of Mount Ruapehu. Behind me is the Crater Lake and behind that is Tahurangi at 2797m which is the true summit of Ruapehu (but noone ever climbs it).
This is the second time that I have summited Rupaheu the first time was in January 2004 and the two main differences between this time and last time was the lack of snow. WE HAD NONE. Not even on the summit. Last time we had snow all the way from the top of Knoll Ridge at the top of the Whakapapa Ski Field. The second difference was the amount of ash on the mountain which made the climb and descent very hard because you had to be so careful not to slip. Oh and the minor third difference was this time we got a headstart by using the chairlifts which save you 400m of climbing and 3+ hours of tramping.
This is part of the party on the summit. 12 people went from Massey Albany.
This is some of our party and a whole lot of other people at the Dome using the Dome Shelter as a wind break to stop the wind. The air temp was quite warm (a few degrees above 0) but the wind was very cold, strong and icy when it got you.
This is the Dome Shelter with the very clear warning on it about not using it unless in emergency. Something that two climbers didn’t adhere to last year and almost paid with their lives because of it when the mountain did decide to make an emergency and erupt.
This is the Crater Lake which of course is the active vent of Ruapehu and causes all the eruptions.
These two photos show the damage that is caused when the Crater Lake gets too full and a Lahar occurs.
This is Te Heuheu (2732m) with the Summit Plateau in front. On our descent we cross the Plateau and came down over the Te Hehehu Ridge which is to the left. The Plateau was full of ash that sometimes you went ankle to knee deep in.
These are groups of people walking along the Dome Ridge to the Dome.
On top of the world. Looking South. You can normally see south to Taihape, Bulls, Palmerston North etc. Of course only when there are no clouds. But look at our height above the clouds.
Looking North. You can again normally see almost to Hamilton.
Looking down the Whangaehu Glacer. This is where the Lahars generally run. You can see the Dessert Road and the Army Training Grounds beyond that.