Introduction

Find out about Mount Taranaki Summit Track between May and November.

You need special skills and preparation to climb Mt Taranaki from May to November. There are increased risks from snow, ice, avalanche terrain, bad weather and sub-zero temperatures.

Track standard: Route

Track surface: Track is covered in snow and very icy in sections. Track is not marked.

Suitable for: People with mountaineering skills, equipment and experience. You must:

  • have the equipment and skills to prevent a slide on icy terrain
  • know where avalanches are a risk and be able to rescue someone if an avalanche occurs
  • have the clothing for sub-zero temperatures and be able to survive if the weather gets worse.

 

Prepare for a long, challenging day

Daylight

Allow 9 hours to complete the climb. There are between 9 and 11 hours of daylight in winter, so leave early enough to complete the trip before it gets dark. Always take a head torch.

Be prepared to turn back if conditions are no longer safe or if your progress is too slow.

Dress for cold, windy and icy conditions

On a fine day, the summit of Mt Taranaki can be at least 20°C colder than New Plymouth and 10° colder than the start of the track – subtract another 2°C for every 10 km/h of wind: eg, when it’s 15°C (50°F) in New Plymouth, a fine day at the summit will be about -5°C.

Conditions can change quickly. Layer your clothes to trap warm air in and keep cold wind out. Start with a base layer of polypropylene/merino, add an insulation layer of fleece/wool and finish with a waterproof shell layer.

Expect ice on the track between April and November. A helmet, crampons and ice axe are essential, as is competency using them. The main cause of death on Mount Taranaki is slipping on ice.

Be avalanche alert

Avalanches are a hazard. Know the avalanche forecast. Take an avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe and snow shovel, and be competent using them.

Take these essentials

  • Plenty of drinking water and food.
  • Waterproof jacket and pants, hat, gloves, sunscreen, and warm, layered clothing
  • Sturdy tramping or mountaineering boots
  • Crampons, ice axe and helmet
  • Avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe and snow shovel
  • Mobile phone, personal locator beacon (PLB), head torch and spare batteries
  • Map, compass and/or GPS

Note, there is nowhere in Taranaki to hire alpine equipment - bring your own or hired alpine equipment.

Make a plan

Talk with someone at the Egmont National Park Visitor Centre who knows the current conditions.

Check the latest:

Know the route. 

Go with a guide

Know your limits. Have a memorable and safe experience with DOC-approved mountain guides.

taranaki-summit-climber-winter-565.jpg
Mt Taranaki in winter
Image: Tim Weston ©

taranaki-summit-winter-565.jpg
Mt Taranaki in winter
Image: Tim Weston © 

 

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