Adventure, blog, exercise, lifestyle, mountain, photography, travel blog, travelling

Climbing Mount Taranaki

I wanted to post about my recent hike up Mount Taranaki, my first mountain climb!
My boyfriend grew up in Taranaki (situated in North Island, New Zealand) and has climbed the mountain once before a few years ago and since meeting him I’ve always been wanting to return to his hometown and climb the mountain with him.

It turns out climbing Mt Taranaki is extremely weather dependent. If the weather isn’t close to perfect it can be a wasted trip as the views are spoilt by cloud cover, however, we are leaving the country soon so we grabbed the chance to climb the mountain while we could!
We were visiting family and friends in Stratford, Taranaki over a long weekend and we had a 3 day window to attempt the climb, after researching the weather forecast we chose a day, crossed our fingers for good weather and set an alarm for 5.45am on a Sunday morning, ouch.
We rallied a handful of friends to accompany us on the climb and arranged a meeting point for 7am, we awoke to darkness and watched the sun rise as we made the short drive to the mountain, it seemed that the weather was going to be in our favour thankfully.

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The first 1-2 hours of the trip was easy enough following the paths up the grassy mountainside, however, the recent rain had made it a muddy mess so our feet were drenched very early into the climb. Next time I’ll be packing a spare pair of socks!
3 hours in and the climb started to get difficult, we ascended rocks and steps which later led to an extremely steep gravel slope where the phase, ‘one step forward, two steps back,’ became very relevant.

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By now my legs were starting to really, really ache, I was pretty much using my hands and feet to heave myself up over the rocks as we got closer to the summit. The last hour was challenging to say the least and the clouds had appeared around us obscuring the view but it didn’t defeat our feeling of satisfaction when reaching the top! It was fantastic being at the summit, getting to finally sit down and rest for more than 10 minutes and having a well deserved lunch break.

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Naively, I thought descending the mountain would be easier than the ascent. I was wrong.
I fell over more than once and my knees were in agony, by now I just wanted to be off that mountain. The weather turned sour and I couldn’t see more thanΒ two feet infront of me which made things so much harder. Eventually it took us just over 4 hours to get down, after the 4 hour climb upwards that was definitely one of the hardest but most rewarding 8 hour workouts I’ve ever done.

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Enjoying a spot of lunch 2,518m up!

12 thoughts on “Climbing Mount Taranaki”

  1. Bravo for giving Mt. Taranaki a go! I enjoyed reading about the ascent with its tricky spots and similarly with the descent….and especially enjoyed your photos of the views! My favourite being the ones where you are above the clouds! Sooooo cool! I have had the good fortune and pleasure of visiting New Zealand three times in the past ten years – once on the North island and twice to the South Island. I love it there! Which means that since I’ve found your blog, and you are writing about your experiences there, it just resonates with me even that much more. πŸ™‚ I wish you more fantastic and happy travels and explorations there and keenly look to reading more of your blogs and seeing more of your photos. Thanks so much for sharing your excitement!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words πŸ™‚ We recently went to south island and loved it! Just stunning. We leave New Zealand in 2 weeks but I’m sure we will be planning a return trip soon enough.

      1. Yes, there is plenty of variety on both islands that is both stunning, spectacular, beautiful, breath-taking. Once New Zealand claims your heart, you are always planning on a return trip – hahaha! And I am dreaming towards my next one! πŸ™‚ And two more weeks for you – woohoo!

  2. Such beautiful scenery! Kudos for hiking so high that you were above the clouds πŸ™‚ Do you think you would ever do that hike again?

    1. Thank you and …Yes! It’s in my boyfriends hometown so we would love to do it again in the future. Maybe hike during the night and reach the summit at sunrise, see it from a different perspective.

      1. You’re welcome! That’s great that the mountain is in such a good location for you two. Hiking at night and seeing the summit at sunrise sounds amazing! Definitely do that!! πŸ™‚

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