2003/10 First Ruapehu climb .

During my first Tongariro crossing  I had mentioned climbing Ruapehu and someone convinced me to do a snow-craft course first . I did one and learned a lot [ basically that I would not have survived without it !] . I eventually bought some decent gear and contacted someone from the alpine club and told them that I would like to go with on their next climb . 
So it was eventually organized and three of us went up .
We spent some time practicing self-arrest techniques in case someone slipped on the ice .
I had done this a while before but also had to practice again for a while .
Then we started climbing .

 I had to keep stopping to wait for the slow-coaches to catch up .

It was a rather [thankfully ] uneventful climb and after about 3 1/2 hours we were at the top and went for a walk around the crater .

There's a hut on top - mainly for instruments to collect data to help predict eruptions . You are not really allowed to stay in it but it can be used for emergencies . But first you have to climb on the roof and find the top hatch when the front door is behind 5 feet of snow and ice .

The clouds started clearing which gave us some pretty good scenery



It's quite good being above the clouds and I'll be heading back there some time . We were pretty lucky with the weather - actually it was good weather on top but not so good down below when we headed back .

Looking through these old pictures makes me start wishing for winter again !