Saturday 8th February 2020
February Open Climbs
Each year on a single day in February, we take up to 200 members of the public to the summit of Mount Egmont and back. It's a mammoth but highly rewarding day both for the public who get to the top and the club who hosts them. With our guests plus our 60 or more volunteers along with other members of the public independently on the mountain, there can be upto 400 people reaching the summit on that day.
NZRA Outdoor Awards - Highly Commended
The NZ Recreation Association Outdoor Awards recently awarded Taranaki Alpine Club a Highly Commended in the 'Visitor Solutions Outstanding Event Award' for its Open Climb event recognising one of the many ways in which we seek to inspire & encourage others into our beautiful and shared mountain environment.
Open Climb 2020
Saturday 8th February is the official Open Climb day.
In case of bad weather, Sunday 9th February is held in reserve as the postponement date (one and only).
On Saturday watch our Facebook Page from 4am for the 'Go' or 'No-Go' notice. Updates may also be posted from the Friday morning.
Plan to get up early checking our webcams and the status!
Follow our Facebook page and Open Climb event for updates.
Open Climb Status
Follow our Facebook page for live status updates on the morning in question.
How to get there
Access is via the Stratford Plateau where there is both long term parking and toilets.
- Drive or get dropped to the Manganui Ski Field car park via the Pembroke Road entrance to the Egmont Nation Park. (1172 m)
- Walk approximately 30 minutes via Manganui Gorge Track to the Ski Field ( 1260 m / more toilets available)
- Continue walking 60-75 minutes on to Tahurangi Lodge. (1520 m)
Plan to arrive at Tahurangi Lodge by 7:00am when the first party will leave; our last party will depart no later than 8:00am. Note: The only public toilets after Manganui Ski Field are in the DOC building 150m below Tahurangi Lodge.
Parking at North Egmont is very limited so please only be dropped to this location or use the easier East Egmont approach.
The walk from the Stratford Plateau takes approximately 30 minutes longer than from North Egmont, but the vertical height climb is less. Taranaki Alpine Club volunteers will be positioned on the route from the Stratford Plateau to assist with directions.
On the Climb
Detailed photos of the trip can be found on our Facebook page in our Key Locations album.
- You'll be placed into parties of twenty and escorted by a Party crew of at least two members of the Taranaki Alpine Club.
- We will have medical and other specialist teams on the mountain all day, and all are in constant radio communication.
- The summit of the mountain has special cultural significance to Tangata Whenua (local Maori/Iwi).
The Important Stuff
- For safety reasons, the Club reserves the right to send anyone down it believes is unfit to complete the climb.
- If you have a medical condition that may potentially affect you on the climb, we need to know beforehand.
- We reserve the right to decline your participation or to refuse participation on the day, of anyone coming unprepared, being unwell, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Taranaki Alpine Club reminds you that mountaineering can be hazardous. The Club takes due care to manage and minimise the risks but cannot eliminate them. Of the many inherent risks of mountaineering, the risk of being hit by falling rock, falling/stumbling, lack of fitness, underlying health problems and the effects of adverse weather are the most likely to adversely affect participants. If you are not able to meet the requirements detailed here, or are unable to accept the risks, do not participate in this Open Climb. The Club does not accept liability for any personal accidents, personal injury, equipment loss or equipment damage on the Open Climb.
One thing we cannot control is the weather. With the number of people involved and the varying range of experience and equipment, the Club takes a conservative approach to deciding whether the climb should proceed or not.
What you'll need
- 2L of water - you should take at least two litres of water on the trip from the Lodge to the summit
- Sun hat
- Sun block SPF15+ and lip sun block.
- As an option, we recommend an old, long-sleeved business shirt
- Raincoat or weatherproof jacket.
- As an optional extra, we recommend over trousers or leggings
- Jersey or jacket of insular material
- Warm hat or balaclava
- Warm trousers or track pants
- Woollen mittens or ski gloves
- Lunch and snacks
- Sturdy footwear is essential. We recommend tramping boots with good ankle support.
What might help you
- Trekking poles: great knee savers. Consider a short pair of ski poles.
- Putties/gaiters: these stop the stones getting in your boots when coming down.
- Camera: brings the sun out.
- First aid kit and plasters for any blisters. At the slightest hint of foot rubbing or pressure points, apply a plaster before blisters develop.
- Pack and Porters. Someone somehow has to carry all this stuff! Porters must register as well.
If the weather stays fine, shorts and a shirt maybe all the clothes you need when starting out. However, it can easily change for the worse requiring all of the warm and weatherproof clothes you have. Come prepared. Warm clothes should be woollen or fleece. Cotton is unsuitable because in soaks up and holds sweat and rain. If the temperature drops, the damp cloth removes body heat rapidly.
DOC have prepared a Fact Sheet which is a really good one-stop-shop for information on access, the mountain and the summit climb.
DOC also have information on their website about the Summit Track as well as general information on safety, weather and maps.
NZ Mountain Safety Council
"One of the most challenging tracks in the Egmont National Park, the summit route takes you high above the clouds for a truly breath-taking view. The Taranaki Summit Route climbs 6.3km up the northern ridge of Mt Taranaki. While this might appear to be a simple day walk, this is definitely NOT the case. In this video, we take you through the required preparations and explore some of the alpine hazards along the way, so you can prepare for the climb ahead and make it home safely."