Mt Ruapehu is situated in Tongariro National Park in the Central North
Island. It is the highest mountain in the North Island with a height of
2797 m. It also contains the North Island's only two commercial ski areas
- Whakapapa on the North side and Turoa on the South.
Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano. Most of the time it calmly bubbles away,
but every now and then it bursts into action. This happened during 1995
on September 23 lasting for several months, and then again 1996 in June.
These eruptions caused concern for skiiers (the ski season ended early
last year and is hindered this year because of the ash) and it also caused
ash to be deposited over some of the North Island causing a few airport
closures and minor concerns about health risks. Other than this it hasn't
caused any damage or adverse effects.
There hasn't been any activity for over a year now, so things have hopefully
returned to normal for the skiers and ski operators.
In 1953 however the mountain caused the deaths of 151 people when a slip
in the crater lake caused a massive mud flow (lahar) down the Whangaegu
River which took out a railway bridge near Tangiwai. The passing train
plunged into the river.
Tongariro National Park
New Zealand's first national park has extremes ranging from forest to desert
like areas and thermal activity. The park contains three volcanic peaks -
Tongariro, Ngarahoe and Ruapehu. The area is rich in attractions for
tourists with many tracks of various difficulty from which the unique
scenery of the area can be admired.
According to the legend, there used to be many mountains in the area, all
males except for beautiful Pihanga. All of them of course loved Pihanga,
but she favoured Tongariro. The other mountains fought Tongariro but were
defeated and were banished. Taranaki hurried westwards, scouring out the
path of the Wanganui River as he went. His tears for his love still remain
in Tangariro National Park as the Taranaki Falls. Tauhara and Putauaki
set out for the
Bay of Plenty. Putauaki got as far as Kaingaroa Plain but Tauhara got no
further than the north-eastern shores of Lake Taupo.
The Maori Legend of
Our 1995 Ski Trip
Our 1996 Ski Trip
Our 1997 Ski Trip
Aborta Contorta in 1995
Back to the Log Book Index
An account of a climb up Mt Ruapehu by another Rover crew
Ruapehu Eruption Resources