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The shining peak
My first alpine climb in New Zealand was a guided one in 1995, up Mount Egmont (2,518m) or, in Maori, Taranaki meaning ‘shining mountain peak’. In the right light Taranaki, standing proud and aloof to the south west of the Tongariro group, does indeed shine beautifully. Being born and raised in New Plymouth, Taranaki is ‘my’ mountain.
The first ascent of Taranaki was made in 1839 by a European explorer Ernest Dieffenbach, who discovered that “the slope of the snow was very steep and we had to cut steps in it as it was frozen on the surface. Higher up we found some support on large pieces of rugged scoriae.”