Mount Taranaki, New Zealand
I drove from Kapiti to Dawson Falls then headed out up to Fanthams Peak to stay the night at Syme Hut. I had purchased cramp-ons the day before but didn’t get a pick axe. It only took 3-4 hours of uphill climbing to reach Syme Hut and what an absolute treat! I walked through the clouds then above them and with a slight breeze and sunny clear skies I had awesome views of Mount Taranaki’s peak and Mount Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe in the distance. Had I had a pick axe, I would have likely tried for the summit the next morning and it was a bit of bummer seeing two hikers make their way up. Cramp-on’s were absolutely necessary, especially in the morning when the snow froze over. There was only one other chap at the hut and we enjoyed an amazing sunset and then got up for the sunrise. It was so quiet and mighty and it felt like I was standing amongst giants with only Egmont and Ruapehu showing above the clouds. We could see the horizon in every direction in a sea of clouds. Then as night closed in the skies opened up uncovering a sea of stars. I am hooked and will be back! Next time I will bring a pick axe and hopefully reach the summit. (noting it’s 2022 and I am yet to go back!).