At last! After a decade of wondering and hoping. The eternal itch was soothed. Up there, at 10am that clear morning, I could be gazing out the window of a plane, yet the closest thing to a seat was my climbing harness. And my seatbelt was a 10mm rope, anchored by my ice axe, to the highest point in my country. The summit of the cloud piercer was no anti climax. But pleasure’s partner was apprehension. The top was only half way – a bit like reaching fifty.

For a route map and more images

Peter Laurenson is a member of the Wellington section of the New Zealand Alpine Club.

For more images and info about Peter, visit