It was insidious a gradual tensing and focusing as I climbed higher. The morning was clear and calm, but the hardness of the mountain’s surface barely yielded to my crampon points.

Forget about self-arresting. Today the usually straightforward south face of Mount Taranaki was definitely a no-slip zone.

For a route map and more images


Peter Laurenson is a member of the Wellington section of the New Zealand Alpine Club and editor of FMC’s Backcountry.
For more images and info about Peter, visit