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.

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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