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Taranaki / Mount Egmont, 2nd Edition

23 May 2010

A guide for climbers

Published by the New Zealand Alpine Club

Taranaki / Mount Egmont, 2nd edition

The first climbing guidebook to Taranaki was “Mount Egmont Rock Guide” (MERG), edited by John Edge and published by the Taranaki Alpine Club in 1980. A second edition of updated material was published in 1985. The first edition of this guidebook, edited by John Edge, Ross Eden and Chris Prudden, was published in 1996 under the title “Climber’s Guide to Taranaki”

The current (second) version was published in 2003 with Ross Eden as an editor. The guidebook includes all tramping and mountaineering routes to the summit of Taranaki, and sections on winter ice climbing and skiing, but the bulk of the volume is dedicated to rock climbing on valley and alpine crags. Detailed route descriptions are complemented by numerous photographic topos. The guidebook also includes sections on the climbing history of the area and the origin of place names.

This guidebook is atypical, in that it does not describe a mountain region, but a single mountain. This reflects the singularity of Taranaki, an isolated volcano surrounded by densely inhabited plains. As a consequence, the mountain is described in greater detail than any other peak in New Zealand. In spite of a claim by the author that ‘the guidebook does not provide blow-by-blow descriptions for the pure novice’, most accounts of routes to the summit take up a whole page. Given the simplicity of the routes, these are indeed ‘step-by-step’ descriptions by South Island standard. The author lives at the foot of Taranaki, where he has climbed for 27 years, and completed over 250 ascents of the mountain. The guidebook is thus rich in first-hand information, and is both detailed and highly reliable.


Eden, R. (2003) Taranaki / Mount Egmont: a guide for climbers. Published by the New Zealand Alpine Club. 160 pages

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