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Mt. Taranaki is a potentially perilous mountain to climb; unpredictable weather and the steep upper slopes, with their sheer bluffs and winter ice, are an extremely dangerous combination. For summit climbs, when there is snow on the mountain, use a local guide. To the local Maori people, the mountain is sacred, regarded as an ancestor. They ask that climbers respect the spirituality and not clamber over the summit rocks.
Adventure Dynamics. Don Paterson brings a wealth of outdoor instruction and guiding experience from Britain, North America, India, and New Zealand to his operation, Adventure Dynamics, on Mt. Taranaki. He offers winter and summer summit climbing, rock climbing, and ski guiding. 027/248-7858. www.adventuredynamics.co.nz.
MacAlpine Guides. Ian MacAlpine of MacAlpine Guides has made more than 1,700 ascents of Mt. Taranaki and climbed in Nepal, India, and Antarctica. He guides individual and group climbs, and will organize other day and multi-day walks that explore the forests, waterfalls, gorges, old lava flows and alpine plants of the park. Summit-climbs daily rates are NZ$350 (for one or two climbers) or NZ$400 (for three or four). 06/751-3542 or 0274/417-042. www.macalpineguides.com.
Top Guides. Ross Eden, who has been mountaineering since the 1980s throughout New Zealand and the Himalayas, is the head guide for Top Guides. His organization guides adventurers in summit climbs, and instructs and guides in everything from rappelling to avalanche awareness, rock climbing, and bushwalking. Daily climbing rates start at NZ$250 for one person with one guide and decrease per person depending on the number in your party. 0800/448-433. www.topguides.co.nz.
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