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Mt. Taranaki is a potentially perilous mountain to climb; unpredictable weather and steep upper slopes with 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 Māori people, the mountain is sacred, regarded as an ancestor. They ask that climbers respect the spirituality and not clamber over the summit rocks.
Mt. Taranaki Guided Tours. Guide and owner Ian McAlpine has made more than 1,700 ascents of Mt. Taranaki and climbed in Nepal, India, and Antarctica. He leads individual and group climbs and organizes other day and multiday walks that explore the park's forests, waterfalls, gorges, old lava flows, and alpine plants. Summit-climb rates depend on the season and group size. 06/751–3542 or 0274/417–042. www.mttaranakiguidedtours.co.nz.