Work had been hectic for a couple of weeks and it was beginning to cause some internal conflict – who wants to sit at home in front of the computer when there are spectacular places to visit? Worse than that – spectacular places offering opportunities for great photos, and fast losing snow in the warming weather of spring!
I’d long eyed a spot on the northern slopes of Ruapehu as likely to provide great views north to Ngauruhoe, a young volcanic cone in the centre of the Tongariro National Park. I’d spied this spot first when exploring around the Tama Lakes, which lie in old explosion craters on the southern flanks of Ngauruhoe. Looking back to the south from above the Upper Tama Lake, I could see a point where the long, gently sloping ridges coming off Ruapehu converged before rising steeply up the mountain. Tucked in at the foot of these ridges were a series of bluffs and waterfalls that just might offer a good vantage point for some photos. I was keen to get there before the winter snow had completely gone, but with an El Nino spring running rampant, several weekends had been ruined by gale-force westerlies and rain. We wanted it fine and clear!