The Visceral Game. The Pinnacles of Mt Ruapehu.

Posted on: April 22, 2008

Marten Blumen

Approach The air - grey and misty. The mountain - glued together by dirt. This drives us closer to the edge. We are breathless, speechless and serious. This is Paradise?

The Pinnacles Anchored, slung and the bottemless space is ours. First pinnacle and we're down or maybe not. The rock anchor has shifted, a buddy below, we grab to stop it. Done. Its time to move on. Down the pit again, all three little piggies on their way. Without guide or book we learn the path ourselves, remembering the 50 year old description - "an enjoyable day trip, not as hard as it looks" - we scoff at this as we fail to find a single solid anchor. We spy a tattered sling on a rock, out of reach and out of our version of sanity.

Escape The Grand Gully. Our escape but a kicked rock 'speaks' of unseen cliffs. Yet the other ways are crazier - The Traverse of the Gods - wet and angled, strewn with loose debris. The gully below us. Fallen boulders temporarily halted from their slide by slags of mud and dirt - hardly the solid anchors needed for our descent - but we manage and walk down the mountain under stars.