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ASCENT OF NGAURUHOE.

A MAGNIFICENT SPECTACLE. -r — . « A S!EW CRATER. MOUNTAIN TOP CRUMBLING AWAY. (By Telegraph.—Special to the Star.) TOKAANU, this day. Mr. A. K. Firth, an English tourist, and Mr. R. Farnall have just returned here after a successful ascent of the volcano Ngauruhoe. Under the direction of Mr. Alf. Warbrick, the well-known guide, they started from the mountain hut atKetetahi just before daylight oh Thursday, and Boon reached the summit of Tongariro, but, on account of dense fog and mist prevailing, the party remained for some time waiting for the weather to clear, which it eventually did, and they crossed the craters of Tongariro, and soon reached the base of Ngauruhoe, where the view now presented was magnificent, the towering cone belching fortli volumes of ash, and steam from the crater. It was with much anxiety the party ascended. Now and again a huge boulder would come whizzing by at express speed down the cinder slope, having evidently been dislodged at the top by the Titanic forces at work in the volcano. Whilo the party were toiling slowly up the cone, an eruption took place, and Guide Warbrick gave instructions to be very careful. As the party mounted, higher and higher towards the crater, which was now pouring a shower of ash nnd mud all around, they had to pause a while, but again slowly ascended, gazing at the weird spectacle. Progress was very slow on account of the steep slopes being covered with fresh, loose rock, evidently ejected by the late eruption. At eleven minutes to ten they gained the summit, and cautiously went to the eastern edge to gaze into the crater and its surroundings. What a change presented itself since Guide Warbrick was last there! He says that the crater 13 about ten times larger than formerly. The party walked round the edge of the crater to get a photograph, but it was an awesome task, with. the roaring accompaniment of the crater, the hissing of steam, and the boiling of mud in a. huge cauldron below. Now and again a good view was obtainable down the huge cavern. The walls of the crater are now a mere shell of what was formerly in existence, and the whole mountain top seems in a state of -collapse. A good series of photographs were obtained by Mr. Firth. A peculiar incident was now brought under their notice, a hare being seen crouched on the mud volcano. The party moved round to the west side of the crater and examined it. A crater was discovered which did not exist on Guide Warbrick's last ascent. This was sending out a small column of steam. The main crater had now huge vents, the western one being the most active of the two. After spending a most interesting and exciting half-hour on the summit, a descent was mado in rapid time, and all had a good rest for about an hour near the red crater, watching the rolling clouds of steam. They eventually reached the Government mountain hut, which is most conveniently situated for making the ascent, and is very comfortable, thanks to the Tourist Department. Guide Warbrick states that Wainmngu in all its grandeur, was only an infant compared to what is to be seen at Ngauruhoe at present. A peculiar feature at Ngauruhoe is the great quantity of mud being ejected from the crater.

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ASCENT OF NGAURUHOE. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 75, 29 March 1909

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