East Side, Mt Ruapehu
Due to a recent increase in volcanic activity at Ruapehu and an increase in the GNS volcanic alert level to level 2, the Department of Conservation have implemented a 2km exclusion zone around Te Wai ā-moe (crater lake). Following a review of the risks in the area and the continued volcanic activity the NZAC has decided to close Whangaehu Hut to overnight stays. The hut sits just outside the exclusion zone, at approximately 2.1km from Te Wai ā-moe, but still within the 3km zone of expected ballistics should an eruption occur. Overnight stays mean that people stay within the 3km summit hazard zone for extended periods of time, far longer than if they were recreating on a day trip. There are several expected lahar paths on the mountain, and if you are recreating on Ruapehu you should make yourself aware of these.
The NZAC recommends that climbers ensure that they are well informed before heading into the summit hazard zone of 3km from Te Wai ā-moe and assess the risks for themselves. There is further information to aid in these decisions here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/volcanicrisk and further information about the current alert levels here and here. Ruapehu is an active volcano and these risks should be assessed whenever you are heading out, but especially so at the moment with the heightened volcanic activity and increased alert levels.
Huts are open and operating under COVID19 Traffic Lights Protection Framework conditions. Check the government website for the latest information on levels and restrictions.
Keeping yourself and others safe
It’s important that visitors take responsibility for their own Covid-19 hygiene and safety:
- If you are sick, stay home.
- If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline and get tested.
- Wash your hands, thoroughly and often, using soap you carry with you.
- Keep track of where you have been. Complete the hut book and take a photo for your records.
This mountaineers hut is located high up beside the Whangaehu valley on the slopes on the active volcano Mt Ruapehu. It is a great location for climbing, ski touring and generally exploring this remote area of the Tongariro National Park.
At 2080m, above the Whangaehu River, east side of Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park.
Detailed map below.
Off Desert Rd to Tukino Skifield, then 1.5hrs on poled/cairned route from the road end, 15m marker pole close to the hut.
The hut is not locked. If you have a 4WD and want access through the locked gate, there is a $20 key deposit (see under bookings).
4 double bunks with mattresses (so can sleep 8), water tank, some utensils.
Non-flush toilet only. Poo pots recommended.
Fees are payable here, or to the NZAC National Office, PO Box 786, Christchurch 8140. Rates as from 1 November 2013.
Members $10 per night
Non-members $20 per night
No bookings are possible.
Contact: Len Caley 021 534 251 or email. The hut is open, so can’t be reserved, but by contacting Len first, you will be able to gain access through the ski-field locked gate and get an idea of who else may be using the hut at a given time.
The Auckland Section of NZAC often runs courses and trips in this area. To find out more, please check out their section page.
NZTopo50: BJ34 233 487
NZMS260 (old): T20 333 103
NOTE: You need to log in first, when booking, to obtain member rates.