Part 3: Ascent up Mt. Ngauruhoe summit. This off-track detour added 4 hrs of gnarly-ness to our standard trek, especially when without crampons and ice axes.
1000m climb on crumbling tephra, 45 degrees slope, no trail, and no guide. Just the 2 of us muscling our way up boulders, while trying to avoid icy strips, falling rocks, and worst of all, loose handholds and footholds.
They weren’t kidding when they filmed Frodo and Sam struggling up Mt. Doom. This shit ain’t easy.... but wow, was the view worth it!