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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Mount Taranaki, 10 Km From The Top

Have you guessed what these 10 km from the top?  The entire territory within a radius of 10 km from the top. On a jutting promontory over the Tasman Sea, like a lonely giant, there is a volcano mountain in the Taranaki region on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island - Egmont or Mount Taranaki.


Mount taranaki height  | Towering, like an island, from the sea of ​​pasture meadows, Mount Egmont often seems like a mirage - it disappears, it appears: clouds and fog sometimes completely hide it. But in clear weather, the majestic peak cuts into the sky, and almost the entire array is visible from afar. From the snow-capped peak (2494 m) to the rain forests of the lower slopes, the mountain shakes with dazzling landscapes.

 in the Taranaki region on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island

Maori say that Mount Egmont - they call it Taranaki - originated on Cape Egmont as a result of a love affair. Taranaki used to live in the center of the North Island, but he constantly fought with another mountain warrior, Tongariro, for his possession of the mountain maiden Pyhanga. Taranaki was defeated. He retreated to the south-west, cutting a gorge along the way - the valley of the Wanganui River.

The jagged cliffs on the upper slopes of the mountain tell a different story: they were created by lava, because Mount Egmont is a volcano. Lava broke to the surface about 70,000 years ago, when Pouacai and Kaitake, volcanoes to the north-west of Mount Egmont, were already extinguished. Since then, the volcano Egmont periodically erupted, throwing lahar - mud flows with rock fragments. The most terrible eruption occurred in 1500, the last powerful - in 1665, and less severe - in 1775.

However, violent volcanic activity can not only destroy, but also create. Farmers should be grateful to her for the volcanic ash, which ensures the fertility of the soil on which a rich harvest matures. Some local plants are not found anywhere else: on a mountain, isolated, like an island, there are two local species of daisies, a unique fern and two rare species of butterflies.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

Entering the maze of lush vegetation on the lower slopes, you are lost in the rain-forest, where the trees of Rimu (dacridium) are 30 times taller than trees. On the branches of Rome, twisting around them, like lianas, other trees grow, for example rata (metrosederos), also fighting for access to light. Rata eat not at the expense of Rome, but independently, lowering their aerial roots down into the soil. In time, the rata will probably win Rome in the struggle for light. However, the trees of these two species are gradually disappearing under the onslaught of the third species - Kamakho (Weismania).

Above you can see conifers - kaykavaka (liposedrus); some are over 400 years old. At a level of approximately 1070 m, the mountains are shrub-tall. Rocks and debris color the belt of alpine flowers, and the edges of the crater cover only mosses and lichens.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

For centuries, no one except Maori has walked on the slopes of the mountain. In 1642, the Dutch navigator Tasman sailed past Cape Egmont, probably on an overcast day, since he does not mention this mountain. Only on January 10, 1770, Mount Egmont appeared before the eyes of a European; he was Captain James Cook, who gave the grief the name of the former First Lord of the Admiralty.

In 1839 Maori guides accompanied the first European expedition to the top of the mountain; naturalist Professor E. Dieffenbach and whaler J. Geberley participated in it. They followed in the footsteps of Tahuranga, the Maori leader, ascended to the top several centuries before them. According to legend, a thin transparent cloud, often circling above the summit, is the smoke from its fire. Maori believe that spirits and mythical reptiles live among the majestic mountains, so that the guides did not dare to step above the snowline, and the Europeans climbed the summit together.

Today, Mount Egmont is the most popular peak among rock climbers. Every year at least 240,000 people climb it. The entire territory within a radius of 10 km from the top in 1881 became a reserve.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

Mount Egmont is the last bastion of forests covering the whole area; she remains unchallenged, as does her green cover. Sudden changes in the mood of the mountain can take visitors by surprise: a wind suddenly blows or the fog suddenly drops. And the volcano itself is dormant, it can wake up at any moment.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

Sometimes through the branches of the trees one can see the delicate pink petals of an elegant fragrant orchid. Orchids can be seen on the lower surface of the branches; these are epiphytes that use tree branches for support. But they do not live at the expense of trees, but feed on decomposing substances and moisture accumulating on the branches.

Externally, the volcano is similar to the Japanese volcano Fuji, so in the movie "The Last Samurai", Taranaki was shot as a background.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

For many centuries this mountain was considered sacred by the local population (Maori) and, of course, there are many legends among the locals about this volcano. For example, one of them:

PREVIOUSLY TARANAKI LIVED WITH THE OTHER VOLCANOES IN THE CENTER OF THE NORTH ISLAND - TONGARIRO  ( THE TONGARIRO ),  RUAPEHU  ( RUAPEHU ) AND  NGARUHOE  ( NGAURUHOE ). BUT HERE IT HAS MANAGED TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM AS HIS WIFE TONGARIRO BEAUTIFUL HILL  PIHANGA ( PIHANGA ). TONGARIRO FELT STRONG JEALOUSY. AND A TERRIBLE BATTLE BEGAN BETWEEN THE VOLCANOES. TARANAKI WAS MUCH SMALLER THAN TONGARIRO, AND WAS DEFEATED. ALL IN TEARS HE FLED TO THE WEST, TO THE PLACE WHERE IT IS NOW. AND HIS FLOWING STREAMS OF TEARS TURNED INTO THE RIVER  FANGANUI  ( WANGANUI). TEARS FROM UNREQUITED LOVE CREATE OVER FIFTY STREAMS AND MOUNTAIN STREAMS ON ITS SLOPES.

Taranaki is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world. In the spring, when snow comes down from its top, the mountain slopes begin to become covered with lush vegetation. And streams run down the slopes, forming beautiful lakes with the purest water.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.

In the forests covering the slopes of Mount Egmont, luxurious ferns and creepers grow, and long garlands of pale green moss hang from many trees.


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