Ngauruhoe Extreme Ironing Expedition

Organiser: Timothy Gray

Date: 26th April, 2017

Ironists: Timothy Gray, Tom Andrews, Sach Knight, Andrew Battley, Matt Sinclair, James Judd, Holly Dowell, Alistair Newcombe, Simon Yu, Max Jenkins

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At the time of organising this trip, I had climbed and ironed upon Mt Ruapehu and Taranaki. Naturally, the next step was to iron upon the third highest peak in the North Island, Mt Ngauruhoe.

A reasonably large group of 10 people were keen for this adventure. We drove down in the morning, and to fill in some time in the afternoon went on a little day walk to the Taranaki Falls, where naturally a swim was in order. This day also featured the inaugural raising of the AUTC flag, which was lifted high and proudly above the ground on an avalanche probe. The group split into two on the way back. Half of went off to do some completely unnecessary bush bashing, while the other (probably more sensible) half continued on the track back to the Chateau.

We spent the night at the Jenkins’ bach in National Park village, where we were treated to James’ exceptional cooking, Chasseur’s exceptional taste and value, and The Lord of the Rings’ exceptional amazingness.

The next morning we set our alarms for 5:30am. When the alarm went off, we opened our eyes, and without any speech or other forms of communication we proposed, discussed, voted upon, buried in soft peat for 3 months, found again, and finally enacted a series of executive orders that meant we didn’t have to wake up until 7. Ultimately we did finally drag ourselves out of our sleeping bags, and set of on our adventure.

Climbing the mountain was a bit tougher for some than others, but in the end it was just a long push to get to the top. At the summit, we set out an ironing board as our table, got dressed into our suits, and then proceeded to indulge in the feast that we had brought up with us. We had Camembert, crackers, beer, wine, and of course, caviar. There were plenty of other people at the summit, and once we had our fill of the caviar, I proceed to offer it to them while dressed in my suit and tie. Reactions were mixed.

A procession with the AUTC flag around the crater of Ngauruhoe, as well as the re-enactment of the famous Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photo followed. Of course, we couldn’t go on an Extreme Ironing expedition without doing some ironing, this was accomplished using some flattish rocks as I had been a bit of an idiot, and forgotten to bring the iron.

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We spent so much time at the summit doing all these things that we didn’t have enough time in the day to summit Tongariro as well, as I had planned originally. Of course, we could later say this was on purpose, giving an excuse to make another trip to Tongariro with the ironing board!

We returned to National Park Village feeling that our lives had been, at least in part, fulfilled by doing our household chores at the top of a mountain.

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