Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 45, 1912
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2. Lecture, illustrated with lantern-slides, “Ruapehu,” by Mr. Thomas Allison.

The lecturer recounted the Maori legend of the first ascent of Ruapehu by Nga-toro-ai-rangi, an ancestor of the Maoris at Poutou. He climbed the mountain, but suffered anguish from the cold, and his cries for help were heard by his sisters at their home on an island in Poverty Bay. They set off with torches of sacred fire to his assistance, and the falling sparks started numerous volcanoes and puias on their route. The historicity of this ascent is vouched by the fact that their footprints where they crossed the Poutou River were pointed out by an old Native to Mr. Batley about 1882!

In November, 1877, the lecturer, with his brother, Mr. John Allison, climbed the northern peak of Ruapehu. On this trip they found an English artist named Connolly stranded at Tokaanu. His Maori guides, explaining that the mountain was tapu, robbed him of his horses, sketches, and camera. In December, 1877, the lecturer and his brother, Mr. John Allison, ascended Ruapehn via the northeastern spur. The ascent of Messrs. Beetham and Maxwell next year was rendered interesting by their discovery of the crater-lake.

The lecturer described the valley of Stony Creek, or perhaps Waihi-anoa, on the eastern side of Ruapehu, which is probably the finest valley or gorge in the North Island. It runs back three or four miles into the heart of the mountain. Half-way up the valley is very narrow, with a torrent flowing between chiffs about 900 ft. high of black shattered rock. Farther up the valley is a small hill of columnar basaltic or andesite rock. Near the source of the torrent the rocks are very fantastically shaped. The cliffs are at least 2,000 ft. high, while the southern peak, the finest peak of the mountain, rises to a height of between 4,000 ft. and 5,000 ft. above the floor of the valley. This splendid valley is easily accessible from Waiouru, and a tourist route to it, which would also give access to the Wangaehu Gorge, could easily be made.

Officers for 1912–13.—President — Dr. Hatherly, M.R.C.S.; Vice-Presidents—Rev. J. Ll. Dove, M.A., Mr. J. T. Ward; Council—Messrs. T. Allison, W. A. Armour, M.A., M.Sc., C. P. Brown, M.A., LL.B., T. W. Downes, R. Murdoch, H. E. Sturge, M.A., H. B. Watson, M.A., and H. W. Hesse, B.A., B.Sc., F.L.S.; Hon. Treasurer—Mr. F. P. Talboys; Hon. Secretary—Mr. J. P. Williamson.