A different sort of Dome.

Last weekend I was at the Dome Shelter on Mount Ruapehu.

This week I was summiting the Dome Valley north of Warkworth. At only 330m above sea level is a quite a bit lower then Ruapehu. And a lot easier ie 1 hour to the summit 3 hours return.


What does Rangitoto look like from 70km north of Auckland? The same that is does from everywhere else. Stands out like anything.


Looking south to the small town of Warkworth


Two trucks working their way through the Dome Valley being able to look down on the road was odd. It looked straight and easy. When in reality it is windy and hilly. Shows you how much perspective means to everything.


Panoramic View looking south from the Dome. (Click on the image for a larger photo)

On top of the world. Well the North Island world.


Well this is me at the Dome 2672m above sea level on the top of Mount Ruapehu. Behind me is the Crater Lake and behind that is Tahurangi at 2797m which is the true summit of Ruapehu (but noone ever climbs it).

This is the second time that I have summited Rupaheu the first time was in January 2004 and the two main differences between this time and last time was the lack of snow. WE HAD NONE. Not even on the summit. Last time we had snow all the way from the top of Knoll Ridge at the top of the Whakapapa Ski Field. The second difference was the amount of ash on the mountain which made the climb and descent very hard because you had to be so careful not to slip. Oh and the minor third difference was this time we got a headstart by using the chairlifts which save you 400m of climbing and 3+ hours of tramping.


This is part of the party on the summit. 12 people went from Massey Albany.


This is some of our party and a whole lot of other people at the Dome using the Dome Shelter as a wind break to stop the wind. The air temp was quite warm (a few degrees above 0) but the wind was very cold, strong and icy when it got you.



This is the Dome Shelter with the very clear warning on it about not using it unless in emergency. Something that two climbers didn’t adhere to last year and almost paid with their lives because of it when the mountain did decide to make an emergency and erupt.


This is the Crater Lake which of course is the active vent of Ruapehu and causes all the eruptions.



These two photos show the damage that is caused when the Crater Lake gets too full and a Lahar occurs.


This is Te Heuheu (2732m) with the Summit Plateau in front. On our descent we cross the Plateau and came down over the Te Hehehu Ridge which is to the left. The Plateau was full of ash that sometimes you went ankle to knee deep in.



These are groups of people walking along the Dome Ridge to the Dome.


On top of the world. Looking South. You can normally see south to Taihape, Bulls, Palmerston North etc. Of course only when there are no clouds. But look at our height above the clouds.


Looking North. You can again normally see almost to Hamilton.


Looking down the Whangaehu Glacer. This is where the Lahars generally run. You can see the Dessert Road and the Army Training Grounds beyond that.

Two domains, one site, different pages served

I am currently working on a complex website that requires two different companies on two different domains to share the same website. I have just mananged to create a piece of php code to analyse the domain name typed in and redirect to the correct section of the site for that company. Awesome!

$url = $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];
if(strpos( strtolower($url), "site2" )!=FALSE) {
} else {

It is not often that code makes me happy.

New Year, New Website

I have just rolled out a complete overhaul of my website.

The changes in summary:


  • Blog comments are back – provided I don’t get too much spam they will stay.
  • Java Web Start for software section
  • Text versions of many articles


  • About me page
  • Articles portfolio
  • Website portfolio
  • Software portfolio
  • Photos


  • Homepage – Replaced with blog
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Links – Blogroll will be its replacement
  • Other stuff I can’t remember


I am on cloud nine (to steal a commonly used quote from my GF).

I got informed today that for one of my papers last semester I scored 100%. In other words, 15/15 for Assignment One, 15/15 for Assignment Two, 70/70 for the Exam.

I am only the second person ever in the history of the paper to do this.

Now I just have to find a way to celebrate.

Bali Nine Executions: Inhuman, Unjust, and just plain sick

This is how Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be executed.

Chan and Sukumaran will be taken from their cells with the minimum of warning, driven to a deserted beach or jungle clearing and shot without ceremony by a firing squad.

No one will be told in advance of the date or time of their executions.

Australian reporters have been told that the deaths of Chan and Sukumaran will be carried out by a squad of 10 men drawn from a paramilitary police unit called the Mobile Brigade.

Under strict secrecy demanded by Indonesian law, they will be told several days in advance and allowed to see close family or friends, or to make final telephone calls.

But the times and places of their execution will not be disclosed.

Decoy convoys could be used to fool relatives or the media staking out the prison on the day of execution.

Bagus Wahyono, who selects the execution squads after watching them shooting dolls, told the Sydney Morning Herald only two rifles, selected at random, will have live rounds.

The others will fire blanks to ease individual consciences.

The only other witnesses will be a religious representative, a doctor and one of the trial prosecutors.

The newspaper said Chan and Sukumaran will be dressed in white aprons with a red cross marking their hearts, and would be handcuffed to a post, tree or chair.

A hood will be drawn over the heads, and the order to fire given.

A final shot to the heart or temple may be required.

This is not an execution, it is murder. It is murder for fun. It is murder for the sake of having some target practice. It is murder, it is premeditated. It is murder because NO ONE deserves to be killed in this way. It is just sick and the international community needs to make a stand against it. Unfortunately the international community seems to have lost its legs in the past few years.