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Crushed in an Erupting Volcano

Heaving his massive backpack on, 22-year-old Kiwi William Pike was itching to get up the mountain. He and his mate James Christie – who he’d met at uni while studying to be a primary school teacher – were about to conquer Mt Ruapehu, on New Zealand’s north island.

It was James’ first taste of mountaineering and William couldn’t wait to introduce his friend to the sport that he was so mad about. Over a week, the lads planned to climb the mountain’s three major peaks – the highest soaring nearly 3000m above sea level.

They had all the right gear, the weather forecast was good, but there was another factor that was completely beyond their control – Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano. But, checking in with the local authorities before setting off, they said there was no sign that it was about to erupt.

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