Well, that was an interesting idea……
We all woke up at 5:00am and headed down the 8km walk to the start of the Tongariro Alpine crossing as the weather was supposed to get worse in the afternoon.
By the time we reached Ketetahi Hut (which has been seriously bombarded by rocks from an eruption) the cloud looked like just low lying cloud but by the time we passed Blue Lake the wind was starting to pick up. We weren’t incredibly worried as people were passing us coming the other way saying it was only pretty windy up by Red Crater.
It must have picked up a fair amount though as by the time we reached Red Crater we think it was gusting up over 100km/hr. The people coming towards us were now a scene of carnage. Frozen, being blown of their feet, under dressed (Shorts? I mean really folks. Read the fn weather report.), under prepared, and horrified. And they were coming down the scree.
It took about 20mins to make our way up the scree and by the time we got to the other side we were turning people back. It was horrendous. Complete with crying children and half frozen adults. Unbelievable.
We stopped at Mangatepopo Hut for lunch and then carried on to Whakapapa Holiday Park for a dinner of pies, pizza, and a bottle of wine.
- People can be stupid.
- Sometimes you don’t beat the weather.
- Scree is very hard to walk uphill on.
- High winds are fun.
- If it is cold there is a hot spot at the top of the scree slope you can lie on.
- They are fine with people coming into Mangatepopo Hut for a warm up and lunch in cold weather even if you aren’t booked.
These maps are for interest only. The current maps are available at Te Araroa Trust’s website and are updated each September with the most current route.