1111 – 1146 Whakapapa Holiday Park
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, underdressed (Shorts? I mean really folks. Read the fn weather report.), underprepared, 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.