Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Or should that read tongariro alpine uncrossing. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular tramping tracks, and is considered the most popular one-day tramp in New Zealand. The crossing passes over the volcanic terrain of the multi-cratered active volcano Mt Tongariro, passing the eastern base of Mt Ngauruhoe.

Winter and snow is fast approaching and the track has been washed out and closed for several days. However, I wake up to find it a glorious day, surely the gods are smiling on me?

Well, that’s what I thought, it was a cheery start to the day, meeting a fellow called Sebros from Texas in the U.S of A, a geologist to boot, who was giving me lots of insightful information on lava flows and rock formations.

The usually highly overpacked walk was hosting just us two, as we started the long climb up the steps and there were lots of them! Once we crested the ridge, we were met with a long plateau of thick snow and ice as the mist loomed in.

It was something from out of a movie, the sun trying to break the mist as we walked high up into the mountains and follow the big foot prints.. oh noes, big foot!

While we were only able to push around 8km’s and reach the south crater, it was still an amazing encounter. I was once again reminded of New Zealands micro climate (though I came fully prepared minus gloves left in the car, doh!), with sun, rain, snow, mist, wind radically changing every minute.. can this weather not make up it’s mind? Taps foot!

Never have I been close to the base of so many rainbows, walking back down, they were strewn about every corner, coming within touching distance. While it wasn’t the day anticipated, it was a great day full of variation of the climate and lots of snow.. though it was too cold to make an angel.. maybe next time!