Don’t under Estimate the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
You may have heard all about the beautiful lakes, or amazing scenery on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and think you will go check it out….. STOP….
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a very hard Day hike, (even for many seasoned hikers) over rough terrain, with changeable Alpine weather conditions.
Some Facts about the Alpine Crossing
- The Track is in an Alpine area, which means the weather at any time of the year can go from hot summer desert like conditions to freezing, wet, Icy conditions with a high wind chill.. (getting caught in winter conditions in summer clothes your chance of death is high.)
- You need to be comfortable walking 19.4 Km, which over this terrain can take 6-9 hours or more.
- You are walking on harsh sharp Volcanic rocks most of the way, closes shoes are an absolute minimum, but well worn in Hiking Boots are strongly recommended.
- You will be sharing your walk with 1-3000 or more on a busy day!
To Many people are not Prepared
In the last 7 years the Tongariro National Park accounted for the most Search and Rescue events on Public Land in New Zealand, the majority of those were on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
- The Majority of people Rescued were International Visitors, but there was still to many New Zealander’s also featuring(majority from NZ cities.)
- The most common reason for a Search and Rescue, being people who didn’t plan enough time / or where unable to complete the distance and became lost in the dark.
- Severe injury due to poor visibility around the Red crater was the next most common reason for a Search and Rescue event.
- 42% of people requiring Rescue 2010 – 2017 were aged 20-29 years.
Doing the Hike Anyway?
The best advise we can give you if you are determined to do this track,
- Train so you can comfortable walk 25km(5km extra then the track to account for the terrain)
- Equip your self with the right gear gear, clothing, and sufficient food and water.
- Watch the Weather and turn back if it changes for the worst, this can happen quickly and be very dangerous in Alpine areas!
- Or alternatively take the walk with a local tour company who know the area, and can supply you with the right gear
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing.org,nz
- Department of Conservation Tongariro – Alpine Crossing
- A Walk in the Park, Tramping Incidences in New Zealand, New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, July 2018