With a forecast of 120km hour winds, 20-30 cm of snow and a temperature of -7degrees it should have come as no surprise that we had the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track to ourselves....
In summer this track sees up to 1,000 walkers a day but on a cool Autumn morning the Auckland based Arcus Property and Creating Communities teams was able to enjoy the environment (what we could see of it anyway!) in isolation.
There was some initial discussion given the forecast as to whether we should look at other options but given what looked like a weather window and the enthusiasm of the team we decided to go for it.
The walk from Mangatepopo carpark to the top of the Devils Staircase was relatively straightforward, however the walk across the craters and the shoulder of Mt Tongariro saw us challenged by strong winds and driving sleet. Fortunately the team were all well equipped and we trekked all the way to the finish at the Ketetahi Springs side in approximately 5 hours. The spa pool and showers back at Howards Lodge were particularly welcome to our team of wet and weary travellers. Highlights of the day were Franswa’s light weight approach to alpine travelling and the open fire and food at Schnapps Bar in National Park. The next day we had planned to ride the 42nd Traverse but conditions were not really up for it. So instead we drove north to ride the second half (45km of the Timber trail riding from Piropiro to Ongarue.). It was a stunning cool clear day and a great ride with plenty of downhill excitement. Congratulations to Fiona for completing her first real MTB ride.
Thanks again to Bruce for his support crew efforts!