/ Tongariro alpine crossing

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razzorbuzz - on 23 Jan 2013
Off to NZ in May and would like to give the Tongariro Alpine crossing a go. I'm aware its likely to be in winter conditions, just wondering if anyone has any advice or been there and what conditions I'm likely to meet timings for winter & areas to avoid etc. Also what kit at a minimum as I'll have to fly it out with me.

Many Thanks
Monk - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to razzorbuzz:

I've done it in winter before (Early June). You can hire crampons (although bizarrely they don't do ice axes) easily around the start. I can't remember the name but I was at a youth hostel with a climbing wall that hired the crampons and gave us lifts at both ends. It's lovely in the snow, although you miss out on the famous colours a bit. It's a long walk, but there's absolutely no technical difficulty.

Did you know that Tongarriro was erupting in 2012? Might be best to check the situation before you set your heart on the crossing.
The Big Sender - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to razzorbuzz:
i did the crossing in winter and didn't use an axe or any crampons, it was fine. Some crampons might be useful if you can get them but not essential.
wheelo - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to razzorbuzz: they dont make it easy if the weather is poor as the shuttle buses taking you to/ from the various access points will not be operating
Irk the Purist - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to razzorbuzz:

I went in August and was told "the mountain is shut" you can't go up today. In the end I paid for a guide because it was cheaper than hiring all the kit that I didn't have and I got to meet some interesting people, got transport included etc...

When I did it it was full on white out / blizzard for a lot of it and crampons were essential (not ice axe) It cleared for about 20 minutes whilst we were on top and I sat on a hot rock eating my sarnies.

Amazing place.
glaramara - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Monk: Currently open except the north side which won't effect u. Recommend the south ridge.
KiwiPrincess - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to razzorbuzz:
we did it as children and had to cut stepsheading up toward Ngaruahoe, so crampon's will be needed and a walking axe. We stayed overnight on the traill and went from the village to Mangatepopo hut then over to Ketatahi hut which had hot pools( these may have been closed I think)
KiwiPrincess - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to KiwiPrincess:
In April it was all dry so you could get any conditions
Graham - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to razzorbuzz:
I live very close to Tongariro - you can borrow an ice axe from me if you need to - and make sure you return it!
May is the beginning of winter - you will likely be happy to have both an ice axe and crampons. It is a rather long, un-sheltered walk with a reputation for shitty weather. I've done it in summer (running- won't do that again) and have skied Ngarahoe in winter(the Mt.Fuji-looking peak that you walk by) several times (which requires walking about half of the tongariro crossing before walking up Ngarahoe). Conditions can vary from absolutely miserable to rather mundane.
Right now, the 7km road from the highway to the trailhead is closed to private vehicles - you have to get on a expensive bus to be shuttled. Who knows if it'll open back up before you arrive.

Minimum kit - good walking boots with crampons to fit, warm and waterproof clothing.

send me an email at graham dot b dot johnson at hotmail. if you want more info/an ice axe/a place to crash for a few nights. I live in taumaranui - about an hour from the start of the crossing.
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Annoying Twit - on 01 Feb 2013
We did this on a school trip in the late 70s, though that was during summer. In our case none of us had any equipment, and we just walked up Tongariro, along the ridge, and down the other side. At the time Mount Ngauruhoe had been rumbling and our guide said that he was quite happy to stay off it. So we didn't do the full crossing. I wonder whether school trips still do this, or whether excessive H&S has put the kibosh on it.

Nothing significant to add to the discussion, but you did ask who had been there.

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