Date: 11th November, 2006
Location: Tongariro National Park
Huts visited: Mangatepopo Hut (0 nights), Ketetahi Hut.
People: Dave, Celeste, Stacey and me.
Dave, Celeste, Stacey and I went up to Tongariro National Park for the weekend with the specific intention of walking the Tongariro Crossing.
The weather at the start of the day was pretty dismal, and there was a lot of snow around, much of it probably from the blizzard last Tuesday. (Just my guess.) We were considering the side trip up to the Tongariro Peak, but when it came to it, we didn’t actually manage to find the poled track leading off in that direction, and in the conditions it probably wouldn’t have been a wise idea, anyway. Visibility was limited to maybe 20 metres on and off.
Even given the weather, there were quite a lot of people around. I hate to think what it’d be like to walk this track in the height of the summer season. It was a bit concerning, especially given the conditions, that we still saw so many people who weren’t really prepared for the trip. (Jeans, cotton t-shirts, etc.)
It cleared up on the north eastern side of the mountains, though, almost immediately after we reached the Emerald Lakes, and from that point on we only had to cope with the general slushiness left over from melting snow.
Yay for us.