Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of NZ born Hiker who died of a heart attack on Thursday the 13th of 2020. We salute any person of his grand old age hiking. As we cross paths on great hikes the elderly always have our respect. We’ve all passed them on tracks throughout New Zealand and some of them will pass you on the Tongariro crossing. And truthfully, they’re often how we imagine ourselves when we cross that 70’s threshold.Senior Constable Barry Shepherd of Taupō police Search and Rescue confirmed that the NZ man had died while walking the track on Thursday. First hand witnesses at the scene said he was half way up the devil’s staircase. A gruelling assent up stairs 2/3 of the way though the journey.A rāhui has been put in place by the tribes of the area; Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro and Ngati Tūwharetoa.Rāhui is a Maori (Native New Zealand) word which sets a temporary prohibition around the rāhui area and limits access for that period in order to acknowledge the death. Many rituals have a fascinating story. We encourage travelers to stay with local hosts to absorb the culutre. It is in these exchanges of difference we find commonalities and lifelong friendships.Host can share some insights into their culture, traditions, geography and even in practical terms. We all know local knowledge is invaluable. You already have an amazing story.
The Devil’s staircase
The section called The Devil’s Staircase, is steep! – climbing from 1400 to 1600 metres above sea level and was initially given its name by the soldiers who were part of the road building programme of General Wade. The carrying of building materials up that stretch of the road was not popular!Although this is unrelated to the death of the hiker mentioned above, The Tongiriro Alpine Crossing does require planning. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4km long. On average the trek takes between six and eight hours to complete.
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