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Tonagario Alpine Crosssing

Tonagario Alpine Crosssing 1

Tongiriro Alpine Crossing

Tonagario Alpine Crosssing 2Our 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.

The Must-Haves For hiking the Tongiriro Alpine Crossing:

Tongariro National Park can be subject to unpredictable weather, and conditions can change quickly. It is important that all walkers carry the essentials for their journey across.

Take:
  • Food and plenty of fluid, especially in the summer months. If you are planning on completing any of the summit tracks, ensure you have additional water supplies.
  • Waterproof and wind-proof raincoat and trousers
  • Strong, sturdy boots (you will be trekking over uneven volcanic terrain)
  • Warm clothing layers:woollen or polypropylene thermals and fleece
  • Hat and gloves
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • First Aid Kit
  • Map
  • Cellphone

Due to the rugged and alpine environment, the weather in the car park at the beginning of the track can differ greatly from conditions 1000 metres higher further up the track.Be prepared to change your plans and turn back especially when visibility is poor or strong winds prevail.


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