He advises against walking from the Ketetahi end to avoid the four-hour parking restrictions.
“There’s a bigger climb, plus the majority of walkers leave from Mangatepopo so you’d be meeting people all the way across.”
The downside, he adds, is that some New Zealanders will say they are used to walking in their parks for free and won’t want to pay for a shuttle. “I’m afraid it’s too late for that here, the horse has left the stable. It’s like sports clubs that have had to change from the amateur to professional level, we’re now in the era of professional management.”
Barclay is also supportive of DOC’s move to discourage summit attempts on Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. Whether from a cultural or safety perspective, a good sensible message is to not climb Ngauruhoe, he says.
“What many walkers don’t realise is that climbing Ngauruhoe is a completely different proposition from walking the TAC. It’s so steep, and loose rocks get kicked down. At least half the Search and Rescue calls each year are now to Ngauruhoe.
Federated Mountain Clubs president Peter Wilson says, while he is generally opposed to more regulations in national parks, the popularity of the crossing make it a special case.
“We have to accept it [the regulations], because of the crowding issues,” Wilson says.
“We’ve got to ensure people are still having a good time and aren’t damaging the environment.”
Additional reporting by Kathy Ombler
Tomorrow TRM Daily Report provides alternative options to the Tongariro Crossing which are even better! Don’t miss it.