They were very lucky with the weather.
They also agreed with your sentiments about it being over crowded!
Thanks for your hospitality.
These are a travel group from overseas who have come here just to do the crossing.
It is wonderful to see tourists include this on their bucket list but we do worry when they only allow one day for the crossing, almost regardless of the weather.
As I post this they will have started their trek with about 20 km to go to reach their bus. When I look up towards Mt. Pihanga at 7 am all I can see is grey mist, cold and unwelcoming.
i.e. The mountain is not visible at all. We could not recommend anyone to go up there on a day like this but this overseas group have gone regardless…
The top of Mt. Pihanga is about the same altitude where they will start their ascent from the Mangatepopo car park…
So they could spend most of the day looking at cold mist. Or looking at the back pack of the person in front of them?
For a group of tourists not used to the altitude and the alpine weather, we can only pray they are fit enough and have enough warm dry clothing as it will not be pleasant at all.
I fear it will be an endurance trek in chilly alpine conditions rather than the wonderful walk obvious in the images, across an alpine crater with views forever. TRM equipped them all with walking poles (- old ski poles kindly donated by Turangi Ski Hire).
In marginal weather we can recommend many other alternative shorter lower altitude easier options which are just as good.
i.e. From the Tongariro Chateau at Whakapapa the 2 hour loop walk to the Taranaki Falls is an excellent choice with cafes at the end to assist recovery.
Or the 2 hour loop walk around Lake Rotopounamu for when the weather packs up.
Or the Tongariro river Trail loop walk is a much safer choice…
So PLEASE if Tongariro Alpine Crossing is on your wish list for this summer, pick the weather carefully.
Allow a window of several days to get the best weather.
We just want guests to enjoy the experience. OK?