TRM’s latest video of the team completing their winter training in the Tongariro National Park. The challenge was for Hannah to conquer all three highest peaks in mid winter alpine conditions… Their ‘crossing’ took four days. Enjoy…
Following was TRM report for 27 July warning of the hazards on the Tongariro ALPINE Crossing during winter months. A few years ago they added the word “ALPINE” to try to warn prospective trampers that they will be hiking at altitude – in alpine conditions.
We were reminded again last weekend when two inmates asked us for directions. They were planning to “tick that box” on Saturday when it was too windy and too bitter for fishing… They were quite surprised when we asked them if they had their own crampons or where they planning to hire some? Since then more trampers have been lost and injured on the crossing. So we remind everyone again from TRM’s report for 27 July. If you really have to do the crossing then get a guide.
Above – another TRM guided team on their way to the Ruapehu summit in January 2015.
One man using rocks to cut steps was one of three tourists helped off an icy alpine crossing.
Two others slipped and fell into the North Crater of the Tongariro Crossing.
Police were called 11am when two tourists realised they could not continue.
They’d tramped up from the Ketetahi Hut end but came across ice near the Blue Lake.
Neither had an ice axe or crampons and both slipped into the North Crater.
They escaped without injury and continued to the Emerald Lake and called the police for help.
Instead two DOC staff members based at Mt. Ruapehu set out on foot with LSAR members.
Once rescuers found the couple the group headed to the Otutere Hut and soon found another person who needed their help. The man was using a rock to cut steps in the ice to climb over to Oturere Valley. Ridiculous?
etc… OK? Please be careful out there.
At this time of the year we try to talk tourists out of walking the crossing unless in a guided group. It can be very dangerous in winter weather.
Use a mountain guide or leave the Tongariro Crossing for summer.
The photo at top and on right was taken in January 2015 on a TRM inmates Summit climb. Even in Summer accidents and injuries can occur – as you might notice, the local Police had been called to assist. They were fantastic.
The list of essential gear – above right – is for summer tramping.
So this is another plea to treat the Tongariro National Park seriously – it is an alpine environment – not a winter playground.
The photo below was taken on 16 December 2007 (in Summer?) when this group of West Island tourist walkers from TRM were saved by the police in freezing white-out conditions when they lost the track. Note the snow fall in December…
They were eventually found very late at night by Police tracking their weak cell phone beeps. They were very lucky to survive at all.
They had missed the track to Ketetahi as the snow covered everything and were located by police close to Oturere Hut. They had no idea they were so close to a shelter.
They were fortunate to have suitable warm clothing. They were about to leave in the usual summer T shirts until SWMBO insisted they take the red and blue ‘Swandri” coats – just in case…
The warm clothing probably saved their lives. OK? TRM cannot afford to lose any inmates.
The following video illustrates the difference between summer and winter conditions… Look out for bikinis on top of Mt. Ruapehu!