At long last there has been a new flurry of warnings about the dangers of the Tongariro Crossing since the tragedy last week. The pity was it was entirely preventable…
Thank you to Tongariro Expeditions for images from last Friday to illustrate the present conditions. They were not operating Sunday due to the marginal changing weather conditions.
The worry is that during school holidays some tourists are unaware and may get carried away with their enthusiasm overcoming common sense. The summer tourist season is about to commence and over 100,000 people will be tramping the Tongariro Crossing to mark it off their bucket list. So this is a plea to be more cautious – SWMBO cannot afford to lose guests. OK?
To show the real frustration and concerns of local experienced trampers, the following is some “hard-hitting” correspondence received:
Just in case you think we are over reacting (?) – TRM had our own fright a few years ago when some inmates got lost returning from the crossing. Note the date – it was 16 December 2007. Other tourist accommodation suppliers in Turangi can relate to similar experiences.
The Australian tourists wanted to tramp the crossing but their summer clothing was inadequate. So SWMBO played mother and insisted on fitting them out in coats, (swannis) hats (beannies), gloves etc. just in case… (see image) They left late and reached the Red Crater after everyone had gone, when the weather suddenly deteriorated and it started to snow. Soon the track to Ketetahi was a complete white out and they ended up following the wrong track south east towards the Waihohonu Track. When they failed to return the police were alerted. We managed to make contact but their cell phone battery was just about flat. They were eventually located by blipping their cell phone every half hour for the police squad to track them – about 3 am – waiting frozen about 100m from the hut, but did not realise it was there. They were only saved by the additional warm alpine clothing. OK? At all times of the year people need to take more care in the Tongariro National Park.
This is TRM’s recommendation to avoid the Tongariro Crossing drama: