Thank you to Kerri McIvor for mentioning TRM in the Sunday Herald today.
The article is headed “Misadventure of fools ought to bear cost.
This is over TRM’s various posts to warn visitors of the “alpine” nature of the Tongariro Crossing. She writes: “Last year nine people were rescued from the Tongariro Crossing on Easter Weekend, all suffering from hypothermia.” TRM gets hypo when our guests are involved. She goes on to say “A good point was made by the Tongariro River Motel last year. After seeing brochures from AA promoting the Tongariro Crossing, they wrote to the organisation complaining there was not a word of warning about the alpine environment. The photos were taken in summer with people in shorts and T-shirts, and tourists are surprised when the moteliers urge them to take one of the old Swanndri jackets they keep on hand for under-prepared walkers….. Good on the Tongariro River Motel for taking the AA to task.”
TRM have even produced brief videos to demonstrate the dangers of how quickly the weather can change… Outside every unit at TRM are walking poles available for guests walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. etc. Almost every day until after Easter there are guests who have to tick their bucket list for the Tongariro Crossing. But SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the manager of everything at TRM and hates losing guests on the Tongariro Crossing) warns it is much longer and harder than many realise and as indicated in the publicity brochures.
Feedback from DM: Good one Ross. We walked it on 2nd of Jan this year. It is the third time I have done it – and every time the weather has turned on the tops. It was blowing a gale, and despite it being about 27 degrees in Turangi we ended up in full wind proof clothing, wool hats, and gloves. I was horrified at the amount of people who were walking it in singlets, dresses, jeans, skateboard shoes – and many with no bags on their backs (i.e. – no spare clothing, no food, no water). It is no surprise that people die or need rescuing off this walk all the time.
A good example. Jeans and Chuck Taylor shoes – which weren’t laced up. This is a 19km alpine crossing. Not a walk to the shops.
TRM example – this photo below was taken December 2007. As the weather looked dodgy these TRM inmates were fitted out with additional coats, gloves, hats, etc. When the reached the Red Crater it started snowing heavily. On their way down to Ketetahi the track was lost in the snow and they ended up following the wrong track south. They fortunately contacted Mountain Rescue and the police found them about 3.30 am the next morning close to Oturere Hut although they did not know it was there. The additional clothing probably saved their lives. OK?
Colin Baker Reading Damons comments observations I have made personally are that poorly dressed people do end up turning around. Statistically speaking the risk of requiring outside assistance is 1 in 2000 on the TAC which is only 1 in 3500 for the rest of NZ tracks. The risk of death to Hypothermia prior to the idiots in October was over 10 years previous! Many people you see at the start of the track may also only be “sightseeing” due to the 4 hour restrictions. So if people come back with photos of these nutters at Red Crater or Emerald lakes then yes we got a problem. Thats why the sign that warns people about the Alpine Enviroment with a STOP message is located at Soda springs because thats probably as far as they will get on a wet day! Now another point to make in referance to the photo supplied by Damon! Thats a sight I have seen countless times and daily. Did they come with a Shuttle? The answer is No although a few slip through. These are probably the result of that One Way shuttle service where a group is dropped off by a driver who then goes and parks at the end the trail! How do you reduce that? Well only way is to knock that ability on the head by either stopping the one way service (which can only be done by those operators) or Close Mangatepopo access road from 530am to 930am! Its pretty much impossible to get a shuttle after 930am from ketetahi. Of course they also create their own problems! Heck I would like that especially with sunstrike on that road and the suicide drivers rushing down to get their shuttle. To the naysayers! Well just like to point out that when you use a shuttle you are actually paying $4pp to use that road. I am sure you could still have that freedom of access while making sure people are properly equipped by managing the access road.and allowing the “economy” Hiker to not complain about cost. There is only a certain amount we can do to stop stupid but we can sure reduce it.