The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular tramping tracks, and is considered the most popular one-day tramp in New Zealand. The park is a World Heritage site which has the distinction of dual status, as it has been acknowledged for both its natural and cultural significance.
A 17km crossing passes (roughly speaking) over the volcanic terrain of the multi-cratered active volcano Mt Tongariro, passing near to the immediately neighbouring Mt Ngauruhoe.
It was just Danny, Janneke and myself on this occasion as Sam had a bad cold and wanted to rest. The walk was hard but beautiful especially the volcanic landscape, visible volcanic activity and views of the surrounding countryside below.
We decided to complete the track in the opposite direction which made it somewhat harder, actually much much harder, as 70% was uphill and steep at that. By the end it felt like we had walked 50km, but worth every step.
On a somewhat similar subject, I have just finished Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer and found it to be an exceptional read. The story is nearly as old as the mountain itself and still rather controversial, especially here in NZ, but puts some interesting facts forward to support the claim that George Mallory did actually make it to the summit of Everest before Sir Edmund Hillary. A great insight into this amazingly determined individual!