Tongariro Crossing

[NOTE: I wrote this post in October 2009 – I realized I had never finished writing my posts about New Zealand, which is a crime because the Tongariro Crossing was one of the most exhilirating experiences of my life. I think I was trying to think of enough eloquent things to say about it, but there simply aren’t words – at least, that I’m capable of writing – so for now I’ll at least get the photos up here and allow them to speak for themselves…]

Photos are in chronological order… hover over the group photos for titles.


We took a shuttle bus from town and got to the trail head around 6:30am.



Tongariro & Ngauruhoe at sunriseEarly morning mistsStarting up the pass


South CraterSoda SpringsMordor-ish

2 hours in…


Alex scaling NgauruhoeMt TongariroTough hill

This was one of the scariest (but coolest) things I’ve ever done. The wind was blowing so hard across the snowy ridge that I crawled up the final slope (see the wet knees)!

My side tripTongariro Summit trackHiking to the summitTongariro Summit

This is the mountain that played Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies… (sans snow of course)

6 hours in (after waiting for Alex to come back down from Ngauruhoe)… beginning to descend.


Lava flowEmerald Lakes and steamMe and my kidValley of ash and snow

After 7 hours…

Lakes Rotoraira and TaupoAlpine blossomsKetetahi Hut

After 8 hours… (warming back up as we came down)


At this point, we semi-jogged the rest of the way because we were nearing our cut-off time to make the return shuttle (due to the summit trips).

Sub-alpine brushDown into the forestThe end - 19 km+ in 9 hours


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4 thoughts on “Tongariro Crossing

  1. These are terrific! I'm so envious, I was in NZ but was not able to do climbs because of my MS but did some frustrating valley walks – thanks for your pics.

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