The greatest Challenge

Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: -39.2901, 175.562

We have been so lucky with the weather so far. Except for one day we have had blue skies and hot sun every day. And our stay at the South of Lake Taupo was no exception and the best place so far. The Lake House bed and breakfast was wonderfully comfortable with fantastic views from the terrace of the garden and the Lake in the distance. Our hosts Neil and Raywin were very hospitable with lots of drinks and an evening meal the first night and lots of stories and information about NZ and this area and their life story of course. We also had a coupe of swims in the very refreshing, ie bloody cold, lake below, and were amazed that there was hardly anybody else around - this being the end of the kids summer holidays.
Neil booked us on the transport for our next days adventure and encouraged us all to give the Tongariro crossing our best shot. He got us up for a cooked breakfast at 6.30 am and sent us on our way by 7.15am. A cloudy morning promised to break into sun and forecast was for the hottest day on the mountain this summer. So once the bus dropped us off we all started on the 19 km climb and descent energetically. Half way up the first ascent Peter began to slow down and decided to turn back after 7 km. Although Kes and Jess had waited for us they set off before this decision was taken so I [Liz} was on my own, but there was a constant stream of walkers, although I managed to find a few peaceful times to walk alone over the next 5 hours. The second ascent was a difficult scramble up to the peak and then a ski down loose scree to the emerald lakes and the long, long 4 hr descent. I found the last 2 hours with too many flights of steps tough on knees, ankles and feet and it took me several days to recover from the 8 hr, trek. Meanwhile Kes and Jess got down with ease and picked up our car to come back to collect us, Peter having hitched a ride from the starting car park to finishing car park with some locals. The views from the top of the moonscape scenery and red crater and blue lakes were indeed awesome and worth the agony !

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


it steepens, Peter climbing to South Craterit steepens, Peter climbing to South Crater
it steepens, Peter climbing to South Crater

That's about 2000 feet climbed and with 700 still to go near his turn-back point

Tot: 0.137s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 13; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0193s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb