My son and I are planning on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing the first week of December. I have no idea what to wear: shorts/pants, long sleeve/short sleeve. Does it get hot even with the elevation change? We will pack vests, rain gear for warmth but this is going to be a challenge for a middle aged mom as it is; I really don't want to overdress. Will wear good shoes, of course, but will we need polar fleece? My son is carrying everything, I've had 4 knee surgeries and am very worried that I won't be strong enough to do this. It's #1 on my son's list of things for us to do together this trip and I don't want to let him down. I walk up to 8 miles a day on perfectly flat, groomed trails at sea level. Is this realistic for me? I'll admit my aerobic capacity is awful.
The Tongariro Crossing is pretty arduous but in saying that there are people in their 60's and 70's who have done it. You can go at your own pace and do not rush it - all the gear can be hired.