playing round Mt Tongariro Park

Been parked up at the Whakapapa Village – across the road from the Chateau. Was hoping to be able to walk the Tongariro crossing but the weather has been so cold now that parts of the track are only safe with crampons and we hit a brick wall when trying to get any transportation sorted . The weather finally settled in fine – after the first 2 days that saw snow and strong winds. As a compromise we decided to park the ute at the road head and spend a night at the Mangatepopo hut. We christened our brand new packs with full loads – plenty of tucker and extras like the iPads – radio . We had the hut to ourselves – nice place but so so cold. It has a central gas heater but the amount of heat that it produces was meager. The cold meant that we had to go to bed very early – the only warm refuge available .
We walked up to the south crater – crossed it and started on the red crater ridge. Not too high up we decided that it was not safe for us to continue due to the ice and risk of a fall on the ridge. Spectacular place – big commercial groups of young folk spent time on the crater getting their crampons fitted before continuing the icy ridge. Wind was close to Zero knots and the sun made it a pleasant place to be. Barb and I melted snow in our little cooker and made a lovely hot soup as we soaked up the expansive stunning views.
We made it back to the hut by mid afternoon and decided that the electric heater back in our van and the lovely comfortable bed was too good an option not to take.
Altogether a great day at the office.

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Mangatepopo Hut

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