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Afternoon drew ever closer to early evening as we continued to walk downhill, now through open grasslands and some minor scrub, past the side track to the Mangatepopo Hut, and past the junction with the Mangatepopo Track. As we neared the trailhead, we began to get a clear view to the south, where a beautiful view of Mount Ruapehu, the North Island's highest mountain, came into view. Ruapehu is high enough that snow remained on its upper slopes.
Gnarled Lava Outcrops
Returning to Vegetation
Lower Mangatepopo Valley
Easy walk along flats
Mount Ruapehu
Arriving end trailhead
Just after 4pm, the glint of sunlight on metal roofs portended our arrival at the trailhead. I think I speak for all by saying that we were tired but happy, having achieved a pretty strenuous hike in a pretty reasonable eight and a half hours. The hike had been wonderfully scenic virtually every step of the way, and showcased a wide variety of climate zones, topography, and interesting volcanic and geothermal features. The guidebooks and testimonials are true - this is truly an outstanding hike.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Crossing Completion
Foot Break
Congratulations in order
Kudos once again to Lori, our resident newbie hiker, who smashed her previous height and distance records with this hike by a large margin - and seemed none the worse for wear.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Tongariro Alpine Crossing - click map to view
Hike Data - Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Start Time: 7:39a.m.
End Time: 4:15p.m.
Duration: 8h36m
Distance: 19.68 km (12.23 mi)
Average Speed: 2.3 km/hr (1.4 mph)
Start Elevation: 2545ft (776m) *
Max Elevation: 6158ft (1877m) *
Min Elevation: 2545ft (776m) *
End Elevation: 3721ft (1134m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 3844ft (1172m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 2682ft (817m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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[ Return to New Zealand Home page | Intro | Hobbiton | Home Base North | Hawke's Bay Cycle Tour | The Taupo Area | Waitomo Glowworm Caves | The Rotorua Area | Tongariro Alpine Crossing | The Great Lake Ride | The Capital - Wellington | Crossing the Cook Strait | Tasman Great Taste Ride | Rain Day in Nelson | Abel Tasman Kayak and Hike | The Great South Drive | Aspiring National Park Backpack | Queenstown | The Routeburn Track | Epilogue | The "Short Report" | GPS Data ]

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