Tongariro Winter Experience

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Tongariro Winter Experience

1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,

It's coming to the end of March and now seems to be the end of the "good weather" for doing the Tongariro Crossing. So it's a toss up. Either I do it this weekend (as the weather looks to be pretty okay) or put it off until mid-winter, grab some crampons and an ice-axe and prepare to get cold!

Just wondering really if anyone has done it in the winter and what their experiences were. I'd really like to wait for winter but i'm unsure as to how difficult it would be.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks :)


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5311 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I did it roughly this time of year (*looks it up* - on the first of April, no joke), and although I had amazingly good weather, with sunshine almost all the way, the piercing and freezing wind on the last bit up to red crater was getting slightly scary for a while.
Although I've seen photos of the crossing in winter, and they look absolutely and astonishingly amazing, given that experience I don't think that I personally would risk doing it that time of year. Not without a whole lot of experience with mountaineering, or at the very least a guide who had such. 'course, that might just be me being chicken, but either way, that's my thought on it.

(Also - even if you do it now, there's nothing stopping you from doing it again during the winter. And at the very least you'll then have a much better idea of what to expect.)

3. Posted by Gareth88 (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'd have to agree with Sander. I did it this time last year too and even with layer upon layer of warm clothing it was darn cold throughout most of it.
If you're really keen and have had some experience in extreme situations then yeah go for it later in Winter - ice pick and all, but if not get down there in the next few weeks.

Also, you probably know, but just to make sure, the weather changes incredibly fast up there, so take plenty of extra warm clothing and prepare for the worst even if it is a perfect sunny day down the bottom. It often looks amazing from the bottom but up the top its completely the oposite.

Enjoy your hike!

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the info guys. I imagine it would be pretty cold up there, and no I definitely dont have a lot of experience in extreme conditions. Not unless you count relentness Irish rain as extreme

Anyway, appreciate the advice. Ill see what the weather brings over the coming weeks.