Tongariro Alpine Crossing 

It is 6 am in the morning and I already had breakfast at 5 am. It is not sure if we are allowed to do the crossing today due to the weather forecast which said yesterday that the wind will be way to strong on top of the mountain we want to cross.

With eating my last banana for breakfast I gambled everything on one card: the crossing has to be done today because a) I can’t wait another day here in the middle of nowhere because the rest of NZ is calling and b) I am running out of food! No kidding you can’t buy something in here so I ate my last banana and there is just an apple left, Pasta and several nut bars.

I packed everything for the crossing yesterday and now I am going to the office to check if the shuttle busses are going.
Luck is with me, weather has changed and so the crossing takes place. I am the youngest in the shuttle and a bit scared because everyone else is looking highly professionell. I am wearing everything I have means 7 different layers of clothing, my hat and my buff and two leggings , because I don’t have proper hiking trousers with me.

After 30 minutes I am pulling the first three layers of. We are walking on a small steep path and it’s getting hot even it is 8 am in the morning. The landscape is beautiful. I can’t get enough of looking around but I know that I need to focus on the track. There are 17 km more ahead and a twister ankle wouldn’t be good.
During the walk up to the top of the mountain I thought three times that I have reached top. But whenever my inner voice said: “You did it! You are a hell of a hiker! Good job!” I saw a sign which was telling me that the top of the mountain is still ahead :p
After two hours of hiking are no plants anymore around. Just stones and the beautiful view to a mountain with snow on its peak.

And then the wind was telling me that the top is near. Putting back everything on I am trying to keep the wind out of my jacket not to get cold. The wind is so strong that we all need to hold on to a wire not to be blown off from the top.

The view is amazing, perfect sunshine, no clouds and just the wind.

After reaching the peak the other side of the mountain offers a stunning view to three green lakes. Hiking downwards on a lets call it “unstable path of black earth” I am loosing my balance and sliding 2 meters on my bum. What a good laugh for all the others BUT this little slide also offers me that the earth is actually warm because under us is a volcano. And the lakes are nothing less than hot lakes with a lot of minerals in it which are causing the beautiful colors.

A bit scary that the earth is warm but the beauty is really worth the scare 😉

On our way down to the valley I am passing two french guys. And then they passed me and so on and so on. With every passing one of them gave me flowers so I am having a nice bouquet of flowers and for the last 6 km a perfect distraction from my hurting feeds with blisters on?
After 5:20h it’s done! Being the first women back at the shuttle I am a little bit proud but also tired and happy and overwhelmed and hungry and everything together at the same time 😀

This day was amazing and showed me that stepping out of the comfort zone, having breakfast at 5 am and gambling with bananas is so worth it 😀

I will leave the National Park tonight and stopping for dinner somewhere nice because I am too tired for cooking by myself and I think my body needs a lot of fries and a veggie Burger 😀

The hiker Kristin 


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