If you are experienced in hiking with crampons and ice axe and in alpine terrain, you can trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing during the winter months. Without alpine experience, a guided trip is recommended. Weather on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is subject to severe alpine conditions and can be extreme, particularly on the Red Crater ridge. You can expect snow, ice and strong winds. Weather forecasts are used as an initial guide. Your guide will make trek decisions based on the actual conditions on the day.
All those attempting the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with or without a guide must be of good health and medium fitnessGuides expect you to sign a form stating this. Medical conditions including epilepsy, blood pressure complications, heart problems and chronic asthma may prevent you from joining the group.
What you need to bring:
The following is a mandatory minimum gear and equipment list for each person
• NO cotton tops (i.e. no T-shirts) or jeans.
• NO trainers, runners, gumboots, or slip-on or any shoe or boot with mesh material.
• NO alcohol or drugs to have been consumed within the previous eight hours before trip departure.
You must have:
• Crampons and ice axe.
• Warm hat (beanie).
• Warm gloves.
• Four warm tops. Thermal/fleece singlets are best. Brushed-cotton sweats can make up two of the four layers required).
• Reliable rain coat which can be a shell only.
• Two pairs of long warm trousers. Either thermal longs to be worn under walking trousers or walking trousers under water-proof outer.
• Warm socks.
• Walking boots with adequate tread (not trainers, runners or slip-on shoes). Footwear must come to above the ankle and be made of a non-mesh material, i.e. leather or Gore-Tex.
• 1 litre of fluid and a packed lunch (chocolate or sugary snacks are good for quick energy hits).
• Sunscreen and lip balm.