So then …had  BIG plans for a sunrise photog event atop Tongariro again … start at 1am getting ready at National Park with family crew along for the ride to allow enough time to walk from the entry point to the Tongariro summit . Nice start , there was a full moon above us which lighted up the track so much that we could actually turn our head-torches off and still see the trail . Awesome … looked good so far .

Arrival at the first steeper climb – the devils stair-case – and still good . We could see Nagarahoe above us with fleeting cloud rising and falling and really nice and still air . Next level is South crater which is a nice flat amble … getting misty now . On to red crater and time to put on some more layers as a bit chill = hands getting frozen . Bit of a bite and up to the rim of red crater and well what a blast . Deja Vu … Just like last time with almost zero visibility  . Quack …

Hung around for a bit to get a feel for the conditions as to wether it was going to let off at all . Na

At this time a enterprising German hiker shows up – about 5.30 in the morning – and we all decide that the roaring gales around the steep ridge that was the next part of our ascent was not worth the drama . Quack …

Down we go and the rain starts just to let us know we made a good choice . Ah well … looks like this dawn photoshoot idea at the Tongariro summit will have to wait until those b…y ducks line up again ! I wonder who suggested it in the first place ?

If you are wondering about the duck thing … it”s become a bit of a “conversation piece” in that it”s been described as “when  those ducks line up it will all come together ” to get a sunrise up there . Nothing worth-while was ever easy thats for sure …

The story continues …

Huge thanks to Spud at the Schnapps Bar at National Park village for all the really good advice and liquid encouragement … highly reccomend .

Meanwhile here is a few damp images …. just click on any image to bring up large .

8200Tongariro Alpine Crossing #01 web by M Handley.

Being rained on at South Crater

8201Tongariro Alpine Crossing sean  web by M Handley.

The walk back down

8202Tongariro Alpine Crossing steps web by M Handley.

Misty … really good for photography

8217Tongariro Alpine Crossing track web by M Handley.

Coming down out of the mist

8220Tongariro Alpine Crossing devils staircase web by M Handley.

The devils stair-case … good aerobics

8223Tongariro Alpine Crossing boardwalk web by M Handley.

Boardwalk over the swampy areas

8224Tongariro Alpine Crossing boardwalk #02 web by M Handley.

Lower boardwalk . Note the red sediment in the water