Friday, August 2, 2013

TAC x 2

The famous hiking trail I mentioned in the previous post is something of a local institution: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (TAC). Last year there were something like 65 000 people who completed the one way 19.4 km route. Its the main tourist draw card for the region and there are hostels, hotels, guiding agencies here in town named after it.

After yesterday's confirmation that skiing conditions were not really in, I decided to focus today's effort on something that this area can deliver on a world class level: trail running. Specifically a double crossing of the TAC: 39 kilometres, 2250 metres of vertical and about 1/3 of the trail being above snowline.

It was windy!
The trail is really well maintained, to the point of having elevated pathways through areas which are prone to erosion. Its all very runnable, but the shear amount of vert. involved in the return from Ketetahi and the utter lack of vert training I've done in the last two months meant that I ended up walking quite a bit of that section.
In the end I squeezed in at a little under 5:05

Another view of Ngauruhoe

The track follows the obvious ridge from the right up to the skyline (Red Crater)

Pretty views down to Lake Rotoaira before a long descent down to the Ketetahi carpark

The only forested section of the track for a few kilometres around Ketetahi

At the end of the run I got some nice views of the always pretty Mt Ruapehu and the Whakapapa ski area

A neat little profile of the track stolen shamelessly from here

No comments:

Post a Comment