hike blog

live presentation!

If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong

Te Araroa, New Zealand’s Long Pathway

Friday, April 23 4:00 CST


“virtual” presentation by Midwest Mountaineering

What motivates a middle-aged woman to brave extreme weather, precarious river crossings, swarms of sandflies and epic mud?  Breathtaking scenery and a renewed sense of wonder!

Join me online for stories and images of this spectacular solo tramp of New Zealand’s 3,000 kilometer “Long Pathway,” Te Araroa.

*Also available on YouTube after the live presentation.

hike blog

TA Day 47, Mangatepopo track to National Park – 30 km

The most famous sign in New Zealand, looking back at Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and thunderstorms.
The most famous sign in New Zealand, looking back at Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and thunderstorms.

I often wondered where I’d end up on December 14th while walking the Te Araroa. I’m so happy to wake up in the Tongariro National Park – and to be packed and moving right before the rain revved up again.

Last night’s spot was perfect to look up the valley and watch the thunderstorms. But I literally turn a corner and glacier-covered Ruapehu reveals herself in all her grandeur, a small trail of fog circling like a boa. I saw her flat top all the way from Mt. Puerora days and days ago. The snow is fresh, white, gleaming against the blue gray of her folds. She’s in my sights as I negotiate a severely eroded trail – an accident waiting to happen.

hike blog

TA Day 46, Te Porere Redoubt to Mangatepopo track – 27 km

A happy Blissful under clear skies at Tongariro National Park.
A happy Blissful under clear skies at Tongariro National Park.

I’m up and packing at 3 am. Friends, there are stars out. Glory Hallelujah. Fingers crossed we make the crossing before the storms come. Dark gives way to gray splashed with orange, a long road walk and it begins.