people usually create bucket lists sitting in comfortable conditions, reading or looking at photos or videos of places they want to go... theres a big disconnect. because often the trips dont have that much comfort to them and have an element of danger , they may take that into account, but its easy to create a bucket list when you're feeling comfortable and unstressed. that warm feeling you had stays with you as you seek out your bucket list.... reality often doesnt hit home till you're there...
Maybe a silly question. But what is stopping DOC from closing the trailhead in conditions that are unsafe for the average walker? In Oz, we do it for our popular beaches. Not everyone pays attention, but it certainly keeps most people out of the water (tourists and locals alike), particularly the inexperienced.
This post has been edited by the author on 14 October 2018 at 02:04.
the law prevents them from closing it,,, it would have to be a volcanic event that would allow them to close it, but bad weather isnt a unique enough event to allow them to close it...
the shuttle companies dont run if the forecast is beyond set thresholds, some will tell the public the track is closed...
Yes as @waynowski says, NZ conservation law fundamentally guarantees public access and it's very difficult to close access, although in the past decade it looks like the Minister has slipped bylaws in for several National Parks which allow DOC to close areas for safety reasons (not Tongariro NP at this time). It'd be largely unprecedented and highly controversial if it happened.
The government-as-a-caretaker thing has roots back to before the government took much notice of the estate and people took the initiative to explore it themselves, but tourism has radically changed the landscape of who visits many places, and why, in a very short time.
Also on this:
>Police and Doc are asking Kiwis to check in with tourists when we observe they are inadequately prepared or underresourced for the conditions.
What's really needed is for more enlightened tourists, or enlightened former tourists, to talk to each other about safety issues. They'd get much more respect from many other tourists than locals.
This post has been edited by the author on 15 October 2018 at 10:39.
Quick story: A couple of years ago, a mate and I were walking the Northern Circuit in winter. We happened upon a young Kiwi man and woman at the signpost pointing to Tongariro summit. We were a bit gobsmacked to see they had on trainers, light clothing, and a day pack. They explained they were heading up and over Red Crater and spend the night at Oturere Hut, only to retrace their steps the next day back to Mangatepopo.
Meanwhile, Gabe and I had full winter kits and were already wearing crampons to climb out of South Crater. In addition, a nice, cold southerly was building momentum at @ 2:30pm.
So off they diddybopped up Red Crater before their situation fully sunk in with us. I told Gabe that if we ran into them again we would need to more fully assess what they were up to.
Sure enough, we found them atop Red Crater having a boilup where the snow had melted from, you know, the volcano. We began talking with them again and realized they were novices in winter conditions, didn't have proper equipment nor clothing, and I doubt they even had decent sleeping bags in their small packs. Meanwhile the southerly kept strengthening.
Gabe and I convinced them to turn around before conditions worsened even more. I think they would have been in big trouble trying to descend both Red Crater and the drop into Oturere Valley.
Anyhoo, I didn't read or hear anything about them so they obviously made it back down to Mangatepopo safely.