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Distance 19.88 km Duration 8 hours Ascent 913 meters Length Single-Day Location Waikato Trip Grading Fit

A moderate plus to fit outing which is a combination of part of the Smugglers Route (up Hardman’s Ridge), off-track navigation over North Crater then some steep downhill to meet the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track above Ketetahi Shelter. The crossing track is then followed down past the shelter and out to the car park just off Lake Rotoira Road (SH46). Be well aware that Hardman’s Ridge is aptly named and getting up on to it is a grunt. The terrain to the north of Mt Tongariro is quite taxing to traverse through and there are some unmapped bluffs once on the rim of North Crater and getting out-bluffed can happen. This outing can be done in summer or winter but in summer it can be very hot and severe weather can exist in the winter months. As described the trip was undertaken at the start of winter with snow on the ground and eight hours were required. Summer outing needs an hour or two less.
Last Updated April 2015

Start Point: Easting 1823088 Northing 5664000

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