This Easter weekend my family and myself went on a 3 day treck around Mt Ngaurahoe . There were 9 of us altogether. It took a bit to organise all the gear but was worth the effort. We decided because of the bad weather predicted 4 of us would take a shorter treck and the others would go the long way . Day 1 The day was looking a bit rainy, we headed off. By mid morning the weather had cleared and we were enjoying the warm sunshine. Jacob (our 8 year old) got very hot so we ended up caring his stuff and he striped down to his trousers and no shoes. He was away after that, keeping up with Dave all the way. We trecked for 12 kilometers and reached our hut at around 3pm in the afternoon. The others arrived 4:30pm. We were all glad to be at the hut, all feeling a bit tired. Early hours of the morning heard a lot of crashing about, the door had come open in the night and a possum had come in eating our nuts left on the table.
Day 2- We woke to rain, and a wind warning of up to 80 knots . So we packed up as soon as possible and set off. I was a bit worried about the wind warning, but we were on our way so no turning back now. We got to the base of our first climb upward, it was pretty steep and a long way up. By this time it was getting very windy , I could only see a short distance in front of us, and the rain was going sideways. It was hard not to be blown over, but we had to keep going, onwards and upwards, it was so steep up a narrow ridge and the wind was blowing in huge gusts, it must have been at least 80 knots for sure. .I looked up just ahead was Charlotte and Dave with Jacob in between them , they were holding him to stop him getting blown away. After aprox 3 hrs we all eventually made it to the top which was just as windy, my legs felt frozen and I could hardly walk, but I had to keep going. So just when I thought its got to get easier it didn’t. We had to climb our way down the Devils Staircase, it was quite hard with gusts of wind and slippery rocks. I kept looking down to the crater below, knowing once we made it there we would be ok for the rest of the walk. We finally got to the crater and found it was totally sheltered from the wind, what a relief . The rain was still coming down but at least the wind was gone. Charlotte and Dave went on ahead and I stayed with Jacob. I new we would be another couple hours to the hut, not far now. We took our time walking as the track was easy and it was so calm walking in the rain. Finally we got to the hut around 3pm. It was so nice to be inside, to change into dry clothes and have a hot cup of soup.
Day 3- Early the next morning around 4am it was raining harder and the wind was very loud, it was a blizzard. The hut warden had told us earlier that the track was closed due to wind warnings of 120 knots. We got up around 6am, looked out side , it was definitely a blizzard. Another man staying in the hut with his family kindly offered to take a couple of us back to the carpark at the Whakapapa village , so we only had to trek for 20 min in the blizzard rather than 5 hrs and thats what we did. We scarved up our faces and dressed in all our warm gear, and made a run for it some of the way as we got blown around by the wind. It was an exhilarating 3 days that I will not forget.