Not Up Mt Doom: An Unexpected Journey

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the “Great Walks of New Zealand”: 19.4km (12 miles)

Time given till pick up: 8hrs

“You can do Mt Doom if you want, but then you need to be 2 hrs faster, watch out for rocks falling on your head on the way down and do not get lost in the bad weather, so basically if you do it, you’re kind of an idiot”

Thoughts of reanacting Sam and Frodo at the end were dashed. 

To those of us who were secretly hoping we couldn’t do Mt Doom (for fitness reasons), this was music to our ears, now we didn’t have to huff and puff and pretend that we had any chance of not calling a helicopter to come pick us up when we were lost. 

19.4kilometers (really 20k if you count the extra 600meters I made people walk in a “I think the bathroom is that way” failed attempt) took 6 hrs and 50mins. Everyone around the age of thirty collapsed at the end and wished for a masseuse. 
We crossed through mist, across rocky valleys, up 400 “Devil” steps, over a mountain ridge that had so much wind it almost took my backpack and definitely took my hair back to a time before I knew how to use a brush, and down a ridge that caused people to say “are we snowboarding?” And “I think I bruised my bum” Everytime we wiped out (3 times).

In true “I’m just making sure everyone one is okay” fashion, I “chose” to trail at the end, because you know, life is not a race and the journey is more important than the destination. 
But sometimes, the next day, the journey makes you waddle downstairs like a goose. 

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