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The Tongariga Alpine Crossing

The Tongariga Alpine Crossing has been ranked by various sources as "the world's best one day hike". Wherever you put it on the list, it's spectacular. You climb up the edge of Mount Tongariro (aka, Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings), climb up and down a beautiful mountain view to a series of emerald lakes - and, if you could go beyond the "flying volcanic rock" area right now, past Mount Ngauruhoe (aka, Mordor). The climb didn't feel dangerous, per se, but it was definitely challenging with a lot of loose rock on the steepest parts of the climb. I slipped several times, fell once, and took forever trying to setup my tripod so that I wouldn't lose my camera down the mountain. So you can imagine my shock (horror!) on my descent when I passed a guy bringing his 1 year old baby up the mountain with him. Not in some kind of backpack, but under his arm like a football! I don't think he'll be winning the "parent of the year" award anytime soon.

LOTRLord of the RingsMount DoomMount NgauruhoeNew ZealandNew Zealand mountainsTongariga Alpine Crossing