Have you ever climbed a mountain during 40+ mph winds in zero visibility, pretty confident you were about to die? I have, and it turns out that it’s… kind of fun? I never would have guessed I was the kind of girl who enjoyed battling the elements, but it turns out I loved adventure way before I realized I loved adventure.
New Zealand’s Tongariro Crossing is an alpine hike, which means that conditions can be extreme. The weather turned from calm to terrifying in just over an hour. Not only was the wind strong enough to literally blow me off the path, I could barely see through the fog. The scenery I could see was amazing, but I was too focused on surviving to enjoy it for long.
When all the tour groups gathered at the trailhead after the hike, EVERYONE had a crazy story to share. Some people who went further up had to crawl back down on all fours, and one person actually fell and rolled down part of the descent. At one point I legitimately thought I was going to blow off the mountain to my death. Needless to say, this was the best I’ve hike ever done.