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WARNING graphic content

On 14 June 2020 two climbers were caught in an avalanche on the south face of Mt Alma in the Two Thumbs Range, Canterbury. Thankfully, both survived to share their story. Mountain Safety Council (MSC) caught up with one of the climbers to learn more about the events that took place and how other climbers can learn from this incident.

This avalanche incident was reported via the NZ Avalanche Advisory public observation tool, you can see the original observation here.

Tom (real name used with consent) has been climbing for about 6 years. His partner on this trip, a close friend he has climbed with on numerous occasions, is more experienced and to some degree has been a mentor for Tom. …


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Trampers overlooking Hinapouri Tarn, Angelus Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park

Expressions of interest are now open to become part of an Issue Specific Advisory Group (ISAG) which will focus on developing prevention solutions that aim to reduce safety incidents for trampers/walkers in the Angelus Hut/Robert Ridge area.

The Mountain Safety Council (MSC) has identified Robert Ridge and the surrounding Angelus Hut access tracks as being one of the leading hotspots for tramping incidents. With 47 people involved in search and rescues and a further two fatalities over a 9-year period (July 2010 — June 2019), the rate of incidents is one of the highest in NZ.

The decision to implement an ISAG was based on a combination of insights developed through the analysis of data from ACC, NZ Police, NZ Rescue Co-ordination Centre and the Ministry of Justice’s Coronial Services Unit. …


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New Zealand Mountain Safety Council | Winter Blog 2020

It’s no secret that this has been a turbulent few months around the world and here at home. All aspects of life have been affected, including us getting outside and enjoying our great outdoors. Lately, the news has been regularly featuring the discussion around what the season looks like for ski areas. Fortunately with the move to level 1 and reopening of domestic travel, it looks as though many areas around the country will be operational at some level. Likewise, those same Alert Level 1 changes indicate that this could be a great winter to enjoy the backcountry. …


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Our Avalanche Advisory (NZAA) Public Observation Competition is back this winter!

You can help others stay safe in the backcountry by submitting Avalanche and Snowpack Observations via the Public Observations section of our NZAA website avalanche.net.nz. Capturing the information around this season’s snowpack is an important part of shaping our backcountry forecasts and helping people stay safe in the alpine environments.

So, next time you are in the backcountry — be safe, submit your observations to Avalanche.net.nz and enter our competition! It’s a Win Win!

2020 Prizes:


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Earlier today NZ Police confirmed they have located the body of a missing tramper who got in to trouble yesterday when crossing the Makaroro River in the Ruahine Ranges, Hawke’s Bay.

The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Chief Executive Mike Daisley says the Council extends its deepest sympathies to the man’s family and friends at this tragic time.

While the investigation into this tragedy is still underway, and at this stage details are light, the man is believed to have died while attempting to cross a river.

Daisley says “Unfortunately, this tragedy highlights the dangers that can be involved when crossing rivers. This is a timely reminder to us all that we need to familiarise ourselves with the key river safety considerations. The MSC has several river crossing safety resources and we encourage anyone recreating on land with the intent to cross a river to take the time to familiarise themselves with them.”


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The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council are predicting a huge surge in outdoor recreation activities over Queen’s Birthday weekend as the country enjoys the first extended weekend since lockdown was lifted.

Historically, Queen’s Birthday weekend sees a spike in tramping incidents with three times as many search and rescues and injuries occurring compared to a normal weekend. While a portion of these can be attributed to higher participation that is not the only contributing factor.

Mountain Safety Council Chief Executive Mike Daisley says “over a long weekend we see changes in participation patterns, people explore new places, they go a little further or a little harder, it’s seen as an opportunity to extend yourself and tick off that more challenging trip”. …


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18 May 2020

In the lead up to the opening weekend of duck shooting season the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council have released a new video campaign that zeroes in on hunter safety ‘Let bad habits die, not your mates’.

This year opening weekend is more symbolic than usual. For duck shooters it has been a restless wait, through lockdown, into Level 3 and then the eventual good news that the season was going ahead.

In the early hours of Saturday 23 May, thousands of New Zealanders will head out before dawn to their maimai. …


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As Easter weekend approaches the NZ Mountain Safety Council have issued some light-hearted lockdown advice to Kiwi families.

Chief Executive Mike Daisley says Easter weekend is typically one of the most popular times for families to head outdoors and explore our country’s bush and mountains, however acknowledges that Easter this year is quite different with the whole country in lockdown.

Daisley says, “we know the Easter Bunny can operate as an essential service, thankfully our Prime Minister has supported this, but a misplaced chocolate egg, usually due to an overly zealous father wanting to occupy his children for as long as possible can result in a totally unnecessary search and rescue response, not to mention the neighbourhood disturbance caused by a wailing child or two.” …


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Photo: K Adams

Hunters would normally be out for a bit of solitude this time of the year, chasing that elusive 12-point stag, the type of adventures that make stories you tell your kids about. However, this year the Roar is a little different — the only ones roaming the hills are the stags. Hunters are still isolating, not in bush camps or backcountry huts, but in very different settings; lounges, kitchens, garages and living rooms across the country, a far cry from the setting that most hunters expected to be in during the Roar. …


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Local neighbourhood short walks are ok, but no driving, maintain social distance and only with your isolating household — Photo: K. Adams

Updated 10.20am, Monday 6 April to include the Health Act Order Section 70 (1)(f), issued by the Director-General of Health. This order prohibits hunting, tramping, surfing and other outdooor activities that ‘expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services’.

As we all know, New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4 at 11:59pm on Wednesday 25 March. These are unprecedented times and we want to help you know what this means for your outdoor recreation plans. The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) has sought advice from the Ministry of Health as to what Alert Level 4 means. Additionally, covid19.govt.nz is an excellent source for a lot of information on our day-to-day lives for the next month. …

About

NZ Mountain Safety

For over 50 years MSC has been NZ’s national organisation promoting safety in land based outdoor activities #MakeItHomeNZ | www.mountainsafety.org.nz

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