Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.
Tue 23 May, 2017 3:43 pm
Dead French climber didn't have the experience to safely climb Mt Taranaki in winter http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9287531 ... -in-winter
Wed 24 May, 2017 11:01 pm
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Wed 24 May, 2017 11:04 pm
How often do we see this stuff?
Foreigners coming to NZ and failing to comprehend the conditions.
But then again these people could've presented themselves anywhere and still been a death risk
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Thu 25 May, 2017 4:08 am
80 deaths on Mt Taranaki, 200 in Mt Cook National park. more elsewhere
Sun 09 Jul, 2017 7:00 am
what do you think should be done?
for me the info is out there. Life is as much about luck and timing, as it is respect. Respect for one's life, respect for the mountains, respect for the rescuers, timing and luck. Its a journey of great reward or price. But I don't think more regulation, which will lead to litigation, which leads too high costs and reduced freedom is a wise path. It restricts the masses and serves the few, where currently only the few are paying a high price.
Sun 09 Jul, 2017 7:30 am
advertise the mountain for what it is and signpost all the track ends, its very dangerous in winter, a lot of rock hard ice.... its for people experienced in winter alpine conditions only... put on the signs 80 people have died on the mountain , more than any other in NZ.. in winter it starts as an easy track walk, but can quickly descend into a strictly alpine ascent as you climb higher... you get general tourists climbing it or trying to climb it when the weather is good.... but in winter its the clear calm weather that means theres ice all day long. its a longer climb than any of the other north island volcanoes, you start your climb a mile below the summit, if you're not fit the altitude, length and steepness of the climb can leave you mentally fatigued to the point you can make bad decisions or struggle with coordination....
weather changes can be fast and severe year round... I did it at the end of summer, it was blowing hard and i had to have full storm gear on and i was still cold in the sun. people dont have a clue just how big it is, 2500m. you can find plenty of information showing people climbing a sunny mountain, few on it in bad weather because few people go out in bad weather and it has bad weather most days of the year. i've canned several trips to taranaki because of the weather,
several days this week, wind chill is 15 all day long.... south island moutnains are going down to -30.
plenty of times i've been up a mountain freezing my backside off and not far off lower down people are walking around in t shirts... what doesnt get factored into temperature is humidity.... damp places strip the heat out of you a hell of a lot faster than dry places.. the extra moisture in the air speeds up the conduction of cold, canadians call NZ as cold or colder than canada.... i've had hypothermia and been thoroughly miserable and close to it more times than i care to count... ever been in the mountains and had rain turn to ice on your clothing in a few seconds? I havehttp://m.metservice.com/mountain/egmont-national-parkhttp://m.metservice.com/mountain/mtn
Sun 09 Jul, 2017 8:59 am
Wayno, thanks for the honesty. You have given me some added insight to a little "outside the box" tramp I have for Tongariro area. I wish to introduce my kids to doing their tramping just a little differently to be away from the hordes but experience the same beauty. Just don't wish to become a static either. Coming from Australia, and what is almost a sunny blue 365 part of it, its easy to underestimate how cold, miserable, and wet it can rapidly become. Extra gear, bit more preparation, having a redundancy tramp planned, accepting another trip will be needed, or money lost is all part of it. The planning is as much the tramp as the tramp itself.
Sun 09 Jul, 2017 7:12 pm
As much as its not the preferred choice, maybe zoning areas as needing a qualified guide, or at least setting a threshold where someone could prove through prior experience, references and such that they were capable. Also as much as I don't like it, maybe we need to start seriously considering some areas to be body recovery only. Its hard to say that, but there are large parts of the Canadian wilds that its pretty well understood that you are on your own unless the EPIRB goes off. In some of these mountain areas maybe we need to start saying, look, this place is awesome, but you need to have your rescue set up before-hand. This would help limit traffic, and yes, if done for-profit, some operators would take the cash and walk away, but they would eventually get caught out. Yes some people would die, but at least in the mean time more people would have the rescue needed, and at the same time reduce the load on the normal resources.
Mon 10 Jul, 2017 3:56 am
Gadgetgeek wrote:As much as its not the preferred choice, maybe zoning areas as needing a qualified guide, or at least setting a threshold where someone could prove through prior experience, references and such that they were capable. Also as much as I don't like it, maybe we need to start seriously considering some areas to be body recovery only. Its hard to say that, but there are large parts of the Canadian wilds that its pretty well understood that you are on your own unless the EPIRB goes off. In some of these mountain areas maybe we need to start saying, look, this place is awesome, but you need to have your rescue set up before-hand. This would help limit traffic, and yes, if done for-profit, some operators would take the cash and walk away, but they would eventually get caught out. Yes some people would die, but at least in the mean time more people would have the rescue needed, and at the same time reduce the load on the normal resources.
how much winter alpine experience do you have?
NZ law guarantees everyone free access to all of the conservation estate at all times unless there are very extenuating circumstance like act of god events which are almost always eruptions here.
where does that happen in the developed world? ye you can argue its the fair solution but its not a nanny state and in free countries the masses would be repulsed by that setup,,, the way the outdoors works is, its all on your own head... do your homework, go prepared and accept the risks or accept the consequences. it doesnt limit traffic at all when you demand people pay for their own rescue, just more people who don't get rescued and die and then people cry its inhumane in a first world country where the majority of people expect that someone will come and rescue them, if you make people pay then they delay calling for rescue till the situation is more dire and more resources get spent on trying to save the people needing rescuing....
look at mount taranaki, there are so many ways into the park and to the top that its not practical to police at all and its the same for all the major north island volcanoes and no one controls the road access.
people will always die needlessly in alpine areas and you cant leglislate for it, the more expensive you make it for people the more they will just circumvent the process and cause more problems, they started charging for tramping hut use in NZ, now two thirds of trampers avoid paying their fees when they can get away with it... why when you are in a country that can afford to rescue people for free would you make things far more difficult for them to get rescued? this isnt Nepal where its a third world economy where most of the time no one can afford to send a helicopter if you're not paying for it. here we pay taxes to cover rescues if we're local and the resources are still there for now to cover foreigners, its proven around the world that when people know they have to pay for their rescue they put off calling for help far to long and cause bigger problems in the long run
th mountain is in direct site of major towns, would you feel good about loosing up there knowing people are dying because someones asking for money up front to rescue them?
Mon 10 Jul, 2017 5:46 am
I didn't claim it was a good idea. My alpine experience is limited to nice days in the rockies and knowing what cold is like. Its a hard thing, and you are correct on all points. I'll be honest that if I have any major concern in these cases its more to ensure that the rescuers are not under any liability for the rescue, in that it must be clear that their safety comes first. I know that as professionals they will be willing to put themselves at risk, but the motivating factor needs to be willingness to help, not a legal threat. But that is neither here nor there in this case.
Its a hard thing, as I said I have ideas, not claiming they are good. I'm off grid for the week, take care folks.
Mon 10 Jul, 2017 5:52 am
there was a massive rescue involved in the rescue at the start of this thread, there were several rescue teams working in rotation trying to get to the trapped people... several times they turned back because of safety considerations, they would have been putting their own lives at risk due to hypothermia because of the severe weather. SAR often ride a fine line about whether to proceed or stop, they have to be objective and override any emotional or instinctive desire to proceed and go with a technical assessment of the correct choice
Tue 11 Jul, 2017 9:19 pm
Yes have to agree NZ is pretty special with its approach to litigation and taking responsibility for one's self. Kind of wish Australia had gone down a similar road then the one we have.
No one said life is not risky; nor should we be smothered with cotton wool. The information is out there, and its unfortunate people die enjoying the outdoors, but that is the game of life.
Still it seems almost innate humans dump in their own nest, and in the end litigation will creep in due to increasing and continual costs incured. Not much different to hut closures because people don't appreciate what they have got, and pay the small requested fee to maintain such a great network.
Tue 11 Jul, 2017 11:26 pm
It's the price for freedom. As long as there adequate warning and there are proper provisions where appropriate, the rest should be up to the individual to be sensible with their action. Any further restrictions would be detrimental to the enjoyment of the great great majority.
Wed 19 Jul, 2017 1:28 pm
My perspective would be to wonder if it's really a problem. 80+ people might have died from accidents on Taranaki over the decades, and there have been more than a few non-fatal accidents (hard to count as they're less commonly reported). In exchange for that, though, how many people have had an awesome, rewarding and educating time? On a good day, even if they're not all doing it the safest way, hundreds of people may get to the top and back, or walk around the sides.
I'm certainly not trying to reduce the obvious tragedy of deaths and injuries for those people and their families, or to minimise the importance of understanding what you're doing and being safe, but in nearly all cases there was an element of personal responsibility involved. That's the case either when a person made a dumb mistake which was avoidable, or when they simply took a well considered risk (sometimes necessary in real alpine environments) and came out badly for it.
Maybe there's a paradox in my thinking, because I'm also in favour of universal no cost for search rescue regardless of insurance situation, and for NZ's ACC cover for people who have accidents regardless of how dumb they were. I guess I like to hope that most people will decide that accidents aren't in either theirs or anyone else's best interests, and act responsibly.
Wed 19 Jul, 2017 1:40 pm
its a high no of deaths for a relatively small area, you only get those sorts of deaths in such a small area elsewhere in NZ in pure alpine climbing zones like mt cook national park and aspiring park , only mt cook itself has close to as many deaths from my understanding, and maybe other popular alpine climbing peaks like aspiring. but Taranaki has the most for a single mountain in NZ, but a much higher number of people do climb taranaki than the alpine climbs down south, so the figure is skewed
Wed 19 Jul, 2017 1:59 pm
Yes it's certainly more accessible.
I can't find a comprehensive list, but here's a list of the 29 deaths between 1891 and 1959: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.anc ... 11959.html
A few are in the sub-alpine area around the edges, but lots of them seem to be genuine alpine accidents: slipping and falling off bluffs, hit by rocks, etc. The nurses tragedy of 1953 (
6 deaths) stands out in this list. I hadn't realised a couple of other people slipped and died in almost the same place just a week later.
These aren't necessarily representative of the bulk of accidents that occur there today, though. It sounds like the sort of thing the Mountain Safety Council would be doing these days, as in trying to identify who's having accidents and why, and what might be done about it.
Wed 19 Jul, 2017 3:39 pm
over recent years there are several helicopter rescues a year on Mt taranaki, some of which may have resulted in fatalities had a helicopter not been available to drop off rescuers and or evacuate the rescuees
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