Kepler/ Milford sound / routeburn in winter / spring

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Kepler/ Milford sound / routeburn in winter / spring

Postby BigMuz » Sat 17 Jun, 2017 5:58 pm

Hello everyone!

I'm headed to NZ to do Kepler and Milford sound in September.

Yes I understand the risk. I believe you also need to know when to turn around, stay put and push on.

That being said. Who has done either tracks out of session?
What were your experiences like?
Share your photos!!!

I did the Kepler track in July, 2015. There were a few people walking up to the first hut but no one else pushed past it, into the alpine area. We had amazing cold / wet weather gear, PLB, hillberge tent, crampons and ice axe.
Both of us have wilderness medical training (plus I'm a paramedic).
I had experience doing winter trekking in Tasmania and the Australian alpine region however was my first hike in NZ.
It was an amazing trip and I can't wait to do it again!!
Yes it was cold, yes it rained and snowed.
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Re: Kepler/ Milford sound / routeburn in winter / spring

Postby wayno » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 1:54 pm

It can be identical in september, theres avalanche zones along the ridge , two people were killed a couple of years ago by an avalanche..
from the land of the long white clouds...

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Re: Kepler/ Milford sound / routeburn in winter / spring

Postby BigMuz » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 4:00 pm

wayno wrote:It can be identical in september, theres avalanche zones along the ridge , two people were killed a couple of years ago by an avalanche..

They died in 2015, the same year I did the Kepler track. probably after me, as we didn't hear about it while at DoC station.

but the reason I post this threat isn't about the risks / deaths / dangers, more about sharing photos and experiences of these tracks during winter / spring.

even if its a walk up to Kepler Hut or visiting part of the walks not effected by the avalanche zones.
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Re: Kepler/ Milford sound / routeburn in winter / spring

Postby wayno » Sun 18 Jun, 2017 4:17 pm

yeahI"m not doubting your abilities, you went over equipped for the conditions and played it safe, but not everyone understands the risks of going into the snow, they see snow pics and they think cool, I want to do that, it "looks great", how hard can it be, great walks arent that hard are they? it's an alpine crossing. i've met aussies on that track in november with no wet weather gear and jeans, because it was "summer" which to them meant the "dry season". which NZ doesnt have. I don't believe in accentuating the positive and eliminating the negatives, i know people who have died in the southern alps in Summer because of the weather. between me and my friends we've had to get out of a lot of bad scrapes.
someone had to be carried to a shelter on the kepler at new years because of hypothermia and numerous other people were so panic stricken by the weather they abandoned their packs to get down out of it faster.
one dead and one other escaped death on the routeburn last winter. people have died of hypothermia on the routeburn in mid summer. spring can bring absolutely any weather, any time. it can snow in mid summer.... so whats the weather going to do in Sept? toss a coin, anything it likes at all.
its interesting how many near misses there are in the NZ mountains, the vast majority never make the news but friends have stories to tell me every year.
from the land of the long white clouds...

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