Avalanche Forecasting Begins for Backcountry Users

27th June 2024|3min
Media Release

As snowfall increases across the motu, avalanche forecasting is underway and NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) is encouraging backcountry users to get #AvalancheReady.


New Zealand's official backcountry avalanche forecasting service, the NZ Avalanche Advisory (NZAA), powered by MSC, has begun its forecasting for the winter season across all 13 alpine regions. The NZAA provides vital information to help backcountry users plan their trip and make safe decisions in avalanche terrain.


Our team of forecasters are starting regional forecasting to ensure that backcountry skiers and snowboarders can begin building a picture of the conditions in the backcountry, which will help them venture out safely,”
–  says MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley.

Southwesterlies across New Zealand have contributed to the coldest May since 2009, setting up most of New Zealand's alpine regions with good levels of snow for the beginning of the snow season.

With recent snowfall, slopes are accumulating enough snow to reach threshold, meaning avalanches are possible,” says Daisley.


For those planning to head out into the backcountry this winter, now is the time to make sure you are prepared.


“Before you go into the backcountry, ensure you have checked the avalanche forecast on the NZAA website, you’ve got the training through an avalanche skills course, and you're equipped with the essential gear and know how to use it. This includes an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe.” says Daisley.


“Staying safe in the backcountry requires considered planning, having the right skills and informed decision-making.”

Are you avalanche ready?

If you’re heading into the New Zealand back country this winter, be sure to:

Submit a Public Observation here.

Hikers and trampers can find the avalanche forecast under alerts on Plan My Walk.