MEDIA RELEASE: Condolences to the family of Fiordland tramping fatality
MEDIA RELEASE March 31
Please attribute to NZ Mountain Safety Council Chief Executive Mike Daisley:
“Fiordland is a very remote part of the country, with very few established tracks. When explored off-track the terrain is incredibly challenging, often consisting of steep bluffs and cliffs, dense bush and canyons. The dense bush quickly turns into alpine country with vertical granite cliffs and alpine basins carved from ancient glaciers. This challenging environment requires solid off-track tramping experience and skills, and when above the bushline, a strong degree of alpine and rock-climbing skills are required to navigate the terrain,” says NZ Mountain Safety Council Chief Executive Mike Daisley.
At this stage, MSC cannot comment further on the specific circumstances, Daisley says.
This tramping fatality is the second for 2022. The first fatality was Ian Harvey who passed away while exploring the Mt Adams Wilderness area in February.
According to NZ Mountain Safety Council figures, over the five years from 2017-2021 there has been an average of five tramping fatalities per year in New Zealand.
Since July 2007, not including this most recent tragedy or fatalities on the Milford and Routeburn tracks, there have been 14 deaths involving trampers and climbers in the Fiordland area near Milford, which includes the Darren Mountains. All died following a significant fall.
MSC extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. MSC commends the efforts of Police search and rescue and LandSAR teams for their work in some of the country’s most challenging terrain.
NZ Mountain Safety Council insights and analysis:
Since July 2007, there have been 14 deaths, including trampers and climbers, in the Fiordland area near Milford, which includes the Darren Mountains. All died following a significant fall.
- Five of the fourteen were trampers that had proceeded into high consequence terrain and did not have the necessary alpine skills. The rest were mountaineers/alpinists.
- Five of the fourteen were in summer, 7 in autumn and 1 in winter and spring, respectively.
- Three were solo, and 11 were in a group.
- The Gertrude Saddle Route has claimed three lives during this period due to its high consequential terrain.
Header photo: Milford Track. PHOTO/MSC