Outdoor safety emphasised after rescues
Media Release | For Immediate Release
The warm, sunny start to spring has many people excited to get outdoors, however the recent string of rescues highlight that spring is not to be underestimated, says the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC).
Conditions around the country, especially in mountainous areas of the North and South Island, still remain in the tricky transitional period between winter and spring and anyone venturing into these environments requires thorough preparation, the right skills, and a watchful eye on the weather to enjoy a safe adventure.
Over the past two weeks, there have been a number of rescues involving trampers and climbers, on Taranaki Maunga and from the mountains in Tongariro National Park where snow and ice are still present in the alpine terrain.
As the transition from winter to summer unfolds it is important to have the appropriate gear, including crampons, for these conditions, says MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley.
“Spring brings unsettled weather where all four seasons can often be experienced in the same day. For any trip that you have planned, it’s important to understand your capabilities and skills, make sure you’re choosing adventures that are suited to the conditions, and make sure you have a ‘plan B’ if something, such as the weather, changes,” he says.
“Checking the weather forecast and the conditions you’re likely to encounter, and understanding how these will impact you should be done before leaving home.
“Packing warm layered clothing, a rain jacket, a warm hat and gloves, a head torch and an appropriate emergency communication device are the absolute minimum regardless of the weather forecast and length of trip.
“These small but important steps can be the difference between enjoying a safe adventure and needing to call for help,” Daisley says.
As spring unfolds and temperatures rise alongside increased daylight hours, MSC is reminding anyone who loves an adventure into the outdoors, whether they’re a hunter, climber, mountaineer, experienced tramper or a day walker, the importance of these simple steps.
Using the Plan My Walk app can help hikers and trampers of all levels to find the right track for their abilities, check for any track alerts, see MetService weather warnings, and a suggested gear list that can be sent to group members and emergency contacts. Plan My Walk also includes the most applicable weather forecast for each track, so it’s an easy way to quickly find the forecast.
- Choose the right trip for you: It pays to learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it.
- Understand the weather: It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.
- Pack a change of warm clothes and extra food: Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected extra night out.
- Share your plans and take ways to get help: Telling a trusted person your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.
- Take care of yourself and each other: Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together.
Contact MSC Communications Advisor Rebekah Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org for any more information.
Header photo: Trampers rescued from Tongariro Alpine Crossing on 29 August. PHOTO/NZ POLICE