Mountaineering is an inherently risky recreational pursuit, and it is often this balance between risk and reward that attracts and motivates climbers, or if not, climbers are at least aware of this fine balance.
It is impossible to remove all the risks from mountaineering. The MSC encourages those with the relevant skills, experience and knowledge to undertake outdoor recreation activities, including mountaineering, and in no way suggests people should not get involved in the pursuit. Unfortunately, on occasion things do go wrong, and despite best intentions and actions serious accidents do occur.
26,551 Kiwi mountaineers participate each year– There and Back, 2016
Episode #1 - Epic TV video series
For the first time, the outdoor recreation sector has a comprehensive picture of what’s been going on in the New Zealand outdoors from an outdoor safety perspective, across 5 major outdoor recreation activities. This publication combines all injury, search and rescue and fatality data together to present a comprehensive ‘state of the nation’ style detailed breakdown.
Employ strategies for identifying and managing fatigue. Ensure this is considered as part of any pre-trip planning and pay this element the due respect it deserves during your trip. Allow time for adequate breaks to rest and take on food/water. Most importantly ensure the culture surrounding your trip allows for topics such as fatigue management to be part of your conversations and communication.
Discuss, agree on and employ suitable travel options/modes in terrain where falling is possible, and could result in serious consequences. Pay particular attention to moderate terrain where typically mountaineers would travel un-roped.
You can find more about alpine and avalanche safety skills in our Resources section.
The New Zealand's Avalanche Advisory (NZAA) is provided for anyone planning on travelling in the New Zealand backcountry alpine areas.
Outdoor Safety Code
The first thing to remember is that every trip needs a plan. It doesn't take much to turn a short walk into an 'unexpected night out.' If you've planned before you hit the track using the outdoor safety code as a guide, there's a good chance you'll be prepared to handle an unexpected turn of events.
Safety is the outcome of good planning and good decision making– Mike Daisley, MSC CEO
The Info-Ex is a cooperative service managed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) and has been running since 1998. It provides a daily exchange of technical snow, weather and avalanche information between organisations and commercial businesses that actively manage avalanche hazards during the winter months (e.g. heliskiing companies, ski areas and land managers).
The Info-Ex data base allows subscribers to input and view daily weather, snowpack and avalanche observations giving avalanche professionals access to data that is accurate and relevant. This information improves each subscriber's awareness of the conditions across New Zealand, greatly enhancing their ability to manage their local avalanche risks. Info-Ex serves as one of the key sources of data used by the NZ Avalanche Advisory that forecasters use to produce and verify their avalanche advisories.
MSC worked with Epic TV to produce a five part avalanche safety series. Watch the whole series HERE. The video series is designed to be a short beginners guide about avalanche risk, and some basic techniques. Please note: This video series is NOT designed to be a complete training course – we strongly recommend you get training and learn from the experts. Please visit the courses page for more details.
Episode #3 - Epic TV video series
MetService New Zealand - Get the mountain forecast
Attend a Backcountry Avalanche Course - Visit our courses page