Backcountry terrain is neither patrolled nor controlled by professionals, so if you’re planning on going ‘out back’ or beyond the ski area boundary, it’s important to be well trained in avalanche safety and search and rescue techniques at all times of the year. This is equally important for alpine trampers and hunters who may be in avalanche prone regions.
The New Zealand's Avalanche Advisory (NZAA) is provided for anyone planning on travelling in the New Zealand backcountry alpine areas.
Please note that avalanche forecasts are supplied by the Mountain Safety Council (MSC) and are intended as an advisory only. NZAA and MSC recommend checking the mountain weather forecast provided by MetService as part of your trip planning.
Within seconds of an avalanche being triggered, multiple tonnes of snow can travel down a slope at over 100km an hour. This immense force of nature is extremely dangerous so it is vital for you know how to mitigate the risks in avalanche prone areas.
12.5% of mountaineering fatalities are the result of an avalanche.– There and Back, 2016
Here is the story of a survivor Jamie - Avalanche Rescue September 2016
Watch an avalanche to see the power and danger they possess:
Must Do – before you leave home:
Must Do – when in alpine terrain:
Know Your Limits
Find Your Space
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.
Start with our free online course, then find a course provider in your area to help you learn the essential skills to help you up in the snow courses page.
Tune in with the other snow bunnies in this group, we also update this community with our NZ Avalanche Forecasts during the snow season.