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Whatever The Weather - Check And Check Again

MEDIA RELEASE

11 November 2008

Whatever The Weather - Check And Check Again

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council Bush Programme Manager Chris Tews says the recent tramping incident on Mount Taranaki highlights the need for keeping a close eye on local conditions.

A party of five trampers, including twin girls aged 10, needed to be rescued after they underestimated the winter conditions on the mountain. The group became stuck when they came across a slip on the track between the North Egmont Visitor Centre and Holly Hut.

The incident follows the death of a woman at Mount Taranaki last month when she was swept away when crossing the Kaupokonui Stream.

Mr Tews says that people must always monitor the weather closely and take advice from someone with local knowledge of the area where they are planning to tramp.

“Always check the weather forecast in the days before you leave and continually monitor weather conditions during the trip.

“You also need to check track and hut conditions and take the advice from someone familiar with the local conditions. Make sure the grade of track and current conditions are suitable for the age, experience and fitness level of everyone in the group,” says Mr Tews.

Track and hut conditions can be checked with the Department of Conservation, locals, local tramping clubs, Regional Authorities or District Councils.

Mr Tews says: “When you are outdoors in the bush there are numerous hazards you need to be prepared for and constantly assess, such as: weather conditions, physical hazards and the potential to become lost.

“Staying safe in the bush requires you to make careful preparations before you go, make the right decisions at the time and have a back-up plan when things go wrong.

“Even experienced trampers can strike problems in the outdoors. Survival may then rely on your ability to wait it out until conditions improve or to raise the alarm quickly.

“Mountain Safety Council recommends all people going into the bush are equipped to take shelter for an extra night or two if a problem arises such as deteriorating weather or injury. Plus, we recommend people to carry some means of emergency communication, either a mountain radio or a personal locator beacon,” he says.

More information on outdoor safety can be found on the Mountain Safety Council’s website www.mountainsafety.org.nz.

--

MSC Tramping Code
1. Plan your Trip Thoroughly
• Leave your Intentions Form with a responsible person. Include:
· The Route you intend to take
· Bad weather alternative route
· The Party details – names, experience, local knowledge
· Time of return

2. Check track and hut conditions
• Check with DOC, locals, tramping clubs, Regional Authorities or District Councils.

3. Check the weather forecast
· Monitor the weather forecast in the days before you leave
· Watch and respond to weather conditions during the trip

4. Carry sufficient clothing, equipment, food and water
· Take appropriate gear
· Take extra for emergencies
· Take navigation equipment and know how to use it

5. Carry a means of communications
· Mountain radio
· Satellite phone or
· Personal locator beacon

6. Beware of rivers – if in doubt “STAY OUT”
· Know when, where and how to cross
· Attend a River Safety Course

7. Prepare for Emergencies
· When things go wrong, use the STAR Model for making decisions:
Stop: Take a breath, sit down and remain calm
Think: Look around you, listen, brainstorm options
Assess: Evaluate the options, and their potential consequences
Respond: Take the best alternative. REMEMBER: water, shelter, warmth and the will to survive are the essential elements to your survival if in doubt - stay put. Your trip planning will help you deal with the situation, and your Intentions Form will initiate help if you are overdue.
1. Plan your Trip Thoroughly
• Leave your Intentions Form with a responsible person. Include:

· The Route you intend to take
· Bad weather alternative route
· The Party details – names, experience, local knowledge
· Time of return


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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