missing person on mt Taranaki
Bad news : https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/94203073/missing-tramper-found-dead-on-mt-taranaki
this article is jumping the gun, talking about lack of experience when it hasnt been revealed what the persons experience was and may not be relevant to this particular incident https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/94203073/missing-tramper-found-dead-on-mt-taranaki
What's the scenario for ending up on Ambury Bluff? I've been to the park quite a lot, but not up and down the mountain enough to be familiar with more than the most obvious routes. Is there a common route down that rib towards The Causeway? From the topo map it looks considerably steep in the section above the main around-the-mountain track. It didn't seem to take them long to find him, though, which suggests there may have been a clear plan lodged with someone beforehand.
a local has told me that thats where the old summit route went, so he may have been retracing that route and fell over the bluff, its well below the snow line.
""That white stuff up there, that's not snow up there. It's ice on a steep angle." "But even when you can't see white stuff, it's still frozen. You've got frozen scoria which is almost more treacherous than ice." "Not a lot of snow, a hard frozen surface. You imagine glazed concrete on a thirty, forty degree slope and even with crampons it's still very very risky."" Uggh !
there are many different conditions on a mountain that people should understand that they often dont, that would help them from getting into sticky situations The Inuit have dozens of words we don't that describe different types of snow and ice... a lot of people just see snow, and don't recognise ice until they are sliding on it. or they dont recognise avalanche danger... or visual conditions make it difficult to see properly leading people to have accidents or get lost. the Air NZ commercial airliner that crashed into Mt erebus in antarctica crashed on a clear day.... there was an optical illusion created whereby the pilot didnt recognise the mountain as a solid object. in a white out you could fall over a bluff before you ever see it. if you're not famiilar with the area, consult locals experienced in the mountains to learn the issues you face in the area before deciding on your trip plans...
I met a tramper recently in a hut over Queens Birthday weekend who on hearing that I had done some climbing, mentioned that he was hoping to climb Mt Taranaki in the near future. His first comment was that some friends had climbed it in winter conditions and that it was a relatively straightforward, achievable climb to the top. He then mentioned that he was going to take some other friends with him. He was going to teach these friends how to self arrest on the mountain as while they had worn crampons before, they had never done a climbing course and had no experience self arresting. He was confident in his skills to teach them and that they would be ok. My alarm bells had well and truly gone off by this stage so I decided to dig a little deeper and find out about his experience of which he was very vague. It became clear pretty quickly that he had no idea about any climbing routes in the South Island and that his "experience" had been more or less limited to Mt Ruapehu. On questioning him about how he would deal with navigating in white out conditions, he pointed to his GPS sportswatch...that was all he needed. It appears not to have occurred to him that the route to the summit could be anything other than soft fluffy snow. He also had no idea of or experience in placing ice screws and his knowledge of placing snow anchors or any form of protection was sketchy. I encouraged him not to attempt to climb the mountain outlining my reasons why (as per the points already noted in this thread), but his attitude remained nonchalant and my impression was that he would go ahead with his plans anyway. I am curious to find out if it was him or one of his party...
there is a photo of the climber who died in this article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11884434
maybe its symptomatic of todays generation where they get more "experience" by watching videos and Tv shows than actually learning by practical experience with someone who is experienced enough to teach the subject properly. a few of us here have had the latter experience, we grew up when there were only one or two tv channels on TV and no internet, if you wanted to learn something , you were far more likely to do a practical course or there were more people around who had real world experience who you could team up with and learn from. Bear Grylls sets an extremely bad example on bushcraft and survival, with hollywood outdoors behaviour. Unfortunatley its not the first time soldiers have died in the mountains, several soldiers on a training mission died in a storm near the top of Mt Ruapehu when they persisted remaining at the top in the face of apalling weather
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