Winter tragedy on the Routeburn Track (NZ)

Old Aug 25th, 2016, 04:18 PM
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Winter tragedy on the Routeburn Track (NZ)

Melnq8, I thought you in particular would be interested in this, as you have mentioned staying at Vladka's accommodation in Glenorchy. She raised the alarm that led to the rescue.
https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queens...d-track-ordeal
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 04:40 PM
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Wow, Diamantina, thank you for posting, I'd not have seen it otherwise.

What a terrible tragedy.

We've stayed with Vladka and her husband several times - he works for DOC and they are both fountains of information when it comes to the local tracks.

We've hiked sections of the Routeburn in the winter, but only as day hikes. I can't imagine taking on the entire track in July, even for those with extensive alpine hiking experience and proper gear.

A sad day indeed.
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 05:31 PM
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Vladka and her husband seem invaluable to the Glenorchy community. We nearly stayed at their accommodation a couple of years, based on your recommendation, but I couldn't convince my husband that it would be worth spending a little more than what we are used to on accommodation. We stayed at Glenorchy Motels instead.

It seems the two Czech trampers didn't bring a personal locator beacon, which is recommended for winter tramping on Routeburn Track. It also seems they did not fill out an "intention form" notifying others of their plans.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a French woman on a working holiday in NZ, escaped near death while hiking alone on Mt. Tongariro.
https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dramatic-rescue-mt-tongariro

Day hikes on tracks that are normally fine the rest of the year, can become treacherous in winter.
https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queens...ued-queenstown
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 05:33 PM
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I meant a couple of "years ago"! Wish we could edit these posts.
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Old Aug 26th, 2016, 11:19 PM
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Yes this is very sad.
Do tourists not take NZ seriously or is our small population and isolation hard to grasp?
If you have grown up here you realise the isolation of wilderness areas and how people must take responsibility for their own safety.
I'm not saying sit home and never take any risks but realise that in NZ and particularly in the South Island you may wait a long time for help in an accident. Tell someone where you are going and your expected return time. The locator beacons are not that expensive if they save your life.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 01:06 PM
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tasmangirl -

I've often wondered the same thing, but its not unique to NZ.

I've seen some pretty amazing things on NZ tracks, such as folks wearing throngs and not carrying any supplies, even water or a hat (hate to say it, but many of them were Aussies).

I've seen the same in Switzerland. Two memorable occasions come to mind 1) a group of Asian tourists on the top of the snow-covered Schilthorn wearing high heels, slipping around on the ice like it was great fun, and another group of Asian tourists walking around the snow and ice covered streets of Murren in pink Uggs.

Seriously?
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