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Normal Topic Unmerciful Tararua Ranges (Read 924 times)
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Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Jun 3rd, 2018 at 6:19am
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I thought this was quite a good read from stuff and highlighted some important issues.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/103255729/trampers-warned-about-th...

Don't know if I can post links but hopefully you can find it from this if you want to read it.
« Last Edit: Jun 3rd, 2018 at 8:09pm by headcase »  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #1 - Jun 3rd, 2018 at 8:06pm
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Certainly you can post links. Just copy and paste from the address bar from the address bar at the top of your browser. Not sure why your link has not worked. Ill fix it for you. Smiley

  

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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #2 - Jun 4th, 2018 at 3:30pm
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Thank you will try harder next time😀
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #3 - Jun 4th, 2018 at 4:04pm
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tragic story all too common in this country,mother nature is neutral but takes no prisoners .....
reading article you can see how easy it would have happened...I met a mum with two young children 8-10ish late one evening on a popular tramping track and the good lady was starting to get quite worried as they hadnt found the hut they were heading to and light was fading....10 steps further down the track the roof of hut came into view Grin
that couldve been a fatal incident as they werent prepared for worst case senario at all and didnt really know how far they were heading when headed off over the tops to reach next hut..... decent wind/water proof gear and plenty of warm clothing is a bare minimum for anything above the bushline.
take care out there folks
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #4 - Jun 5th, 2018 at 5:06pm
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Have been up there in my younger years and twice I remember the mist coming in and you couldn't see stuff all - very disorientating and cold. The second time I'd gone south of Powell Hut when the mist came in and got totally lost, so headed down into the bush on a north compass setting to cut the track heading back down the hill - had hailstones the size of big marbles which must have been forming at that level clattering down through the trees.
Next morning was snow everywhere - would have been a cold night out if I hadn't got back to that lower hut.

And just for the hell of it, while the sun was out in the morning I was sitting having a look when I became aware of a dry rustling sound. Following it I found a dead deer in the tussock, the whole carcass moving as the biggest maggots I ever seen writhed through it - all rubbing together making that sound.

  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #5 - Jun 8th, 2018 at 2:47pm
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Its tragic, but just another uneccessary couple of deaths.

Like a few other places, the Tararuas are accessible to a large urban population.


But its not just beginners, theres been two recent rescues in the northern Tararuas due to misjudging the effects of wind/rain/snow on the tops and both probably would died if not for rescueing

Another day mt Runner nearly died at Kime, got hypothermia on tops, saved by trampers at hut

and of course the gung ho  te papa boss who ignored advice, led his partner and himself to their deaths (Kime again)

and plenty more before

Used to think rescues had reduced a bit, and less deaths, there used to be lots back in the 50s, 60s. Now not so sure. maybe the increasing popularity of tramping and hunting is doing it

Theyre nearly all preventable, and IMO caused by poor decision making
In this case, the trip was massive (on first day), and despite what the media say, it was NOT sunny and calm on the tops of the Tararuas. It was in the Wairarapa, but the NWesterly cloud on the tops was obviously not good time be up there. and a map easily shows the sort of country on the route.

Its the same with the likes of Tongariro Crossing, day walkers making dumb decisions

IMO the police or SAR should give these people a bollocking publically, and get the message across
having a  PLB is becoming a Get of of Jail thing, and shouldn't excuse piss poor decisions that put heli crews and rescuers at risk

During a night time rescue from Dundas hut (trampers attempting something they should never have in the conditions), I was in a nearby hut, and an monster airforce chopper flew over, looking for a way in, in the most horrendous gale , rain conditions. SAR bods were winched out. 2 other rescue choppers  tried and failed to get there.

Tararuas is one of the windiest ranges in the country, and height of the hills isn't great but conditions do frequently get bad enough that tops travel is risking your life

Trouble is, you don't know what you don't know. may only get worse. especially with charging tourists more, may have an impact on alternative "free" places

rant over
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #6 - Jun 8th, 2018 at 5:43pm
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Like a few others I have spent a considerable period of my youth in the Tararuas. And took part in many SAR events rescuing or recovering the less prepared. I agree with TH that it may be something to do with the hills being surrounded by  urban areas, and that " distance lends enchantment"  thingie going on when  office workers look out the window at the Taras on a perfect day and think" wouldn't it be great to get up there!"
Trouble is I have lost count of the times I have started off heading in there on a calm sunny day and within a handful of hours its clagged in with a howling gale thrown in for good measure. Being on top of the Main Range  in crap weather is a salutary experience. Its a brutal place that takes no prisoners.
I don't know just how much more signage DoC would have to put up to dissuade the less prepared? Some people are too stubborn or thick to take much notice of signs anyway. Perhaps a 5 grand bill for being rescued if, say they are found without the requisite clothing and equipment for attempting a Main Range or Tongariro crossing???
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #7 - Jun 8th, 2018 at 6:22pm
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problem is in the Tarries, all of the main alpine ridges are also popular tramping routes. and have huts on them.

Exit routes often require going over those exposed routes so either rescues happen because of getting into trouble trying to travel when its unsafe, or get people out if they arnt able to exit, few places theres not alternative bail out route, unless your familiar with the area
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #8 - Jun 9th, 2018 at 1:27pm
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Quite so TH.

Just read the Taupo Times. It has several articles about the number of poorly equipped/prepared tourists doing the Tongariro crossing. DoC have permitted 53 Concessionaires to run shuttle busses to both ends of the walk (they've closed the carparks each end so you pretty much have to use a shuttle bus) Trouble has arisen with a few of the less scrupulous shuttle bus operators dropping off tourists to do the crossing in weather conditions the bigger and more knowledgeable operators won't do. DoC say the weather condition issue has to be a business self regulated undertaking, but the bigger operators are pushing DoC to lay down mandatory limits. But DoC don't want, or say they can't to do this. Issue being DoC is the only department that can legislate or mandate this sort of stuff on land it administers.
Happy to take the 53 concessionaires annual fees, but struggle to mandate them to a set of weather limitations for the sake of safety?????  Considering the cost of each individual SAR operation I would have thought its a no brainer Huh
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #9 - Jun 9th, 2018 at 2:57pm
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trouble being XRHunter...if DOC do lay down set of conditions you create 2 problems straight away
#1 how and who will enforce these
#2 conditions are met and someone dies and hello out come the shifty lawyers to sue DOC because they said it was ok to go.
loose loose
and even if they set conditions for buses to operate that wont stop someone staying over a night or three then getting in the shite coming out.
take care out there guys n gals ,the cold at night we getting now would not be a pleasant thing to have to endure outdoors.
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #10 - Jun 9th, 2018 at 6:06pm
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Yep, I can see the issues there.

But putting a bit of responsibility on the shuttle bus companies dropping off tourists who don't know a thing about NZ alpine conditions would seem reasonably easy to do: "Don't drop off tourists when the weather station located on track (somewhere) reports to website that temp is below X degrees, or wind above Y kph???
Freedom walkers can and will walk whenever they feel like it, but tourists being dropped off by cowboy shuttles when the big boys are not 'cause the weather is shite, seems a relatively easy yardstick to put in place.
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #11 - Jun 9th, 2018 at 7:03pm
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Micky Duck wrote on Jun 9th, 2018 at 2:57pm:
trouble being XRHunter...if DOC do lay down set of conditions you create 2 problems straight away
#1 how and who will enforce these
#2 conditions are met and someone dies and hello out come the shifty lawyers to sue DOC because they said it was ok to go.
loose loose
and even if they set conditions for buses to operate that wont stop someone staying over a night or three then getting in the shite coming out.
take care out there guys n gals ,the cold at night we getting now would not be a pleasant thing to have to endure outdoors.

The Tongariro Crossing shuttle operators might become liable under Waorksafe regulations. They will have a duty of Care to their clients

Unless of course theyre only bus drivers and have no responsibility for the walkers.
DOC deciding on what tracks are Open/Closed due to risk from weather/snow conditions is dicey.
idiots falling of Taranaki all the time, and mt Aoraki.
should DOC stop trampers doing idiot trips in likes of Tararuas in crap weather?

The pprecedent hasl ots ramifications

  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #12 - Jun 9th, 2018 at 7:24pm
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yip it sure does...no hunting permits for march/april as people get shot Angry Angry
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #13 - Jun 9th, 2018 at 8:49pm
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Yip, dammed if they do and dammed if they don't.
  
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Re: Unmerciful Tararua Ranges
Reply #14 - Jun 10th, 2018 at 1:57am
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You gotta look at the people doing it too - you don't know what they're gonna do until afterwards.

I used to take people to walk the Tarawera Crossing, about an 8 hour walk for most.
I was just the transport, but it was an hours trip getting to the drop off point in my boat, so you'd get to talk and get a feel for the people.
Got a lot of Europeans doing that - and they'd done their homework and were almost always well prepared.

On one occasion I dropped off two blokes and a girl, the two guys together and the girl on her own - and they started off as a team.
At the pick up point I had the two blokes arrive - no girl, so I asked where she was.
"She was slowing us down, so we left her behind."

And that happened on the downhill side, so she couldn't have been more than three quarters of an hour up the hill.
Telling them to get back up there and look for her, to shout as loud as they could at all the vantage points, I got on the radio to organise help - if needed.
The two blokes weren't keen, they were tired - even told me she wasn't their responsibility, but off they went.
Right on dark they arrived back with her - heard her shouting in a gully and fished her out - she was buggered.
At that time I had the police on the radio and they'd contacted some SAR's who were already on their way with a dog via boat and had a chopper with infra-red on standby.

When I got them back the police were waiting and those two blokes who'd spat the dummy at that point said the same thing to them they'd said to me - and that didn't amuse the cops at all.

I did that job for close to ten years and saw some unusual behaviour at times - people can do the darnedest things.

  
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