“What may seem to be a safe situation is only one mis-step away from catastrophe.” In an alpine environment, even one small error can lead to a life or death situation. A false sense of security coupled with an unfortunate event results in a tragic outcome for one mountaineer on Mount Ruapehu.
"All too often we can apply the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to exploring the outdoors, but in an emergency, that is of little help." After assessing their outdated first aid skills, the Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club puts their FMC Training Grant to good use – an intensive first aid course where they learn everything from CPR to managing real-life scenarios with hands-on practice.
A cascade of poor decisions – lack of experience, a hyperfocus on reaching their destination despite horrendous conditions and the separation of party members – results in the preventable loss of a young woman left behind on the Gillespie Pass. Examining the events leading up to this tragedy, Johnny Mulheron and Erik Bradshaw offer sound advice for trampers heading off the beaten path of the Great Walks.
Would you be prepared to make the same decision if you were alone? The impact of group dynamics, including polarisation and ‘risk-shift,’ can lead to life-threatening circumstances in the backcountry. Nick Plimmer examines a real-life situation where a party of four trudges on despite poor conditions, resulting in a 100 vertical metres fall into the plunge pool of a waterfall and an extremely close call.
One of New Zealand's finest mountaineers of the modern age passes away in a fall during a descent towards Homer Saddle. In an examination into these tragic events, Johnny Mulheron and Nick Plimmer examine the safety measures taken and the coroner's recommendations, including a rare quote that he includes in his final report.
In 1934, two Canterbury University Tramping Club members were the subjects of an intense search after not reaching their destination. Shaun Barnett compiles their stories found in multiple newspapers from the period, in which the men recount their harrowing ordeal.
Halfway through their Lewis Pass to Nelson Lakes tramp, an experienced tramper tumbles 25 metres down a scree slope on Thompson Pass. Due to the skilled response by his party and the helicopter rescue team, the tramper is successfully evacuated. The team reflects on lessons from their ordeal and Johnny Mulheron shares essential, lifesaving tips for outdoor enthusiasts.
After successfully skiing the entire east face of Aoraki/Mt Cook, an accomplished backcountry skier attempts the Caroline Face and tragically passes away after an equipment failure. Matteo Scoz offers tips on gear checks and how to properly transition between modes of travel to avoid disastrous consequences.
In this historical news article from 1927, an Evening Post journalist examines the recent rise in mountaineering and river-work accidents and the personal stories behind them.
A young, solo tramper attempts to cross the Cascade Saddle during heavy rainfall and tragically drowns. Johnny Mulheron reminds us of the dangers posed by crossing flooded streams and how best to make an informed decision when crossing.
One of New Zealand’s most experienced rescue helicopter crew members, Jon Leach, offers a behind the scenes glimpse into helicopter rescues and explains what trampers can do to increase their chances of survival in an emergency.
Johnny Mulheron and Nick Plimmer discuss the modes of mountain communication, when to seek assistance, and how to prepare for rescue.