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Avalanche forecasting begins for backcountry users

The Wānaka App

05 July 2024, 5:04 PM

Avalanche forecasting begins for backcountry usersMSC is encouraging backcountry users to use avalanche forecasting service NZAA before they head into the mountains this winter.

NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) is encouraging backcountry users to get ‘avalanche ready’ as snowfall increases and the ski season gets into full swing.


New Zealand's official backcountry avalanche forecasting service, the NZ Avalanche Advisory (NZAA), has begun its forecasting for the winter season.



The NZAA provides vital information to help backcountry users plan their trip and make safe decisions in avalanche terrain, MSC chief executive Mike Daisley said.

 

“Our team of forecasters are starting regional forecasting to ensure that backcountry skiers and snowboarders can begin building a picture of the conditions in the backcountry, which will help them venture out safely.”

 

Southwesterlies across New Zealand have contributed to the coldest May since 2009, setting up most of New Zealand's alpine regions with good levels of snow for the beginning of the snow season.



“With recent snowfall, slopes are accumulating enough snow to reach threshold, meaning avalanches are possible,” Mike said.

 

For those planning to head out into the backcountry this winter, now is the time to make sure you are prepared.

 

“Before you go into the backcountry, ensure you have checked the avalanche forecast on the NZAA website, you’ve got the training through an avalanche skills course, and you're equipped with the essential gear and know how to use it.



“This includes an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe.” 

 

“Staying safe in the backcountry requires considered planning, having the right skills and informed decision-making.”

 

The NZAA provides forecasting across all 13 winter regions including Wānaka, Aspiring and Queenstown.


Visit the website here.


PHOTO: Supplied