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Alpine Trampers Warned Of Increased Avalanche Hazards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

18 August 2008 - The latest dump of snow has increased the avalanche hazard in many back country areas of Tongariro National Park, including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. DOC is warning alpine trampers to be particularly cautious and make sure they get up-to-date avalanche information before heading out.

Although avalanche control is carried out on ski areas it is not done so elsewhere in the park and the recent weather has increased the hazard in many places. .

"As well as being well equipped and experienced in alpine conditions, anyone going into back country areas of Tongariro National Park, including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, should be aware that there are avalanche hazards," says Dave Lumley, Turangi Taupo Area Manager.

People attempting the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are advised the area between Blue Lake and Ketetahi hut is a documented avalanche area. The current winter conditions and additional snow load means that particular care should be taken while hiking this part of the track and around the eastern flanks of North Crater.

An avalanche information website, details up-to-date information on the avalanche risk for Tongariro National Park which today is rated 'high'. Their advice is that 'with more snow in the forecast the conditions in the Ruapehu region demand a lot of caution from backcountry users. Travel in the back country should be limited to low angle terrain well away from any avalanche that backcountry skiing and travel should only be carried out by experienced persons able to evaluate avalanche hazards.'

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