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June 2012 Issue
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Dark side of the mountain

The Tukino ski field on Ruapehu was the scene of one of New Zealand’s worst avalanche incidents when nine instructors on an avalanche instruction course were buried in 1991. Two died. Avalanches continue to kill people. The best way to minimise your chances of being caught in one is by taking a Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness Course or Backcountry Avalanche Course. MSC run several every year on Ruapehu and in other parts of the country. They’ll teach you how to recognise avalanche conditions and how to avoid getting caught in the first place. - Fraser Crichton