Image of the August 2012 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
August 2012 Issue
Home / Articles / Editorial

Editorial

A massive avalanche sweeps down onto Milford Rd

This month Wilderness takes a closer look at avalanches in New Zealand (p36). Every winter we hear about avalanches either on groomed ski fields or in the backcountry, but unlike many other countries with similarly mountainous terrain the fatality rate in New Zealand is fairly low at just two people a year.

The recent death of nine climbers on Mt Blanc in the French Alps shows how large groups of people can be swept to their deaths. In New Zealand, such cases of group burials are rare, though they do happen. Even so, why do avalanches kill so few people in New Zealand?

Believe it or not, the experts, and those caught in avalanches, all say luck appear to play a major role. Unfortunately, sooner or later, luck tends to run out so it is possible New Zealand will one day experience the high fatality rates like those in France where 31 people a year are killed by avalanches. Being avalanche aware is the best way to ensure you stay out of the way of these terrifying snow slides.

The main feature this month is about getting outside as a family. Often parents struggle to enjoy the kind of trips and challenges they experienced before they had kids. Time, energy and the capability of their children are all factors to limiting their outdoor adventures. But thanks to active outdoor parents like Edith Leigh and Jo Stilwell – and the advice of our readers – we’ve put together a range of tips, trips and know-how to help you get back into the hills, kids happily in tow. Turn to p42 to learn how to start planning your family forays.

Wilderness won the Magazine of the year award in the sport and leisure category at the Magazine Publishers Association annual awards in June. Josh Gale won the Journalist of the Year award. It is a great success and recognition for the magazine, which enjoys a very loyal and committed readership – many of those readers share their trips and photos with us which we publish in the Wild Trips section of the magazine, so can deservedly pat themselves on the back for a job well done. But I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the team at Wilderness – our art director Pelin who makes the magazine so attractive and compelling each month, advertising sales manager Matthew John who ensures we can afford to publish each issue, the subscriptions and office admin girls Vivienne and Vanda who play such a crucial role in running the office and dealing with the enquiries of our readers, who are the single most important people associated with the magazine, and staff writer Josh Gale deserves special mention for his excellent feature writing which has helped keep Wilderness at the top of its game.

– Alistair Hall

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Web exclusives. Each week we publish stories you won’t find in the magazine. View our latest web exclusives.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.