Home / Articles / The world outdoors

Hundreds suffer in gastro outbreak at Grand Canyon

Photo: Michael Quinn, Grand Canyon National Park

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world.

Imagine saving up for your once-in-a-lifetime adventure trip to the Grand Canyon only for you and your friends to be struck down by violent vomiting, stomach cramps and the runs.

This is what’s happened to scores of people who have visited the world famous US landmark this year. More than 100 hikers, campers and river rafters have reported having a gastrointestinal illness in the past two weeks.

Many have had to be rescued, their symptoms making them too unwell to continue their journey. One hiker lay under a tarp, leaving periodically to be sick.

The cause isn’t yet known, but it’s thought to be norovirus, which is very contagious and can spread easily in campsites and rafts, where people are situated close together for lengthy periods. Read more here

Climate change forces Everest Base Camp to move

Everest Base Camp is all set to move 300-400 metres downhill due to the increasingly destabilising Khumbu Glacier.

The glacier is retreating rapidly, and climbers are getting increasingly worried, as crevasses open in the night close to where they sleep, and the risk of falling rocks threatens to destroy the current camp.

The fuels campers burn there, not to mention the 4000 litres of pee they evacuate each week, also has an impact on the ice.

The plan is to drop the altitude of Base Camp to a level where no year-round ice exists. Read more here

Ruahine access row to go to a hearing

More than 60 objections – including three petitions yielding 185 signatures – have been made against plans to close a section of paper road (unformed legal road).

The access in question is off Opawe Road, giving trampers access to the Maharahara Peak Track in the Ruahine Range.

Manawatū District Council has proposed to close the right of way and offer an alternative public access pedestrian right of way easement as a replacement, following a poled route that already exists.

But trampers say a paper road provides guaranteed year-round access, and closing it will set a precedent for similar decisions across the country. A hearing is now being organised. Read more at Stuff

‘Lifeless’ trail runner awakens after five-day coma and asks for a Coke

When rescuers found 26-year-old Tommy Price lying face-down on a mountain in the UK’s Lake District they must have thought he was dead.

He was showing no signs of life and his core temperature had dropped to 18.8 degrees. In a state of hypothermic delirium, he’d climbed out of his survival bag while his companion had run off to call for help.

But rescuers are trained to assume the patient is alive until they’ve warmed up again, which they did while administering CPR, then by using a defibrillator, all to no avail.

In hospital his blood was warmed and he was placed into an induced coma.

Miraculously, he awoke after five days and his first request was for a Coca Cola. Now, several months later, he’s back running again. Read more here

New trail made from illegally dumped tyres

A community in Tennessee, US, has found a great way to deal with fly tipping. Since 2019 they’ve been collecting tyres that have been illegally dumped across a state park.

The tyres were then broken into crumb-sized pieces and turned into a 4km walking trail.

“This is a quintessential example of recycling in a full circle, collecting dumped material then converting it into positive use,” said David Salyers, from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

“It’s exactly the kind of responsible environmental activity Tennesseans can be proud of, where an area can be cleaned up then have people enjoy the benefits in a new way.” Read more here.