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New video details deadly Gertrude Saddle route

The video is one of 12 to be released through the month

A new video gives trampers a step-by-step guide to safely completing the dangerous Gertrude Saddle route in Fiordland, which has been the site of multiple fatalities.

The video, released by the Mountain Safety Council, gives trampers detailed information on the route, equipment required and when to walk it.

Two people died descending the track in very similar circumstances in 2016 and 2017, after missing a crucial turn-off while descending the track and DOC was criticised for not clearly  marking parts of the track.

MSC has also released a video on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, after a tourist died on the route earlier this month. The videos are the first in a 12 part series which will be released throughout October, which look at tracks that are hot-spots for search and rescue operations.

Other videos in the series will cover the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn Great Walks, the Cascade Saddle route in Mt Aspiring National Park, the Mueller Hut route in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, the Travers Saddle route, Robert Ridge route to Angelus Hut and Waiau Pass in Nelson Lakes National Park, the Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown and the Mt Taranaki summit route. The videos will be released on YouTube and Facebook.

MSC communications manager Nick Kingstone said the aim of the series is to give the participants a clear picture of the challenge of the tramping tracks.

“Each video covers what the track looks like, where the mountain passes are, where the track travels on a 3D map as well as advice on the time of year to do the track, equipment necessary and handy tips on avoiding known hazards,” Kingstone said.

The videos have been created in collaboration with DOC and other partners. DOC tourism and marketing team leader Meryl Jupp said people should watch these videos well in advance of their trip.

“They give a wonderfully visual overview of the track and offer good advice on how to prepare accordingly,” Jupp said. “New Zealand’s alpine regions are stunningly beautiful, but they can be tough and uncompromising teachers. If you’ve ever been caught out when the weather rolls in above the tree-line you’ll have an idea of how fast it can change.

“The videos give you a great idea of what features and challenges each track presents and you’ll be able to fine-tune your equipment needs to better suit the trip.”