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Taranaki and Ben Lomond tracks feature in video series

More than 25,000 people climb Mt Taranaki each year

The Mountain Safety Council (MSC) has released videos detailing the Mt Taranaki summit route and Ben Lomond Track in a bid to reduce search and rescues on the popular tramps.

The videos give trampers detailed information on the route, equipment required and when to walk it.

Both tracks were identified as search and rescue hot-spots in MSC’s A Walk in the Park? report into tramping-related search and rescue (SAR) incidents.

According to the report, more than 25,000 people walked the Mt Taranaki Summit Track in 2016/17 and 1088 trampers have been injured on the route over the past decade. The number of people walking the track has increased nearly five-fold since 2010/11, from 5369 to 25,248 in 2016/17. The number of injuries on the mountain has also increased, from 79 in 2007/8, to 182 in 2016/17.

According to Stuff.co.nz, Mt Taranaki is New Zealand’s deadliest mountain, with 84 people dying on the mountain since 1891, behind Aoraki/Mt Cook which has claimed 78 lives.

The Ben Lomond Track, which starts near downtown Queenstown, is the fifth most popular search and rescue location in the country – 26 people have been rescued over the past seven years, the same number of SAR events as on the Routeburn Track.

Wakatipu Search and Rescue estimate the track accounted for more than a third of SAR operations in the region. In September last year, three people were rescued from Ben Lomond in one week, after heading off track.

The videos are part of a 12 part series which will be released throughout October, which look at search and rescue hot-spots. Last week, MSC released videos on the Gertrude Saddle route and Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which have been viewed more than 70,000 times.

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 videos will be released on YouTube and Facebook.

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