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September 2011 Issue
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Testing anchors

Destruction testing the vertical midclip snowstake. Photo: Fraser Crichton
Matt Bennett, Training Manager with the Sir Edmund Hilary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, coaches a group of New Zealand Alpine Club volunteer instructors in destruction-testing snow anchors. After the death of a student on an NZAC course last year at Whakapapa, the future of voluntary instruction is uncertain. Health and safety concerns are driving NZAC to look at commercial instruction as an alternative to the voluntary approach that has been the traditional anchor for club instruction and outdoor culture. Professionals, like Matt, engaging with the voluntary sector are a sign that these commercial and voluntary approaches are compatible and complementary. - Fraser Crichton