Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wanaka Search and Rescue has been too busy...

Five call-outs in a couple of weeks! Too many accidents and deaths of a tragic nature for Wanaka Search and Rescue of late. I've been on standby, so bags packed I took quite an interest in what might be coming up! I don't mind waiting, and understand the need - any operation is sophisticated and military like, and it has to be.

The last operation finished yesterday and it was for a hunter who went missing in this terrain in Mt. Aspiring National Park. Not easy country the Rob Roy valley and glacier...#alttext# A typical operation begins at search HQ Wanaka. And sooner rather than later a team is dispatched. There is a nice helicopter landing area up behind the Dept of Conservation HQ in town. Here members get ready to fly into Cascade Saddle a couple of years ago at this time of year, to look for a missing tramper. It's sort of opposite Rob Roy...#alttext#It was a shock to be landed on Cascade Saddle in cold mist, with the odd snow flake threatening...#alttext#A last briefing between SAR members about to start a close area contact search on foot on Cascade Saddle, with the Dart Glacier in the back ground... #alttext#The success [and safety] of any operation has a lot to do with communication and trust. It's not all training though, as pre Xmas every year we have a get-together and a meal, with speeches and awards [we've been recognised nationally more than once]...#alttext#Training has many aspects in many different environments, such as this river safety day...#alttext#

All too often I reflect on why some tragedies are not averted! It's a complex topic, and after the above mentioned Cascade Saddle operation I blogged extensively, hoping my advice would be found. I've had a few email me, so this has been encouraging.

Enough to post here on the same topic again, adding to the below older one, dated Jan. 2009!
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to take a few more shots while helping search for a missing tramper [Irina Yun - now presumed drowned - if you wish to read a comprehensive overview of the scenario then Bob McKerrow a highly respected and experienced NZ mountaineer has compiled an overview on his blog].

The Cascade Saddle is actually the low point on...

>> more via Cascade Saddle Search and Rescue operation in Mt Aspiring National Park.
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