17 Nov 2019

Risk of avalanches as fronts bring wild weather

5:23 pm on 17 November 2019

A series of fronts bringing wild weather is increasing the risk of avalanches this week.

Aoraki Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki in the South Island.

Photo: 123RF

The Avalanche Advisory has issued warnings for dangerous conditions for high alpine areas in Fiordland and Aoraki Mt Cook.

Both have alerts for heightened conditions in alpine areas, with the potential for avalanches as storm snow falls in Fiordland.

In Aoraki Mt Cook, avalanches large enough to hurt, kill or bury people were witnessed last week.

Nelson Lakes has an alert for a moderate risk for higher elevations.

In the North Island, there's a heightened risk of avalanches for all elevations at Tongariro.

In August an avalanche hit a skiing party on Aoraki Mt Cook, triggering a helicopter rescue.

A guide was dragged hundreds of metres down the mountain by the avalanche, partially burying him, before the other skiiers were able to dig him free.

Metservice says the incoming front could also bring rainfall that reaches warning levels on Tuesday for the catchment areas of Otago and Canterbury lakes and rivers, Fiordland and Westland.

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