Item: A history of avalanche accidents in aotearoa new zealand
Title: A history of avalanche accidents in aotearoa new zealand
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2004 International Snow Science Workshop, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Authors: Dave Irwin and Ian Owens, Recreation Programmes, School of Education, Recreation and Performing Arts Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (email@example.com), Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, Christchurch (ian.owens@cant
Abstract: This paper is based on a study for the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council which investigated the circumstances contributing to the deaths of 128 people in avalanches between 1863 and 1999. The study identified a trend of high fatalities during European settlement followed by a lull in fatalities early last century and then an increase in recent decades similar to other recently colonized countries. Similar to other studies, most victims were in their twenties and shift from workto recreation-based activities has occurred from a century ago to recent times. Comparison with other studies of more specific activities involved in recent decades showed that alpine climbing, people on training courses, in-area-skiers and patrollers were over-represented, while out-of-area skiers/boarders and snowmobilers were under-represented. The geographic distribution of fatalities is concentrated in the South Island reflecting the preponderance of terrain for climbing and skiing.
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Keywords: fatalities, new zealand, avalanche victim activities
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