If there were a great example...
Just yesterday we met two distressed Austrian boys at Devil Creek Hut in the Richmond Ranges.
One had a daypack - neither had o/nite gear. They had tramped over Mt Royal (1300m+) which had snowcover on Sat. using a DOC brochure. (I gave them my topomap.)
To their surprise, I explained they had 7 hrs left on their daytrip, but only 4-5 hrs daylight. Hopefully they reached Fosters Hut, had a cold hungry night, & gained some more respect for the NZ bush. Ya!
Schadenfreude! I guess they got there all right as it's a track all the way. I've often thought if a little nest of mattresses could be constructed, that might help keep them warm if there was no fire in the hut.
Dare I suggest the Israeli didn't write his name in the hutbooks because he hadn't purchased hut tickets?...Some people erroneously think the hut books are there for accounting purposes rather than SAR and generating hut usage/compliance stats for DoC. As if some govt bean-counter is going to track this dude down and get him to cough up for arrears.
"Dare I suggest the Israeli didn't write his name in the hutbooks because he hadn't purchased hut tickets?"
Could be, and if so he certainly wouldn't be the first. But I think it's just as likely that writing in the book merely never occurs to a lot of people. I transitioned naturally because any time I've been in a club or group with shared facilities, there's always a book to keep track of who's used them and when. Perhaps he never imagined Eggie as others do, as one of the many places in NZ where it's possible to simply fall off something in an isolated place and never be heard from again. If you're from somewhere with dense people and ubiquitous cellphone coverage, it's perhaps not always the first thing in your mind.
It reads as if he also never expected a random person whom he barely knew would be so concerned when he didn't turn up or report back as he'd earlier said he would, and that could be a culture thing. I think many visitors come to New Zealand and are very surprised by how they're accepted in certain circles. A week ago I was chatting with a guy from Costa Rica, and he was more than slightly amazed at how immediately he'd been accepted and smiled at and introduced into the social circles and helped out by strangers wherever he turned up, and especially that people didn't habitually have ulterior motives when doing it. He's just one example of many people I've met who've said similar things.
My earlier point about differentiating with charging was that most people who need rescuing (aside from some injuries) make at least a few mistakes. Usually the mistakes put them in trouble during their trip resulting in being rescued. This guy made mistakes before or after his trip and was never in trouble, so the search now seems more frustratingly meaningless than other rescues, but I don't see how it warrants being treated differently. If he kept creating problems over and over without learning or caring, maybe (in my eyes) it'd justify some sort of charge for wasting police time, but even doing that doesn't acknowledge all the non-police time and resources that are wasted and put at risk.
I thinks publishers of books like Lonely Planet need to be more responsible. In my own case, I've bumped into Europeans in distress in crazy places in the Tararuas. It's now named in the guide; the more adventurous types want to side-step the herd, so off they go, often completely unprepared, thinking its just a stroll. In fact, its a killer for those who don't have the proper fitness, planning, experience and equipment, and the more than 50 people who have died there are a testimony to that. But you won't read that in Lonely Planet.
Were they attempting the Holdsworth/Jumbo circuit? I did a quick google and found this, but I'm not sure which Lonely Planet book it's out of. (Pages 96 and 97, but I can't find the others that it references later in the same book.) PDF: http://media.lonel...n-north-preview.pdf
SOUTHERN NORTH ISLAND
Trampers often overlook the southern half of the North Island, because it lies between hte stunning volcanoes of Tongariro National Park and the sunshine and beaches of Abel Tasman and the Marlborough Sounds, but New Zealand can trace its tramping roots here. Climbing Mt Taranaki was so popular at the turn of the 20th century that the Egmont National Park was established in 1900, while the country's first tramping club was formed in Wellington in 1919.
Today the region offers a variety of tramps, from alpine to bush, of which the vast majority are lightly used. This is where you can find your solitude as a tramper, avoiding crowded huts such as those on the Routeburn Track. Int he southwest, you can hike around a near perfect volcanic cone, dipping in and out of the alpine zone along the Mt Taranaki High-Level Circuit. Or you can reach alpine country along the Pouakai Track in Egmont National Park, and watch New Plymouth fall asleep at night from a lofty perch.
In nearby Whanganui National Park, you can skip the mountains and stay entirely in the forest along the Matemateaonga Track until it ends on the banks of the Whanganui River --- New Zealand's longest navigable river. Further south, you can climb to an alpine hut in the Ruahines for an evening, or enjoy an easy low-elevation tramp in the rugged Tararuas just north of Wellington.
The tramps described are just a few of those available in the region --- the Rimutaka and Haurangi Forest Parks, for example, contain fascinating tramping routes.
* Taking in the many waterfalls along the Mt Taranaki High Level Circuit (p102)
* Watching the sunset and then the city lights of New Plymouth emerge from the veranda of Pouakai Hut (p109)
* Combining a wilderness tramp on the Matemateaonga Track (p111) with a jetboat ride on the Whanganui River
* Spending a day on alpine ridges along the Mt Holdsworth Circuit (p121)
The weather in the southern half of the North Island varies greatly, but one common trait is the possibility of strong winds and sudden storms. In the high-altitude areas of Mt Taranaki, the Ruahines and thee Tararuas, trampers can be exposed to quick changes in weather, with winds, storms or squalls replacing clear skies in a matter of hours.
There are a number of tramping guides to many areas in this region. Top Walking Tracks of the Wellington Region, by Geoffrey Churchman, is a slim volume that covers 17 tramps around the capital city, while Day Walks of Greater Wellington by Marios Gavalas covers 69 walks from Hutt Valley to the Rimutaka Range. Gavalas also wrote Day Walks of Wanganui, Manawatu and Horowhenuau, outlining 50 traks from Whanganui National Park to Ruahine Forest Park.
The major city in the southern half of the North Island is Wellington, the country's capital. Hemmed in by a magnificent harbour, windy Wellington prides itself as a centre for culture and arts, but it is also a major travel crossroads, serving as the junction between the North and South Islands.
It is good to give the benefit of the doubt sometimes .
Most Kiwis who tramp take it for granted you sign hut books as you pass through, its common local knowledge .
Maybe it is not common knowledge for many overseas people who don't have hut culture in their back country .
I'm sure us Kiwi often break common cultural rules when overseas . When back packing through Europe, we probably do many things that make the locals shake their heads in disbelief . I'm sure the odd kiwi doesn't tip at places that it is common to do so, doesn't remove their shoes when they should, and so on .
I'm not saying this is comparable, or what happened with the Israeli chap .
Just saying what we take for granted, others may not, and visa-versa .
I'm sure when this country was first being colonised, many european immigrants got themselves into trouble and perished in situations that made the local Maori shake their heads in disbelief .
Yes, I think the river crossing technique all lined up with the current and holding a pole comes from the Maori.
Frank and I still chuckle about the Italian we met near Whaiti Stream in the Otehake. We said Gidday, how're ya going and he said it's HOOORIBLE! We said you're nearly on the track - just a couple of hours to go and apparently it took him another 24 hours to get out to Aitkens. It's become one of our sayings now.
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