Adventurous trampers are treated to new twelve-part video series from the Mountain Safety Council (MSC) which give an overview of popular and potentially risky tracks. The series will be released through October on MSC’s YouTube and Facebook channels. The first two videos have been released online.

Communications Manager for the council Nick Kingstone is keen to point out that the aim of the series is to give the participants a clear picture of the challenge they are about to undertake.

“The first two videos – Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and Gertrude Saddle – cover off two vastly different tracks, each with its own challenges.“For the first time, participants are able to explore the track before they set out.“Each video covers off what the track looks like, where the mountain passes are, where the track travels on a 3D map as well as deliver advice on time of year to do the track, equipment necessary and handy tips on avoiding known hazards.“They are indicative of the rest of the twelve part series which covers off notable tracks around New Zealand that we’re established as ‘hot spot’ areas for incidents through our latest insights publication on tramping ‘A Walk In The Park?’.

“They have been built with both domestic and international audiences in mind so if you know of friends who are keen on coming to NZ or from another region of New Zealand please send them a link.Kingstone is clear that the work to get these in front of the right people is just beginning.

“Although it was a very challenging series to make, in some respects that’s the easy bit.“We encourage everyone to share these videos with friends and family that have an interest in tramping. You can also embed the YouTube version within your blogs and websites as well.The series was built in partnership with several of the council's partners and represents over a year of collaboration and input from them. Meryl Jupp, Team Lead for Tourism Marketing for DOC is excited to see these videos finally released.“It’s been excellent to work alongside MSC in the development of this resource. Our staff have added their local knowledge through the development and are excited to use these videos."We highly recommend that people watch these videos well in advance of their trip. “They give a wonderfully visual overview of the track and offer good advice on how to prepare accordingly.“New Zealand's alpine regions are stunningly beautiful, but they can be tough and uncompromising teachers. If you’ve ever been caught out when the weather rolls in above the tree-line you’ll have an idea of how fast it can change.

"The videos give you a great idea of what features and challenges each track presents and you’ll be able to fine-tune your equipment needs to better suit the trip.

Metservice’s Ramon Oosterkamp, GM Meteorological Operations is similarly proud of the weather information throughout the series, "The weather plays a crucial role in any trip in the outdoors and is essential in our alpine regions where precipitation can fall as snow during any season, and high winds may get funnelled up and around mountains. "Anyone venturing into alpine regions of New Zealand need to have a good idea of what's in store, as well as knowledge of local conditions that may be specific to that region. "At MetService, we produce specific mountain forecasts that combine data with the expert understanding of our meteorologists who forecast how the weather changes in different environments. "MetService is proud to partner with MSC on this series, and highly recommend anyone keen on tramping watches the series. Even if you don't think you'll go up that high, it's good to have an idea of how to prepare accordingly; as we all know four seasons can occur in one day in New Zealand!” For more information head to www.mountainsafety.org.nz