During FMC’s Outdoor Community campaign support to Ski Touring, we noticed some friction between members of the back country touring community and some ski area operators. The friction appeared to be primary due to a lack of understanding of the nature of hazards present, as well as about how the legal obligations of the ski area operators relate to the legal rights of access to public conservation land.
To try to alleviate some of the friction, as well as let the fields know FMC is watching, we’ve consulted with every ski area in New Zealand to create a set of back country touring access guidelines. These guidelines articulate how to behave when accessing back country terrain using ski field infrastructure, and are intended to promote understanding of the real hazards present on ski areas, as well as foster courtesy and respect between tourers (as well as climbers and trampers) and ski area operators.
FMC thanks the NZAC, and the 23 ski areas who provided support and feedback for this project.
These guidelines and supporting articles are being published in FMC’s June issue of Backcountry, the winter issue of NZAC’s Climber magazine, along with articles on the project scheduled for Wilderness Magazine. The guideline is also available on www.skitouring.co.nz