Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC) thanks the outdoor community for keeping to local outdoor activities during the four week lockdown period imposed under COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
“We know this hasn’t been easy for the outdoor community, many of whom are itching to head into the hills, but it’s worth it,” says FMC President Jan Finlayson.
“It’s been heartening to see that thousands of New Zealanders have taken to walking, running and cycling their local trails – it’s almost a throwback to a simpler time when people didn’t stay indoors for recreation. People have been running laps of their backyards, introducing their kids to local trails and exploring their own neighbourhoods in a way that we haven’t done for years.”
“We’ve also been stoked to see how quickly the outdoor community have adapted to using technology to replicate social gatherings. Many of our clubs have been meeting by Zoom or running photo competitions on social media which is fantastic to see.”
While New Zealand is moving to Alert Level 3 on 28 April 2020, FMC is encouraging people to continue keeping their outdoor activities low-key and local.
Under Alert Level 3, New Zealanders are allowed to go for day walks, trail runs and easy hikes – provided that people only exercise with others in their bubble and maintain two metres of physical distance from others.
“This isn’t the time for people to hare off into the hills for an overnight tramp, rafting trip or climbing expedition,” Finlayson says. “While the Level 3 restrictions do allow for movement within regions, we’re encouraging people to think about the impact of COVID-19 on society as a whole, and especially about the risk to others if a search and rescue operation is needed. The mountains and rivers will always be there.”
FMC was formed in 1931 and advocates for the backcountry and outdoor recreation on behalf of 22,000 members in 90 clubs.
Media contact: Jan Finlayson 021 502 297
Photo at top: Tramping in the Silverpeaks, Dunedin. (c) Danilo Hegg