Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mt Hutt - Read The Bloody Forecast!!!

It's happened again!
More than 300 people, including 240 college students, were stranded on Mt Hutt last Wednesday by bad weather. reported on TV One
Staff closed the mountain late Wednesday morning when the weather deteriorated. Ski area manager James McKenzie says snow and wind reduced visibility so much they were forced to close the access road completely by noon. Workers were setting off explosives above the road to try to clear snow, so vehicles could leave safely. They checked conditions regularly until the snow and wind died down, allowing them to escort the stranded 316 off the mountain at about 2am Thursday.
A party of 270 Mt Hutt College students, staff and parents on an annual ski trip were among those stuck on the mountain.They hunkered down at the skifield cafe until the road cleared.
Parents vented their frustration on Facebook, calling the road closure predictable, and querying why the school went ahead with the trip when bad weather was forecast. The MetService had been warning of this short savage snap for several days...
[You may recall, in the winter of 2010, about 1200 were stranded up Mt Hutt by hurricane-force winds. The lousy storm had been forecast for days, yet still people were trapped - and questions were raised then! This seems a carbon-copy situation.]
Do they not read the weather forecasts up at Mt Hutt skifield? I get that $$$ is a driver, but that skifield should not have opened at all that day. Egress problems should have been anticipated, and thus easily negated, by simply keeping the gates closed!
Does no-one check the forecasts down at Mt Hutt College? Staff have a monstrous-sized duty of care, and that trip should never have gone up. These staff live near Mt Hutt, so (in theory) understand alpine weather. Perhaps they need a refresher in 'Weather Map Reading:101'!
Just what WERE they all thinking?! Evidently, very little.

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