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NZAC announces support for independent review of Alpine Team fatalities

New Zealand Alpine Club President, Dr Penny Brothers, has today expressed her condolences to the families of Conor Smith and Sarawan Chand while encouraging the New Zealand Alpine Team (NZAT) to consider an independent review of the accident.

Dr Brothers says “Unfortunately the New Zealand Alpine Club has some past experience in dealing with fatalities. Specifically, after an accident three years ago the club instituted a professional independent review to assess cause and make recommendations, which were then successfully implemented throughout the club”

She says “Although not connected to the NZAT, as fellow climbers we encourage them to learn from our past experiences in these most difficult of circumstances. For the benefit of the climbing community, we would support a review of their own, considering changes or lessons learned which might help prevent such accidents in the future”.

The deaths of two young stars has rocked the New Zealand climbing community. Although the NZAT is a mentored programme administered by the Expedition Climbers Club, not the New Zealand Alpine Club, both climbers had also been Alpine Club members.


The New Zealand Alpine Club was formed in 1891 and aims to promote and support climbing at all levels within New Zealand. The club has almost 4000 members, twelve regional sections and five full-time staff based at its headquarters in Christchurch. The scope of its activities are broad including publishing, the provision of 17 alpine huts and base lodges, instruction, advocacy, insurance and support for overseas climbing expeditions.

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Posted: 02/05/17

Posted By: Narina Sutherland