Mountaineers warned about dangerous summer season

December is a historically dangerous month for climbers (file)
December is a historically dangerous month for climbers (file)

The Mountain Safety Council is nervously awaiting the summer climbing season, which is notorious for tragedy.

New statistics revealed around a third of all mountaineering fatalities happen in December. The high numbers are something the council is desperately trying to reduce.

Chief executive Mike Daisley says every death, whether a local or a tourist, tears their "very tight-knit community" apart.

"It's around 20,000 or 30,000 people that regularly mountaineer in New Zealand, so it's not a vast amount of people."

There are, on average, 3.2 mountaineering fatalities in New Zealand each year.

Mr Daisley says international tourists, especially Australians, run into danger when they are unprepared for our ever-changing weather conditions - mountaineers from Australia are used to weather forecasts "good and solid for a week, while ours a good for a couple of hours".

A 42-year-old local mountain guide had to be rescued from Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park after she was hit by a falling rock on Mt Tasman on Monday morning.

That followed the rescue of a Foxton man on Friday after he fell 300m on Mt Elie de Beaumont.