Climbers are encouraged to pack out their waste.

Personal waste disposal should be used when:

  • there is no hut toilet
  • the hut toilet is unusable in winter months
  • people are camping at high altitude
  • people are camping in sensitive zones
  • people are doing day trips that may necessitate a toilet stop on the way, eg Aoraki/Mount Cook climb.. 

Why use waste disposal solutions? 

In the past, it has been common practice to bury human waste if caught short in places without toilets. Climbers had traditionally buried waste or popped it down a crevasse.

But research has shown that waste does not break down as quickly as once thought - in fact in alpine areas it might not ever break down. Not only does this look bad when snow melts in summer, but it presents a health risk, with giardia an increasing problem in New Zealand. 

Leaving human waste on the mountain is also unacceptable to Ngāi Tahu, as the waters that flow from Aoraki are sacred. 

The caving fraternity in New Zealand have been practising carrying out all human waste for many years. The system is used overseas in parks like Denalli in America, and is used extensively by all people venturing out into the field in Antarctica. 

Alpine care code

  • Plan ahead.
  • Pack it in, pack it out - take all your rubbish with you.
  • Dispose of your toilet waste appropriately.
  • Respect our Māori heritage.
  • Look after our native species.
  • Be considerate of others.
  • Leave no trace.
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