I’ve only been reluctantly following the recent winter incident on the Routeburn track, where a man slipped and fell, eventually dying. His partner stayed with him in freezing temperatures for several days as he died, then made her way slowly through deep snow to the isolated Lake Mackenzie Hut. She eventually broke into the nearby warden’s hut where she waited for a further 24 days before concerned friends on Facebook triggered a search with the help of local consular staff to liaise with New Zealand Police. Wilderness Magazine summarises the accident well.
I’m not reluctantly following because I don’t care about the accident. It’s more that I’m reluctant to follow the coverage because so much of it is awful. At times it’s seemed more fascinated with the light-hearted “survivor” trivia of a person lasting alone for a month than of recognising and respecting that one person died, and another suffered a serious traumatic event. She then had to cope with it for a month before receiving any help, and having finally been rescued was very quickly subjected to a press conference that several media outlets advertised and live-streamed, in a language she doesn’t understand, and which she really didn’t need to be at.
Stuff’s video example (see screenshot) is the one I’ve so far found most troubling to watch. I won’t bother embedding the video here, but I just hope it’s enough to note that the title image is symptomatic of the presentation that follows. To me it simply seems that the video’s makers and publishers have taken a terrible tragedy for multiple people, and dressed it up as if it’s simply a cheap reality TV entertainment show.