Australian climber to be rescued today

3 August 2018

Seven days after he went to climb Mt Aspiring, the 29 year old Australian climber is booked on a helicopter flight off the mountain today, along with the four Wanaka Alpine Rescue Crew who looked after him last night.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ Senior Search and Rescue Officer Geoff Lunt said the plan today is to send in the Southern Lakes and Aspiring helicopters as soon as the weather allows it and remove the five men from Quarterdeck pass, Mt Aspiring. There are another two Alpine Rescue Crew to pick up from the nearby French Ridge hut.

Geoff said that last night at 5pm, the search and rescue crews got the sight they were waiting for when they saw the Australian climber ”standing and waving” as they landed near the Quarterdeck pass.

”The climber has been sheltering for the past two nights at the pass and he has clearly made some good decisions to be able to survive the bad weather, heavy snow and high winds,” Geoff said.

The weather conditions are promising for the rescue later today. There are 10km an hour south east winds which are expected to rise to 30km by noon. The wind chill is minus 16 degrees with scattered rain easing this morning. Snow is at 1200m and the party is currently at about 2300m up Mt Aspiring.

The rescue team left with the climber had provided warm clothing, tents, food and were well-equipped with emergency gear to keep the party dry and warm for what, is hoped to be, their last night on the mountain.

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