Three helicopters have rescued the Australian climber and rescue teams off Mt Aspiring

3 August 2018

Australian climber Terry Harch is on his way to Dunedin hospital after being helicoptered out by Southern Lakes Helicopters today in what the pilot termed “a snatch and grab” at around 4pm.

The four Wanaka Alpine Cliff Rescue team members, plus two Mount Cook Alpine Cliff Rescue team members who were on their way to Quarterdeck Pass to assist, are also being extracted by two Aspiring Helicopter machines and taken back to Wanaka.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ Search and Rescue Officer Neville Blakemore said that it had been a very difficult day with the wind, cloud and snow conditions preventing the helicopters from reaching the climber on the mountain until this afternoon when a weather window suddenly opened up.

“It’s a great result as we did not want the climber spending another night on the mountain. The aim now is to get him to hospital for immediate treatment,” said Neville.

This has been a long and drawn out Search and Rescue Operation and the cooperation, skills and expertise shown by the Alpine Cliff Rescue Teams, Wanaka LandSAR, New Zealand Police SAR (Wanaka), along with Southern Lakes Helicopters and Aspiring Helicopters has been nothing short of fantastic.

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