Updated: Australian climber recovered in "snatch and grab" rescue
Here's our original story from late yesterday:
The Australian climber missing on Mt Aspiring since Monday has been found alive.
The 29 year old man was “standing up and waving” when the helicopters arrived at 5pm today, Rescue Coordination Centre NZ search and rescue mission coordinator, Mike Roberts, says.
There have been grave concerns for the man’s wellbeing.
He has only suffered “slight frostbite”, despite “terrible weather and temperatures that have plummeted well below zero degrees for the past two nights”, Roberts says.
He was found just north of the plateau at Quarterdeck Pass.
A Wanaka Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) Alpine Cliff Rescue team and paramedic were dropped by helicopter and are staying with the climber who is in “good spirits” and being given “much needed” hot food and drinks, Roberts says.
The group will be flown out tomorrow, depending on the weather.
“The pilots did an amazing job to fly in and out, despite the low cloud tonight. It has just hung around the mountain for days and hampered our search efforts. The helicopter crews, Wanaka Alpine Cliff Rescue team and police all deserve the highest praise for the work they’ve done over the past two days - and particularly tonight.”
The man left on Friday, July 27, to climb Mt Aspiring and was expected back on Monday, July 30. A friend advised police on the Monday that he was missing and the man triggered his beacon at 12.15pm that day.
“He has been on his own for nearly seven days in freezing conditions, 50-60 km an hour winds and, at times, heavy snow,” Roberts says.
Main image: Mt Aspiring. Image: Southproud