Person dies after climbing incident on Mt Ruapehu

Police and LandSAR have today recovered a body after a climber fell on Mount Ruapehu yesterday.

The party of nine was headed up the eastern side of the mountain and traversing Cathedral Rocks when, about 12:30pm, one member of the party slipped and fell down a slope.

One of her climbing companions climbed down to her and contacted emergency services.

Due to very strong winds, she was unable to be reached by helicopter so ground search and rescue teams were deployed.

SAR teams found her and her companions about 5:40pm.

The woman was carried out by stretcher and the others were escorted to Tukino Lodge.

Sadly, she was pronounced dead at the lodge.

This morning local hapū Ngāti Hikairo has blessed the site.

“This is an absolutely tragic event for the woman who has died, her family and friends, and her climbing companions,” says Senior Constable Barry Shepherd.

“Many in the group were relatively new climbers, but they were well-prepared and while the weather changed throughout the day, when they set off the conditions were suitable.

“While this was not the outcome anyone wanted, I want to acknowledge the bravery of those in the group who climbed down over a number of hours to assist her, as well as two other climbers who came across the scene and stopped to help.

“I also want to thank all the LandSAR men and women who worked tirelessly through the afternoon and well into the night in absolutely shocking weather to return the deceased to her family and rescue the rest of the group off the mountain.”

/NZ Police Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.