Australian Climber Stuck on Mt. Aspiring, New Zealand since Tuesday Lucky to be Found Alive

CragBrains | ClimbingClimbing
mt aspiring, New Zealand, climber, rescued
Mt. Aspiring, the ‘Matterhorn of the South’. Credit: RNZ / Steve Wilde

The Australian climber who has been stuck on Mt. Aspiring in New Zealand since Tuesday was found standing and waving as rescue helicopters arrived, reports Otago Daily TimesRescue Coordination Centre NZ Search and Rescue mission coordinator Mike Roberts said “it’s extraordinary”.

The 29-year-old man was found waving down the rescue team when the Southern Lakes and Mt. Aspiring helicopters arrived at 5pm today, Mr Roberts said. The man had “slight frostbite”,  and was found just north of the plateau at Quarterdeck Pass.

mt aspiring, New Zealand, climber, rescued
Short-roping on the slopes of Aspiring. Credit: John McCall

The man set off his beacon at the edge of the Bonar Glacier at 12.15 pm on Tuesday, and rescuers were encouraged by movement of the emergency beacon a short distance to the northeast about 2.30 pm Wednesday. However, the climber’s beacon had not moved since then and remained at Quarterdeck Pass. Searchers were very concerned for the man because he was lightly equipped.

A Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) spokesman said a first rescue attempt tried to fly to the man’s location at 9 am, but had to turn back.

RCCNZ said that the rescue should serve as a warning for trampers and climbers in winter that they need to be properly prepared and carry a beacon.


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