The two men, believed to be from England and the United States, got into difficulty near the summit of a 656-foot snow and ice route known, ironically, as Fridays Fool about 5 pm on Sunday. A team from Search and Rescue and Remarkables Ski Patrol and Alpine Cliff Rescue were involved in a search operation as temperatures started to drop.
Chris Prudden, leader of Wakatipu LandSar’s alpine cliff rescue team, said:
“Somehow the rope got cut, which was pretty unusual. The guy at the top had to set himself in place and the person who was belaying at the bottom had the rope coming down the mountain at him. It could have turned out to be quite serious if they were lower down the mountain. It would have been harder to get to. They were quite close to the top of the climb.”
One of the climbers is thought to have initially used social media to say they were stranded, which Prudden described as a “little bit frustrating”.
‘We would far prefer if people need assistance for them to call NZ Police. [That would] help a lot with getting things done.”
Both climbers were rescued, neither injured, around 8 pm and taken to the Remarkables Ski Area base.