Climbers' reaction 'textbook'

Police are praising the sensible reactions of two mountaineers who found themselves trapped for two nights on Mt Tasman at the weekend.

A 23-year-old Australian man and a 25-year-old British man failed to return from a climb on Saturday, when bad weather trapped them in an inaccessible crevasse close to the summit. Mid-South Canterbury area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said although severe weather conditions in the Southern Alps during the past two days had raised concerns for their welfare, members of the Aoraki/Mt Cook Rescue Team located both men safe and well, in an inaccessible crevasse, early yesterday.

A long-line rescue technique was used to winch the climbers out by helicopter. Insp Gaskin said the men were airlifted to Mt Cook village for medical assessment, but other than being cold and wet, both appeared to be uninjured.

Little blame could be attached to the climbers, he said.

''The only thing you could possibly say they had done wrong ... is that they didn't allow a long-enough window of clear weather. But overall, I would like to congratulate them on the actions they took once they got into a position of some predicament.''

He said the pair had reacted with textbook protocol: ''They stopped where they were, they got dug in, they made shelter and they waited for rescue.''

 

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