A woman who was trying to retrieve a lost snowboard ignored
danger signs before she slipped and plunged over a cliff to
her death at Whakapapa ski field.
A group of climbers witnessed the fall at the weekend and
went to her aid but the 44-year-old woman from Otaki was
pronounced dead at the scene.
Constable Conrad Smith of National Park police said the woman
was walking back from the West Ridge chairlift towards the
Waterfall T-bar in an area known as the Amphitheatre on
Saturday when she lost grip of her board.
It slipped down hill and she went after it.
"She's gone past warning signs and dangers signs to look for
her board and she's fallen off a cliff," Mr Smith said.
The woman, who had left her friends who she'd been skiing
with earlier, fell 15m vertically before tumbling a further
A nearby climbing party, an unrelated group, witnessed the
fall and raised the alarm, he said.
The climbers arrived by her side shortly before Whakapapa Ski
Patrol about midday.
A doctor was called to the scene who pronounced her dead a
short time later.
"It's very sad," said Mr Smith.
"It again highlights the need for people to be aware of