The photo of Hiroki Ogawa and Nicole Sutton used in the
service sheet at their funeral.
Ice picks were held up in a guard of honour as the
caskets of climbers Nicole Sutton and Hiroki Ogawa left a
church in Auckland today following their joint funeral.
The couple were farewelled by about 600 people at Holy
Trinity Cathedral in Parnell following their deaths on Mr
Taranaki over Labour Weekend.
They had been climbing as part of the New Zealand Alpine
Club's annual trip to the mountain.
The service was led by the Reverend Tony Surman, with
tributes from Peter Cammell from the NZ Alpine Club and
Professor Paul Kench from the University of Auckland.
Sutton family friend Gavin Hoare and a friend of the couple,
Joe Fagan, also spoke at the service.
The service sheet for the funeral carried a photo of Ms
Sutton and Dr Ogawa on a grassy hilltop, surrounded by
mountains, A message from the families on the service sheet
thanked the Taranaki and Ruapehu rescue services and police
involved in the rescue operation.
The families also thanked Dr Ogawa's colleagues and students
at the University of Auckland, and the Auckland section of
the NZ Alpine Club.
Ms Sutton, 29, and Dr Ogawa, 31, died after being trapped
sheltering in an ice trench near the summit for two nights in
A search and rescue party reached the pair early on the
morning of Monday, October 28, but found Dr Ogawa already
dead. Ms Sutton died before rescuers were able to get her off
Their bodies were winched off by the Air Force the following
Dr Ogawa's parents arrived in New Zealand from Japan last
Family and friends hugged one another, and some came forward
to lay sprigs of greenery on the caskets as they left the
church under a guard of honour formed by ice picks.
Police are investigating the deaths on behalf of the coroner,
and the New Zealand Alpine Club said this week it would
independently review the trip.
- By Heather McCracken of APNZ