Specialist rescuers are lifted by helicopter on to a
Queenstown cliff face as part of a training simulation on
Saturday. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Suspended in mid-air, pairs of specialist rescuers were
lifted by helicopter on to a cliff face of Queenstown Hill as
part of a training exercise on Saturday.
The alpine cliff rescue simulation drew crowds of intrigued
onlookers to the base of the cliff face, near the Matakauri
Wetland in Gorge Rd.
Tarn Pilkington, a Queenstown team leader of the Wakatipu
LandSAR alpine cliff rescue team, said the training was
undertaken three or four times a year. The purpose of
Saturday's exercise was for the Queenstown and Wanaka teams
to standardise procedures.
Rescuers were flown on to the rock face to perform a strop
rescue, which involves a rescuer being attached to a
helicopter with a rope and being dropped on a site, which was
often steep and difficult terrain.
The rescuers then descended the cliff face using ropes.
The helicopter strop rescue was used by Mt Cook, Queenstown
and Wanaka alpine rescue and also internationally.
The Wakatipu LandSAR alpine and cliff rescue group has around
30 volunteers with the necessary skills to carry out rescues
on mountain tops and cliffs, in gorges and other otherwise
The group is trained in various other rescue techniques.