Climber thanks rescuers

The 27-year-old Canadian climber lost on Mt Aspiring at the weekend has thanked the helicopter operator and LandSAR Alpine cliff rescue team that lifted him to safety.

Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said the man was "pretty knocked around" by his experience and was continuing to receive medical treatment in Wanaka.

The rescued climber declined a request from the Otago Daily Times for an interview yesterday.

He had become lost on Friday on his way back from the summit of Mt Aspiring.

Police were alerted to the man's predicament late on Friday night by his father, who was in Australia. The man's father had been tracking him via his Spot Tracker GPS device and noticed he had not moved for five hours.

Bad weather held up his rescue until Sunday morning and the man spent two nights in a snow cave.

When rescued, he was found to be suffering from snow-blindness.

Department of Conservation Wanaka area manager Paul Hellebrekers said he was not aware of the circumstances of the weekend incident but did not consider it "best practice" to climb Mt Aspiring solo.

mark.price@odt.co.nz