Professional skier Pete Oswald will be able to spin this yarn
The Queenstown man was high in the Hector Mountains yesterday
on a photo shoot for Snow Action Magazine with
Southern Lakes Heliski when an exhausted sheep slid into his
Mr Oswald said he was waiting for photographer Dan Power to
set up a shot on the last run of the day when a piece of snow
hit the back of one of his ski boots, causing him to scan the
slopes behind him.
About 100m away he spotted ''a little bundle of wool'' at the
bottom of a groove carved by the sheep as it slid down a
steep, rock-strewn slope.
He found the animal lying with its head tucked awkwardly
under its body, still alive and ''wriggling''.
Drawing on his boyhood spent on a Marlborough farm, Mr Oswald
raised it to its feet.
''It was trying to walk away, but it was exhausted - it would
take a few steps and then lose its footing.''
He then effected what must be one of the world's few sheep
rescues conducted on skis, picking up the ailing animal and
carrying it several hundred metres down the mountain to a
flatter, grassy spot.
After talking to his father about the incident, he reckoned
the well-camouflaged animal would have escaped a muster or
two and been roaming high on the range for some time.
He expected it to make a full recovery.