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There had been snow flurries on alpine sections of the route. with rain, wind and cloud.
Constable Julian Cahill, of Queenstown, said the poor conditions made it difficult for Search and Rescue volunteers to see, despite the use of night vision googles and infra-red equipment.
The man, who is travelling with his wife and child, had been dropped off at the Lake Sylvan car park at 6.45am on Sunday.
Police were alerted at 8.30pm on Sunday when the man did not arrive at the Routeburn Rd end.
After a helicopter crew could not find him, two groups of search and rescue volunteers set off walking the track from opposite ends and yesterday morning they met at the junction of the Rockburn Track and the Sugarloaf Pass Track.
They continued up the Rockburn Track and at 9.30am found the man about 20 minutes' walk further along the track. Senior Sergeant John Fookes said about 14 people had searched through the night.