Overdue climbers rescued from near Glenorchy

Shot looking toward Wright Col on Mount Earnslaw. Photo: Guillaume Charton
Shot looking toward Wright Col on Mount Earnslaw. Photo: Guillaume Charton
Two overdue climbers have been rescued from the side of Mount Earnslaw, near Glenorchy, this morning.

A police media spokeswoman said the pair was reported overdue yesterday afternoon.

Alpine Rescue team member Chris Prudden said they were located this morning at Esquilant Bivouac, about 2200 metres on the side of Mt Earnslaw, and were understood to be safe and well.

Mr Prudden, who was part of the operation but not actively searching as yet, said four people from Queenstown were sent to locate the pair after the alarm was raised by someone else.

"They'd embarked on a rather lengthy journey which was to go via the Dart River and up through the Bedford Stream and do a traverse of Mt Earnslaw, so it was quite a big journey that they had planned, and given the very changeable weather we've had lately, there's probably good reason why they got held up.

"It's not your average journey up Mt Earnslaw, put it that way."

Mr Prudden described it as a "technical journey" which had proven fatal in the past.

Experienced climber Simon Bell, of Wellington, set out from the Esquilant Bivouac intending to climb the west peak of Mt Earnslaw and then traverse to the east peak on January 15, 2015.

His former partner raised the alarm on February 2.

His body has never been located.

Mr Prudden said Mr Bell was a "very capable climber" and incidents like that "always make you think".

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