Long wait for injured guide

It was a long week for mountain guide Gavin Lang as he waited for over three days on Mt Aspiring to be rescued after suffering a leg injury. Photo: Supplied
It was a long week for mountain guide Gavin Lang as he waited for over three days on Mt Aspiring to be rescued after suffering a leg injury. Photo: Supplied
''We were starting to think if we were ever going to get out.''

That was the thought racing through the mind of injured mountain guide Gavin Lang on Thursday as he and his client waited a fourth day to be rescued.

The pair had been stuck at Colin Todd Hut on Mt Aspiring since Monday morning, after a rock fell on Mr Lang's leg, causing bleeding and swelling to his left thigh.

Mr Lang estimated the rock weighed between 12kg and 15kg and fell from a height of 1.2m.

He believed the injury was not serious and continued to ascend the mountain for close to an hour, only to turn around due to high winds and increasing cloud.

It was only on the descent back to the hut that he realised he was in pain.

Upon arrival, his knee had swollen significantly.

The Wanaka Land Search and Rescue and alpine cliff rescue team member was reluctant to call his friends for help as he was unsure if it was ''justified''.

But the search and rescue team were ''more than happy to help'', he said.

Unfortunately though, a storm hit and rescuers were unable to get to them for several days.

Finally, on Thursday, the pair set off to Bevan Col on the edge of the Bonar Glacier, where they were picked up by Aspiring Helicopters, paid for by Mr Lang's client.

While the search and rescue team were not needed in the end, Mr Lang praised them for their willingness to come and rescue him for what he thought was a ''minor'' incident.

''It is fantastic to have such a strong resource like the SAR team in Wanaka. It's a pleasure to be part of it and to know that they've got my back when things go down. I never intended to be a customer, but these things do happen.''

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