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The alarm was raised on Monday, February 10, when Ms Simpson did not turn up for work at her Wanaka landscaping job.
She had told friends and posted a Facebook message saying she was going to hike to the Mt Brewster hut and on to the Blue Pools the previous weekend.
After four days of land-based searching, a member of the Wanaka aerial search team spotted her back pack and a West Coast dog handler team found her boots in the Pyke Creek canyon.
The next day four members of the Wanaka SAR swiftwater rescue and canyon team began methodically searching the canyon, starting at the top of the creek, and found her body in water halfway down the canyon early on Friday afternoon.
"The team had to put dive masks on to look under the water, probing through all the white water with avalanche probes. It is quite full on and the guys did an excellent, excellent job of finding her," Mr Nicholson said.
Mr Nicholson said it was testament to the fact that "you need to have boots on the ground and have the right people in the right places to get these sort of results".
Seventy-five tracks are presently closed across the region from Fiordland and into the southern end of Mount Aspiring Park which could be the reason the Makarora region has been busier this summer, Mr Nicholson said.
Wanaka SAR have been involved in seven other operations in the Aspiring National park this month with over 500 volunteer hours dedicated and in which two other people lost their lives.
"We didn’t get there soon enough to save Stephanie but you get to a point where you go ‘We have to find Stephanie to bring her home’.
"The guys are very proud of being able to do that. They know how important it is for the family," he said.