Woman killed after slipping, falling during Mt Ruapehū climb

Concerns have been raised over a duel-use track on Mt Ruapehu. Photo: ODT file
The woman was in a group of nine people who were heading up the eastern side of the mountain and traversing the Cathedral Rocks. Photo: ODT file
A woman has died after a group climb on Mount Ruapehū went wrong yesterday.

The woman was in a group of nine people who were heading up the eastern side of the mountain and traversing the Cathedral Rocks.

At about 12.30pm, the woman slipped and fell down a slope.

One of her climbing companions climbed down to her and contacted emergency services.

Because of very strong winds, she was unable to be reached by helicopter so ground search and rescue teams were deployed.

SAR teams found her and her companions about 5.40pm.

The woman was carried out by stretcher and the others were escorted to Tukino Lodge.

She was pronounced dead at the lodge.

This morning, local hapū Ngāti Hikairo blessed the site.

"This is an absolutely tragic event for the woman who has died, her family and friends, and her climbing companions," Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said.

"Many in the group were relatively new climbers, but they were well-prepared and, while the weather changed throughout the day, when they set off the conditions were suitable.

"While this was not the outcome anyone wanted, I want to acknowledge the bravery of those in the group who climbed down over a number of hours to assist her, as well as two other climbers who came across the scene and stopped to help.

"I also want to thank all the LandSAR men and women who worked tirelessly through the afternoon and well into the night in absolutely shocking weather to return the deceased to her family and rescue the rest of the group off the mountain."

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