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Climber dies after fall on Ruapehu

News from NZ Police
A climber died after a fall on Mount Ruapehu yesterday. She was in a party of nine which was heading up the eastern side of the mountain and traversing Cathedral Rocks when, about 12:30pm, she slipped and fell down a slope.

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

Due to 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. Sadly, she was pronounced dead at the lodge.

This morning local hapū Ngāti Hikairo blessed the site.

“This is an absolutely tragic event,” says Senior Constable Barry Shepherd. “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.

“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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