Mt Aspiring tramper likely called on army experience to survive

Long Lunch 03/08/2018
Mt Aspiring. Photo: File.

The Australian tramper has been found alive on Mount Aspiring and in relatively good health, despite slight frostbite to his extremities.

Helicopters found the climber standing and waving on the mountain yesterday. Four rescue specialists stayed with the climber overnight.

The climber, 29, had dug a shelter in the snow to survive.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ’s Neville Blakemore confirmed that the climber is now accompanied by the specialists who have provided him with fresh clothes, food, and healthcare.

According to Mr Blakemore, the climber is an experienced mountaineer and a soldier in the Australian Army.  

“I think he’s probably called on all of this experience to get himself out of a very, very bad situation and survive as long as he has,” he told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen.

But Mr Blakemore warned that the rescue mission isn’t over yet. Weather conditions are unpredictable, so it’s unclear when the climber and rescuers will be airlifted off the mountain.

“The longer that guy stays on that mountain, the more chances that something may happen. We need to get him to medical attention straight away,” he said.

Two more specialists are at the nearby French Ridge Hut to monitor weather conditions. 

Listen to the full interview from Neville Blakemore above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.