Accidents at Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park 13/14th September
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Accidents at Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park 13/14th September 2013
Mon, 16/09/2013 - 1:44pm
Investigations into the circumstances of the two separate fatal alpine accidents that occurred in the Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park on the 13th and 14th of September 2013 are continuing.
Information regarding each accident to date:
TASMAN SADDLE ACCIDENT
On Friday the 13th a party of ski mountaineers were dropped off near the Tasman Saddle Hut, high up on the Tasman Glacier. The party were planning on spending a week at the hut. After the helicopter departed they began to make their way down the ridge to the hut some few hundred meters away.
While walking to the hut the dead man has slipped on ice and has fallen down a gully and over a bluff.
The deceased man is Duncan Robert RAIT, aged 36 years. Mr RAIT is a New Zealander who currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is an experienced alpinist and has spent many years in the climbing in mountains.
Although not a factor in the accident rescue efforts were hampered by weather conditions. The rescue team were dropped at the hut and then descended from there to the location of the injured man as the helicopter became grounded due to poor weather.
SEFTON BIVVY ACCIDENT
The second accident was reported to the Police late in the afternoon on Saturday the 14th of September.
Four young men had attempted to climb to the Sefton Bivvy from the Mt Cook village. They had hired some climbing equipment early that day and had managed to get within 80 meters of the bivvy.
At this stage the one of the party has slipped on the ice and has fallen some 700 meters to his death.
The dead man is Robert BUCKLEY, aged 31 years. Mr BUCKLEY is an Englishman who is currently living in Christchurch.
After the accident the remaining members have raised the alarm but have then been unable to move either up or down.
A helicopter with a rescue team on board located both the dead man and the others but have been able to effect either a rescue nor recovery due to the on set of darkness.
The following morning the three have been rescued at first light.
Later in the day the body of the fallen man was recovered.
It appears as if this party were insufficiently equipped and inexperienced for the climb they had undertaken
Both accidents have been referred to the Coroner.