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Rescue Teams Still Waiting At Mt Cook

Rescue Teams Still Waiting At Mt Cook
New Zealand Police National News Release
4:06pm 4 December 2008

The rescue teams are still waiting at Mt Cook for a break in the weather to get to the site where it is believed two Japanese climbers could be trapped in a tent.

There has been no radio contact with the two men, Kiyoshi Ikenouchi, aged 49, and Hideaki Nara, aged 51, both from Tokyo, although a radio with instructions in Japanese was dropped to them yesterday.

Staff at Mt Cook village report that there is a lot of rain and 1 metre of new snow at the Kelman hut today. The winds are still very high.

The Alpine Rescue Teams are planning the rescue for whenever they get an opportunity. There are enough resources in the region to cope with a rescue.

The weather could clear enough tomorrow morning for a rescue attempt but if the helicopter can't rescue the men, but can fly in, it will take the opportunity to reconnoitre and drop another pack.

In a coincidence the Department of Conservation (DOC) Search and Rescue (SAR) team member who speaks Japanese, climbed with Kiyoshi in 2001 as his interpreter, when he climbed Mt Aspiring.

Three years later, she was on the top of Aoraki, when she met him by chance also on the summit. On that day two Japanese climbers were avalanched on Zurbriggens ridge. One died and the other survived. Kiyoshi offered help as a Japanese national on that rescue.

Karen then recognised Kiyoshi in the Visitor Centre last week, and spoke to him about his intentions on this climb.


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