Lucky Trampers Located On Mount Robert
Attributed to Sergeant Steve Savage, Nelson Police.
A couple were rescued after spending hours stuck in the cold on Mount Robert ridge on Saturday.
Police received a call from the couple tramping into Angelus Hut at around 8:30pm, after they failed to make it to the hut and found themselves on a snowy ridge in the darkness.
The pair were approximately 700 metres from the hut, but were unable to continue due to them having insufficient gear in an alpine environment.
The couple were fortunate to be able to find an area with cellphone coverage and Police were able to determine their location.
They were located at around midnight by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.
Both were feeling the cold, but otherwise in good health.
This is a route in which conditions can change from being hot and sunny to strong winds, snow or rain with subzero temperatures in the matter of one hour.
There have been two fatalities in this area over recent years as well as numerous lives saved.
The couple were fortunate, as they had insufficient gear to spend the night out in the snow.
Police encourage trampers to always be prepared and take sufficient clothing and equipment for an unplanned overnight stay.
Police also advise all trampers and outdoor users that torches, emergency shelter and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) are a must.
A quality PLB can be purchased for under $500 which will last up to 10 years, that’s $50 a year to potentially save your life, alternatively you can hire them from various trusts for the price of a box of beer.
People should never rely on cellphones solely as their means of communication. A distress beacon lets you instantly signal for help and they work almost anywhere in the world. The beacon shows rescuers your approximate location, taking the ‘search’ out of search and rescue. The sooner rescuers can help you, the more likely you are to survive.
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand works 24/7, 365 days of the year responding to all distress beacon activations. The team acts quickly to find out as many details as they can about who set off the distress beacon and promptly send search and rescue teams to assist.
Trampers should not be afraid to turn back when it becomes apparent that they will not make it to their destination, or have another location organised to tramp to in case the weather at the first location is not right.
People heading into the mountains should seek information from Department of Conversation visitor centres or via the DOC website. It can give you detailed information about weather forecasts, track issues and snow conditions.
Police would like to thank the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter crew for their efforts and assistance.