Canadian climber rescued by helicopter in New Zealand
Woman unharmed after rescue from eastern side of Mount Rolleston on country's South Island
A Canadian climbing alone in New Zealand had to be rescued by helicopter after she ended up "in an extremely precarious position" on the side of a ravine, New Zealand officials said Monday.
The woman, whose age and hometown were not immediately released, ended up in a spot where she was unable to ascend or descend at the edge of the Goldney Glacier on the eastern side of Mount Rolleston, a mountain on New Zealand's South Island with an elevation of about 2,275 metres.
Michael Flyger, spokesman at government-owned Maritime New Zealand, told CBC News that the woman ran into trouble at about 1,500 metres above sea level. He wasn't sure how long she had been on the slope, but that it was likely a number of hours and that she was not injured.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) started the operation after they detected a personal locator beacon just after noon local time Monday. A Eurocopter AS350 from the town of Greymouth arrived on the scene at around 1:20 p.m.
After assessing the situation, the helicopter pilot flew to pick up a member of the cliff rescue team before returning to winch the woman to safety, said rescue mission co-ordinator Greg Johnston said.
"She was unharmed but was in an extremely precarious position, and unable to move," Johnston said. "It was a quite a challenging rescue but well executed by the helicopter crew."
Flyger said the woman was placed in the care of officials with the Department of Conservation, the national agency responsible for New Zealand's national parks, after she got off the helicopter.
Flyger said the area where the woman was rescued is about four or five hours from where she had parked her car.
"She didn't have a huge amount of stuff with her," he said. "And we don't know how experienced she was."
Flyger said it appeared that the woman activated her beacon after several attempts to get out of the area where she was stuck.
"When she realized she couldn't, she set it off," he said. "It wasn't a long trek."