22 Nov 2014

A 'tragic reminder' for climbers

7:00 am on 22 November 2014

The New Zealand Alpine Club says the death of two climbers on a club trip is a tragic reminder to people to be more aware of time and weather.

Hiroki Ogawa and Nicole Sutton.

Hiroki Ogawa and Nicole Sutton. Photo: NZ POLICE

Hiroki Ogawa and Nicole Sutton were on a day trip to the summit of Mount Taranaki in October last year when they became trapped for two nights, and died from hypothermia.

The coroner's report said the failure to turn back before the arrival of forecast bad weather resulted in two tragic deaths.

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General manager of the Alpine Club Sam Newton said the pair ended up high on the mountain as the weather closed in.

"The climbers on this climb knew that bad weather was coming late in the afternoon and they had every intention of turning around well-before that.

"But the big learning is they failed to keep an eye on the time and they found themselves high on the mountain in really, really hostile weather."

He said the club had started putting safety and training recommendations into action as a result of the deaths.

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