31 Dec 2014

Climbers missing on storm-hit Mt Cook

11:32 am on 31 December 2014

Police hope three climbers missing on Aoraki Mt Cook have found shelter from a storm battering the area.

Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Aoraki/Mt Cook. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Police have named the climbers as 53-year-old Sydney doctor Michael Bishop and Germans Raphael Viellehner, 58, and his son, Johann Viellehner, 27.

The men left Plateau Hut at 1.30am on Monday and were last seen a few hours later on Linda Glacier.

Senior Constable Brent Swanson told Summer Report police had two helicopters on standby to search for the men as soon as the weather cleared - but that was unlikely to be until tomorrow.

"Obviously the location in the park, and with the weather, we have concerns for their safety," he said.

"We just hope that they have dug themselves in somewhere and are sheltering from the storm."

Mr Swanson said winds of more than 100kmh and heavy rain were forecast, as was snow to 1500m.

Yesterday, an aerial and ground search for the men was called off because of poor weather.

DOC ranger Shirley Slatter said more bad weather was expected today, and a meeting about a possible aerial search would be held early this afternoon.

Mr Swanson said local guides told him climbing conditions yesterday were good but crevasses were an issue on Aoraki-Mt Cook.

The climbers were believed to be well-equipped, Mr Swanson said.