26 Dec 2016

Climbers saved from night on mountain

8:40 am on 26 December 2016

Two climbers have been rescued in the Mt Cook region, in what has been described as a "marvellous" piece of flying as darkness descended.

Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park.

Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park. Photo: 123rf.com

A helicopter crew last night nosed the chopper into where the climbers were stuck, at 1800 metres, a Rescue Coordination Centre spokesperson said.

A woman climber had suffered head injuries and was conscious but in a lot of pain. She is in Dunedin Hospital.

The other climber was in good health.

The rescue saved them from spending a night on the mountain.

Senior Search and Rescue Officer, Chris Wilson, gave credit to the rescuers.

"This was a marvellous job by the helicopter team as darkness had set in," she said.

The climbers were experienced and well-equipped.

Rescuers were alerted to the climbers' plight by an emergency beacon, which was set off shortly after 2pm at the top of the Copland track.

They first rescue attempt was aborted because of cloud cover.

If the pair could not have been airlifted out last night, two search and rescue team members would have stayed with them overnight, Ms Wilson said.

The pair were well-equipped, had a locator beacon and also had some knowledge of first aid which all helped, she said.