30 Nov 2018

Tramper dead in Aoraki Mt Cook avalanche

5:53 am on 30 November 2018

One person has died after an avalanche on Aoraki Mount Cook this afternoon.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Police say there were three people out tramping when the avalanche occurred at 1.30pm.

While one of the trampers escaped uninjured, a second tramper suffered minor injuries on the mountain and was taken to Twizel for treatment.

An avalanche advisory issued this afternoon said there were dangerous avalanche conditions on alpine and high alpine areas of the mountain.

The Mountain Safety Council said the weather around Aoraki Mount Cook has been poor this week.

A spokesperson Nick Kingstone, said the avalanche forecast cautioned of loose-wet avalanches above 1200 metres.

"The forecast at the time of the incident was moderate so second from the bottom of the five layer danger scale," he said.

"What that means is there's still [some] risk but again it's about reading the forecast and understanding all the conditions in there."

"We don't, at this stage, know any more details around what preparations the group had with what equipment they had."

Mr Kingstone said this afternoon the avalanche risk was upgraded to considerable.

He said it was a tragic event late in the season.

Police are still at the scene.

This follows the death of two mountain guides late last month in an avalanche in the area.

Martin Hess and Wolfgang Maier, 58, died in the October 31 avalanche.