7 May 2010

Weather continues to hamper climber rescue

6:40 pm on 7 May 2010

A climber suspected of having a collapsed lung will have to spend a second night in Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park.

Search and Rescue staff have been unable to fly the man out due to deteriorating weather. Strong winds and snow is forecast to fall overnight on Friday.

The 34-year-old had reached the head of Tasman Glacier about midday on Thursday when he started having difficulty breathing.

Senior Constable Les Andrew, of Twizel, says the climber used a Department of Conservation phone at the Kelman Hut to raise the alarm, but strong winds made it impossible for a helicopter to reach him.

Two rescue workers equipped with oxygen supplies and pain relief medication were dropped off at a sheltered location on Thursday about 5km from the hut and will remain with the man until help arrives.

Mr Andrew says the climber is in a stable condition and a helicopter will try to reach him on Saturday morning.