A helicopter mission has rescued an experienced tramper stranded with his wife for three days in Canterbury's high country due to a snow storm.
Chris and Sally Botur set out for a two-night tramp in the Craigieburn area near Arthur's Pass last Wednesday, but lost the track due to thick snow.
Mr Botur, 59, says they survived one night outside in freezing conditions by sharing a sleeping bag. They found a small cabin after spending hours trekking though snow that was up to their chins at times.
The couple's son contacted police on Sunday when they failed to return from the trip and the rescue helicopter arrived on Monday morning.
Mr Botur says by then, his 61-year-old wife was ready to go out and look for help herself because they would have only lasted another two days in the extreme cold with no food.
Mr Botur says he has received medical treatment to his legs because he fell numerous times and will lose a big toe due to frostbite.
The couple say they will go tramping again - just not in winter.