Leeds climber, 64, plucked to safety from New Zealand summit

Picture: Mike Cowling
Picture: Mike Cowling
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A CLIMBER from Leeds had a lucky escape when he was rescued after injuring himself on a remote mountain in New Zealand.

The 64-year-old mountaineer was attempting a solo summit of Mt Mabel, 4.3 miles south of Aoraki Mt Cook on New Zealand’s South Island, when the accident happened.

He slipped on snow on the peak’s western slopes and injured a leg on rocks.

The mountaineer activated a personal locator beacon to alert the UK Coastguard, who in turn notified rescuers in New Zealand.

A search and rescue helicopter was scrambled, and with an alpine rescue team from Fox Glacier village on board found the climber in a steep gully at around 10.30pm on Sunday, local time.

Rescuers were lowered to the mountain’s slopes and winched the man aboard the helicopter, flying him to Mt Cook village for a medical assessment.

Search and rescue co-ordinator Dave Wilson said: “The helicopter crew have done a great job in reasonably challenging circumstances. While it was a clear, calm night, the man was in a very tight position with little room to move.

“His leg injury is not thought to be serious but he was not able to able to walk without assistance.”

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