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Mt Cook Accidents

12:52:32 AM
For those who follow the climbing scene in New Zealand, I just learnt the other day that another death occured on/near the Summit Rocks on Mt Cook/Aoraki. This fatality involved a Romainian climber on Thursday (5/2/04).

Another rescue was also conducted on Monday evening (9/2/04) near the Copeland Pass.

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9:15:10 AM
My Cousin Vanessa is over there at the moment (meant to be mountaineering) and according to her the weather has really sucked this last week or so.

9:34:16 AM
Just returned from NZ myself after two weeks, intending to go mountaineering....The weather has indeed been quite unstable over there compared to this same time last year. In total I managed 3-4 days worth of decent mountaineering (Mt Cook NP and Arthur's Pass NP), and despite the good weather forecasts we still managed to have white-outs on summits. The rest of the time we spent tramping, catching up to alpine literature at alpine huts, photography and "geocaching" in the NZ wilderness (see - lots of nerd fun).

Anyway, there have been endless stories over there - seemed almost on a daily basis - of people being caught in some form of situation or accident. The NZ DoC and rescue people have had their hands full this season. The worst case I heard/read in the papers there in NZ, was of a group of indonesian students who trained on sand dunes back home to climb Mt Cook! ...and they had never been on snow/ice before, go figure. Needless to say, they had to be rescued off the mountain.

Snow conditions were relatively good though, at least in places we climbed, and I enjoyed it while it lasted :-)

11:15:16 AM
Don't worry - after a recent 3 months spent "climbing" I managed only 4 proper ascents. New Zealand weather hey...

As for the Indonesians, I didn't meet them as such, but was in MCV at the time. Clueless - what else can you say?
12:35:10 PM
Link for story below:

Seems these guys were soloing during the decent part of their climb after not making it to the summit.

Re: Indonesians, quite amazing really, was following the whole thing whilst I was at Plateau Hut at the time. Took these guys three days to get from Ball Shelter to Haast Hut. Luckily they were not injured.

6:26:39 PM

I was meaning to catch up with you in Mt Cook but it didn't eventuate. However, I think we may have met in passing - did I give you a ride from the village to Unwin Hut (in a two-door Honda City)? The car was probably packed to the gills with a) climbers or b) gear.

That will test your memory.... ;)

9:44:45 AM
Just got back from NZ. The rescues seemed to keep coming. Apparently people had to be rescued off Mt Avalanche when they got benighted around the 9th or 10th Feb. That was a fairly cold night with snow but the conditions were not dreadful. It sounds to me like a lot of people are heading out without proper experience or gear for when things don't go quite according to plan.
There was lots of rain late Jan/ early Feb but I finally got 4 days of sunshine in Mt Cook village, the winds were just gusting>100kph instead! Good reconnaisance for next season though.
I also heard about the Indonesians who were doing crazy things like roping up to head down from Mueller Hut. It brings to mind an incident recently revisited in Climber where the NZ primeminister at the time (Piggy Muldoon) intervened to "rescue" a team of mute ?Japanese climbers out of the Mt Cook region before they could attempt the climb. It raised a lot of interesting issues about autonomy and rights in the mountains.
11:46:31 AM
Hey Tim,
I remember that. You and the other guys from RMIT were good enough to give a lift to Unwin. Thanks for that.
Tend to be at Vic Ranges every Tues and Thurs (and a few other nights as well!) so drop in some time.

Re: NZ accidents/incidents, not surprising really that it continues to be a bad season for them. Incidently, last season in Europe was similar for them as well due to a late snow season and unusually high temperatures over the summer period.

5:06:41 PM
For those interested in mountaineering/climbing in NZ sorry to be the bearer of more bad news but looks like another climber died today climbing on Mt Cook.

Scetchy details at this stage. Link below:

8:37:20 AM
Radio said 22 yo Australian...

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10:03:44 AM
In the paper today said the four climbers, attempting to climb the east face of Aoraki-Mt Cook, were standing above summit rocks discussing the climb when the guy slipped and fell. The climbers were not roped at the time.

Online Now
10:04:07 AM
oh yeah said he was from Canberra

10:56:09 AM
According to the NZ Police the climber was Phillip William Toms. I suspect this may be the Phillip Toms who is listed as Mountaineering Officer for the ANUMC. There is mention in their newsletter of a trip including a TMC around this time (bottom left of page 15).

12:54:22 PM
Those details are correct. He was one of my best mates and i think that everyone is going to miss him...

1:12:31 PM
I'm very sorry to hear of this confirmation.

Condolences to his family and everyone at ANUMC who knew him.

4:04:37 PM
really sorry to hear this unfortunate news. condolences to all concerned

There are 16 messages in this topic.


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