Teen plunges 20m at skifield

05:26, Sep 21 2011
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The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter treats a teen who fell about 20m on Mt Ruapehu.

A snowboarder has been air-lifted to Whanganui Hospital after falling 20 metres off a cliff on Mt Ruapehu.

The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was called to Turoa Ski Field about 1pm to rescue the young man, believed to be in his teens.

Pilot Fergus MacLachlan said the man was conscious and talking when they arrived.

He admitted to being a good skier but something of an amateur when it came to snowboarding, Mr MacLachlan said.

"I'm a skier myself, so I gave him a bit of grief."

The man looked to have been on one of the more difficult slopes, Mr MacLachlan said.


His friends had reported the fall and ski patrol were already on the scene when the helicopter arrived.

It did not appear the man was attempting a jump when he fell, Mr MacLachlan said.

"It didn't look like a place you would try and jump from...If it was intentional, it was very impressive.''

A fresh dump of snow overnight may have also cushioned the man's fall, he said.

Details of the man's injuries are still being sought.

It is the second trip the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter has made to Turoa this week.

A 48-year-old Wairarapa woman was airlifted to Palmerston North Hospital with back and neck injuries after falling off her skis on Sunday.

The Dominion Post