Three people have been rescued after spending the weekend stranded on Mt Ruapehu.
The trio - a Wellington man, his partner and his brother - were forced to spend three nights on the mountain after conditions deteriorated during their tramp on Friday.
After spending that night in a snow cave, they managed to reach Dome Hut, where they made contact with the Rescue Coordination Centre.
Continuing bad weather prevented a planned helicopter rescue.
Members of the Whakapapa ski patrol eventually reached the stranded party about 8pm on tonight, and guided them down the mountain.
The three were said to be in good spirits, but hungry.
"They were very pleased not to be spending another night on the mountain," Search and Rescue Mission coordinator Kevin Banaghan said.
He said the incident highlighted the importance of preparing for every eventuality when heading into the mountains.
"It shows the benefit of carrying an emergency beacon, but it's also a reminder to keep an eye on weather forecasts when planning trips like this."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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