Kiwi hero in high-altitude rescue

NICOLE PRYOR
Last updated 08:26 08/05/2013
SUMMIT: Kangchendzonga, the highest peak of the mountain, reaches 8586m.
Siegmund Stiehler

SUMMIT: Kangchendzonga, the world's third-highest peak, reaches 8586m.

HERO: Ben Dare.
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HERO: Ben Dare.

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A New Zealand climber who carried his team-mate hundreds of metres to safety on a tall mountain peak has been hailed for his rescue.

The team of four mountaineers planned to tackle Anidesha Chuli, called the "White Wave", in one of the most remote regions of the Himalayas.

It is close to Kangchendzonga, the third-highest mountain peak in the world, which reaches 8586 metres.

Ben Dare and his team-mate Scott Scheele reached 6450m, when Scheele fell 90m.

The fall resulted in a "serious knock" to the head, and a "harrowing" 36-hour rescue mission, according to the group's website.

Dare, a structural engineer based in Queenstown, carried Scheele back down to the group's Camp-2 at 6000m and activated their emergency beacon.

Authorities in New Zealand and Nepal were alerted.

The two other expedition members, Rob Frost and Andrei van Dusschoten, trekked through the night from their base camp at 4800m to meet their team-mates.

"The four exhausted men huddled together in the tent while a helicopter was arranged to airlift Scott to hospital in Kathmandu," the expedition's website said.

"Due to Scott's condition, the team could not risk bringing him down the mountain."

Scheele and Dare then made their way back to Kathmandu, where Scheele would be assessed in hospital, the website said.

The group's website said they had abandoned the goal of reaching the summit, but "remain positive".

Scheele's mother Libby thanked Ben for his "amazing rescue".

"I do not know all the details yet, but I am certain that your diligent actions are what enabled Scott to survive," she wrote.

"I am so grateful to you."

Another commenter, Paul Scheele, said he spoke to Scott Scheele and Dare yesterday, and heard recovery was going well.

Another New Zealand expedition set out to the same region in 1975, but did not reach the top summit because of terrible weather and cold conditions.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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