Ari Ross Kingan died on Mt Aspiring

The body of Ari Ross Kingan who fell to his death on Mt Aspiring has been recovered.

Kingan lived in Greymouth on the West Coast, but is from Takaka in Golden Bay.

Police were alerted when an emergency locator beacon was activated shortly before 9pm yesterday.

Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said the 21-year-old's body was recovered this morning and had been taken to Dunedin for an autopsy.

Kingan died after falling from an area know as The Ramp while descending with a friend. The pair had earlier reached the summit, Grindell said.

The Rescue Coordination Centre alerted Wanaka police at 8.48pm after a personal locator beacon, leased from the Otago University Tramping Club, was activated.

A Southern Lakes Helicopter from Te Anau, flown by Richard Hayes and carrying winchman Lloyd Matheson and doctor David Hamilton, was sent to the site where they were able to winch the man's friend to safety.

The pair had been climbing since 2am Sunday morning and were attempting to traverse the south side of Mt Aspiring to meet five other members of their group which had tramped to Collin Todd hut.

Wanaka mountaineer and guide Geoff Wayatt said The Ramp had been the scene of the majority of the accidents on Mt Aspiring in the past four decades.


- German man Niklas Werner, 28, a PhD student at Waikato University, fell 100m to his death while traversing The Ramp in January 2005.

- Marc David Freedman, 22, was recovered from a crevasse on the Bonar Glacier in January 2005 after he fell 50m while climbing The Ramp with a friend.

- Gavin Cederman, 49, of Takaka, and Barrie Arthur, 31, of Franz Josef, died after falling from The Ramp in April 2004. Climbing companion Christopher Moore, 30, of England, survived. The climbers were roped together.

The Southland Times