The body of a 38 year male German tourist has been recovered from the Cascade Saddle area in the Mt Aspiring National Park.
Acting SAR coordinator Snr Constable Mike Johnston of the Wanaka Police said a friend of the German tramper contacted police on December 23 and reported the missing man was overdue from a solo tramp in the national park which he started on November 29.
The body of the German man was located after an aerial search by helicopter of a section of the Cascade Saddle track approaching the area known as the 'pylon'. This area of the Cascade track has had previous fatalities.
Police said the man had fallen on a snow patch very near the top of the climb. He was unable to stop his fall and slid down the snow and over the edge of a ridge into a near vertical gully, stopping approximately 200 metres below.
A technical body recovery was conducted by Wanaka Land SAR ACR, Wanaka Police personnel, and Mt Aspiring helicopters. Mr Johnston said the tragedy highlighted safety measures that needed to be taken in that terrain.
''This steep and challenging 'poled' route over the Cascade Saddle is an alpine environment which requires a high level of risk and in turn a high level of skill. This route should not be attempted unless key factors have been evaluated, such as, fitness, alpine experience, weather, and equipment. Falling in this slippery and steep terrain is unforgiving''.
The name of the deceased would be released once family members in Germany have been contacted.
Police expressed their sympathy to the family and friends who were receiving the news of the man's death on Christmas.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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