Pair Rescued from Ruapehu after spending 12 hours on the mountain

nz police
Two people were rescued from Mt Ruapehu after intense weather led to them becoming lost on their return down the mountain at the weekend.

Around 7:40pm Ruapehu SAR coordinator, Constable Mark Bolten, received a report of a young couple who had become lost on Mt Ruapehu as they attempted to return to the Iwikau Village Carpark.

Weather events around the district had already caused severe flooding and slips in places and forced them off the track when visibility became extremely difficult. 

The couple left the car park at around 8:30am walking to the Crater, where they aimed to arrive around midday, hoping to return off the mountain before the weather set in.

On arrival at the Crater Lake the weather had already started turning, with fog and torrential rain.A call was placed to Police when the couple realised, they had lost their path and become lost following several hours of walking.

A mobile locate was sent which placed the couple now in an area, where other hazards, such as cliff faces, and the now flooded streams were raging.

Police assembled a team of volunteers from the Ruapehu Alpine Rescue organisation who at around 11pm as skies started to clear located the pair, cold, wet, and very fatigued.

Due to the conditions the only option off the mountain was to assist the pair on foot, they were provided with warm dry clothing, food, and drink.

After a very slow and painful walk assisted by the volunteers, they arrived safely off the mountain around 4 hours later.Luckily, they did not receive any injures, however not everyone is this lucky.It’s essential to be prepared before you set out on your walk, say Police.

Some good tips before you think about heading out for a hike in the Alpine environment include:

• Before you go for a tramp or walk in the great outdoors let family and/or friends know where you’re going, and when to expect you back.You can also use Mountain Safety Council’s free planning app Plan My Walk to leave your intentions.Alternatively, leave a date and time to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned using the Outdoors Intentions form. 

• Have an emergency locator beacon, which can be purchased from outdoor stores or hired from your closest DOC centre.

• Take weather forecasts seriously, getting it wrong in an alpine environment can be deadly.• Research the area and know what you’re getting yourself into.• Have the correct clothing for the environment you’re in.Remember, it’s never too early to turn back!
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