Tragic Fatality in Mt Ruapehu Climbing Accident

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In a devastating turn of events, a climbing accident on Mt Ruapehu yesterday claimed the life of a woman. The incident occurred around 11 am as a group was scaling the eastern slopes near Whangaehu Hut.

According to police reports, the woman slipped during the ascent, plunging a considerable distance and sustaining critical injuries. Despite the prompt response from emergency services, including the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, Ruapehu Alpine Rescue Organisation members, and Tukino Ski Field staff, she tragically passed away at the scene.

“Sadly, despite their best efforts, the woman died at the scene,” police confirmed in a statement.

The remaining group members are receiving support from police, Tukino Ski Field, and local iwi Ngati Hikairo ke Tongariro. In response to the tragedy, a rahui (a rāhui is a form of tapu restricting access to, or use of, an area or resource by the kaitiaki (guardian/s) of the area in the spirit of kaitiakitanga.) has been established for the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu above 2000m, effective until 6 am on Tuesday, July 2.

Taupo Police Search and Rescue Sergeant Shane McNally emphasized the importance of preparation for alpine conditions: “While the matter is still under investigation, we cannot reiterate enough the importance of understanding the alpine environment and being prepared mentally and physically for this unforgiving environment.”

Mt Ruapehu, an active stratovolcano and the highest peak on the North Island of New Zealand, is a popular destination for climbers and adventurers. Its challenging terrain and volatile weather conditions require climbers to be exceptionally well-prepared and vigilant. This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks associated with mountain climbing and the need for rigorous safety measures.



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