Australian, English climbers fall to their deaths in New Zealand mountains
This photo taken June 1, 2009 shows the snow-capped Aoraki, also known as Mount Cook, is reflected in the still waters of Lake Matheson, New Zealand. Aoraki, part of the Southern Alps, is the highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere. (AP Photo/Kathy Matheson)
Published Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:02PM EDT
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- One Australian and one English climber have fallen to their deaths in New Zealand, police confirmed Monday.
Police Inspector Dave Gaskin said the two incidents on consecutive days in the Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park were not related and were not due to bad weather. He said they come as a reminder that climbers need to use extreme caution.
On Friday, 36-year-old Duncan Raite died after slipping and falling about 60 metres from a ridge near the Tasman Glacier. The New Zealand-born Australian was planning to do some ski touring. He'd been dropped off by helicopter with a group and was walking to a hut when he fell, sliding down a steep slope and over a cliff.
Gaskin said that other climbers attempted to rescue Raite by taking him down the glacier, but that he died on the way down.
On Saturday, 32-year-old Englishman Robert Buckley fell about 600 metres while climbing to a small hut on Mount Sefton with three companions. Gaskin said Buckley was wearing crampons but was inexperienced.