On Monday at approximately 2:30pm (New Zealand Time), an avalanche in the Hector Mountains outside of Kingston buried and killed a 58 year-old man, who was heli-skiing at the time with Southern Lakes Heliski. The man’s identity is currently being withheld.
Located on the South Island, the Hector Mountains serve as one of the premier heli-skiing destinations in all of New Zealand.
Here is what Southern Lakes Heliski director Jonathan Wallis had to say about the tragedy:
“It was confirmed that one skier had been buried in snow. Emergency response procedures were activated immediately
“At 2.48pm we received confirmation that the skier had been located however, despite the considerable efforts of guides and paramedics, the skier was pronounced dead at the scene sometime later.
“Until our guys come home and debrief there’s very little I can say. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased.”
The avalanche danger at the time was ranked as Moderate at high altitudes, while remaining Low at mid and lower elevations. However, snow had been falling over the weekend with The Remarkables recording 15cm on Sunday.
The death is the third avalanche related fatality of the year after two Canadians were found buried last month. The hikers were attempting the Kepler Track in the southwest corner of the South Island when an avalanche took their lives.
Quotes courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald
Read the entire article here: Skier Dies After Avalanche Near Queenstown