A group of three Chinese climbers are lucky to be alive after their group was struck by an avalanche mid-rescue reports stuff.co.nz.
The group was working its way up the 8,261′ Mt Taranaki on the northern island of New Zealand when conditions turned brutal. Their location was reported to local officials by a nearby hiker at approximately 4:40pm on Sunday. The hiker feared the group was far too late to make a successful summit bid.
The Chinese nationals had already told family members via cellphone that conditions were dire and they were in need of rescue. Ultimately, an avalanche would strike the group prior to their successful helicopter rescue at 8pm. The men were reportedly ascending in the middle of an exposed east face of the mountain
“It appeared that they were inexperienced and moving slowly 2000m up in the centre of the east face.” – Peter Lawn, Senior Constable of Police Search and Rescue (*Quote courtesy of stuff.co.nz)
One man sustained a broken arm and the other two are reported to be recovering from minor injuries. In addition to the injuries sustained by the Chinese climbers, one member of the rescue team was injured by icy debris falling from above. The rescuer was treated on the scene prior to being airlifted to safety. None of the climbers were wearing beacons at the time of rescue.
Find the entire stuff.co.nz article here: Climbers hit by avalanche during Mt Taranaki rescue operation