Mt Cook landslide ends climbing season
Tuesday 22 Jan 2013 4:05 p.m.
By 3 News Online Staff
Guided tours on Mount Cook/Aoraki are all but over for the season after a large landslide on the mountain.
Rock and ice ploughed down the eastern side of the mountain yesterday afternoon, cutting off a popular route to the summit.
“It has essentially ended our guiding season,” says Arthur McBride, of Hermitage Alpine Guides.
The slip is half a kilometre wide and three kilometres long, making it too dangerous to cross.
But that didn’t stop two adventurous climbers today, who traversed to the summit despite the dangers.
The pair climbed over the rock slide this morning and then parasailed back to a hut on Grand Plateau. They were later taken by helicopter off the mountain.
Around a dozen people were on Grand Plateau yesterday when the wall of snow came rushing down the mounting, stopping just short of a hut.
Mr McBride saw the avalanche hit and says it sounded like a 747 jumbo jet.
“The debris flow of ice and rock rumbling down was tremendous and huge and very, very loud,” he says.
The hut is now closed with its occupants evacuated by helicopter overnight.