Climber missing on Mt Cook

  • 28/11/2015
Climber missing on Mt Cook

Search and rescue efforts to locate a man who has gone missing on Aoraki/Mt Cook have been suspended after a second "frustrating" day.

Mt Cook police say weather conditions are "terrible", with strong winds and rain, and heavy snow failing in the upper reaches of the National Park making it difficult to locate 52-year-old Stephen Dowall.

Two flights flew in a small gap in the weather yesterday, but the Department of Conservation rescue team could not reach the last known location of Mr Dowall.

He and his friend, Rob Hawes from Wanaka, left the Mt Cook village at 4am on Thursday, intending to reach the Empress Hut in the head of the Hooker Glacier.

They became separated mid-afternoon and Mr Dowall failed to reach the hut. A search and rescue operation began at 9:30pm on Thursday night and will continue tomorrow, when it's expected weather will improve.

Police say concern for Mr Dowall increases but they are still hopeful he has managed to find shelter from the weather and will be located safe and well.

Both men are extremely experienced climbers and have climbed extensively throughout the country.

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