Pair killed in Fiordland were part of NZ Alpine team

Sarwan Chand (New Zealand Alpine Team)
Sarwan Chand (New Zealand Alpine Team)

The bodies of two climbers who died after falling while climbing in Fiordland have been identified as members of the New Zealand Alpine Team.

Conor Smith was from the West Coast and had been climbing since he was at polytechnic. Sarwan Chand was from Canterbury who was known to climb along the Southern Alps often.

The New Zealand Alpine Team confirmed the two climbers and spoke of the pair's experience.

"They were both well-liked and respected members of our team. They were experienced and competent mountaineers with many successful ice and alpine ascents," a spokesman told Fairfax.

"To lose two of our friends and teammates together in this way is devastating for us. Our thoughts are with their family and friends."

Conor Smith (New Zealand Alpine Team)
Conor Smith (New Zealand Alpine Team)

Authorities say they were reported missing on Monday and were overdue by more than 24 hours when they were reported missing after climbing in the Darren Mountains.

The New Zealand Alpine Team are a group of eight Kiwi alpinists who hold programmes every year for a number of climbers where they train them up and also go on climbing trips around the world including to the Canadian Rockies and climbing walls in Yosemite in the United States.

The pair joined the team in 2015.