Strangers donate to get dead climbers' friends to funeral

Friends of climbers Conor Smith and Sarwan Chand who died after falling from a Fiordland mountain range will make it back for their funerals thanks to the generosity of strangers.

The climbers' bodies were found by rescuers on Tuesday night in the Darran Mountains in the area's north after they were reported missing on Monday. 

After just 10 hours, more than $5700 dollars was raised for Alastair McDowell and Gemma Wilson to fly back to New Zealand from Canada to attend their funerals this weekend.

The pair are good friends and workmates of Mr Smith and Mr Chand, all of whom are part of the New Zealand Alpine Team.

The group became friends at a climbing festival in Queenstown and recently went on a climbing trip to Canada in January.

"Conor was always so [excited] to go climbing, he was really dedicated to his training and really focused on his goals," Mr McDowell told Newshub.

"He was always a great motivated partner to have in the mountains and was also really thorough in everything he did, always really careful and really cautious.

"And Sarwan as well, I climbed with him a lot and he was so naturally gifted with climbing.

"[Together] we had so many plans for the future."

Mr McDowell said the pair were destined for great things in the future.

"They were going to be the next generation of mountaineers in New Zealand, and it is such a shame [their lives] have been cut short," he says.

"The climbing community is heartbroken for sure."

Thanks to the generosity of nearly 100 strangers on a GoFundMe page, Mr McDowell and Ms Wilson will have a chance to say goodbye to their friends..

"We've raised the money to come home and we're going to [fly back] tomorrow," he says.

"[We're] really grateful for our friends and the community that have helped [support us] and we're going to donate the rest [of the money] to Search and Rescue New Zealand, who helped with the [recovery]."

Clothing brand Macpac New Zealand notably donated $2000 to the cause and sent their condolences to the friends and family of the climbers killed.

"As partners and friends of the New Zealand Alpine Team, we're devastated by the loss of your team mates. We hope this helps you get back to NZ to say your farewells," they said.