Australian climber trapped on Mt Aspiring rescued

The 29-year-old Australian climber that was trapped on Mt Aspiring near Wanaka has been rescued.

Lieutenant Terry Harch has been airlifted off the mountain and is being transported to Dunedin Hospital, Wanaka Search and Rescue spokesman Philip Melchior told Newshub.

Mr Harch was in a good condition but did have mild frostbite. 

Earlier on Friday, Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCC) confirmed Mr Harch's identity to Newshub.

He was found alive on Thursday and Search and Rescue officers stayed with him overnight.

Mr Harch has spent seven days on the mountain after he left his car at Raspberry Flat last Friday and walked into the area. He planned to summit the 3000m-high mountain solo and return on Sunday.

Mr Harch, an Army captain, set off a distress beacon at lunchtime on Tuesday and a search and rescue operation was launched.

An Australian Defence Force (ADF) publication lists Mr Harch as a combat engineer based at Lavarack Barracks in Townsville, The Herald Sun reports.


An experienced climber, Mr Harch has previously climbed Mt Cook to raise money for the charity Soldier On - a charity that supports ADF members who have suffered physically or mentally during their service.

RCC Watch Leader Neville Blakemore told RadioLive on Friday his army experience more than likely saved him.

He dug himself a shelter in the snow to survive, Mr Blakemore says.

"A lot of people would have perish in the situation.

"I think he's probably called on all of this experience to get himself out of a very, very bad situation and survive as long as he has."