Home Lifestyle Climber escapes death after falling nearly 2,000 feet from mountain

Climber escapes death after falling nearly 2,000 feet from mountain

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Climber escapes death after falling nearly 2,000 feet from mountain

Mount Taranaki in the background before the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Namibia and Wales at Taranaki Stadium in New Plymouth, September 26, 2011. — AFP
Mount Taranaki in the background before the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Namibia and Wales at Taranaki Stadium in New Plymouth, September 26, 2011. — AFP

A climber on New Zealand’s Mount Taranaki has miraculously escaped after falling almost 2,000 feet from the mountain.

The climber fell 1,968 feet from his initial position.

The incident occurred on Saturday when the climber was part of a group near the summit of 8,261-foot Mount Taranaki on New Zealand’s North Island.

Around noon local time, he lost his footing and began sliding down the mountain, eventually disappearing. Another climber in the group immediately came down to help, with support from a member of Taranaki Alpine Rescue.

Upon reaching the fallen climber, they found him with only minor injuries, considering the severity of the fall. The climber had lost his ice ax and crampons during the descent. Remarkably, the snow had softened due to recent spring weather, cushioning his fall and preventing a potentially fatal outcome.

New Zealand police highlighted the climber’s extraordinary luck in surviving the incident, highlighting the crucial role played by the softened snow. A spokesperson for Taranaki Alpine Rescue did not provide further information regarding the rescue.

In response to the incident, authorities reiterated safety precautions for climbers in the area. These include wearing an emergency beacon, informing family members of planned routes, and staying informed of safety instructions and weather conditions.

Climbing Mount Taranaki requires experience, knowledge and the use of properly fitted and appropriate equipment. Neglecting these factors can lead to radically different results, as this incident demonstrates.

Notably, in May 2021, two experienced climbers tragically lost their lives on the same mountain, falling approximately 1,000 feet from their last known location.

A local coroner, Ian Telford, determined that the climbers died from injuries sustained in an accidental fall. The Mountain Safety Council reported that conditions at the time were difficult, characterized by darkness, snow and ice. The assessment found that the climbers had not adequately prepared for the difficulties posed by these conditions, viewing the climb as a day’s walk rather than a mountaineering expedition.

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