5 Dec 2008

Mountain rescue team praised

12:17 pm on 5 December 2008

There has been praise for the rescue team that plucked a Japanese mountaineer to safety from Aoraki Mount Cook on Friday morning.

Hideaki Nara, 51, was rescued after spending a week stranded high on the mountain.

His companion, Kiyoshi Ikenouchi, 49, did not survive.

The climbers were in the open when the rescue was made. It appears their tent was covered in snow or had been blown away.

Mr Nara is suffering from frostbite, but his injuries are not life threatening.

He was taken to Christchurch Hospital where he is reported to be in a comfortable condition.

The Department of Conservation says the rescue team did a great job in tough conditions.