27 Mar 2013

Well-known climber rescued from Mount Awful

11:19 pm on 27 March 2013

A man who suffered injuries in a fall of about 100 metres on Mount Awful in Southland is an experienced Wellington climber.

John Nankervis, known as Nank, was climbing with a group of four people in the Mount Aspiring National Park when he slipped about 11am on Wednesday.

The climbing party activated a personal locator beacon and a rescue helicopter, with a Department of Conservation alpine rescue team, was alerted.

The helicopter picked up Mr Nankervis, who is described as in his 60s, about 2pm.

Rescue Co-ordination Centre search and rescue mission coordinator Dave Wilson says he was taken to Queenstown Hospital.

Mr Nankervis was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mountaineering in 2010.

A friend who has climbed with Mr Nankervis for more than 30 years, Dave Bamford, says he is a very experienced climber.

He says Mr Nankervis sustained injuries to his wrist and his back but he understands his condition is stable and the outlook is optimistic.

Mr Bamford says friends are with Mr Nankervis, who is now at Dunedin Hospital.

Mr Wilson says the incident highlights the importance of carrying a distress beacon.