9 Feb 2009

Tramper still pinching himelf after mountain fall

8:24 pm on 9 February 2009

A tramper who fell 20 metres down a mountain in the Fiordland National Park says he still cannot believe he is alive.

Australian-based Scott Pauley, 32, was walking with a companion along the Dusty Track when a wrong turn sent him plunging towards the ground on Saturday.

Somehow, he managed to stop himself mid-fall on a tiny ledge before activating the locator beacon he hired for the trip.

Mr Pauley said he has no doubt that the beacon, and the work of a search and rescue team in finding him, saved his life.

St John Ambulance officer Phillip Robertson said the beacon was criticial to finding Mr Pauley as it gave his co-ordinates and allowed them to plan his rescue in minutes.