11 Feb 2015

Search for missing climber ends

6:17 pm on 11 February 2015

The search for Wanaka mountaineer Simon Bell, who has been missing for three weeks, has ended due to bad weather.

Missing mountaineer Simon Bell.

Simon Bell Photo: NZ Police

Simon Bell, 33, was last seen about 14 January on Mt Earnslaw and poor weather has prevented search and rescuers operating for the past four days.

Police and search and rescue experts today conducted an aerial search of Mt Earnslaw but no sign of Mr Bell was found.

Acting Senior Sergeant Steve Watt said efforts today focused on a possible recovery operation without success.

He said without new information and given the extreme and vast terrain in the area, police were unable to search further for Mr Bell at this time.