Four people were airlifted off Mt Ruapehu today after falling off a 10-metre cliff and sliding hundreds of metres down a steep icy slope.
One of the men is in Auckland's Middlemore Hospital with spinal injuries and two are in Rotorua Hospital, while the fourth man escaped with minor injuries.
A rescue helicopter flew to the Mangahuehu Glacier on the south slopes of the mountain this afternoon to rescue the four, who had been skiing out of bounds.
Greenlea Helicopter pilot Nat Every said it was an unfortunate event, but nobody was really to blame.
"(I don't) think anyone goes out to hurt themselves. No one's got a death wish like that," he said.
"It was a beautiful day, it was a fantastic day to be out skiing.
"If I was up there I would have been doing similar things to what these guys were doing themselves."