Climber rescued after daring cliff scale

By Nathan Crombie of the Wairarapa Times Age -
Photo / File / Wairarapa Times-Age
Photo / File / Wairarapa Times-Age

Rescuers plucked a climber to safety after he become trapped on a ledge about 100 metres up a sheer cliff at the Putangirua Pinnacles in South Wairarapa.

Westpac Rescue helicopter crewman Dave Greenberg said the man in his 20s, had become trapped on the rock ledge while scaling a sheer cliff at the Putangirua Pinnacles off the Cape Palliser Rd on Saturday.

The man, who was a visitor to Wairarapa, had called emergency services on his cellphone shortly before noon when he found himself unable to move from his precarious perch.

"He was sitting up there with his legs out because the ledge was not wide and he was well stuck - he couldn't go up or down," Mr Greenberg said.

"He's very lucky he had cell coverage out there. He wasn't in an obvious place and not many people would have passed if he had to shout for help. He talked us in on his phone and that was lucky too because there's a lot of ledges out there."

Mr Greenberg said a paramedic was lowered to the man despite the narrowness of the ledge and the pair were winched back into the helicopter.

The man was uninjured and was returned to his car in a nearby parking area, Mr Greenberg said.

"Apparently he was told that he could climb from the bottom of the Pinnacles all the way up to the lookout. He made it quite a way up before being caught out by the sheer cliffs."

Mr Greenberg said the man had been embarrassed by his predicament but was grateful to his rescuers.

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