Tourists rescued off Mt Taranaki: Helmets severely dented by avalanche rockfall

A group of tourists caught up in an avalanche on Mt Taranaki are recovering after their ordeal yesterday.

The three men were taken to the Taranaki Base Hospital for treatment after an avalanche hit while an operation to rescue them was under way early yesterday evening.

One man suffered a broken arm and the others minor bruising. The latter two have been discharged from hospital. The man who remains in Taranaki Base Hospital is in a stable condition awaiting surgery, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Senior Constable Peter Lawn this morning said the men had been wearing helmets at the time of the avalanche.

"All their helmets have received severe indentations from the rockfall."

Three trampers are seen on Mt Taranaki, before they were rescued by helicopter late on Sunday evening Photo by Kristina Wetherill , supplied to the NZ Herald
Three trampers are seen on Mt Taranaki, before they were rescued by helicopter late on Sunday evening Photo by Kristina Wetherill , supplied to the NZ Herald

Lawn said although the group had adequate climbing equipment, they lacked the alpine experience.

"[The avalanche] definitely elevated the risk to our rescuers. When they were airlifted to the mountain, there was still significant debris falling,'' Lawn said.

The men were eventually airlifted to safety at about 8pm by the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter.

- NZ Herald

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