Two injured climbers are lucky to be alive after they fell 200m and were discovered by passing climbers in the Southern Alps this morning.
The injured people were transported by helicopter from Mt Aspiring to Dunedin Hospital.
Wanaka Search and Rescue member Senior Constable Phil Vink said they were lucky they weren't dealing with a double fatality.
Vink said two climbers had set off to go up Mt Aspiring on the southwest route. They fell 200m down a steep area of snow and ice above the Bonar Glacier.
A second party of four climbers travelling in a similar direction found them two hours later. They set off their personal locator beacon and two of the climbers went to get help.
Wanaka Search and Rescue responded around 10.45am. Three helicopters were used to assess the scene and get the injured climbers off the mountain.
They were taken to Dunedin Hospital with moderate injuries. Vink said they had broken bones and probably wouldn't have survived had the other party of climbers not come along.
"They were very fortunate we're not dealing with a double fatality ... that's great.
"Wanaka Search and Rescue have done a great job in terms of managing two patients in that environment."
Vink said the conditions were mild with light winds and sunshine.
Chief pilot Graham Gale said they came prepared to winch them up but found a small platform they could land safely on to reach the injured people. They had four medical professionals on the helicopter.
Gale said the rescue was "pretty straightforward".
"It's what we do. It was the best level of care they could get in a remote location."
Mt Aspiring is known to be a technically difficult climb. A 24-year-old woman died last year when she fell crossing a waterfall face in Mt Aspiring National Park. A 21-year-old man slipped and fell to his death in 2014. In 2005, three people died on the mountain in 10 days.