Key Points:

The body of a missing tramper was found at the foot of a bluff in Kahurangi National Park, near Nelson, today.

Police said Stephen Alderson, 44, had probably fallen after embarking on an "ambitious" crossing of Mt Snowden and the Devil Range peaks.

A search was mounted after he failed to return yesterday.

Police said they believed the accident happened on Sunday afternoon. Mr Alderson spoke to his wife by mobile phone on Sunday morning.

Sergeant Mike Fitzsimons said he was an experienced tramper who had completed many solo walks.

He said the Devil Range covered rugged terrain and the path chosen by Mr Alderson was challenging.

- NZPA