A New Zealand climber, who had been living in Australia, has died after a fall from Mount Cook.

The 36-year-old slipped and fell approximately 200 metres down a steep ice gully as he was approaching the Tasman Saddle Hut yesterday morning, police said.

He had been planning a ski tour of the area and was using the Tasman Saddle Hut as a base.

A massive rescue bid was made shortly after 11am yesterday, with members of the Aoraki Mt Cook Department of Conservation Alpine Rescue Team, Alpine Guides, The Helicopter Line, Twizel and Fairlie police and Westpac Rescue paramedics all called in to help.


Constable Joseph Rush, from Twizel police, said the weather conditions were severe, with poor visibility, strong wind gusts and -15 temperatures.

The man's name will not be released until family have been notified. He had been living in Melbourne before his death.