The body of a 21-year-old climber who slipped and fell to his death on Mt Aspiring last night has been recovered by a search team.

The climber was Ari Ross Kingan, 21, most recently of Dunedin.

In a statement, police extended their sympathies to Mr Kingan's family.

Mr Kingan's climbing partner set off an emergency locator beacon in an area known as The Ramp about 9pm yesterday, Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell of Wanaka police said.


"The pair were climbing in the area when the 21-year-old male fell. It was our understanding that they had ascended the mountain earlier and were on the descent when he fell.

"Obviously he slipped and he fell and sustained fatal injuries."

Mr Grindell said the exact distance the man fell was not yet known.

Police and a land search and rescue team were alerted to the fall by the Rescue Coordination Centre last night.

A helicopter with night vision gear then located the two climbers, who were both from New Zealand.

"The companion was flown off the mountain last night and flown back to Wanaka, and this morning we sent up a recovery team to recover the 21-year-old male who died as a result of his injuries."

Mr Grindell said Mr Kingan's body was flown off the mountain by helicopter about 9.30am today.

The man's parents have been notified but one relative still needed to be informed before his name could be released.