The search for missing climber Simon Bell remains on hold due to poor weather.

Mr Bell, 33, from Wanaka, was last seen on January 14, after he told friends he was planning to climb Mt Earnslaw, a 2837m high mountain near the Otago-West Coast border.

He was reported missing by his former partner on Monday.

Police searched huts and tracks in the Mt Earnslaw area on Tuesday.


Low cloud and poor visibility mean that searchers are unable to fly into the area today to continue searching for Mr Bell, who was last seen at the Esquilant Bivvy Hut on Mt Earnslaw.

The weather was not expected to clear until Saturday.

Queenstown Police acting Senior Sergeant Steve Watt said police were continuing to speak with climbers who were in the Mt Earnslaw area around mid-January and were beginning to gain a clearer picture of Mr Bell's intentions and establish a more definitive timeline of his movements.

When weather allowed, police planned to concentrate the search on the West to East Peak Traverse and Pluto Peak, an area other climbers have indicated he intended to climb in.

"Our thoughts go out to Simon's family. They have been extremely resilient in this tough time, which has been particularly frustrating with the weather hindering any search opportunities," Mr Watt said.

Mr Bell was described as 190cm tall with a light build and wears glasses.

Police said they were keen to hear from anyone who may have information that might assist with the search.

Anyone with information could contact Queenstown Police on 03 441 1600.