Two trampers who spent a night on a mountain in Nelson in freezing conditions were treated for hypothermia before carrying on with their holiday.

The trampers, a woman from Ireland and a man from Latvia both aged in their 20s, were rescued this morning in Nelson Lakes National Park after spending a night exposed to temperatures reaching -18C and falling snow.

A spokeswoman for police said the pair had not required hospital treatment and believed they had gone on their way.

A helicopter had reached the two trampers around 1pm today.


They had been stranded since around 5.45pm yesterday, when they called police after the woman had fallen from the saddle on the route from Speargrass to Mt Angelus.

Snow was falling at the time and a helicopter could not reach the pair, who were at an altitude of 1600 metres.

This morning a team of search and rescue volunteers and a doctor reached them after walking to their location overnight.

The rescue team was equipped with survival gear for five people and erected two tents to work to raise the pair's body temperature.

Senior Constable Dave Colville said rescue teams returned the pair to normal body temperature after using hot water bottles and warm clean clothes to heat them up.

"They gave them a hot meal...and had heaps of hot water bottles with them so used those to warm them up."

High winds and falling snow had prevented a helicopter reaching the two trampers until a clear opportunity arrived around midday.

Mr Colville said the helicopter took them to Speargrass Hut, and from there they were transported out of the park.


Mr Colville said he didn't know the details of what equipment the trampers had with them or what level tramping experience they had.

He said the search and rescue operation was a success thanks to "very capable and competent" volunteers.

The trampers had been "rather foolish" to set off when the weather forecast was for gale south-westerlies and snow, Mr Colville said.