The man who died after falling while climbing Mt Taranaki was a French national.

Taranaki police area commander Keith Borrell this afternoon confirmed he was 25-year-old Victor Roucher.

Mr Roucher's climbing companion has since returned to Wellington where the pair were based.

However, it's unclear if the pair were living in Wellington or touring the country.


Police said he death was a "tragic accident" as he seemed well prepared and had all the right equipment.

Mr Roucher was near the crater when he fell 100m to his death down the mountainside on the assent.

His climbing companion, another man, was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

It was the second rescue operation on the famous cone's slopes yesterday.

The first set of climbers choppered to safety were unprepared for the conditions, prompting a reminder from police about preparing for the cold, slippery alpine conditions when climbing.

"What we've been advised by the teams up there is they were about 100m short of the crater, just below what's called the shark's tooth," said Taranaki police area commander Inspector Keith Borrell of the fatal fall.

"It's an alpine environment. In an alpine environment you're climbing a mountain covered in snow. You've got to make sure you've got the equipment and the experience. Some people will have the equipment and the experience and make mistakes."

Taranaki Rescue helicopter attending to a fallen climber. Photo / Supplied
Taranaki Rescue helicopter attending to a fallen climber. Photo / Supplied

Investigations into yesterday's death are still on-going.


Police were alerted to the incident just after 11am by another climber who witnessed what happened.

Rescuers reached the site about 12.40pm and the Mr Roucher's body was flown off the mountainside this afternoon. His companion was winched into the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter and flown off the mountain with minor injuries.

The weather has turned cold and Mt Taranaki is covered in a solid helping of snow and ice. Conditions today were "clear and crisp", Mr Borrell said.

"It's our third search and rescue operation [on the mountain] in the last week."

Mr Borrell said the two men were in climbing gear and were well prepared, unlike two other climbers who were flown off the slopes this morning after one fell and suffered injuries.

The pair were wearing sandshoes and jeans, Mr Borrell said.

Taranaki Rescue helicopter attending to a fallen climber. Photo / Supplied via Facebook
Taranaki Rescue helicopter attending to a fallen climber. Photo / Supplied via Facebook

And on Friday night, another group of ill-prepared climbers - three young men - had to be rescued.

Mr Borrell's comments about preparation were echoed today by Mountain Safety Council chief executive Mike Daisley.

"It appears that the weather didn't play a huge role in the incident, but we're working with authorities to get a clear picture of the events leading up to this tragedy," he said.

He urged caution when people were thinking of heading into alpine environments.

Taranaki Alpine Club vice president Ivan Bruce said conditions up Mt Taranaki were extremely icy. There had been snow, high winds and it was cold."Conditions are not ideal for people not experienced in ice and snow. You need crampons and ice axes and you need to know how to use them.

"The top 500m of the mountain, where it was steep, were the most icy. This was typical for this time of year.

"It's now effectively winter conditions probably until October."

Mt Taranaki

• More than 80 climbers have died on the mountain
• Among those were Auckland climbers Nicole Sutton, 29, and Hiroki Ogawa, 31, who were stranded in frigid conditions for three days over Labour Weekend 2013.
• Earlier this year, rescuers easily found a climber who got into trouble thanks to the man using a free mobile location app, developed by a LandSAR member.