Two skiers have been rescued off a peak in the Southern Alps after spending a night on a mountain when they became bluffed in.
A helicopter plucked the Scottish and German skiers to safety this morning after they set off a distress beacon from a makeshift snow cave near End Peak, south of Treble Cone, near the Mt Aspiring National Park.
Wanaka Police search and rescue co-ordinator Aaron Nicholson said the pair had been forced to take cover after conditions changed when they were ski touring at dusk. They were left in a perilous situation after overnight snow covered in their tracks and heightened avalanche danger in the area.
Rescue Coordination Centre senior search and rescue officer Geoff Lunt said the Scottish skier contacted his father from a snow cave on the 2100m peak by satellite phone to let him know he was safe.
The personal locator beacon was set off at 8am today.
"The son had contacted the father from his snow cave by satellite phone and let him know they were safe and staying put. Once we received the beacon alert this morning, we made contact with the father using our emergency contact list. Then we were able to pass on useful information to the helicopter crew, so they knew what to expect flying in to the area," said Lunt.
Aspiring Helicopters dropped an alpine rescue team on the mountain and the pair were picked up unharmed about 10am.
Lunt praised the pair for making the right decision to pull up when conditions deteriorated.
"These men helped ensure their own safety and rescue - by carrying two forms of communication to call for help, including a rescue beacon that was registered with up-to-date emergency contact details."