Missing French skier Tom Gratadour has been found safe after a day-long search in the mountains to the west of Lake Wanaka.
The world junior freestyle champion had failed to return as scheduled yesterday from a solo back-country ski touring trip.
"We are delighted to have found him uninjured," Wanaka Police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Aaron Nicholson said. "With the weather deteriorating rapidly and more snow expected tonight, it could well have been a different outcome."
Wanaka Police and search and rescue volunteers started searching this morning after the 18-year-old from Lyon failed to return to Wanaka by late yesterday.
Four teams were deployed during the day.
A helicopter search found ski touring tracks above the Minaret Burn and he was located walking out back to his car.
"This is a good outcome, but we would want to emphasise that if you're going into the back country we would strongly urge you to carry a personal locator beacon, " Sergeant Nicholson said.