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.

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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.

A post from French skier Tom Gratadour's Instagram account last December. Below, he lands the first double backflip ever landed on a Freeride Junior Tour competition in 2015 at the French Freeride Series in Evolution 2 Les Arcs!
A post from French skier Tom Gratadour's Instagram account last December. Below, he lands the first double backflip ever landed on a Freeride Junior Tour competition in 2015 at the French Freeride Series in Evolution 2 Les Arcs!
Tom Gratadour - Double Backflip

First double backflip ever landed on a Freeride Junior Tour competition. Tom Gratadour absolutely sent it at the French Freeride Series in Evolution 2 Les Arcs!

Posted by Freeride Junior Tour on Friday, 10 April 2015