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Australian, English climbers killed in New Zealand

16 September 2013, 09:00

Wellington - One Australian and one English climber have fallen to their deaths in New Zealand, police confirmed on Monday.

Police Inspector Dave Gaskin said the two incidents on consecutive days in the Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park were not related and were not due to bad weather. He said they come as a reminder that climbers need to use extreme caution.

On Friday, 36-year-old Duncan Raite died after slipping and falling about 60m from a ridge near the Tasman Glacier. The New Zealand-born Australian was planning to do some ski touring. He'd been dropped off by helicopter with a group and was walking to a hut when he fell, sliding down a steep slope and over a cliff.

Gaskin said that other climbers attempted to rescue Raite by taking him down the glacier, but that he died on the way down.

On Saturday, 32-year-old Englishman Robert Buckley fell about 600m while climbing to a small hut on Mount Sefton with three companions. Gaskin said Buckley was wearing crampons but was inexperienced.

- AP


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