Another tragedy on Mt. Cook

On January 1 another tragic event unfolded on Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Anton Wopereis, a highly experienced guide, died while guiding the mountain. The ice he was standing on gave way, causing him to fall 60m to his death. In 2004 I made an unsuccessful attempt on Mt. Cook, which was abandoned due to an avalanche prone snow pack. A couple of years ago a friend of mine slipped out near the summit of Mt. Cook, sending him sliding a hundred metres. He was successfully rescued by helicopter and survived, albeit after a long period of rehabilitation. There’s a lesson to be learned from these incidents – even the most experienced climbers are not immune from injury or death on the mountains and they should always be treated with respect. I wish the family and friends of Anton all the best.

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