Howling winds, marginal visibility and deep powdery snow blankets an unstable ice base riddled with massive crevasses: it’s too dangerous for the helicopter to land but the search and rescue (SAR) team leaps from the chopper, risking their lives to save another.
Each year thousands of visitors from around the world flock to New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. With 22 peaks and soaring heights of over 12,000 ft, this is an attractive playground for adrenaline junkies.
But it’s also one of the most dangerous alpine undertakings in the world. Within minutes the backdrop of clear blue skies can turn into a bubbling cauldron of gale-force winds, driving snow, and dense cloud, eliminating all visibility.
With little or no warning of the unpredictable weather patterns, hundreds of climbers have fallen victim to these treacherous conditions. There to pick up the pieces is a dedicated, professional and extremely brave SAR team.
Mountain Rescuers follows the team as they brave the elements to answer life-threatening emergency calls from unsuspecting climbers stranded on the mountain, engulfed in the extreme conditions.