Wanaka Police and Department of Conservation staff have began a search in the Mount Aspiring National Park for two climbers that are overdue. The men are foreign nationals.
Police believe that the 30 year old and 23 year old intended to climb Mount Aspiring via French Ridge, the Bonar Glacier and the South West Ridge.
The pair intended to begin their climb in the early hours of Sunday, 9th November and to leave the Park on Tuesday 11th November 2003.
There are indications that the pair did not return to the French Ridge Hut after their climb.
The Acting O/C of the Wanaka Police, Detective Derek Shaw says, "We have concerns for the safety of the pair. We have been unable to establish their degree of expertise but in any case it appears that the climbers could have been out on the mountain for three days. The weather in the area has been â€˜patchyâ€™ with an expected deterioration later today before a clearance tomorrow".
"DOC staff in a helicopter are checking as much of the climbers intended route as the current weather permits".
"The situation will be re-evaluated at the completion of this initial search which is expected to conclude at about 1200 noon today"
Next media release is expect at 1600 hours today, or sooner should the situation change dramatically.