Tramper Lucky To Survive Glacier Avalanche In New Zealand


Glacier Guide Caught In Glacier Avalanche In Remote Landsborough Valley While On 9-Day Solo Tramp

Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
Stock Image Of Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand | Pixabay

Landsborough Valley, New Zealand – Around noon on Thursday, September 29, 2016 Jamie Hareb, a 23-year-old glacier guide from Tauranga, New Zealand, was caught in a glacier avalanche in the Landsborough Valley on the West Coast side of Aoraki-Mount Cook on the South Island of New Zealand. The avalanche carried the tramper about 100 meters down slope. Luckily, he was able to “swim” out of the avalanche and survived.

After the incident, the solo tramper set off a tracker beacon and sent a text message that was received by the Rescue Coordination Centre. They contacted NZCC West Coast Rescue Helicopters in Greymouth to perform the rescue at around 3 PM. The helicopter rescue team picked up two members of the South Westland alpine cliff rescue team from Fox Glacier and then responded to the scene of the avalanche. According to Helicopter paramedic Rick Knight, the terrain was “horrendous.”

Rescuers found the tramper in the avalanche debris. He had suffered “a significant knee injury and injuries to an arm, but was otherwise plucky and well.” The tramper was transported to Grey Base hospital where he was treated.

The tramper works as a glacier guide with Franz Josef Glacier Guides, but was currently on day 5 or 6 of a 9-day solo tramp through this remote alpine terrain. His plan had been to walk out through Copland Pass into the Karangarua Valley.

On 05 October 2016 posted a follow up on Hareb’s condition after this incident.

Read more about the glacier avalanche in New Zealand’s Landsborough Valley from these sources: