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Hiker rescued from Mt Ngauruhoe

File Photo

A 27-year-old Auckland man owes his life to rescuers from LandSAR Ruapehu Alpine Rescue Organisation (RARO) tonight after being stranded near the summit of Mt Ngauruhoe today.

The man was one of a group of 14 people from Auckland who set out this morning to hike over the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

The group consisted of people of varying levels of fitness and enthusiasm, and the group split into several smaller groups as the day went on.

His friends reported him overdue at 2.30pm when he did not meet them at the Ketetahi carpark as arranged.

Police were able to send a message to his cell phone and determined his location using Mobile locate.

The Greenlea rescue helicopter was dispatched from Taupo but low cloud prevented is getting into the Mangatepopo Valley.

Two RARO teams headed up the Valley on foot and the first team got to the man just below the Ngauruhoe Summit at 7pm.

The team has made a sterling effort finding the man in zero visibility, strong wind and freezing temperatures.

After rendering some assistance to him the team is now encouraging and assisting him down Mt Ngauruhoe.

A second RARO team has also arrived on scene to assist. A total of five rescuers are now assisting the lost hiker.

The hiker is very cold but otherwise uninjured.

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