An experienced Trumper who fought “terrible” conditions without a tent or sleeping bag in Tarragona Forest Park, north of Wellington, may have saved himself after building a pile of pity for a hut.
At 2 p.m. Monday, Police Search and Rescue Coordinator Tony Mattison said a ping from the man’s personal locator beacon was picked up near a Red Line shelter, which was optimistic.
Man, Joe Equipment Caleb Smith, 45, of Wellington, is thought to have been trapped overnight in bad weather north of Jumbo Peak.
When Equipment Briefly contacted by Smith, who had cell phone coverage at the time, he replied: “It’s me. Can’t really talk.” Smith said he was fine, but cold.
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Mathison said Trump was trying to make it a McGregor Bike along the shore – an effective shelter from the storm.
Mathison said search and rescue headquarters continued to receive pings from their personal locator Bacon on Monday, which the man activated at 9pm on Sunday night, and kept in touch with them intermittently via cell phone.
In a further statement issued just before 5 p.m., a police spokesman said the man at the search center had been “given advice on how to protect himself.”
Search and rescue personnel were monitoring the location with their personal locator Bacon.
The weather in the area was expected to improve on Tuesday morning and police will review further after that.
Meanwhile, he was telling people to stay away from the area as they could give “false signals” to those looking for other Trump’s footprints.
Search and rescue crews also spent Sunday night in huts following the recovery of another Trumper from the area – a woman who was rescued Monday morning.
Two rescue teams stayed overnight at Jumbo Hut and Atiwakato Hut and set out on a Monday morning to try to find the stranded man by traveling along the red line, but they were forced to take refuge because the winds were so dangerous.
Matheson said he would send an air rescue ground team to the McGregor Shelter if the weather window opened later Monday or Tuesday morning.
“We are ready to strike when the weather permits.”
He estimated that the last locator was 200 meters from the contact shelter.
“We are hopefully confident that he has found refuge in McGregor’s wife, although we cannot fully confirm that.”
Police said he was an experienced trumpeter who left Wellington on Sunday morning with the intention of walking along McGregor along Panakal Ridge and completing the Baldy Circuit.
Mattison said he had some Bosch craft gear, but no belongings, such as sleeping bags or tents, overnight.
A Wellington rescue helicopter was contacted, but was unable to take off due to weather conditions in the area.
The Met Service issued a strong wind warning for Virarpa and Tarrawa districts, with northwest storm winds and gusts reaching speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour. Heavy rain warning was also issued for the expected Tarrawa range up to 100 mm before 10 am on Monday.
Another search and rescue team spent the night in Powell Hut when they were called to help a woman who had been blown away several times by high winds while hiking on a mountain path between Mount Holdsworth and Jumbo Peak.
Police were called at 11.05am on Sunday when a 35-year-old Kapiti woman called for help when she was trapped. She was traveling solo between Jumbo Hut and Powell Hut.
She was trapped at an altitude of 1,400 meters and was unable to continue in the current rain and wind conditions. The air temperature was -5 degrees Celsius.
The woman stayed put, sheltered from the wind, and used her sleeping bag to keep warm until the rescue party arrived.
Rescue teams described the weather in the open country above the Bush Line as “terrible.”
Police said the woman was not reported injured but was suffering from mild hypothermia.
The team reached the woman at about 5.40pm on Sunday night and chose to stay overnight at Powell Hut.
Mathison said it was good that the Trumps looked equipped with the right gear and made the right decisions when they were in trouble, but he questioned the decision to go out in those circumstances.
“This season was predicted. If you are focused on the goal, you still have to think about your safety, think about the weather, and think about the respondents who come. You have to help.