New Zealand – A Dutch tourist’s ambition to climb “Mt Doom” has ended in an overnight rescue from Mt Ngauruhoe in the central North Island .
The 18-year-old woman was part of a group of five to head up the mountain, which featured in the Lord of the Rings films as Mt Doom, about 1.30pm yesterday, Taupo Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said.
Two of the group turned back near the head of the Mangatepopo Valley, but the woman and two Pukekohe men, aged 21 and 23, continued up the mountain and reached the summit about 5.30pm.
However, as the trio began the descent the woman was unable to continue because of pain in her ankles and one of the men called for help.
Six search and rescue teams went on to the mountain, locating the man who had called for help about 11pm. The other two were found half-an-hour later at an altitude of 2200 metres and a short distance from the summit.
Mr Shepherd said the group were hungry and bitterly cold when rescuers reached them, and they were given food, drink and warm clothing.
The woman was put on a stretcher and lowered down the mountain by a rescue team, arriving on the road at 9am today, while the two men walked out with the remaining teams.
Mr Shepherd said it had been the woman’s intention to climb Mt Doom.
“Rescuers are disappointed that the trio set out ill-prepared and so late in the day, therefore spoiling what could have been an enjoyable trip in the outdoors.”