Cliff rescuers getting ready for any drama

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With Wakatipu winter conditions coming on fast, the best in the alpine rescue business are staying sharp.

Queenstown’s Alpine Cliff Rescue volunteers have been blooding new members in the recent snowy conditions.

A nine-strong group were choppered at the start of the month up to the right col of Mt Earnslaw near Glenorchy at the top of the lake. They dotted down at about 2200 metres for an exercise. They headed to the top at about 2830m, testing safety procedures and team work.

Alpine Cliff Rescue team leader Chris Prudden says four new members of the team were involved: “We’ve been amping it up a bit recently. Every time we get a few new people, we try to blood them in as quick as possible.

“We get people who are skilled capable climbers and introduce them into the rescue systems.

“We basically have a lot of strong individuals and try to get them in sync, working with each other and showing what compromises we make and what we don’t – that’s the big thing for us, the safety.”