Mountain Runner, Holdsworth area


Operation Summary: Tararua Forest Park, 29-31 December 2012

This operation was initiated for a overdue mountain runner who had intended to run for 4-5 hours in the Holdsworth area. He was expected back at the Holdsworth road end at noon on 29 December. After failing to arrive, he was reported overdue to Police at 1500.

LandSAR Wellington was requested to provide assistance on Saturday by our Wairarapa colleagues at 2130.

We provided 4 personnel to assist with incident management, 15 field members and 2 search dogs over the 2 days we were involved in the operation.

Weather during the operation was extremely poor, with high winds and heavy rain severely limiting helicopter operations and forcing search teams to be withdrawn from flooded rivers due to unacceptable risks to search personnel. Weather and flood conditions prevented all of Sunday’s planned task from being completed. Easing weather on Monday 31 allowed helicopters to be used for some tasks.

A helicopter found a note from the missing person at Mid Waohine Hut and spotted the missing person waiving on the track from Mid Waiohine to Isabelle (the peak next to Mt Holdsworth).

The missing person was safe and well, although had a suspected broken toe.

It is thought that the missing person ran from the Holdsworth car park past Atiwhakatu Hut and up the marked track to Baldy. He then got lost on South King and dropped into Dorset Creek, where he spent the night under a rock bivy. He travelled down the river to Mid Waiohine Hut, where he spent the night and left a note saying how he intended to return to Holdsworth road end. He was located between Mid Waiohine and Isabelle.

See also

Rescued Runner Turns Volunteer

You can read about the search at here