Three climbers were winched from Mt Taranaki on Sunday night by the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter.
The helicopter was tasked by Taranaki Police Search and Rescue to a group of three climbers who were in difficulty high on the mountain.
The helicopter, with two Alpine Rescue volunteers on board, took off from New Plymouth at around 6:30pm and located the stranded party on the eastern side of Mt Taranaki at approx. 1800m in altitude close to a feature known as the Policeman.
With the Pilot and Crew of the helicopter using Night Vision Goggles, the rescuers were winched to a ridge further north of the group and traversed across to the stranded party. Due to the conditions, a third rescuer was collected from the Stratford Plateau and winched on to the mountain to assist with the group. Rescuers encountered difficult conditions on the 40-45 deg mountain slopes with ice falling from above the group making the rescue operation significantly challenging.
All three climbers were winched individually to the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter and flown to Taranaki Base Hospital.