NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES – MOUNT RUAPEHU - 1990
On Monday 13 August 1990, thirteen men - two instructors and ten infantrymen of the New Zealand Army and one naval rating from the Royal New Zealand Navy on an army alpine training course on Mt Ruapehu were caught by a blizzard.
The group left on Thursday 09 August on a four-day trek from Whakapapa on Mount Ruapehu's northern slope to Turoa on the south western side. On Saturday 11 August, the men awoke to a north-westerly blizzard with winds up to 150km/hour, freezing temperatures and swirling snow. Frostbite and hypothermia soon set in.
Two of the men, Sergeant Geoff Snowdon and Private Brendon Burchell left the group to seek help and trekked for 11 hours overnight to raise the alarm. They were unable to see for most of the journey.
Six men died on the 13 August 1990 and are remembered on the Tamaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum online cenotaph. They were:
|BOULT||Jeffrey Royden||Able Rating (Royal New Zealand Navy)||22|
|STEWART||David Edward Whawhai||Private||23|
The seven survivors were:
Also see the New Zealand Herald - Sunday 13 August 2017.
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