Missing mountaineer from Christchurch has survived two previous searches — police

A Christchurch woman missing since November has been described by police as having extensive mountain experience and has survived previous search and rescue operations.

Marni Sheppeard. Source: 1 NEWS

Marni Sheppeard, 53, was last heard from in Christchurch around 5.20am on November 19, when she posted a photo of herself on her Twitter account along with words "off to the mountains". She wasn't reported as missing, however, until January.

Police inquiries have established that she travelled by bus to the west of Christchurch before her last recorded bank transaction was made around 8.30am on 19 November 2020 at the Darfield Fruit and Vegetable Store.

Police believe she may have been heading to the mountains.

She is described as being around 162cm and of slim build. She was last wearing a black t-shirt and a green Macpac backpack.

Today, police offered fresh details surrounding Sheppeard's disappearance after a previous appeal to the public to help in the search.

"Sheppeard has extensive mountain experience and has survived previous search and rescue operations.," police said in a statement today.

"In 2003, she survived eight days after being stranded with an associate on an exposed ridge in Arthur’s Pass National Park.

"Prior to this she was rescued from a crevasse after injuring her ankle climbing in the Swiss Alps.

"She is known to frequent the Arthur’s Pass and West Coast areas."

Police say they are concerned for Sheppeard's safety and wellbeing and are working on a few narrow leads into her possible whereabouts.

They are appealing to anyone who may have spoken with or seen her since 19 November 2020.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call police on 105, quoting file number 210115/4277.