TODAY |

Police retrieve bodies of two climbers on Mount Taranaki

Rescue teams have this morning recovered the bodies of two climbers on Mount Taranaki.

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The pair got in trouble on the mountain on Tuesday, but weather conditions made the recovery tricky. Source: 1 NEWS

Police said they were called to reports a climber had fallen near the summit about 10pm on Tuesday.

A search and rescue operation was commenced, with the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter dispatched, however the climbers' bodies were found shortly after midnight.

The recovery operation was called off at 5pm yesterday due to dangerous weather conditions.

Teams worked all day in an attempt to recover the bodies near the summit of the maunga, which lies south of New Plymouth.

The NZ Mountain Safety Council warns that right now the popular spot is a tough climb.

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The bodies were found by searchers in the early hours of May 5. Source: 1 NEWS

"The climbing community is a very tight-knit community and these individuals will be known to a small but close group beyond their whole family, so the whole community will really be feeling it at the moment," Mike Daisley, of the NZ Mountain Safety Council, says.

Police told 1 NEWS the mens' bodies were recovered shortly after 8am this morning with the assistance of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter and Police Search and Rescue and Alpine Cliff Rescue personnel.

"A formal identification process will now be undertaken to identify the men. As such we are not in a position to release their names," police said.

"We'd like to thank all our staff and volunteers involved in the safe recovery of the men. Our thoughts remain with their families at this time."

Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust recovers the bodies of two climbers from Taranaki Maunga Source: Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust

Inquiries into the circumstances of the incident are ongoing.

A rāhui has been placed on all access routes to the summit for a week by Ngā Iwi o Taranaki, the eight iwi of the region.

It will be reviewed after one week.

Dozens of people have died on the slopes, with the most recent fatality four years ago.