The wife of the Australian policeman who died in yesterday’s avalanche on Aoraki Mount Cook has paid tribute to her husband on social media.
Skye Deutschbein posted the heartfelt message on her Instagram account today.
Today New Zealand police named the man as Nathan Deutschbein, aged 40. He leaves behind two children.
"If you are finding out through social media, I’m so sorry. Our beloved Nathan was in an avalanche on the mountain he was climbing yesterday and did not survive. We are broken and cannot imagine a world without him. He was our Captain Awesome," Ms Deutschbein wrote.
"I will be off social media for a time but will keep you informed of funeral details when we know more.
"Thank you for your prayers. They are the only thing keeping us right now."
A gofundme page has been set up help Mr Deutschbein's family.
The off-duty 40-year-old officer was buried after he and a companion are thought to have triggered a small avalanche while climbing down the Eugenie Glacier at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park about 1.30pm yesterday, police say.
NSW Police say he was a leading senior constable with the Blue Mountains Police Area Command.
"NSW Police have offered support and condolences to the officers wife and family," a spokesperson said.
The hiking pair had turned back due to poor weather when the 20-metre wave travelled 300 metres and pushed them into a crevasse.
The second man, left with minor injuries, was unable to get to his friend in time, NZ police inspector Dave Gaskin told media.
He was later winched out by helicopter after setting off a locator beacon.
A third member of their party had been unwell in the morning and stayed behind in a hut. He and the injured hiker were later flown off the mountain.
Inspector Gaskin described the climbers as reasonably proficient and experienced.
An advisory yesterday morning warned of a moderate avalanche risk above 1200m, due to unstable snow and poor weather in the days prior, a Mountain Safety Council spokesman said.
"[It's] an inherently dangerous place to go," he told AAP.