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Mt Harper accident name released

Media Release

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Family release name from Mt Harper Accident

Charlie instructing on an NZAC snowcraft course (2016)

Charlie instructing on an NZAC snowcraft course (2016)

Many people will be aware of the fatal accident on Mt Harper in Arthur’s Pass, on Thursday 1st December.

On behalf of his wife Carolyn, family and friends, we wish to confirm it is with the deepest sadness, the passing of Charlie Catt.

Charlie was a long standing member of the New Zealand Alpine Club and a much respected and admired volunteer winter instructor for the Canterbury / Westland section for over 10 years.

Charlie was climbing Mt Harper with one other, who had stopped at around 2000 metres, with Charlie carrying on.

Sometime shortly after and for unknown reasons, Charlie has taken a fall of approximately 150 metres, suffering immediate, unsurvivable injuries.

Charlie’s climbing partner who activated their P.L.B, was extracted off the mountain first, with Charlie recovered on Friday and returned home to Christchurch.

People will appreciate this is an extremely difficult time for many – especially Carolyn, family members, Charlie’s climbing partner at the time and his friends (my own friendship with Charlie and Carolyn goes back 22 years).

Charlie was without a doubt, a very special person and not only volunteered as a winter instructor for the C/W section but also spent many years volunteering for the Travis Wetland Trust, Red Cross, work parties on the NZAC lodge in Arthur’s Pass, crag and track repairs on the Port Hills and more recently, with the LandSAR team in Christchurch.

We wish to acknowledge all those who helped with the recovery of Charlie and support of his climbing partner, especially the Rescue Coordination Centre, NZ Police, Canterbury / West Coast Air Rescue Trust, Alpine Cliff Rescue Team and D.O.C Arthur’s Pass.

A service for Charlie will be held on Wednesday 14th December, 2pm at Westpark Chapel, 467 Wairakei Road – for all those who knew Charlie, you are most welcome to attend to celebrate Charlie’s life and give him the fitting farewell he so much deserves.

Carolyn has requested that in lieu of flowers, she would appreciate people donating to the Canterbury / West Coast Air Rescue Trust. Any cards can be sent c/o Clayton Garbes, 14 Strauss Place, Somerfield, Christchurch.

Any further inquiries can be made to Clayton by texting 0274461562 and we request that there is no contact from any form of media thanks.


Clayton Garbes

Posted: 06/12/16

Posted By: Karen Leacock