Australian man dies on New Zealand slopes

An Australian snowboarder has died after sliding down a ravine onto rocks in New Zealand’s ski fields.  

The 29-year-old man from Sydney had taken his snowboard off to climb the side of Tarn Basin, behind the Mt Cheeseman Ski Area, near Christchurch when he slipped and fell on Friday.

He was taken to Christchurch hospital but with extensive head injuries, he died on Sunday evening.

James Young, manager of Mt Cheeseman Ski Area, told the AAP that Tarn Basin was popular with experienced skiers and snowboarders, especially after a snow dump, when conditions were “fabulous”.

But it had been two weeks since a big snowfall and, with several melt-freeze cycles, it was “firmer than it looked”.

“Like many of the back basins, it would have looked very inviting but the conditions probably weren’t as good as they seemed to the eye,” Mr Young said.

The man is the third Australian to die on New Zealand’s ski slopes in three years.

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