Scientist who died while climbing Mount Ruapehu remembered as a ‘beautiful person’

Friends and colleagues are paying tribute to a woman who died in a climbing accident on Mount Ruapehu over the weekend, saying it is a tragic loss.

Wednesday Davis was a University of Auckland marine ecology technician and had graduated with a Masters of Science in marine science.

She died on Saturday after falling while climbing Mount Ruapehu.

A university spokesperson said Davis had been climbing with friends.

She had joined the School of Biological Sciences technical team a year ago, “quickly establishing her presence in the seawater facility, steadily building her experience at sea with the new research vessel Ika“.

Davis was also the leader of the university’s Marine Sciences Society, a Kupe Leader, a BLAKE Leader, and a YWCA Y25 alumnus.

“During this difficult time, our thoughts are with Wednesday’s family, partner and friends. Our thoughts are also with the many colleagues and workmates she had in Biological Sciences, Marine Sciences, Environment, and beyond.”

A post on the Auckland Response Team Facebook page said it was a heartbreaking loss.

“Wednesday made significant contributions to accreditation efforts, always eager to participate in training and support deployments. Her dedication and enthusiasm have left a lasting impact on those who had the pleasure of working with her,” it said.

A post on the University of Auckland Marine Science Society Facebook page said Davis was “a beautiful person inside and out”.

She was “the heart of the fire” at the society, it said.

“We are all greatly saddened by the loss of her far too soon.”

Police said that a group of people were climbing on the eastern side of Mount Ruapehu, near Whangaehu hut, on Saturday about 11am.

“During the climb, a woman in the group slipped and fell a significant distance, suffering serious injuries.

“Emergency services, the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, members of the Ruapehu Alpine Rescue Organisation, and Tukino Ski Field staff, responded immediately.

“Sadly, despite their best efforts, the woman died at the scene.”

Sergeant Shane McNally said the incident was tragic, and police’s thoughts were with all involved.

“While the matter is still under investigation, we cannot reiterate enough the importance of understanding the alpine environment and being prepared mentally and physically for this unforgiving environment.”

A rāhui was in place on the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu above 2000 metres, until Tuesday morning.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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