Plaque for climber

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAC­QUES STEENKAMP

A me­mo­rial plaque to a fallen Czech climber whose part­ner sur­vived for nearly a month on her own in a re­mote hut has been un­veiled. On­drej Petr, 27, died near Lake McKen­zie on the track last July, af­ter he and part­ner Pavlina Pi­zova be­came dis­ori­ented in bad weather.

Pi­zova was un­able to save Petr, and spent about a month alone in a Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (DOC) hut near Lake Macken­zie be­fore she was res­cued.

Czech Re­pub­lic hon­orary con­sul Vladka Kennett, of Glenorchy, said about eight mem­bers of Queen­stown’s Czech and Slo­vak Club de­parted on Fri­day to fol­low in the foot­steps of the cou­ple. They in­stalled the plaque on a rock close to where Petr died.

DOC gave its bless­ing for the plaque to be in­stalled, and hut war­dens met the group along the route to share warm tea and bis­cuits. The cou­ple’s fam­i­lies ar­ranged for the plaque to be made in the Czech Re­pub­lic.

‘‘On­drej was a keen climber who loved moun­tains and the out­doors, and a part of his soul will al­ways be at­tached to this part of the world,’’ said Kennett.

Pi­zova was res­cued af­ter spend­ing 24 days alone in the Lake Macken­zie war­den’s hut.

She did not at­tend the un­veil­ing.

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