Plaque for climber
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.