Extreme skier’s fatal slip on Mt Cook


Magnus Kastengren
Magnus Kastengren

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11151105

A Swedish extreme-altitude skier who plunged 600m to his death near the peak of Aoraki-Mt Cook yesterday morning had set a new record on the mountain just days earlier.

The man, named by Swedish authorities as Magnus Kastengren, 32, had been skiing near the mountain’s lower summit, at an altitude of about 3700m, when he slipped off a ridge and fell.

His 30-year-old companion – thought to be renowned Swedish ski-mountaineer Andreas Fransson – only realised what had happened when he looked back to see his partner had gone.

Locals who know the mountain well said the pair’s skiing was “extreme” and there was no room for error.

Only four days earlier, the Swedes were thought to have become the first skiers to complete a continuous descent of Aoraki-Mt Cook’s east face.

The feat, with New Zealand-based skiers Nick Begg and Tyrone Low, was only the second-ever attempt to ski down the face.

Senior Constable Brent Swanson of Lake Tekapo police said the men had been skiing along Aoraki-Mt Cook’s summit ridge, near the lower peak, yesterday morning when one of them fell 600m vertically down the steep slope.

“One minute his partner was skiing behind him, and next minute he’s looked back and he’s gone,” he said. “Basically he’s slipped off and we don’t know why.”

Mr Swanson said skiing along the ridge was “right up there at the extreme level”.

The survivor had “a bit of a scare” but was uninjured.

Mr Swanson said climbing conditions had been good and the weather was fine at the time.

A Department of Conservation alpine rescue team was dispatched after the survivor called emergency services about 8.30am yesterday. A rescuer, dangling on a strop from a Helicopter Line helicopter, picked him up shortly before midday. Mr Kastengren’s body was recovered about half an hour later.

DoC Aoraki-Mt Cook alpine rescue team leader Jim Spencer, who has been an alpine ski guide for 15 years, said skiing on the mountain could be very dangerous and there was no room for error.

“If you were to slip, you would very quickly pick up a speed that you couldn’t control.”

Mr Spencer said the pair’s accomplishment on the east face last week – which he probably would not attempt himself – was “very, very credible alpine skiing”.

“Those boys were at the top of their game, I’d say.”

Swedish honorary consul to New Zealand Frank Olsson said a police officer had named the man as Mr Kastengren. He said officials in Stockholm had been trying to get in touch with the family in Sweden, but he had not received confirmation his relatives had been reached yet.

Both Swedes have been involved in a number of ski-mountaineering firsts.

The mountain death is the second within a week after two climbers died on Mt Taranaki over Labour Weekend.



I just finished watching McConkey.  For any skier such as myself, who grew up watching the evolution of free skiing (extreme skiing), this is going to be very emotional.  During this movie I was in awe, I was happy, I was sad, I was afraid, I was jealous, I was angry, etc…  Watch it.

Heliskiing Postcard / The Drop

Awesome picture. Can’t stop vibrating after seeing this! lol

Heliskiing Postcard / The Drop.

I see snow on the webcams!


The other day I had my new skis, bindingless, on the floor. I was standing on them daydreaming… I was, of course, naked… 😉

Poor Boyz Productions: Tracing Skylines

Poor Boyz Productions: Tracing Skylines
Poor Boyz Productions: Tracing Skylines

Every skier knows what it’s like to call a few friends, pack up, and head out for a trip. Rather than spend another winter chasing storms, five of the top pros and their closest pals embark…
read more on their own interpretations of a “trip of a lifetime,” taking them deep into new and uncharted territory. Sean Pettit ventures further in his home turf of British Columbia. Watch as he trades the comfy lodge for a glacier camp – finding unexpected sources of fun in the backcountry. Logan Pehota pinpoints a remote Alaska lighthouse to use as a home base, where he launches a helicopter expedition and finds fresh terrain to attack. Karl Fostvedt takes urban skiing to a whole new level by spending his time searching for the perfect jib, drop and jump amidst the concrete jungle that is Detroit. Pep Fujas leads the backcountry in pure essence. Julien Regnier is found trekking the grueling 100km (62 Miles) historic high alpine route between Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. Finally, Bobby Brown brings the crew back together for a spring session to wrap a season that won’t soon be forgotten. Tracing Skylines follows these five skiers on several incredible adventures. Where will you be inspired to go next?

Poor Boyz Productions: Tracing Skylines

Every year I look forward to the latest Poor Boyz Productions ski flick.  Ever since they released Degenerates in 1998, I’ve been hooked.  As far as I’m concerned, they make top-notch ski movies.  After watching this sure to be classic 5 or 6 times, I can say that this movie is not the exception to the rule.

There were a couple of things that really stood out to me.  Firstly: The start of season skiing in the Whistler backcountry.  I couldn’t believe the depth of the snow.  The lines skied and the camera shots they got were just amazing.  Especially for the overcast, snowy weather.  I defy anyone to watch that segment and not be completely jealous (unless of course you live there or somewhere similar and do that on a regular basis.  If that is the case, F the F off!)

Secondly: Urban skiing in Detroit.  Usually I am not big on urban skiing.  There’s only so much of it I can take.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the difficulty and the skill it takes.  But often (these days anyways), I find that, (for my tastes) the movies spend too much time on it.  Maybe it’s because they don’t have to pay for helicopters and guides and tons of safety equipment.  Who knows?  The Detroit segment was awesome though.  If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believe that the city looked like that.  Just abandonment everywhere…

Thirdly: I loved that Glen Plake made an appearance.  I wish that they had spent more time with him.  He’s one of the “extreme skiers” that I grew up on.  The Chamonix sequence had some of the steepest skiing that I’ve seen in a move.  From the narration you could tell that the skiers knew that they were putting their lives at risk from the word go.

It’s hard for me to rate ski movies because I love them all.  I’ll do my best though… I give Tracing Skylines a 4 out of 5 possible stars.  Go watch it and decide for yourself.