A speed flyer who crashed at Temple Basin ski field near Arthur's Pass in the Southern Alps on Sunday afternoon was rescued after spending hours on the mountain overnight.
The 22-year-old, who was skiing with a parachute, had taken off from the skifield about 4.30pm and was attempting to fly to the carpark but crash-landed after suddenly seeing a cableway wire and power lines ahead of him.
A rescue helicopter with night-vision equipment found him about 8pm, two hours after he was reported missing. But it could not rescue him due to the wires, police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Ryan O'Rourke said.
Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) volunteers from Arthur's Pass set up a series of rope lines so they could safely descend to him, he said.
A specialist LandSAR alpine and cliff rescue team from Christchurch got to the man about 2am. He was airlifted to Arthur's Pass and then to Greymouth Hospital by the Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter.
"Fortunately he was not seriously injured. He is suffering from a suspected broken thumb and possible concussion," Sgt O'Rourke said.
He said the incident showed skiers and mountain users needed to be extremely careful about where they went.
Speed flying is a hybrid sport combining elements of paragliding, parachuting and skiing.
Sean Kerridge, 40, from Dargaville, was killed while speed flying near Wanaka in February.