Woman, 80, dies during mountain climb
AN 80-year-old woman has died after she lost consciousness while climbing in wet conditions on one of our most popular mountains.
It follows a string of injuries and deaths on the Tweed Range mountain in recent years.
Tweed District Rescue Squad president Drew Carr said his crew were called to help the 80-year-old climber, an "unconscious patient", at 10.42am on Tuesday.
But the woman - who was with individuals believed to be family and friends - was already dead by the time Mr Carr and his colleagues arrived on scene about half-an-hour to 40 minutes later.
"Upon our arrival to the patient, she was pronounced dead at the scene," he said.
"Unfortunately, resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful."
Poor weather conditions meant a rescue chopper could not be deployed.
"Straight from the onset I knew the helicopter wouldn't be dispatched to this particular job, purely because of the weather," Mr Carr said.
"The visibility was quite low, the rain - the helicopter couldn't fly.
"I don't know if the outcome would have been any different. I guess that's a question that we'll probably never know. Until the police finish their investigation we won't even know how she died."
Paramedics were already on scene when the rescue squad arrived about 1.5 kilometres up the track.
The elderly woman appeared to have suffered a "cardiac-related" medical episode, said a spokesman for NSW Ambulance.
Mr Carr said NSW Police Force declared a crime scene before the woman's body was eventually carried from the mountain.
He offered his condolences to the woman's loved ones.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this woman at this time," he said.
Mr Carr was not particularly surprised that an 80-year-old woman was scaling the mountain in wet conditions - but he cautioned other climbers against doing the same.
"There's some very fit and active senior citizens in our community," he said.
"Whether she's local though, I don't know.
"People should consider the conditions before climbing the mountain. It's not an easy climb."
It's not known if the woman was a Tweed resident - the ambulance spokesman and Mr Carr were not able to say where she had lived.
On Tuesday afternoon, NSW Police were unable to provide further information about the death.
Wollumbin, or Mount Warning, has an elevation of 1156m and is 14km south-west of Murwillumbah.
More than 100,000 people tackle the climb each year.