Human remains found on Mt Aspiring are thought to have been on the mountain for more than 40 years.
The remains, which date back to 1976, were found by trampers on the “toe end” of Bonar glacier on March 19.
The trampers contacted police who alerted Wanaka Search and Rescue. A two-member alpine rescue team accompanied the officers who retrieved the remains.
A police spokesman said they were waiting to have confirmation of the identity of the dead climber before contacting relatives.
Search and Rescue spokesman Bill Day described the procedure as routine.
Police removed the remains from the glacier and the alpine team attended for safety reasons.
Bonar Glacier is on the route for climbers ascending Mt Aspiring and has the reputation of being a gruelling approach, he said.
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