Two dead in fatal climbing accident at Wilpena Pound

An aerial view of Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges National Park, outback South Australia. Photo: Shutterstock
An aerial view of Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges National Park, outback South Australia. Photo: Shutterstock

The bodies of two men have been found at the base of a cliff in a popular, but remote rock climbing location in the Flinders Ranges.

A major rescue operation was launched at about 1pm yesterday when alarms were raised by other climbers who noticed their empty campsite.

It is understood the pair may have been rock climbing near Moonarie Gap which is at the south-eastern end of Wilpena Pound, about 40 kilometres north-east of Hawker.

Emergency service crews made their way to the location, which has been described as "extremely remote" and "inaccessible terrain".

A 62-year-old man from Norwood and a 44-year-old man from Fairview Park were found dead in the area.

STAR Operations will fly to the region this morning to assist local patrols and SES volunteers in recovering the bodies.

Police and CIB detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the men's deaths and will prepare a report for the coroner.