Alaskan dies in New Zealand hiking accident

A 24-year-old Alaskan died in a hiking accident in New Zealand on Wednesday.

Nicole Leman was the youngest daughter of former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman.

Authorities and rescue personnel in New Zealand told local reporters she and an Austrian hiking partner were on a multi-day trek in Mount Aspiring National Park, on the south island.

They were reportedly crossing the face of a waterfall – a notoriously steep and slippery part of a route through a remote mountain pass. Leman is said to have fallen some 300 hundred yards. Rescuers reached her body by helicopter.

Leman lived in Anchorage and, according to her Facebook page, was a personal trainer at the Alaska Club.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at

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