Four hikers have been found safe and well after spending a gruelling 12 hours lost in Kosciuszko National Park on Sunday, 6 June. However, NSW Police say the incident is a warning to hikers ahead of the 2021 snow season.
The group, aged in their 20s, departed from Charlotte Pass around 1:00 pm on Sunday, but became lost at 9:00 pm due to deteriorating weather and poor visibility. They set up camp and called police.
Officers attached to Monaro Police District then commenced a search around Blue Lake Walk and Main Range Track, assisted by NSW Ambulance and Fire and Rescue NSW.
Emergency services personnel used six-wheeler motorbikes and quad bikes to negotiate the rugged terrain, then walked one kilometre to locate the group at about 1:00 am on Monday, 7 June.
The hikers – aged 25, 27 and two aged 23 – were not injured.
They were assessed by NSW Ambulance paramedics before returning to their accommodation.
With the 2021 snow season already underway and poor conditions forecast during the coming days, Detective Inspector Neil Grey from Monaro Police District reminded hikers to stick to designated tracks.
“Bad weather and snow cloud can very quickly and easily disorientate even the most experienced hikers,” he said.
“It’s vital for hikers to carry an EPIRB [safety beacon] to narrow down their location when phone reception is poor and the weather is rapidly deteriorating.
“Anyone headed to our snowfields this season needs to be prepared with thermals and wet-weather gear, as well as carrying plenty of food and water.
“If it weren’t for the quick response by our emergency services, this could have ended badly.”
Hikers are also urged to lodge a trip intention with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.