Last week a group of four hikers had to be rescued in the Australian Alps, as extreme weather had left them stranded in the backcountry of Kosciuszko National Park.
The group – consisting of two men and two women aged in their thirties – had departed Thredbo on August 14 to hike past Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain at 7,310ft (2,228m). The group had set out despite inclement weather, which worsened throughout the day, reaching blizzard-like conditions.
The group sought shelter at Seaman’s Hut and contacted emergency services at about 5 pm. By this time, it was too late to send out search and rescue from the specialized Alpine Operations Unit. The rescue attempt the next day, August 15, had to be abandoned at 1.30 pm due to inclement weather. The hikers were advised to stay in the Seaman’s Hut for another night.
On August 16, the weather had improved enough for another rescue attempt, and the group was located safe and well in the hut. Luckily the hikers had brought food and water on their hike, so they were in a good and healthy condition.
This incident serves as a reminder to proceed with extreme caution when venturing into the backcountry and to closely monitor weather forecasts. It is important to remember that weather can change quickly in the mountains.
Seaman’s Hut, where they had found shelter, was erected in memory of Laurie Seaman, who had perished exactly 94 years ago. Laurie and his friend Evan Hayes had set out for a backcountry ski on August 14, 1928, but had gotten lost and, due to lack of shelter, died from exposure. His parents built the hut in 1929 in the spot their son had died as an emergency shelter for any future hikers or skiers.
NSW Police is reminding hikers to submit a Trip Intention Form and hire a Personal Locator Beacon from National Parks before heading out into the Kosciuszko National Park.