A group of hikers has been rescued after days stranded in the snow due to extreme weather in the state’s south.
The group – consisting of two men aged 33 and 36, and two women aged 34 – departed Thredbo Village on foot on Sunday (14 August 2022), to explore the back country of Kosciuszko National Park.
The weather, already hazardous, worsened throughout the day, with blizzard-like conditions, strong winds and low visibility. The group sought shelter at Seaman’s Hut and contacted emergency services about 5pm.
The Alpine Operations Unit was called in and, with the use of over-snow vehicles, officers travelled towards the hut on Monday (15 August 2022). Due to the conditions, efforts were suspended at 1.30pm.
Authorities advised the group to remain in the shelter, with a severe weather warning issued for the region over the coming days.
About 10am yesterday (Tuesday 16 August 2022), the group was located safe and well after the Alpine Operations Unit – including two officers attached to Monaro Police District and an officer attached to the Communications Group – successfully navigated their way to Seaman’s Hut.
While the hikers were adequately equipped with suitable clothing, water and food, this incident has prompted police to remind anyone who is heading to the alpine area not to underestimate the conditions and consider the risks of venturing past the safety of ski resorts in winter.
NSW Police is also urging hikers to ensure their personal safety by submitting a Trip Intention Form and hiring a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) before heading out into the national park. PLBs are free of charge by way of a refundable deposit from one of the National Parks and Wildlife Service centres located at numerous locations, including Jindabyne, as well as Perisher and Thredbo resorts.
Hikers – no matter how experienced – should stick to the tracks, as whiteouts and snow clouds can quickly and easily disorientate.
Visitors should expect bad weather and come prepared with the right thermal clothing, and plan their journeys ahead of time.
Skiers and snowboarders are reminded to stay in designated areas.
Further information on driving in snowfield conditions can be found by visiting the Centre for Road Safety website HERE.
Hikers can contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for more information or visit HERE.
For general snow safety tips when visiting alpine regions, as well as useful links you can access HERE.
Photo: NSW Police