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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by CarveMan, Aug 31, 2009.
Hmmmm could say something about **deleted** and bad weather, but probably not appropriate at this time
5 hours to get to fed hut??
At night, in snow and reduced visibilty. Not sure if the SES went via Machinery Spur, the route that Holding took.
I know lots of people do it solo, but I do have reservations about going out by yourself in these conditions at this time of the year. No one to help if you fall over and get injured, etc, then the onus is back on the S & R to risk themselves to find you
Heli, was that you commenting on this subject on 3AW this morning?
i go solo a fair bit but f'top late august is a good place to have friends.....here's hoping he's ok
Noticed slab avalanching starting on Hotham frontcountry on Friday.
Fingers crossed for him, this story is headlining the morning news on TV.
"Sunrise" is reporting that Feathertop is just North East of Melbourne, almost implying it is a suburb of the city ... perhaps their google earth skills are somewhat lacking? Anyone know what route he took? They have apparently found his car, but was it at the start of the razorback or down in harrietville or elsewhere?
He started from Harrietville.
How do you get from Hotham to Feathertop via Machinery Spur?
The only way I can think of is down to the upper West Kiewa River and then up Diamantina Spur. That's hard enough in summer, in winter it would be pretty challenging, especially if he is alone.
I suspect his car is really at Diamantina Hut and he went out via The Razorback.
i just noticed heli said Holding went via Machinery Spur.....thats a fair way from F'Top....
The rain on sat is really the most dangerous conditions in Oz.
Give me -5 and snowing anyday over 1 or 2 degrees and raining and blowing a gale
My mistake: I did say "Not sure", in my own defence!
More likely Bungalow Spur
From the Age
"A Victoria Police spokeswoman said searchers were working in low cloud and snow as deep as 1100 metres."
If the snow's that deep, they'll never find him.
ABC Radio (774) are reporting his car is at Harrietville and he went up Bungalow Spur.
They reiterated what the above story mentioned, sent an SMS on Saturday night to his wife saying he had reached Federation Hut and was due back 4pm Sunday.
Wow! What have I been missing all my life! That would surely make Feathertop the "snowiest" place on earth. We should tell the Japs!
Every time there is a news story that i have some knowledge about there are always glaring mistakes. Makes you realise how crap all the other stories must be.
I just don't understand why people would go it alone at this time of year with crappy weather forecasted.
If his car is at Harrietville and he was heading to Federation Hut he almost certainly went up Bungalow Spur. It's a good, not too hard track and almost impossible to get lost on.
So if he's still missing and hasn't been found yet, then he most likely was blown off course above the treeline. At least they will know where to concentrate the search. I hope he had snowshoes or at least crampons.
It's a shame he was alone, you'd think he would have someone from Parks Vic to guide him or at least hire someone like Andy R from Soulfree Adventures. Personally, as an experienced guide on Feathertop, I'd do it for free for any VIP.
Few days ago one of the Sky news reader said : Australia had the warmest winter in his history.
My dog ! Must be the radiations , somebody neuro metrixs are not functioning.
No snow shoes apparently
from The Age
How do you walk in snow without snow shoes ??
The BC forum is no place for such wild conspiracy theories
Some might say that solo does not equal experienced, as we have been told Tim is. I do solo trips, so I can't comment.
'deep' = 'down to' or 'as low as'.
Simple sub-editing slip.
Given how quickly the story is playing out, I am sure it is understandable.
The Age has the position of Mt Feathertop totally wrong. They have it near Rocky valley dam! ... How can it be that hard to get it right?
The media rarely get facts right.
That being said typing Mt Feathertop into Google Maps gives the correct location on it's first search result.
It is NOT that hard really.....
A group of us used to do an annual day walk up Feathertop in late sept before I discovered skiis or snow shoes. Most times hit in snow from around old Bungalow hut site. Sometimes only went as far as tree line but walking in the snow wasn't that bad if it was consolidated.
Let's hope he's just sitting out some ordinary weather....or looking for some extra water for Melb
It's interesting that the media seem to be pushing the line about how it may be unwise to climb Feathertop alone in winter. I've never climbed it solo in winter, but I don't think many backcountry regulars would condemn someone with a bit of experience for doing so.
I'm surprised that the media haven't discussed the parallels with Simon Crean's brother dying on the Main Range about a decade ago. But they're probably monitoring this chat room, so they might start doing so now...
or Harold Holt ...
As GS said, hopefully he is just sitting it out until the weather clears.
If the media are monitoring this (and I amd sure they will be) please get the location right.
Mt Feathertop is here:
and Federation hut, which burnt down in the 2003 bushfires and was subsequently rebuilt (although if I remember right, the water bombers saved the dunny, but not the hut)
"Temperatures overnight were below zero in the area but police said Mr Holding had food, a tent, an adequate sleeping bag.
Along with a ground search, police are also trying to triangulate the signal from Mr Holding's mobile phone, but weak coverage in the area is hindering this effort."
Hmm.. Hope this one will reward the SES..
While you would never advocate it to a newb, Solo trips are fine in some circumstances (depends upon the person, the place and the weather).
Even in the case of experts though, I would be concerned about "one weekend a year" syndrome. This is where someone has limited free time so they plan their trip a long time in advance. They have no flexibility to reschedule if the weather turns feral, and they have been looking forward to the trip for so long they figure "well, got no choice, i'll just do it anyway".
Given the wrong combination of circs this could occasionally be a grave mistake if the person overrides their own better judgement on key survival factors such as weather and snowpack conditions due to personal factors such as deadlines and free weekends.
(Disclaimer: The above is just a general comment. I'm NOT saying it was a factor in Minister Holding's case. Sounds like he got to Fed Hut all right so he obviously had the chance to make a considered decision about pushing on or sitting it out).
We'll hope he is ok and he walks out and/or is found shortly.
Looks like it has been constantly below zero in the last 24 hours.
Personally, my 2 cents worth, with that type of conditions crampons would be useful as well as snow shoes as they have had a good freeze up there - hope he had some.
As reported, if he has a tent and a good sleeping bag then he should be ok - propably just off track and could not complete his walk to the Hotham road in those conditions. Hopefully he is hauled up in a nicely in his tent and trying to walk out as we speak.
Even 2 weeks ago there was still lots of snow on the Razorback.
5 Hours for the SES guys to walk up Bungalow spur must mean they are carrying very large packs with lots of gear for a potential rescue would say
agreed, hopefully in a tent catching up on that book he's been meaning to read for a year....
Even more so when you consider the country the sub-editors are in...
I've just caught up with this due to net problems at work and read The Age story. I don't think it looks good. His tent and sleeping bag are probably at Fed hut as he arrived on Sat arvo/night and set out Sunday for the summit probably with a day pack. Without wanting to read too much into it the quotes of not wanting to climb Feathertop because of combo of weather and "too steep" smacks of under preparation and not having appropriate gear. Ie snow shoes and/or crampons.
But best wishes are with the Minister and his family of course.
I go out on my own any time of the year regardless of the weather. The trick of course is being sensible about it, attempting the summit in such crappy conditions is simply asking for trouble. I just wish that I was up there with VNSR helping look for him, think I'll volunteer for next year
A lot of people hike up to Fed Hut in winter without snowshoes, it just makes it a hell of a lot harder and less safe.
So he headed off from the hut but then diverged on the way to the summit. (left or right? ).
This would have to be a very deliberate decision? (nobody gets lost on the way up a ridge.)
Everybody gets into strife on the way down.
"Mr Holding walked north".
Could be he set an alternative goal of MUMC Hut.
I have been inadvertently benighted on the Razorback after exactly that decision.
Just experienced the same thing myself last week!!
Well I advised them of the error in their maps over an hour ago, and they have not updated it ... If the SES used their maps they would be searching over near Falls Creek!
Not only that, but they have lazily linked to visit victoria's walking route from Diamantina to Feathertop via the razorback ... from what I have read here I thought he walked up from Harrietville via bungalo spur?
I guess they dont really care about getting the facts straight?
Just listed to 774 ABC - still no sign of the missing hiker and they are reporting bad weather up there as well. Hope he is found shortly.
I'd agree Trappers they don't much care about specifics! Their priorities are getting a story out a few minutes before their rivals and being first with an update.
For now all Joe Public cares about is "Famous person lost on a cold mountain, kind of near somewhere you once went skiing".
Edit: to be fair though, the Herald Sun update (below) seems pretty comprehensive and less speculative.
Well the Herald Sun has got it right ... it seems that the Age doesnt care ...
Acc to ABC radio the last signal from his mobile was last night.
Maybe he made it to the MUMC hut. Hope so for his sake even if he is a prat.
I just got wind of the news and fingers crossed. As one who heads up Feathertop solo in winter I feel it is a beautiful place - quite spiritual - but it is merciless.
I shan't get into speculation about what might have happened, but hope that he's OK. I must say that hearing that he went missing on a daytrip to the summit I am now not so hopeful.
Keep dropping the key words bogong and we'll get to hear you on the radio or see you on the tele tonight. You know you want to.