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State Minister Missing on Feathertop

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by CarveMan, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  2. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmmm could say something about **deleted** and bad weather, but probably not appropriate at this time
     
  3. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    5 hours to get to fed hut??
     
  4. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    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 [​IMG]
     
    #4 Heli, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  5. ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Hard Yards

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    Heli, was that you commenting on this subject on 3AW this morning?
     
  6. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    i go solo a fair bit but f'top late august is a good place to have friends.....here's hoping he's ok
     
  7. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    Yes
     
    #7 Heli, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  8. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Easi Ski..... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Noticed slab avalanching starting on Hotham frontcountry on Friday.
    Fingers crossed
     
  9. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fingers crossed for him, this story is headlining the morning news on TV.
     
  10. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    "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?
     
  11. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    He started from Harrietville.
     
  12. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
    #12 Bogong, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  13. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    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
     
  14. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snap bogong
     
  15. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    My mistake: I did say "Not sure", in my own defence!

    More likely Bungalow Spur [​IMG]
     
    #15 Heli, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  16. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
  17. obrien

    obrien Hard Yards

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    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.
     
  18. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow! What have I been missing all my life! That would surely make Feathertop the "snowiest" place on earth. We should tell the Japs!
     
  19. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
  20. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just don't understand why people would go it alone at this time of year with crappy weather forecasted.
     
  21. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
  22. alpino

    alpino Hard Yards

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    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.
     
    #22 alpino, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  23. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    No snow shoes apparently
    from The Age
     
    #23 teckel, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  24. alpino

    alpino Hard Yards

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    How do you walk in snow without snow shoes ??
     
  25. positron

    positron Hard Yards Endless Winter

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    The BC forum is no place for such wild conspiracy theories [​IMG]

    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.
     
    #25 positron, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  26. johnonetrillion

    johnonetrillion Hard Yards

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    '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.
     
    #26 johnonetrillion, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  27. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    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?
     
  28. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    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.....
     
    #28 skiflat, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  29. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    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 [​IMG]
     
    #29 GS, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  30. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    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...
     
  31. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    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:
    http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&sourc...=h&z=15&iwloc=C

    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)
    is here:
    http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&sourc...=h&z=16&iwloc=A
     
    #31 trappers, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  32. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Easi Ski..... Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Australian:
    "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..
     
  33. Airefuego

    Airefuego One of Us

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    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).
     
    #33 Airefuego, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  34. john_k

    john_k Hard Yards

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    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.
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/station.js...=31%2F08%2F2009

    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.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkazanas/3828709392/

    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
     
    #34 john_k, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  35. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    agreed, hopefully in a tent catching up on that book he's been meaning to read for a year....
     
  36. Bivouac

    Bivouac First Runs

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    Even more so when you consider the country the sub-editors are in...
     
    #36 Bivouac, Aug 31, 2009
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  37. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    the Age
     
    #37 teckel, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  38. Belly

    Belly A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
  39. solosnowshoer

    solosnowshoer First Runs

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    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
     
    #39 solosnowshoer, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  40. solosnowshoer

    solosnowshoer First Runs

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    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.
     
    #40 solosnowshoer, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  41. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Easi Ski..... Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
  42. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Easi Ski..... Ski Pass: Gold

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    "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.
     
  43. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just experienced the same thing myself last week!!
     
    #43 summit_32, Aug 31, 2009
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  44. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    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?
     
  45. john_k

    john_k Hard Yards

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    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.
     
  46. Airefuego

    Airefuego One of Us

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    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.
     
  47. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    #47 trappers, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  48. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
  49. stallie

    stallie One of Us

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    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.

     
  50. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    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.
     
    #50 Snow Blowey, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013