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State Minister Missing on Feathertop

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

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well put Trappers,
    I did the summer Feathertop walk some years ago up the Bon Accord, and down the track just past MUMC, (I forget the name) (Thinking about it, it was over 20 years ago [​IMG]) with wife and 2 daughters, leaving another daughter at home with our itinerary, estimated return etc.

    We ended up having to stay out an extra night, (Due to my navigating skills) this was pre-mobile phones etc) When we finally got near a phone we rang home to tell them to stop worrying and not call search & rescue, the reply "Oh, when were you due back?)
    [​IMG]
     
    #201 Charlie, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  2. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    And what if you have slid down an icy slope, been knocked unconcious, injured yourself, lost your EPIRB .... etc there are a thousand different reasons why you may not be able to initiate your own search even if you had an EPIRB. While it might be all "noble" and "magnanimous" to say I'm not putting people at risk so dont initiate a seach for me ... I'm sure that would be a lovely sideline at your eulogy.

    An EPIRB is NOT the be all and the end all. It is a handy tool, but you cannot rely solely on it, you still need to register your intentions, including return time, and IMHO that should be strictly enforced.
     
    #202 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  3. AlanD

    AlanD Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, I would be dead, no great loss IMO. I agree that EPIRBs are not the end and be all, you can't expect rescue even using an EPIRB within 12 hours anyway. I do leave detailed trip plans, including potential side tracks or alternate routes and return times, but those plans are left with a extremely experienced bushwalking brother, who would know the difference between being delayed by the weather or other reasonable delays and the need for S&R, even if it's against my wishes.
     
    #203 AlanD, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  4. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some bizaare news coming out about a mysterious plane that spotted Tim last night?
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/minister-reunited-with-parents-partner-after-dramatic-air-rescue-20090901-f5rl.html?autostart=1

    What the hell is that about and why is it a security issue????

    and AlanD [​IMG] I think it would be a loss! Who else would I have to make fun about their irrational hatred of all things "Lewis Hamilton"esqe (note sly pun "sennaesque" [​IMG] [​IMG] )!
     
    #204 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  5. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't you hate it when you have to explain a pun?
    [​IMG]
     
    #205 Charlie, Sep 1, 2009
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  6. MHzMe

    MHzMe Addicted

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    10 to 1 on it was an RAAF Orion surveillance plane. Secret squirrels in the sky, hence the hush hush.
    Wikipedia. Probably have infra-red.
     
    #206 MHzMe, Sep 1, 2009
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  7. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    #207 skiflat, Sep 1, 2009
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  8. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    #208 matt77, Sep 1, 2009
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  9. bogong_flyer

    bogong_flyer First Runs

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    Could have been one of those un-manned reconnaisance drones that the military use and don't like to tell us about ... then again there are more rumours than facts floating around at the moment All (well most) will be revealed in due course.
     
    #209 bogong_flyer, Sep 1, 2009
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  10. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    FedPol FLIR. Can see through walls, I've watched it in action [​IMG]
     
    #210 Heli, Sep 1, 2009
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  11. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought of that sort of thing, or military, but it said "private aircraft"
     
  12. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Herald sun are also saying AFP ... makes sense when you consider that it was a minister who was missing ... that is kind of what they are there for!
     
  13. stallie

    stallie One of Us

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    Good news. I must ask though - did he have a tent, bivvy bag or snow shovel? I know the news have been referring to a "thermal sleeping bag". Is that numbnut speak for a bivvy bag?

    And I wonder if that technology have been available for me if I went missing!

    Yep heli, there's some pretty awesome stuff around. I saw a lot of it in action airside a couple of years ago in Sydney. [​IMG]

    Where was he found exactly? It appears that he's below the snow line - ABC chopper pilot saying on Bungalow Spur (not that I would give that much cred.) If correct, did he not turn left around the old hut site? It's a bit hard to lose the track beyond there.

    Or was he across near NW spur (which correlates with the few kms north quote that has been bandied around from the police).
     
    #213 stallie, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  14. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    They're probably keeping it quiet because of the fallout when Gareth (Biggles) Evans sent an F111 over the Franklin River to photograph protesters!
     
  15. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    #215 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
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  16. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah everyone talks about the gnarly E or SE side....the but west face where he was up from Fed would have been boiler plate on sat-sun, the E-SE relatively fluffy and benign so long as one avoids the cornice
     
  17. Hobber

    Hobber A Local

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    Why would the AFP worry about a state minister - and a Victorian one at that?? [​IMG]
     
    #217 Hobber, Sep 1, 2009
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  18. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just saw the footage of him being winched out of the bush. I can't understand why he wouldn't have sparked up a fire - especially since he was in good health. Surely you would carry a lighter or some matches with you? I always cart a couple of fire lighters, some newspaper and several lighters. Pretty basic gear that. Army training must be going downhill (escuse the pun).
     
  19. bawbawbel

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

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    The creek itself starts right at the summit and runs down both sides of the Northwest Spur track
     
    #219 bawbawbel, Sep 1, 2009
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  20. ahronshapiro

    ahronshapiro Hard Yards

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    The reports now confirm he slid.
    This was, from the very beginning, a no-brainer:

    It was a sheet of ice out there after the rain and hard freeze.

    It was brainless of him to ascend a steep mountain in the rain without an ice axe and crampons knowing that the conditions were forecast to turn icy.
    It was brainless of him to travel alone from the hut knowing he was lacking the right equipment to safely descend.
    If its true he decided to go on the side trail to the summit knowing he was lacking the traction gear that was also brainless.

    It was a no-brainer to look for him along slide zones adjacent to sloped track knowing the conditions out there.

    Australians should never venture into steep alpine areas during winter months without carrying ice safety gear. Given the freeze-thaw cycles common to these latitudes, even if its not icy when you are going up, it may very well be icy going down the next day. He is very lucky he did not knock himself unconscious during the slide. Had he done so, it might have been a body recovery not a live rescue.

    The West Face of Buller requires ice axe and crampons most winters for a safe ascent or descent. I'm sure there are a lot of other tracks in the Alps that have tricky parts as well.
     
  21. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Australians should all be afforded the right to fk up in the bush. I'm stoked that Victorians even have MPs that go beyond a footpath. Ours are rarely seen beyond their own orifices. You should be proud.
     
  22. scottski

    scottski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agree with this. I mean what do you want in a politician. A bright young guy who is keen to do things such as go for a bush walk and get out there or some old lurker using power and position to prey on young women less that half their age.

    I bet he didn't say " don't you know who I am" to everyone he met on his fateful trip to Feathertop.
     
    #222 scottski, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  23. soda

    soda One of Us

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    Strange things?

    Police aircraft saw a torch light last night? bs i reckon, thoughts heli?

    Why call your old man when you had either bad service or battery, why not sms partner as you had been?
     
  24. Boodwah

    Boodwah A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fine, but you're dead for a very long time.

    Just saw him in our ED. Looking sheepish and relieved.
     
    #224 Boodwah, Sep 1, 2009
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  25. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Apparently he just introduced himself as "Tim" to the people in federation hut. I'm with you [​IMG] for giving it a go. Perhaps he could have done things better, and perhaps he could have taken snow shoes / ice picks etc ... but everything is a lot easier to say in hindsight, and it is very easy to attack someone from the relative saftey of an anonymous keyboard. Sounds to me like he did a lot of things properly and correctly. He should be applauded for that not flamed and shot down for the few things he might have done slightly better. [​IMG] Tim [​IMG]
     
    #225 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
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  26. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
    #226 VSG, Sep 1, 2009
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  27. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    As I said earlier, FedPol have a lot of Stuff on their helicopter [​IMG]
     
    #227 Heli, Sep 1, 2009
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  28. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
    #228 climberman, Sep 1, 2009
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  29. andyR

    andyR First Runs

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    Just back from this search. Too tired to post much now but headed up Bungalow 9.15am yesterday.. we searched until dark. Stayed at Fed Hut last night where we had snow ranging from sago to flakes, this morning the clouds lifted and we had sun, most unusual for a search day, it's usually [auto-censor] rain, was yesterday. . Searched again this morning and met up with SES group on NW Spur where they had spotted his reflective blanket; this was spotted pretty much simultaneously by several sources. Our high vantage point and unusually good visibility at the time (it closed in again later as we were returning to Fed Hut) made good conditions for spotting. Intel from o'night had him west of Feathertop which was where our searching efforts were concentrated today. The police got this one spot on and should be congratulated for their search co-ordination efforts. Too tired to post more now or enter into discussion; it's beer, pub meal then bed for me. Night all

    Oh and we set a record returning from Fed Hut to Harrietville ... 2 mins

    I'm in love with choppers now [​IMG]
     
    #229 andyR, Sep 1, 2009
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  30. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    They have SnowGun on board? [​IMG]
     
    #230 Ian D, Sep 1, 2009
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  31. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    VSG if you click on the little hikers you will see it says "exact location has not been revealed" ... so it is a guess ...
     
  32. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] Noice [​IMG]
     
    #232 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  33. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm sorry Trappers, this bloke is a senior government minister and was due in Parliament today. The last time they sat was the 14th of August. Why would he choose to go on a relatively difficult bush walk/climb on the weekend before he is due to attend Parliament on one of the relatively few sitting days of the year. I am quite happy to put my full name to any post regarding the ineptitude/irresponsibility of Tim Holding or any other minister who does stupid things.
     
    #233 Apresski, Sep 1, 2009
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  34. Heli

    Heli A Local

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    Andy,

    Very well done. You guys are the ones who do the hard yards, often with little or no publicity, but we all appreciate your efforts [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #234 Heli, Sep 1, 2009
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  35. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ditto [​IMG] Andy and all others involved! [​IMG]
     
    #235 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
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  36. Macrosey

    Macrosey First Runs

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    well done Andy.
     
  37. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    He was Reservist, not Regular Army. In most instances there's a big difference in terms of individual skills, training & attitude. They aren't called 'weekend warriors' for nothing....
     
    #237 summit_32, Sep 1, 2009
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  38. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Who is "we"?

    I had heard on the radio that he was well equipped with clothing, food, a tent AS WELL AS being an experienced bush walker.
     
    #238 Doonks, Sep 1, 2009
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  39. TOFF

    TOFF Im not the messiah Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm a doctor!
     
  40. AlanD

    AlanD Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ditto
     
    #240 AlanD, Sep 1, 2009
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  41. bawbawbel

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

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    VSG, the Google map is incorrect. (watercourses are not their forte)
    The North Razorback ends up much higher than the MUMC hut, it is really only accessible from Feathertop after passing North Peak.
    The jeep track from Freeburgh is shown as "Stony Creek Top" track, which is what confused Matt.
    It should be called (and is signposted as) "Snowy Creek/ Stony Tops"
    Stony Creek joins the Ovens close to Harrietville, where the North West Spur/ MUMC track comes out.
    Stony Creek North branch and South branch are either side of the track, all the way down.
     
  42. cin

    cin Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I agree with apres, what a shmohawk!
     
    #242 cin, Sep 1, 2009
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  43. ahronshapiro

    ahronshapiro Hard Yards

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    It depends what constitutes fking up. I would agree with that statement if he had been fully prepared and just gotten lost in a whiteout. It happens to the best of us.

    However, going out unprepared is irresponsible. Snowshoes/skis/foot-worn traction equipment and preferably an ice axe are not optional under mid-winter conditions at challenging locations like Feathertop. One misstep is all it takes.

    I'll bet you the whole time he knew just where he had to get back to in order to get back on the track, but he couldn't ascend because it was too slick.
     
    #243 ahronshapiro, Sep 1, 2009
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  44. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm guessing he chose to do it a few days prior because he never considered that he wouldn't return on time.
     
  45. slipnslide

    slipnslide Hard Yards

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    So who foots the bill for the rescue?
     
  46. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Don't worry about the bill, just look at it as some really good training and experience for our rescue crews. You can train all you
    want but the more of the real rescuing you do, the better you get at it.
     
  47. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Were you the Andy interviewed on 3AW this morning?

    A job well done Andy. A good rest and a nice glass of something seems to be in order.
     
  48. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    ... and probably wanted to clear his head before parliment resumed ... makes sense to me ... I go skiing for a week and expect to be back in time for that big meeting on Tuesday ... I dont not go skiing just because i might miss a flight or break a leg and end up in hospital and miss that big meeting ... that would be silly!

    I think a few people are letting their own personal political ideologies cloud their view of him. Please don't kill this thread by bringing partisan politics into it.
     
    #248 trappers, Sep 1, 2009
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  49. cin

    cin Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Going for a ski and hiking out into the wilderness by yourself, not properly equipped in bad weather are pretty different scenarios.

    nothin to do with party politics trappers, he's just a shmohawk!
     
  50. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is a question to people in the know and with experience (IE Bogong, AndyR etc). With the equipment and preparation that he used/took and his relative experience along with obviously looking at a weather forecast, in your opinions do you think it was a good idea to embark on the trip? Especially solo. Or do you think it was not such a good idea for him to do what he did? Would YOU have done the same trip at the same time with the same equipment solo?

    Would be good to hear opinions of people in the know.