Four hikers spent two days in the snow before being rescued by police, who struggled to reach the group due to blizzard-like conditions in NSW’s south.
The hiking group – two men aged 33 and 36, and two women aged 34 – departed Thredbo Village on Sunday and set off to explore Kosciuszko National Park.
As the weather worsened throughout Sunday, the group encountered strong winds and low visibility.
The hikers contacted emergency services about 5pm and hunkered down in a hut, situated two-thirds of the way to the summit of Kosciusko.
On Monday morning, officers began to travel toward the hut to rescue the group, but the effort was suspended about 1.30pm due to the bad conditions.
With a severe weather warning issued for the area over the coming days, the hikers were told to stay in the shelter until help arrived.
The group hunkered down in Seaman’s Hut before police were able to reach the hikers on Tuesday.Credit:NSW Police
Officers were able to finally reach the hut about 10am on Tuesday.
NSW Police said the hikers were luckily equipped with suitable clothing, water and food and were located safe and well as a result.
In a statement, police said the incident was a major warning for anyone looking to hike the area and a reminder not to underestimate the conditions and risk of venturing past the safety of ski resorts in winter.
Police have also urged anyone wishing to hike the area to submit a trip intention form and hire a personal locator beacon (PLB) before heading out to explore the national park.
The group were rescued after days stranded in the snow.Credit:NSW Police
“Hikers – no matter how experienced – should stick to the tracks, as whiteouts and snow clouds can quickly and easily disorientate,” the statement said.
“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.”
Thredbo reported 15cm of fresh snow overnight on the Monday prior to the group being rescued.
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