Take care in the moun­tains

Mansfield Courier - - OPINIONS/PEOPLE -

VIC­TO­RIA State Emer­gency Ser­vice (SES) and Parks Vic­to­ria re­mind vis­i­tors to the Alpine Na­tional Park to re­main aware of the haz­ards and be ad­e­quately pre­pared for re­mote back­coun­try ac­tiv­i­ties.

Last week­end, an­other avalanche was re­ported on Mount Bo­gong in the Alpine Na­tional Park.

This is a re­minder to back­coun­try skiers of the need to be equipped with suf­fi­cient knowl­edge of the haz­ards, and ex­pe­ri­ence in alpine en­vi­ron­ments.

“Re­cent weather con­di­tions had caused un­sta­ble snow con­di­tions in some alpine ar­eas, with an­other avalanche re­ported last week in the Mount Bo­gong area,” said SES assistant chief of­fi­cer Keith O’Brien.

“Avalanches do oc­cur in Aus­tralia, al­though they aren’t as com­mon as in Europe or North Amer­ica.

“We are re­mind­ing peo­ple to ac­cess snow and weather safety in­for­ma­tion be­fore they visit in­clud­ing www.parks.vic.gov.au, www.snowsafe.org.au, or www.bom.gov.au.”

Back­coun­try ski­ing is an in­her­ently dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­ity that re­quires ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of the ter­rain, haz­ards and con­di­tions.

Vis­i­tors to the Alpine Na­tional Park, es­pe­cially those vis­it­ing the Mount Bo­gong and Mount Feather­top ar­eas, are likely to en­counter a range of haz­ards through­out win­ter in­clud­ing un­sta­ble snow, steep icy slopes, cor­nice for­ma­tion and ex­treme weather.

Vis­i­tors need to be pre­pared and ex­pe­ri­enced for these haz­ards and let some­one know where they are go­ing and when they plan to re­turn.

“We want vis­i­tors to en­joy back­coun­try ski­ing in the Alpine Na­tional Park, but to do this they must be ad­e­quately pre­pared, ex­pe­ri­enced, un­der­stand the haz­ards and no­tify some­one of their in­ten­tions,” said Parks Vic­to­ria dis­trict man­ager Ty Cal­ing.

“Vis­i­tors who are not ex­pe­ri­enced and want to un­der­take back­coun­try ski­ing and tour­ing can al­ways take a guided tour with one of our li­censed tour op­er­a­tors.

“Sim­i­larly, alpine re­sort ar­eas are ac­tively man­aged and pa­trolled; and, are the safest place to ski and board.”

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