Search continues for missing backcountry skier in Kosciuszko National Park

Guthega. Photo: Shutterstock

A co-ordinated search is underway with specialist Alpine Operations Unit police, State Emergency Service and National Parks and Wildlife Service for a solo 23 year old backcountry skier from Canberra.

PolAir (NSW Police Force Aviation Command) is also helping with the search operation today.

The man is believed to have been heading to Watsons Crags in the New South Wales backcountry on Saturday morning, advising family members of his plans. According to a police briefing today, the man sent his family snow photos around 10.00am on Saturday.

He did not return later that afternoon and his car remained in Guthega carpark over the weekend. Police believe he has a Personal Locator Beacon (this has not been operated), some supplies and backcountry equipment but has now been in the area for two nights in freezing conditions.

Social media groups have revealed sightings of a solo skier mid to late morning in the remote Watsons Crags region, accessed via backcountry traverse from Guthega Dam.

His family had expected him to make contact on Sunday, according to an interview on 2GB with NSW Police Superintendent John Klepczarek this morning. Family members were unable to contact him on his mobile phone.

“He’s equipped to stay overnight,” said Superintendant Klepczarek in a media briefing today.

“We have confidence in his ability in that regard. We’re just hoping that something hasn’t happened along the way.”

Superintendent Klepczarek has also revealed the man to be an experienced backcountry skier both in Australia and overseas and is experienced enough to create his own shelter.

If you have any information or sightings please contact Jindabyne Police (02) 6450 3370.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.