Safety warning after stranded Mount Bogong hiker is found

A HIKER stranded on Mount Bogong for more than 24 hours has been helped to safety.

Leon Burger, 31, had become disoriented and lost while hiking on Mount Bogong on Tuesday afternoon.

The Melbourne man had been hiking alone and phoned triple-0 at about 4.30pm.

He took shelter under a bivy bag tent on the leeward side of the summit camp.

Search and Rescue members located him about 3.30am yesterday.

However, due to the extreme weather conditions, with 100 km/h winds and sub-zero temperatures, the hiker and Search and Rescue members were forced to set up tents on the summit in which they sheltered for several hours.

They could not begin their descent down Eskdale Spur until about 1pm yesterday when conditions began to improve.

The rescuers and Mr Burger made their return in reduced visibility due to low clouds, but wind speeds had dropped to about 40 km/h.

They reached safety about 6pm.

Police said the hiker was in good health and did not have injuries.

There were no concerns he was suffering hypothermia but he was taken to Mount Beauty Hospital for observation.

Falls Creek police Sgt Charlie Duncan said people were asked to plan their hikes with one eye to weather forecasts to avoid being stranded by poor conditions.

“I think at this time of year, particularly on a trip to Mount Bogong, preparation is important,” Sgt Duncan said.

“The police resources these types of incidents need are considerable.

“People need to monitor the weather and not extend themselves beyond their skills and competencies.

“They need to make sure they carry the correct equipment and know how to use it.”

Sgt Duncan said anyone planning a trip to Mount Bogong should avoid the exposed parts of the high plains and mountains when extreme weather was forecast.

“It avoids these types of situations,” he said.

“If people are unprepared it can result in hypothermia or injuries from falls on ice.”

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