New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 19 Jan, 2018 7:22 am

gayet wrote:
CasualNerd wrote:....
But if it saves even one life isn't it worth it ?

But will its existance simply encourage more ill-prepared people to venture out and so put not just their lives at risk but those sent to find them?



I dont think so. Most people who do the OT or walk to Cradle wouldn't even be aware it exists until they see it. I dont think it being there will change the increasing numbers visiting the area.

It's just a reaction to show some kind of care is being provided in light of the incident of a few years ago.
My personal belief is that with tourism pounding people to visit the area more and more under prepared people who probably aren't even bushwalkers are going to come to get those copycat photo's of Cradle that we see every single day. Maybe more needs to be done to make people aware of the environment if they intend to venture past Marions, but maybe not. How precious have we become and when do we just say look after yourselves people!!

And as far as the location of the pod, well it has to be somewhere obvious or if someone else got into trouble they could well be withing 2 minutes of it and not know it was there.... that wouldnt go down too well in the next coroners report.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby CasualNerd » Fri 19 Jan, 2018 7:25 am

gayet wrote:
CasualNerd wrote:....
But if it saves even one life isn't it worth it ?

But will its existance simply encourage more ill-prepared people to venture out and so put not just their lives at risk but those sent to find them?

There are plenty of other emergency use only huts, I can't imagine an ill prepared walker would be planning their trip around those.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 19 Jan, 2018 7:26 am

gayet wrote:But will its existance simply encourage more ill-prepared people to venture out and so put not just their lives at risk but those sent to find them?


A good question, and one for which there is no easy answer. Most experienced bushwalkers consider huts to be a bonus, and if there's no hut, then a tent will suffice. Less experienced people may consider huts as essential, where they will stay, and will push on regardless of conditions instead of camping. If the OLT marketing and information had more pictures of blizzards and emphasised experience more then bumblies would be deterred. There needs to be a holistic approach to these issues.

PWS have done well to make all through OLT walkers pre-book. That is, a walker cannot just turn up, pay the OLT and park fees, and start walking. Pre-booking means that intent is invariably well in advance of the walk. Based on the 2017-18 season, this means booking at least a few months ahead. When bookings opened on 1 July 2017 there was a surge, with 30-40% of December 2017 being booked on the first day. A related matter is that if bookings opened a year in advance, then those who plan well ahead - most probably with more experience than many - would get the dates they want. The less experienced people would not be able to walk on those dates ... maybe go to the WOJ, SCT or Frenchmans, where there is less infrastructure. The figures need to be analysed, and the booking system revised. The PWS OLT and general bushwalking information needs tweaking as well.
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Re: Knee Jerk?

Postby Nuts » Fri 19 Jan, 2018 8:06 am

tastrax wrote:With limited funds it would have been much better to concentrate on the Coroners recommendations of better signage, multilingual website, strengthening legislation to allow staff to prevent walkers from starting.
.


Good directions.

Though I doubt many would actually be so ill-prepared as to need to be 'turned away', and as has been seen the staff can pick them..
The (next?) money could be spent on a stable of adequate hire gear... and some precious face-time for the dubious to actually demonstrate their gear, realize or learn. Not necessarily a focus on 'big brother', but on the positives of education. A couple of happy ranger-meets p/d for Ol'ers? An EOI for the 'Wind Tunnel Experience' open to all. The next serious incident is far more likely to involve a random day-walker.. (somewhere else, an incident not necessarily related to exposure) given their numbers.

Anyho, changed the topic title, mostly as it's not really necessary to refer the incident (or need the coroner), and I much more had the reaction in mind.. partly as i'm sure the full range of influences are less obvious, these days.

PS. some good comments/thoughts (imo).. will the shelter be marked on maps?, will it be 'expected' or just a structure walkers may stumble across when needed? It would be a unforgiving place to arrive with any expectations, eg.that it won't be full with other's sheltering from the same weather.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby Neo » Sun 21 Jan, 2018 10:39 pm

I've only been to tas for 24hrs to drive a second car then do the Nullabour...

From what I've read the OLT is very well trodden, to the point I'd probably go there out of 'season'.

So I can only agree this may just increase the numbers of under-prepared walkers. It's already got huts along the main track.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby bobcrusader » Wed 31 Jan, 2018 9:44 am

Could this thread be moved to the OLT-specific forum? While there is a booking system for the OLT, it is not referenced until you reach Waterfall Valley Hut IF there is a ranger there (we had 2 OLT huts not staffed on our trip Jan 2018). There is nothing stopping people doing day walks to Cradle, Barn Bluff etc, or even reaching Waterfall Valley Hut (and then getting turned back???). So the emergency shelter is well placed for a day walker that gets caught out. Kitchen Hut is also in a good spot, but was not used by the walker that perished. There is another emergency shelter at Windy Valley Hut that they might helicopter out for the off season?
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby norts » Wed 31 Jan, 2018 2:20 pm

The Waterfall hut is are not staffed by Rangers but manned by volunteers. As far as I am aware Waterfall Valley is the only one that has these volunteers and the rest of the huts are checked on by the 3 roving rangers, North, Mid and South.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby Peaksnik » Wed 31 Jan, 2018 7:03 pm

But if it saves even one life isn't it worth it ?


The same question could be asked in response to such mad proposals as placing pods at intervals of 300m along the entire track. So the question is unhelpful in evaluating this or similar issues.

Better questions would be, "Is this a reasonable response to the perceived safety issue?" and, relatedly, "How pressing is the safety issue?"

I personally think that humans in alpine environments should reasonably expect a range of risks, depending on conditions, including a high risk of endangerment to life. And that such risks can be mitigated but not eliminated, especially by educated personal decision-making.

My hunch is that given the quite large number of visitors to CM mortality rates are low when compared to similar environments. Has anyone some empirical data on this that they can share here?
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 31 Jan, 2018 7:42 pm

A small but significant number of people underestimate the risks, perhaps enticed by marketing that does not show bad weather. There may be cultural of language issues. Inexperience has a major role when predicting adverse outcomes. Experienced people can cope far better than inexperienced people when things go bad, and can make far better decisions. Finally, there is happenstance – a twisted ankle, snake bite, extreme weather making progress impossible. These can occur to anyone at any time.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby Gadgetgeek » Wed 31 Jan, 2018 8:15 pm

Devils advocate position. No "tourists" use an area, how long does it remain accessible to those who have the skills and knowledge to use it, before it gets strip-mined. Or, no easy tracks with rescue huts that attract the tourists, and how many more SAR callouts in the deep wild turn into forensic body recoveries six months later? I don't know the answer, I'm in agreement with those who have stated it needs a holistic approach, and that its complicated. The fact that people can get to a place means they will go. Not too many rescues off some of the peaks in the Canadian rockies, not when it takes pack horses to get in to make basecamp, the bar for entry is just too high. Plenty happen just out back of the resort, over the boundary rope in the ski areas, and even more just off the highway. Can't save everyone from themselves, but a lot of unlucky rookies do turn into experienced walkers, just like a lot of lucky rookies do as well.
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Re: New emergency shelter for Overland Tk trekkers

Postby Nuts » Thu 01 Feb, 2018 9:08 am

bobcrusader wrote:Could this thread be moved to the OLT-specific forum?


Doesn't bother me.. yes(?).. still all part of a bigger new-Tassie picture?
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