Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

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Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby scockburn » Sat 12 Apr, 2008 8:04 pm

Hi all , I have just returned from the Overland Track and we ran into this guy at the ferry waiting area on Lake St Clair who said that several years ago he was up in the Labyrinth area when a severe storm hit . He said that he saw a female walker heading up into a higher area as the storm hit and that he thought the young woman perished in the storm. He said that he reported it to rangers and that he lead a search party to area to try to locate her - unsuccessfully.He said that he goes back up there a few times each year to try to locate her and that the girl's family have requested that he stop doing this. We all got a very weird feeling about this guy who looked quite an experienced walker.Has anyone heard about this tragedy and know any thing about this. It really intrigued me and concerned me a little. Steve C
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby norts » Sun 13 Apr, 2008 1:10 pm

A girl was lost 3 or 4 years ago over the Christmas period up near Pine Valley. There was a notice in Pine Valley hut last time I was there. As far as I know her body has never been found.

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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby frank_in_oz » Sun 13 Apr, 2008 2:12 pm

Yes, her name was Clare ? Claire? I think. As noted there is a sign at Pine Valley Hut. We were told about it by a ranger that was working from Pine Valley Hut (I have subsequently heard she was at the hut when the girl did not return and coordinated the initial search)

The version we heard was that she headed off to the Labyrinth area and was sighted by several other walkers that day. Bad weather etc at Steve notes. Not one trace of anything was ever found i.e. clothing etc. Quite a mystery.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby gorby » Sun 13 Apr, 2008 8:43 pm

I remember that year,heavy snowfall at christmas on elevated areas,
a tragic reminder to always be prepared for the worst weather even in summer.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby corvus » Sun 13 Apr, 2008 9:53 pm

gorby a worthwhile comment pity some folk from the north island think they can survive with their summer weather gear on our mountains eh!!
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby tasadam » Mon 14 Apr, 2008 11:12 am

I remember it in the news. Then when I was at Pine Valley Hut, I was reminded by the plaque which is located on the wall outside next to the water tanks.

I remember it as being around 1996, and that she was in her early twenties and had a Duke of Edinburgh award, but my memory could be way off.

While googling didn't find anything, I found this article that is interesting.

http://www.adventure.com.au/index.asp?pgid=96
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby norts » Mon 14 Apr, 2008 11:47 am

That was a different person Tasadam. This one was only a couple of years ago.

Roger
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby tastrax » Mon 14 Apr, 2008 11:54 am

I think you are referring to Clare Hutcheson

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s228062.htm
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby tasadam » Mon 14 Apr, 2008 12:01 pm

tastrax wrote:I think you are referring to Clare Hutcheson

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s228062.htm


That is indeed the one I am thinking about.

Was there another?
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 14 Apr, 2008 12:11 pm

tastrax wrote:I think you are referring to Clare Hutcheson

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s228062.htm


That report brought to you by the member for Bennelong, who took the former Prime Minister's seat.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby norts » Mon 14 Apr, 2008 12:26 pm

2000 how time flies, I am getting old
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Joe » Tue 15 Apr, 2008 3:10 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:That report brought to you by the member for Bennelong, who took the former Prime Minister's seat.


Which I have to say was the Icing on the cake for me last election. Very happy moment that ;)
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby cherryw » Thu 17 Apr, 2008 8:10 pm

Hi All

I took a photo of the momento that her parents left when I was at Pine Valley in 2006. Very sad indeed :(
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby farefam » Fri 27 Mar, 2009 7:27 pm

I've wandered over many of the Labyrinth's more remote corners. One time I found some clothing near Lake Elysia (overlooking Lake Persephone)and handed it in to the rangers but heard nothing further. Unless the young lady faked her disappearance I can only guess that she may have attempted to take a shortcut from the Labyrnith back to Pine Valley. I did this once from Pool of Memories down to Geryon campsite. It would be very, very easy to fall making your way through the cliff-lines and given the thickness of the vegetation there it is unlikely you'd ever be found.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Talus » Mon 30 Mar, 2009 1:40 pm

tasadam wrote:
tastrax wrote:I think you are referring to Clare Hutcheson

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s228062.htm


That is indeed the one I am thinking about.

Was there another?


My memory is shaky but I think someone was lost there around 1996
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Walking wise » Mon 30 Mar, 2009 2:10 pm

I was just up in the Labyrinth last week camping around Lake Elisha and the weather came in with very strong winds / gale force with low fast moving cloud at about 2.30am. Visibility was around 30 feet and in some cases even less. We camped right near the lake, just off the track and when we packed up the tent to leave we couldn't even see the lake - very challenging when you have no visibility. I must say being caught up in those conditions is challenging even for experienced bushwalkers and navigators. We had GPS and satellite phone as well as maps and compass to help guide us through the area and good equipment to ride out a storm. I thought a lot about Claire after reading her bio on the wall outside Pine valley hut near the water tank and I could really understand how someone on their own could easily get caught out with firstly the cold and wet, disorientated, hungry and tired, possible hypothermia and then anxiety setting in and it all works against you from there on in. Duke of Edinborough or not this area needs careful consideration and preparation before going into as conditions can change very quickly. I think Claire who was 20 years old was lost in December 2000, caught out in extreme weather conditions, much worse than we expereinced and with little or no equipment to assit her - very tragic and I feel great sympathy for her parents. I hope others learn from her misfortune and don't take risks up there - be prepared for rapid change.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Singe » Mon 30 Mar, 2009 3:58 pm

I walked up Pine Valley as far as the hut a day or two before Clare went missing (was walking the OLT north to south). The weather had been absolutely perfect for the preceding week; very easy to imagine someone setting out for a day walk on a sunny, warm morning without adequate gear and not expecting anything but another perfect day. A very sad outcome, and a reminder never to be complacent when it comes to weather conditions in alpine Tasmania - especially when walking alone.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Niels » Mon 30 Mar, 2009 6:36 pm

A group of friends and I were told this same story on the ferry back on Lake St Clair. It is certainly a mystery!

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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby dee_legg » Mon 30 Mar, 2009 7:08 pm

This is one of those events that really gets to me.. although i don't doubt that it's very easy to get lost/ become injured and never be found again i find it really hard to comprehend. I think it's imaging how terrible it would be to be in the situation. I was in that area in January and felt uneasy the whole time. Weird.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Nuts » Thu 02 Apr, 2009 10:10 am

We only just spotted two ladies from a group I led up there once. We had left them at Lake Elysia for about 20mins. I had advised them to stay put though they decided it would be a good idea to slowly wander back towards the hut (PV). As has probably happened many times they were attracted by the light and the track they took became a wombat pad that they were confidently following- Towards the West Coast!! It was just on dark when we spotted them (after running down to the hut and back :roll: ) I doubt they would have survived that night...

So easy to do....

All the best equipment would not have made much difference to Claire, seems most of it was left at the hut...
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby PeterJ » Fri 03 Apr, 2009 2:32 pm

I remember the disappearance and the search that was conducted quite well, although I didn't participate but several friends did and told of their experiences during the time. Quite coincindentally earlier this week myself and several of the friends who were on the search had a discussion about it all and how very thick the snow was and how the conditions made searching extremely difficult. One of them had been to The Labyrinth a week or so ago and decided to walk down a narrow valley that had not been searched much back in 2000, just out of curiosity.

In fact the conditions were so bad that the search was called off for several days until the snow melted.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby DaveNoble » Sun 05 Apr, 2009 3:46 pm

We were in the area when the search was resumed after the weather fined up. On our way to the Geryon North Peak - a helicopter was flying around looking for her (body?) and it dropped some searchers off on the plateau north of the Geryon. They climbed the north peak, and we met up with them on top. Talking to them I got the impression the search was very thorough. I could remember a previous search many years before involving a professor and his son, who were on their way to the Labyrinth. When they got to the Parthenon - Minataur saddle - they saw some lakes below them to the west, assumed that was the labyrinth and bashed down there. They stayed down there till they were rescued a few days later. The searchers were aware of that particular search and said that yes, it was one of the first places looked at. On the Geryon - they were looking below - in case she had been out that way and fallen.

On a later trip, I remember meeting up with Ted Mead, camped in the Geryon climbers campsite. he was waiting for the weather to improve so he could photograph and while he was waiting he told us he had been looking up some nearby gullies. He mentioned that all you would find would be bits of clothing and her pack. Devils would have eaten all the corpse and bones.

Reading about Claire, I got the impression she was a fit and very keen walker, who wanted to climb everything she could in the area. Perhaps she lacked some experience and over-stretched herself?

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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby cherryw » Mon 06 Apr, 2009 10:27 pm

Hi All

Here is a photo at Pine Valley Hut of the sign about Clare Hutchison who disappeared December 2000

Image
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Dave Bremers » Wed 11 Nov, 2009 10:06 am

too young, too beautiful, too soon
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby ranger-jules » Sat 20 Oct, 2012 3:16 pm

I find this so incredibly tragic,it has affected me quite a bit. Went up there and felt the beautiful surroundings. My heart goes out to her parents, even though it has been quite some time since she disappeared, I cannot stop thinking about her. I just hope she found peace quickly. Seems like she was a beautiful soul who loved nature and the bush.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Heather Fraser » Fri 23 Aug, 2019 8:45 pm

We were in our camper trailer at nearby Bronte Park with our young children for Christmas and remember the weather closing in - from sunny and beautiful to frigid. Christmas morning we were hanging onto the annexe to stop it blowing away. Snow at Mt Field National Park on Boxing Day.it was a very sobering time knowing she had gone missing and I have thought of her often. I hoped for her family's sake she had been found. Thoughts are with them still all these years later and my daughter then 2 now similar age has been cautioned as starts her adventures. xxxxx
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 24 Aug, 2019 2:21 pm

I recall having a brief conversation with a young woman near Lake Cyane in December 2015. She appeared to be well equipped and told me she was hoping to get up a couple of the Abels in the Labyrinth area while she was up there. I was on my way back down to PV Hut. So I was suprised to see her again a day or so later back at Narcssisus Hut. She told me that despite having GPS coordinates, good maps and a compass she had still been wandering in circles when heavy mist and low clouds set in and decided to abandon her plans and return when conditions were a bit safer.
I later found out I had been talking to Shelley Napier who went on to become the first woman to complete the Abels and set a couple of other records along the way.
I've filed away the knowledge that someone with Shelley's obvious experience and and skill knew just when it was time to turn around and didnt allow her objectives to affect her judgement. It's not an easy lesson to learn.
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 24 Aug, 2019 7:48 pm

Mechanic-AL wrote: the first woman to complete the Abels



I dont think that's true mate, awesome effort though it was!
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 24 Aug, 2019 8:05 pm

Maybe the youngest.....
or quickest female... ???
Whatever, she taught me a valuable lesson without even knowing it.
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Lost Walker Several Years Ago- Labyrinth Area

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 25 Aug, 2019 4:52 am

Haha Yeh she is a weapon that's for sure! Doing some of those trips solo is no mean feat!!

Yep I think she was the youngest/quickest female....
Nothing to see here.
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