The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

Phone 07 5494 2454
Fax 07 54943268

SES rescues German
tourist from Tibrogargan

by Greg Dawkins

For the third time this year, and second in a matter of days, State Emergency Services were called to Mount Tibrogargan to rescue a climber.    A German tourist set out on his climb at 2.30pm on the hottest day of the year, Sunday, and by dusk got himself in a predicament that even challenged the SES rescuers.  

Glasshouse Mountains SES Group Leader Graham Cheal said it took about six hours to get the man down.   Despite only being 30-40 metres from the ground it took the rescue crew two hours just to ascend to the climber.   “He was well to the north and missed the track completely,” Mr Cheal said.   “He wasn’t too far from the ground but it was a sheer drop from where he was.   It isn’t an area we would ever climb.”

To test the rescuers even further was an oppressive heat, slowing them down to be sure they did not succumb to heat exhaustion.   The heat unbearable for the tourist, coming from a wintry Germany the man was without water in the stinking hot weather.   Mr Cheal said the man left his water bottle behind because it was too heavy.

The man was brought off the Glasshouse Mountain about 11pm, before the thunderstorm hit. The SES made it out by 12 midnight.

Just four days earlier, a Year 12 group from Mueller College at Rothwell in Brisbane’s northern suburbs was on a school climbing trip Wednesday, February 19, when about half way up the western face of Tibrogargan an accident occurred.   A male student received a serious head injury about 9.30am when the group was descending on a minor track.    The youth avoided more severe injuries because a classmate alerted him to the “football size” falling rock approaching him. 

“It wouldn’t have to travel very far for a rock the size of a football to do a fair bit of damage,” Mr Cheal said.  “It would have been some loose shaly rock knocked loose by another climber.   Mr Cheal said the boy turned his head in the direction the rock was going absorbing the hit a little bit.   “Otherwise it very well could have cracked his skull.”   A mobile phone was used to alert SES rescuers, and an Energex Rescue Helicopter winched the boy to safety about 11am.   He was then taken by ambulance to Caboolture hospital.  

In January a 72-year-old Sydney man was rescued after he slipped off the track.   He slid seven metres before a small tree halted his fall.

All three rescues have been in different areas of the mountain. Mr Cheal said climbing Mount Tibrogargan was much safer if climbers stuck to the main tracks, and he advises all to wear strong solid footwear, have a good hat, carry sufficient water, take a mobile phone, and inform someone about where and when you intend to climb.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.