4 4x4s snowed in on Blue Rag Range West

rogerazz

4x4 Earth Contributer
Was up at Mt Beauty when the four vehicles got stuck. Two tried to help and all got stuck . Recovery knew they had provisions and were safe to recover next day. Currently up at Halls gap. Warning signs everwhere. Problem is that many drivers don't understand how things change quickly. Black ice on bitumen is hard to see untill you hit it. Then nothing will help except good luck. Some wanker behind me today reckoned I was too slow. Thought I might catch up after he passed giving me the bird. However never saw him on his roof.
 

shaun0

Well-Known Member
Was up at Mt Beauty when the four vehicles got stuck. Two tried to help and all got stuck . Recovery knew they had provisions and were safe to recover next day. Currently up at Halls gap. Warning signs everwhere. Problem is that many drivers don't understand how things change quickly. Black ice on bitumen is hard to see untill you hit it. Then nothing will help except good luck. Some wanker behind me today reckoned I was too slow. Thought I might catch up after he passed giving me the bird. However never saw him on his roof.

The other day I was driving about 30 or 40km/hr in a 100 zone cause of snow and it didnt look right but no choice lack of grip you cannot stop. I was testing the brakes occasionly to see how much grip I had.
 

peterfermtech

Well-Known Member
From what ive read, the guys who were stuck there were prepared in that they had plenty of food, water, fuel and waRm clothes so its not really a drama. More like an adventure for them. As mentioned the weather can close in quickly, and if it does you stop and wait it out. All this publicity is a beat up really. It sells newspapers/ newsfeeds. Those guys could have waited it out but authorities have to consider liability, so must be seen to be doing something to save them.
For the week before hand blizzard conditions were expected with a snow fall of about 50 cm. By Wednesday night Mt Hotham had a snow depth of 65cm and it could easily have been a lot more given the storm that went through. The weather cleared on Friday, Saturday and Sunday warming up enough to give a thaw and freeze cycle and putting a firm crust on top. Monday has had another dump of 25cm with more today and the possibility of avalanche conditions. The latest snow cams at Hotham show white out conditions where you would be lucky to see the ground (snow) in front of you. There is a reason this area is closed during winter. Mt Blue Rag is at 1726m, Mt Hotham at 1862m and Hotham village around 1750m. This area is nothing like Mt Useful at an elevation of 1411m with wet snow that generally melts before the next fall and nothing coming close to this altitude on the trip there.
If the weather had not of cleared as was the earlier predictions then waiting it out might not have been an option unless they had enough food till October. Of course we can always expect other people to put their lives at risk for our stupidity.
regards
 

Spooner

Well-Known Member
They built a mound and blocked the track a few years back, after the fires from memory. But people just drove over it and it's probably very little in the way of a deterrent now.
That's the issue , they went past the Trig Point .
But it's a dead end drive down to the creek end.
 

ozne

Active Member
Why should the track be closed to the west of Blue Rag. I have done it previously and it is a good challenging track and no different to many High Country Tracks. No need to close it because it is a dead end. If that is the criteria to close a track then we will lose many tracks.
 

peterfermtech

Well-Known Member
I've done the track down to the river and whilst a little overgrown in places would rate it easier than the main Blue Rag track. Having said that if these guys went down there to get out of the snow then that would have to be the second dumbest thing they did given the weather forecasts. You wouldn't drive off down a side track in the desert and you shouldn't be putting yourself at further risk in the snow.
regards
 

Spooner

Well-Known Member
What makes you think they went past the trig point? I think that part of the story started on this thread.
If you must know,
From incident reports and
I listened to the guy interviewed on the ABC radio a couple of days after.
They went all the way to the end , "the creek" Wongunarra River
Look its no big deal and a nice drive , but they f&*^ed up not taking the weather conditions into account .
They were well prepped and winched their way out , but ran into others stuck half way down ( also with kids in tow) that couldn't get back up so it became an issue. So they had to call for help .
The weather is the issue and that's what caught them out .
It's a summertime track for the views , best felt alone in winter as you can't see F all anyway.
 

Spooner

Well-Known Member
If that is the criteria to close a track then we will lose many tracks.
Well if Numb Nuts with kids on a "bonding session" make poor choices like this without thinking ahead that's what will happen.
The High Country is no place to take kids in winter .
Take them to a ski field if you want them to see & experience being in the snow ;)
 

phs

Well-Known Member
It makes you wonder how people in Europe manage to get by some countries get a meter of snow over night out there front door

We get 100mm and call the emergency services
 

shaun0

Well-Known Member
It makes you wonder how people in Europe manage to get by some countries get a meter of snow over night out there front door

We get 100mm and call the emergency services

Its more managed there plus people are use to it. Big difference from suburban areas in Norway to the Victorian Alps.
 

discomatt

Moderator
It makes you wonder how people in Europe manage to get by some countries get a meter of snow over night out there front door

We get 100mm and call the emergency services
Easy they run skinny winter tires with massive amounts of sipping and we run, well when I say we I mean a large % of 4wders, run the widest mud tire they can fit and think thats the best way to go
 
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shaun0

Well-Known Member
Easy they run skinny winter tires with massive amounts of sipping and we run, well when I say we I mean a large % of 4wders, run the widest mud tire they can fit and think thats the best way to go

Look are winter rally tyres they are like 155 or so really skinny with various amounts of spikes
 

phs

Well-Known Member
Its more managed there plus people are use to it. Big difference from suburban areas in Norway to the Victorian Alps.

Not much difference to a lot of places around the world that see snow,

High altitude, dirt, steep tracks and snow............
Our mountains are actually very forgiving in comparison
 

phs

Well-Known Member
Easy they run skinny winter tires with massive amounts of sipping and we run, well when I say we I mean a large % of 4wders, run the widest mud tire they can fit and think thats the best way to go

Once met a guy with 35x15r16 Baja claws looked awsome......................

Not much els, huge bearing wear crap steering average off-road performance
 
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discomatt

Moderator
Look are winter rally tyres they are like 155 or so really skinny with various amounts of spikes
They run skinny tires in nearly all events and the looser or less traction a surface provides the skinnier they run , the only time they run wider is tarmac rallies
 

shaun0

Well-Known Member
Not much difference to a lot of places around the world that see snow,

High altitude, dirt, steep tracks and snow............
Our mountains are actually very forgiving in comparison

Im not sure about that yes sure our mountians a lower but we have the same steep and varied terrain. Ive been all over the world and some of our tracks and weather here is pretty bad and just as remote. Only difference we dont have to worry about Bears or Lions lol.
 

phs

Well-Known Member
Im not sure about that yes sure our mountians a lower but we have the same steep and varied terrain. Ive been all over the world and some of our tracks and weather here is pretty bad and just as remote. Only difference we dont have to worry about Bears or Lions lol.


I don’t agree but oh well you get that
 
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