Surviving the Blizzard: The Power of an ACR PLB



Survivor Stories


Surviving the Blizzard: The Power of an ACR PLB

Surviving the Blizzard: The Power of an ACR PLB
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Surviving the Blizzard: The Power of an ACR PLB

-36.4316844°S, 148.3288958°E

Posted on June 12, 2023 by Robert

What happened?

We started out from Charlotte’s Pass at 9am on Monday, the 1st of May with a decent weather forecast and a high level of excitement and energy to complete one of Australia’s 15 highest peaks route. All our gear (25kg packs) was packed and we had planned to be back before dusk on Wednesday the 3rd.

Robert and His Friend

That morning we set off and made it to our first camp (20kms) early that afternoon.

Visibility had become poor and conditions started to worsen. Unfazed by this, we had our Mont 4 season tent, multiple layers of clothing including wet weather and thermal gear and -10 sleeping bags. 

Waking up the 2nd day to reasonably strong winds and cold conditions. We had some breakfast, layered up with clothing, packed our pockets with snacks for the day walk we had planned ahead, loaded our packs into the tent and trekked off into the fog with nothing but what we had on our backs.

We hiked out to multiple mountains through back country bush with the intention to summit 4 mountains in a loop and return to camp well before dark.

Little did we know smartphones do not operate in below freezing conditions for long. We had maps downloaded on said smartphone which died and caused us our first major problem.  

We hiked with urgency; attempting to locate a marker or outline of a track. After hours of searching we were unable to locate our way back and we began searching for shelter. We found a tight rock formation at nightfall where the two of us were able to huddle in, kneel down and tough out for what would be one of the toughest nights of our lives. 

We exited the rocks just before sunrise as the sky was just getting slightly brighter. Very disoriented and with no feeling in our hands or feet we were treated to horrendous visibility, strong winds, snow and ice.

Stumbling off still in search of a track, up and down mountains until we came across a sign, markers and a TRACK telling us which way we needed to go (9km back the way we came). Smashing the 9km out through blizzard like conditions ensuring we kept an eye on a track marker at all times.

Coming across our tent in the early hours of the afternoon, almost completely buried in snow and with huge amounts of snow, ice and blizzard winds coming down around us we attempted to set up our tent which failed.

Getting in our deconstructed tent, took off our wet clothes put what dry clothes we had on and tried to warm up. Once slightly warm we got out again and attempted to set up the tent which again failed and caused the waterproof layer of the tent (fly) to rip.

We got back in the tent zipped our sleeping bags together, got the emergency thermal blanket and cuddled. It was at this point when all our gear was getting wet, we had no dry clothes or gear left and the conditions were in full blizzard mode now with kilos of ice weighing down the tent by the minute.

We set off the ACR ResQLink 400 at what we were later told was 4.30pm. The rescue paramedics, SES and police rescue arrived at 11.30pm in a timely and professional manner they gave us warm clothes, water and helped us pack up.

SES Rescue Van

We hiked out together up to their over snow rescue vehicle (50min up mount Rawson).

From there we were taken back to Perisher ambulance station, assessed for mild hypothermia and frost nip and eventually by 3.30am put up in accommodation for the night.

SES Rescue Team

Simply put if it wasn’t for our ACR PLB the outcome of this story would have been very different.

Words of wisdom

Always carry a day pack with essential first aid, dry clothes / emergency blanket, food and your ACR PLB.

Thank you note

Without the PLB we surely would have perished due to us both being semi hypothermic already as we had spent the entire night prior fully exposed to the elements. I can not express highly enough the importance of having an PLB developed by a trusted brand such as ACR ARTEX. Thank you.

Rescue location

Charlotte Pass, Kosciuszko National Park NSW 2627, Australia

Rescue team

Law Enforcement / Police

ResQLink™ 400

Go to product details


Small but resilient, the ResQLink 400 has been professionally engineered and tested to ensure it can withstand even the harshest elements. This buoyant Personal Locator Beacon requires no subscription for use and can be utilized to enhance your safety in a wide variety of environments. Whether on land, at sea, or in the air, trust that the ResQLink’s satellite precision and military durability, put rescue in the palm of your hands.


Features and Benefits:

  • No Subscription Required
  • GPS and Galileo GNSS
  • Built-In Buoyancy
  • Strobe and Infrared Strobe
  • Global Coverage
  • MEOSAR Compatible
  • Small and lightweight
  • 5-year battery life
  • 24+ hours Operational Life**
  • Multi-function Clip System Included
**Based on test report from an accredited laboratory   WARNING: PROP 65   
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