Climbers spent tense night clinging to mountain crevice

RESCUE: One of the rescuers attempts to reach the stranded climbers on Mount Tibrogargan.
RESCUE: One of the rescuers attempts to reach the stranded climbers on Mount Tibrogargan. Warren Lynam

TWO EXPERIENCED climbers were glad to be back at ground level after a tense night spent in a crevice on Mount Tibrogargan.

The pair, believed to be a 28-year-old male and 26-year-old female, got into some trouble on Saturday, after coming across unstable ground and a lack of anchor points.

They decided to hole up where they were, with darkness fast approaching, and spent a nervous night perched about 150m from the mountain's peak.

A call to emergency services was made about 9am yesterday and a rescue mission began.

Firefighters used a drone to scout the escarpment, locating the crevice and the climbers, enabling rescuers to begin plotting their path.

Acting Caloundra area commander Geoff Hunter said six rescuers were on the mountain, with multiple crews seen in various areas of the eastern face of the mountain throughout the afternoon.

The Rescue 500 helicopter was called in and arrived just before 3pm, but decided it was too dangerous to attempt a winch rescue, meaning it was up to the remote mountain rescue crew to bring them down safely.

"They were experienced climbers," Mr Hunter said.

"They just got into an area they thought wasn't the safest."

The Daily spoke to the man's father on the scene while the rescue was being undertaken.

He did not want to be identified, but said it was "just one of those things".

"These rescue people are very meticulous and careful," he said.

"They (climbers) lost the light (ran out of daylight)."

The pair were brought back down safely about 5.20pm yesterday and Mr Hunter said they were in good spirits, grateful for some food and the efforts of the rescue teams.

Queensland Ambulance Service officer-in-charge Allan Ross said the roped climbers had done the right thing by staying put, rather than risk pressing on in unsafe conditions.

He said the man's father, believed to also be an experienced climber, had climbed back up the mountain overnight last night to deliver supplies.

A passing climber, headed to the mountain for an afternoon climb, suspected they were hikers caught on the Caves trail, but Mr Hunter said the crevice they were in was on the south-eastern side of the mountain.

A number of SES crews were also on scene throughout the day, to ensure the rescuers and the striken climbers were retrieved safely.

The climbers had no reported injuries.

Topics:  community editors picks emergency services glass house mountains mountain rescue safety sunshine coast

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