Injured climber winched to safety after Grampians plunge

An injured climber has been winched to safety after waiting hours as emergency crews battled through rough terrain to rescue him after a fall in the Grampians National Park in Victoria’s west.

Victoria Police were alerted about 5:30pm on Wednesday that a 22-year-old man from Adelaide had fallen about 2.5 metres in the northern part of the Grampians.

He was with five other people climbing at Mount Stapylton.

Although his injuries were not life-threatening, he injured his back and was unable to walk.

Poor weather delayed rescue crews from reaching him.

Ambulance Victoria’s wilderness response team camped with him overnight until multi-agency crews arrived in the area on Thursday.

two men in navy uniform and a helmet attached together by ropes stand on the edge of a cliff overlooking the grampian.
Rope specialists from Victoria Police joined to rescue mission for the 22-year-old climber.(Supplied: Victoria Police)

CFA commander Lindsay Barry said the climber was in a stable condition. 

“He’s conscious and coherent,” Commander Barry said.

He said ambulance officers were able to stabilise the man overnight and kept him comfortable while rescue crews worked to get him out of the national park.

The rocky terrain and poor weather prevented the crews from using aircraft which delayed the operation.

Beautiful but dangerous

Commander Barry said the team planned a manual rescue with ground crew and specialist rope technicians but a break in the weather allowed for an airlift operation.

“Fortunately the weather cleared enough for a helicopter to winch him out and take him to hospital,” he said.

“As beautiful as the Grampians are, it’s quite a rugged environment and the weather conditions today are adding to some of the complications we’ve got to deal with like slippery rocks and steep terrain.”

A group of men in orange CFA uniform, navy police uniform and red SES uniform wearing helmets stand at the base of a cliff
Poor weather made the multi-agency response challenging.(Supplied: Victoria Police)

In a statement, Halls Gap Sergeant Peter Young said multiple agencies worked together to achieve a successful outcome.

“I’d like to thank the volunteers who played an integral role in bringing the man to safety today,” Sergeant Young said.

Victoria Police said search and rescue officers were assisted by Ambulance Victoria, local SES and FRV crews from Ballarat, Hamilton and Warrnambool and the Laharum CFA.

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