Tragic tale a warning to others: OPINION
HAVING done the walk to the top of Mt Warning to watch the sunrise, I know how spectacular and what a special place it can be.
So I understand the attraction that led two people to camp there overnight on Monday.
Unfortunately, that decision cost a man his life and put a woman in hospital after a vicious lightning storm struck the Northern Rivers.
There were over 6,603 lightning strikes over the region in a 24 hour period and I could not think of a more exposed and dangerous place to be than at the top of Mt Warning during a thunderstorm.
This is the fourth serious event on Mt Warning this year.
Although the walk and track are not that difficult for a reasonably fit person to negotiate, conditions can close out very easily making it impossible for a rescue helicopter to assist.
It then means a long walk in and a long walk out for emergency service personnel and a tricky rescue situation.
Mobile phones don't work terribly well up there, which makes rescuing people doubly difficult as someone has to hike out to alert the authorities.
In winter the track can become tricky to negotiate if you leave it too late and darkness falls.
It's also not really suitable for very young children as it's a reasonably solid half day trip up and back and involves some scrambling over steep rocks to reach the summit.
While most people wouldn't want Mt Warning to be closed, this latest tragedy has to be a cautionary tale.