Mountain top chain removal to prevent ‘catastrophic failure’
Emergency services have responded to 44 "significant visitor safety incidents" at Wollumbin National Park since 2010.
The Wollumbin (Mount Warning) summit track was closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, but this was extended when safety concerns were brought to light.
Rumours have this week been circulating about the removal of the chain from the top section of the summit track, along with questions about what this work means for the future of the trail.
The track's extended closure was due to be reviewed in May 2021, and a National Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman has confirmed this is still the plan.
"An independent engineer's structural assessment conducted in August 2020 strongly recommended that the 100m chain section used by climbers to access the summit should be closed to visitors as the chain and posts were reaching the end of their design life and the risk of further accidents or fatalities as a result of catastrophic failure was very high," the spokeswoman said.
"Since 2010, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Police have responded to 44 significant visitor safety incidents on the Summit track, including two fatalities.
"NPWS understands that the summit track is a popular walk that is special to many locals and visitors, however ensuring visitor experiences in our parks are safe is our upmost priority."
She said the organisation was in the process of "considering the future of the summit track".
This is being done "in consultation with key community and tourism stakeholders, including local Aboriginal Elders and knowledge holders".