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Experienced hiker Alistair Thomson is found dead on a mountain after disappearing more than a week ago, sparking an urgent search


The man who got lost was found dead on the Larapint Trail in the Northern Territory more than a week ago.

Victorian Alistair Thomson, 64, set off alone on May 13 and last contacted family via text message on May 21.

The experienced hiker told his family he planned to arrive at Hugh Gorge by May 22, but made no further contact or checked into his hotel.

Police launched a search operation on Wednesday, focusing on «Section 6» of the trail and the area to the south.

They deployed an Australian Defense Force aircraft, helicopter and motorbikes to assist volunteers who were searching the area on foot.

Alistair Thomson, 64, went on the trail alone on May 13 and last contacted family via text message on May 21

Police confirmed that Mr Thomson’s body was located near a waterhole in Hugh Gorge on Sunday night, but did not give details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

Acting Superintendent Michael Budge described the result as «extremely gruesome» and said the original discovery was made using a drone, 90km west of Alice Springs on the Larapinta Trail.

An operation has now been launched to retrieve Mr Thomson’s body.

His family said they were «devastated by the loss».

«We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Northern Territory Police and Emergency Services, members of the Australian Defense Force and all the volunteers and members of the community who have worked tirelessly to assist in the search and who have supported us throughout these several attempts,» the family said in a statement.

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“We will be forever grateful for their help in bringing Alistair home.

The rugged Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges attracts thousands of hikers each year

The rugged Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges attracts thousands of hikers each year

Mr Thomson served as a councilor for Strathbogie Shire Council in regional Victoria from 2016 to 2020.

Council administrator Peter Stephenson offered his sincere condolences to Mr Thompson’s family and friends.

«His knowledge, experience and commitment have had a significant and lasting impact on the Strathbogie community,» he told ABC News.

The rugged Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges attracts thousands of hikers each year.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.



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