NEARLY two months after 25-year-old Canadian Prabhdeep Srawn went missing in the Kosciuszko National Park, his family have spent more than $50,000 on a private search operation in snow and rugged terrain.
Acknowledging only a miracle could see the law student found alive, Mr Srawn's parents plan to remain in Australia until his body is located and are continuing to recruit volunteers for the search.
The Bond University student and army reservist was last seen on May 13 when he parked a rental car in the Charlotte Pass Village before setting out in fine conditions to hike near the highest peaks on the Australian continent.
New South Wales police and the State Emergency Service coordinated a large air and land search over two weeks, before calling the operation off on June 1.
After criticising the decision, Mr Srawn's family launched a privately funded search which has so far cost in excess of $50,000 and involves a four-man Canadian search and rescue team.
Family spokesperson Tej Sahota said volunteers and professionals would use cross-country skis to continue.
Dr Sahota, who arrived in Australia from the US last week, acknowledged there was little likelihood his wife's cousin would be found alive.
"If I told you anything different I would be lying," he said speaking via phone from the search command post in a hotel in Jindabyne.
"We're praying for a miracle but either way, we want something. Whether it's a body or if he is alive, we want something because we need closure.
"If I told you I expected [him] to walk in or I could guarantee 100 per cent that he's alive, I am not being a realist."
He said Mr Srawn's parents and siblings have remained close to the search area since arriving from Canada and would continue to fund the costly private search, which also involves serving and retired members of the Canadian Army.
"This money isn't money which was just lying around. Credit lines, second mortgages, bank loans - this money is being scrambled together in any way possible so it's even more of an effort," he said.
"People back home in Canada are constantly trying to utilise financial resources."
As many as 12 people were expected to use cross-country skiing equipment to go into the remote Lady Northcote canyon area on Tuesday with air searches to also re-examine the Carruthers Peak.
Searches of hikers huts near the Geehi River and the Alpine Highway showed no sign of Mr Srawn during the weekend.
A $100,000 reward for Mr Srawn's return dead or alive remains in place, with the family offering a $250 stipend to volunteers in the search.
In recent weeks, supporters have been buoyed by the discovery of Mr Srawn's laptop and hiking plans, receipts for food and a winter jacket as well as calls from Canadian politicians for intervention by the Australian Defence Force.
Night time lows near Mt Kosciuszko have reached minus 8 degrees this week.