11/15/2013 12:00 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:56 EST

Missing Hamilton hiker Prabhdeep Srawn sought by B.C. team

A team of search and rescue experts is heading to the mountains of New South Wales, Australia, to launch a fresh search for Prabhdeep Srawn, a Hamilton man who went missing there last May.

Srawn's family plans to send 18 search and rescue professionals, most of whom cut their teeth in the rugged mountains of B.C., to New South Wales begin searching on Dec. 1. The team's hunt starts as the snow melts in Kosciuszko National Park, where Srawn, 25, a former military reservist, was last seen heading out for a bushwalk.

"The hope is to ultimately put an end to this search and find my cousin," said Ruby Singh-Sahota.

"The unknown is very difficult," Singh-Sahota said. "It's hard for me … there's a lot of mixed emotions."

Martin Colwell, a B.C.-based search and rescue pro with over 30 years of experience, is set to lead the team. Srawn's family also hopes some Australian searchers will help.

Singh-Sahota said the family is optimistic this search will get results. Unlike previous searches, which were day-to-day, this effort will be more organized -- focusing on two of Kosciuszko National Park's tallest peaks, Mt. Kosciuszko and Mt. Townsend, which its believed Srawn planned to climb before he went missing.

While the Australian mountains aren't as steep or sheer as the Canadian Rockies, Singh-Sahota said the search team's expertise may allow them to search numerous gullies where Srawn may have been trapped.

The Srawn family is paying for the search team's travel and expenses. They had previously offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could find him alive.