Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spring Skiing Carruthers Peak

Another week and another crack at skiing some lines off Mt Carruthers. I woke late on a sunny Sunday morning in Jindabyne. I started to think it would be nice to spend a relaxing Sunday at home, the lake looked awesome and we had some nice smoked salmon and eggs in the fridge for breakfast. However, the failure of my last trip lingered, slowly, I began to put my gear on and pack the car.

I got to Charlottes and began the walk out. Once again the Snowy River water level was up necessitating an icey dash over the stepping stones. I took in the views of Mt Lee, amongst other peaks, as I slowly made my way over the alpine heath to the snowline.

The view of Mt Lee on the approach.

The spring melt is in full effect with hundreds of bogs and small streams draining into the larger mountain rivers. I found a small bog which was home to an alpine frog (common eastern froglet?).

I made it to the summit of Carruthers Peak after a leisurely 2.5hr hike. There were quite a few other people around enjoying the spring camping and skiing. The views to the west were spectacular.

At the southern base of Carruthers Peak is Club Lake, one of only four cirque lakes found on the Australian mainland.

I dropped into my first line of the day, The Elevator, 35 degrees of spring goodness.

After such a great run I was keen to get back up for another. I quickly transitioned and began the slog back up to the peak. About halfway up it was evident that the skins were not going to cut it forcing a scary transition to boot packing. I was hoping that I could get the skis back on but the pitch and wet snow conspired against me.

It took a little longer than I predicated but I eventually made it back to the peak. I took a nice line back down to Club Lake.

The southern slopes of Carruthers have some excellent spring skiing.

To finish the day I made my way over to Mt Lee a short way to the south. It was a fairly easy skin out along the ridge line. Again, the view out to the west was incredible.

Some tele dudes had scored a great line out in the Mt Townsend area.

I dropped into the big open face of Mt Lee and let the skis run. I got up quite a bit of speed and finished off my season (maybe) by doing some huge turns.

I skied out to the snowline and took my time transitioning to bootpacking. I had a moment sitting amongst the peaks reflecting on my season and enjoying the view.

Although it was a bit of a slog, I enjoyed the walk back to the car. It’s a nice feeling to know that you have safely achieved your goals for the day and that a warm shower and a Sunday newspaper is only an hour or so away. I arrived at the Snowy at the same time as the Townsend tele dudes and watched them take on the icey water.

I crossed the snowy freezing my feet again, strolled back to the car and home.


  1. You know in all my time of walking I've never managed to get a photo of a frog?! Fantastic photos again. Mountains, sun and snow is pretty magnificent to look at :)

  2. Thanks Greg, looks like the snow is over for another year.

  3. Inspiring post dude, Im very keen to make a little spring base camp near club lake and have a weekend picking out some those lines!!