Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Porcupine Rocks Afternoon Scramble

The Porcupine Rocks trailhead is only a short drive from where H and I live. However, for some reason we have passed up the walk for others. Well, on a quiet Friday afternoon it was time to finally check it out.

The sun was already low in the sky as we set off. The walk is 6km return and takes you out to the edge of the range with amazing views over the Thredbo Valley.

There are some beautiful alpine flowers out at the moment.

After a nice walk through the snow gums, we arrived at Porcupine Rocks just in time to see the last rays touching the hills across the valley, a breathtaking site.

View to the Thredbo Valley.

West towards the Main Range.

I was particularly fond of a lingering snowdrift and tried to do a few turns. I’m really struggling to let the season go….

There are incredible granite tors out on the ridge. This one towered over Holly, reminiscent of a ruin of some lost empire from Middle Earth or of the Cornish menhirs of her ancestry.

We made it back to the car as the light finally packed it in.

Being able to take an afternoon walk in the Australian Alps is such a pleasure. In the time since the Porcupine Rocks, we have also knocked off the Waterfall Trail and the Pallaibo Track, a great way to spend a spring afternoon :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oz Winter 2011 Edit

Well I finally went through some of my footage from winter and put a little vid together.

Although I had a great time, I was overseas for most of July and missed the best part of the season. I have a bunch more footage from spring that I want to put together at some stage as well.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Afternoon Ride to Seamans Hut

With the rapid demise of the snow pack the time has come to dust off the surfboards and my crappy bike. I was at a loose end the other night and thought a quick ride up to Seamans Hut would be fun. I hit the track after work and took on the gentle climb up to the Snowy River.

The Snowy

Australian mini glacier

The view over towards Thredbo

Back on the bike and up the final 100m or so of vertical to Seamans Hut. The hut was built in 1928 in memory of two skiers who tragically lost their lives in a blizzard. The hut is built from local rocks and, at 2030m, is one of the highest huts in Australia.

After taking in the view it was time to head home. I rode through a recently cleared snowdrift then enjoyed the 6km downhill back to the car. A great afternoon out in Kosciuszko National Park.

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.