Thursday, July 12, 2012

Guthega River Powder Harvest

Recent snowfalls, and very cold weather made for nice dry snow last week. My ski buddy Rohan and I planned to head out from Guthega towards Mt Tate to take advantage of the decidedly un-Australian conditions.

We had a good early start and made our way over the Guthega Dam.

Over the wall

Guthega Pondage

Receding waters

Always reminds me of some soviet era secret launching pad

Conditions on the skin tracks were hard and kind of icy. However, as we gained altitude prospecting flicks with the pole off the side of the skin track indicated dry snow, very much a rarity down under. We made good time and I was pretty pumped to get some turns under the belt.

Looking back towards Guthega village and the ski resort

Pumped for a big day

We had planned to spend the day lapping the Tate East Ridge, it was looking pretty good form our location at the Guthega Trig across the valley.

Mt Tate East Ridge

Another entry for the “avalanches do happen in Australia” knowledge base

We dropped in and took some awesome turns down to the Guthega River. The snow quality did not disappoint. After tossing our skis over the river and then feebly crossing, we skinned up the other side of the valley towards Mt Tate.

Guthega River

Skinning up to Mt Tate

Our first run through the trees

The snow conditions deteriorated rapidly once we hit the snowline; manky wind affected crap. We made the call to spend the rest of the day at lower elevations within the trees. After clearing the wind scoured crap we had another awesome run hammering through the trees back to the river.

Some of the turns from our second run, wind affected snow can be seen in background

More of our turns

For the rest of the day it was an all out powder harvest. We did four more laps up to the Guthega Trig ridge line scoring beautiful dry snow on every run.

Top turns

Middle turns

Lower turns

Having one of of my numerous rest breaks
(Thank to Jindy Rip Curl for the hat!)

Rohan, stoked with his turns

Steep skin track

For our last run we dropped down the eastern side of the ridge and skied all the way back to the dam wall, a great way to finish the day.

A big day, 1,380m climbed and around 14km travelled

A quick edit of our fantastic winter day out.


  1. Rohan who works at a big shop in town? I need to go back to him to get him to tweak my boots he sold me a month ago..

    1. Nah a different Rohan. Although I worked at that same shop as that Rohan as a boot fitter last season.

  2. Hi mate, loving the blog!
    Can you describe your ski + skin + boot setup for me please?! Do you use typical hard ski boots (are your ankles free to lift into telemark mark turns or fixed?)
    Cheers, Mike

  3. Hi Mike, thanks for dropping by. I use a Dynafit setup which allows the heel to unlatch for climbing then it locks in for skiing. I also use Dynafit boots which are way more comfortable and user friendly than alpine boots.
    Cheers, Tom

    1. Thanks Tom.
      Can you recommend a good place to purchase the Dynafit range? I live in Sydney and ski in the NSW Alps.
      Cheers, Mike

  4. Hi Mike, unfortunately you cant get dynafit in oz any more. Most people get gear online from telemark pyrenees. This is a pretty killer deal.

    You can get some compatible boots in oz. Technica Cochise is good. You can also get Black Diamond boots at Rhythm in Cooma and Wilderness Sports in Jindy. The boots on telemark pyrenees are also well priced. Then you just need some skins! Happy to show you how it all works if you come down to Kosci this season.

  5. whoops doesn't look like the link works. try looking at the package deals they do.

  6. Thanks so much for the info Tom!
    Will keep you posted, and drop you a line when I plan to head down to the mountains.