Like many before me, I had always imagined the
Australian Alps as largely benign, flat rolling hills. Indeed, I spent years travelling the northern hemisphere in search of steep terrain to ski. Back in 2008 I walked the Main Range Trail and got my first glimpse of the western faces. The trail takes you over the Snowy River then a gradual incline to the lookout. From here it is a short walk to northern side of Blue Lake . It is at this pass that you get your first look at the western faces of the Carruthers Peak . Incredibly steep and jagged peaks. Coming from the Main Range of alpine flowers and streams it is all a little hard to comprehend. rolling meadows
Who put that there? My first look at the western faces back in 2008
Sticking out like a sore thumb is a peak in the centre of the vista, The Sentinel. Although not one of Australians highest mountain it surely has to be one of the most spectacular.
It was this first glimpse of the western faces that psyched me up to get into ski touring in
. I have skied some of the lines in the area but had yet to ski or climb The Sentinel. Australia
Skinning out of Avalanche Gulley, Spring 2011.
is mid field on the right Sentinel Peak
With +1 away for the weekend I had an opportunity to hike out to The Sentinel, one of the walks I have been eyeing off since we moved to the mountains. I was incredibly slow getting my gear together and got to the
turning circle at 1:00pm. There were cars everywhere and I had to park a long way from the trail head. Guess a few extra hundred metres walking wouldn’t hurt. Once I hit the trail I got a look at the path ahead. Charlottes Pass
The walk out to the peak was pretty exciting, rock scrambles, flowers, breathtaking views and one horribly exposed full on rock climb. The climbing bit in particular was pretty scary considering how far away form help I was and that there is no tracks or phone reception on this side of the range.
Eventually, I made the peak and took some time to enjoy the view.
Every year my sunglasses get more ridiculous
I would have taken more time on the peak but I was getting attacked by march flies. I don’t understand their point? There are no large mammals that inhabit these peaks for them to attack. It’s like they just hang out on the off chance that some intrepid hiker will just turn up in their area. The only animals they could attack, wombats and maybe a wallaby, are generally nocturnal, the flies only hang around in the day, WTF?
I began the hike back up to my tent. It was actually a bit of a slog. I safely managed the exposed rock climbing bit and after another hot hour of scrambling made it back to my little campsite.
My tent was way up there somewhere
I spent the afternoon mucking around with my camera taking photos of the flowers, gnarled alpine fauna and the little creek I was pitched in next too.
These things could survive a WMD
I got a good sleep and woke around 7am. One of the best things about hiking is having the opportunity to sleep in my down sleeping bag. It is so comfy and warm, I am considering bringing it into rotation at home.
It was a beautiful clear morning. I had a quick bite to eat and started to pack up as the temperature was rising fast and I didn’t want to be hiking in the heat of the day.
Last looks at The Sentinel
Once back on the Main Range Trail I had an easy walk back to the
. I didn’t see any day trippers until the Snowy crossing. It was eerie walking along the usually busy trail early in the morning with no one around. I walked up the final 200m vertical to the car, affectionately known as heartbreak hill, got in the car drove to town and ate a massive, well deserved, bacon and egg roll with a coffee. Snowy River