Monday, September 23, 2013

Spring Turns on Mount Kosciuszko

This season has left me… uninspired. False starts, irritable visitors and sunny days has meant my gaze has been focused eastward, towards the coast. While I have had some great resort days, the Backcountry this year has been frustrating. The days I have managed to get out there I have encountered poor weather with even poorer snow, but great company.

A windy day out on Guthega Trig with Rohan and Mark.

Rohan and Mark up Guthega Trig

Windy transition, Mark is Mr Slow!

A wet day touring on Mount Tate with Damian and Dave. I had borrowed Holly's lovely Lumix camera, unfortunately, these are its last photos.

Damian and Dave heading up Mount Tate

The last photo Holly's camera ever took, on our way back to Guthega, saturated

And finally some nice turns in the Perisher sidecountry before it turned to slop with Belly.

Belly and his new lib tech split, north Paralyser trig

Dropping north towards Guthega

Not to be too negative, its always great to get out in the BC with good friends and sometimes the turns are secondary to the funny things that happen and the conversation.

Anyway, contrast this with the surf!

Ledgy reef on the NSW far south coast

A frame goodness

So when my buddy Peter, aka Fast Rimey, made the trek up from the Melbourne for some BC action I was a tad apprehensive. I had just returned from another trip to the coast and scored some great waves and was considering a day relaxing at home. Nevertheless, we arranged to meet in Jindabyne and drove up to Thredbo. At the Thredbo base there is no snow, however, the liftys gave us the heads up that there was snow at the top so we clicked in for the ride up.

Peter's new Praxis BC

There is snow up there!

They were right, there was plenty of snow at the top, and with a dusting of fresh, it actually looked pretty good. So good in fact, we did a few runs on the Basin, the only lift still spinning for skiing at Thredbo.

Top of Kosciuszko Express looking towards The Basin and Signature Hill

The time came to hit the BC and we made our exit from the Basin top station. Our destination was the southern ridge of Mount Kosciuszko, terrain I had scoped out earlier in the season.

Getting out there

We skied out along the base of Signature Hill and came around the northern Ramshead. It was here we encountered our first of a few interesting backcountry travellers for the day. A group on Nordic skiers (the ski style, not the region!) having a tilt at the Aussie 10, the ten highest peaks in Oz. They were really pushing it and managed a quick hello as they shuffled past.

We topped out at the ridge and got a great view to the west. We could clearly see the Victorian high country and the terrain we were heading to looked tasty.

The Pyramid

Looking west into the Victorian high country

We did a terrible run down the western face of the Ramshead through horrible wind affected ice to Cootapatamba Creek.

Fast Rimey works his way down the dodgy ice 

Kosci cornice

From the creek we transitioned and worked our way up the south east face of Kosci. As we approached the top, a fellow skier dropped in and got some nice turns back to the creek letting out a few hoots, the snow looked great. We had a quick drink at the top took some photos then skied over to a steeper face we had been eyeing off. The drop in was a little intimidating, steeper than anything I had skied for awhile. There was some lingering ice beneath the fresh but I got into a rhythm and enjoyed my run down.

View from the top


Me dropping into my first run (courtesy Richard)

My turns

Rimey hitting it


Stoked with our first run, we hit the trail and made it back to the top relatively quickly catching up to the lone skier we had watched drop in before and also a snowboarder booting up. We had a quick chat then hit it in fairly quick succession. The run was mellower, but way longer.

Me dropping into second run (courtesy Richard)

 Our work

We had a bite to eat with our fellow BC travellers. The skier ended up being Richard from Richards Report, a buddy of my ski bum father. While enjoying the food hit and sunshine we noticed two hikers approaching. Obviously lost, they asked us how to get back to Thredbo. They were heading towards Leather Barrel Creek and I would hate to think where they would have ended up if we weren't around to get them back on track.

Lucky fellas

Richard and the snowboarder started their climb back towards Thredbo but Pete and I were keen for one more. As we got back into climbing mode a large group of ladies skied down from the Ramshead being guided by K7. We gave a quick g’day then started our climb. About half way up it was evident that the ladies were pretty fit, they were starting to reel us in. I managed to hold them off but Rimey, stopping for a drink had them nipping at his heels for the last 50 metres or so.

Climbing back up for more, you can just see us on the right (courtesy Richard)

They're coming!


Rimey maintaining his lead for the final push

We had a chat to the group and took some photos for them. A couple of the ladies were keen to have a look at the face we had skied for our first run so Pete and I guided them over to the intimidating drop in. Not everyone was up for it but one of the girls, Melissa was keen to have a crack. I dropped in first then took some photos of Pete and Melissa coming down. As per the first run, there was some ice beneath the fresh at the top followed by beautiful dry fresh snow lower down.

The ladies and Mount Kosciuszko

Pete drops into the face


Melissa carving it up



We met back up with the rest of the girls who had skied a nice looking line similar to our second run. We transitioned then had a pretty easy climb and ski back to Thredbo finishing with some bonus turns to the lift and a delicious beer at the River Inn.



 Its a great spot

It ended up being a fantastic day out in the mountains, perhaps my best BC day for the season. I'm reinvigorated and ready for a few more, 2013 isn't over yet!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Two days of adventure in the lucky country

A comment Darren left on my previous post got me thinking. How fortunate we are in this country to have the opportunity to ride waves, slide down mountains, roll down hills or do whatever it is you like to do that is any combination of challenging, dangerous, exciting and fulfilling.

With the affects of an another unseasonable east coast low hitting the coast lining up with a fresh dump of snow on the alps combined with Holly being away in Melbourne, this past weekend offered a chance for me to go crazy with adventure.

Saturday 3 August


Berridale getting the show on the road


Monaro Plains




Brown Mountain


The beautiful far south coast of NSW


A reeling sand bottom point break with a silly name with one bloke out



Delicious croissant from the lovely ladies at Bodalla Bakery with a bunch of old fellas and their bikes




The big cheese at Bodalla has seen better days


Found this fun looking wedgy left for another day


Another sand bottom reeling right hander, this time a rivermouth teeming with dolphins


On the search for one more surf


Clean beachbreak fun



The ledge had a couple as well


Heading back to the mountains


Cooma another 139km


Sunday 4 August


Snow on the hills



Coffee awake my weary body




Slow, snowy drive


Still snowy and still slow


A moment of clarity

Solo to the top on the Perisher quad


The pow is tracked and its starting to get crowded

Escape into the storm






Paralyser top out


Skin track stoke


Wildness amongst the snow gums


Still hiking

Tight pow turns


Back into civilisation



Couldn't resist a final burn around the park before lounge time