Monday, October 20, 2014

Spring Skiing, The Sentinel and Mt Carruthers

Our last big group ski for the season is becoming a bit of a tradition. A big day out followed by a night of camping with beers and stories around the fire. This year we continued the tradition. Rohan, Mark and Marcin the mad Polish man arrived at my house in Berridale late Friday. After a few beers and stories of toilet practices gone wrong while snow camping, a recurring theme it seems, we hit the hay.

Angry Wagyu bull I met on the drive to the mountains

Kind of excited too

We were up early and at the turning circle around 8:00 to meet a host of people; Belly, Rimey, Tim, Dave, Richard, Carl, Mrs Skifree and Paul the telemarking sheep farmer. After a mostly uneventful wet crossing of the Snowy River and walk/ski to the saddle above Soil Con Creek we assessed the skiing out to the Sentinel.

Multiple gear explosions as everyone gets ready for the day out

Boot packing up the Main Range Trail

Looking out to The Sentinel, the boys weigh up the options

The Sentinel, a beautiful peak

The group split with the snowboarders electing to head over to Little Austria and Carruthers while the real man decided to take on the Sentinel.

For our first run we dropped off Sentinel Ridge, the snow was pretty firm and not that great. Huge dimples, like giant golf balls, played havoc with our cool carbon layup skis.

Frame grab of me on our first run off Sentinel Ridge, the dimples were not fun

We then bush-bash contoured around to the south east face of The Sentinel. Some of us donned crampons and climbed to the peak while others experienced snowboarder-esque screw issues with their new crampons. Those of us that climbed to the peak dropped in while Rimey and Mark met us at the bottom after skiing another line off the ridge.

Mark with some classic Australian backcountry ski conditions

Stoked to finally be able to ski The Sentinel

Watsons Crags

Sentinel peak and Mt Townsend

Paul drops in

Hats off to Rimey who after surviving a nasty fall last summer, and subsequent recovery, is back to carving up lines way out in the middle of nowhere.

Classic style, Rimey drops off Sentinel Ridge

The climb out was long and hot.

Crampons on and straight up



We made our way back to Carruthers for some afternoon lines into Club Lake. I met up with some old mates, Ryan and the Snowy Mountains' own bush carpenter Dougs (and here).

Hey Dougs, where's that single malt?

The run down to Club Lake was beautiful, just the right amount of softness and steepness to really let the skis run.

Mark drops into The Elevator, a pretty nice Australian chute from Carruthers down into Club Lake

Frame grab of me skiing off Carruthers

While the fitter members of the group booted up for another run I started the climb up to Mt Lee for my preferred last run of the season. Looking back I saw some tele gold by Paul the telemarking sheep farmer.

The awesome terrain off Mt Carruthers into Club Lake

My last run down Mt Lee was fun, beautiful wide open turns all the way to Club Lake Creek then drift hopping all the way back to the Snowy River. We finished the trip with a memorable night around the campfire discussing snow camping toilet etiquette and tales of youth misspent.

Classic night

Roos around the camp site in the morning

We wet a line in the Thredbo River but no luck as usual

A glacial erratic I encountered on the way home?

Lucky to see hundreds of endangered Hoary Sunray

Thank you everyone for the good times out on the hill. Another great season with plenty of good snow and backcountry learning opportunities. Enjoy summer.

An edit by Rohan who really loves 80's rock!


Sentinel and Club Lake SD from Rohan Verco on Vimeo.

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