TRIP REPORT: Cross-Country Skiing Trip
AREA: Main Range, Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park.
DATE: 29 June – 2 July 2007.
1. Tom Gleeson
2. Jacqui Knox
3. Dave “Fritz” Lee
4. Nicole St Vincent Welch
Thredbo – Etheridge Valley – Seaman’s Hut – Charlotte Pass – Perisher
What a wild few days of weather! Friday morning was cold and windy with a not too favourable forecast for the afternoon. We decided to buy a lift pass and practice our telemark turns at Thredbo for the day, which was good fun for all, even Nicole who injured her ankle. We had fish and chips at the pub in Thredbo that night and then went to camp at Ngarigo.
Saturday was looking worse weather wise, even still we took the chairlift up Crackenback and began the ski up onto the Main Range. Visibility was very low so we took the safe option of following the snow poles across into the Etheridge Valley and over to Seaman’s Hut. Here we ran into a school teacher from Queensland who had decided to snow shoe out here from Charlotte Pass solo – not a wise thing to do in such weather. Our plans for skiing up to Kozi or across to Blue Lake were put on hold because of the wild weather so we spent the afternoon eating, drinking, and building the largest snow wall ever a few metres outside the hut. Jacqui and I set up the Olympus whilst Dave and Nicole kept the school teacher company in the hut that night. I had brought along a thermometer and with it I recorded temperatures of 9 to 10 degrees in the tent overnight, as opposed to the minus 2 which Fritz recorded inside the chilly hut with his electronic thermometer. The tent was sufficiently insulated by the 60cm or snow of fresh snow which dumped down on the Saturday night, forcing Jacqui and I to tunnel our way out of it on Sunday morning!
Visibility on Sunday morning was almost non-existant, the winds were howling, and snow was blowing everywhere. Skiing back to Thredbo would certainly have been possible with some careful use of the map and compass, bt we decided to take the safer option of skiing out to Charlotte Pass. After a hot chocolate and some cookies (thanks Nicole!) Jacqui, Fritz and Nicole skied along the road to Perisher whilst I waited for the snow cat and took their bags on that. From Perisher we took the skitube to Bullocks Flat and got a lift from there back to Thredbo from a mate of ours who was skiing in Thredbo that weekend.
It was then time to say goodbye to Jacqui and Nicole who had to return to Sydney for work on Monday morning. Fritz and I met up with Matt Buchhorn and his girlfriend for a roast dinner at the pub in Theredbo before heading back to Ngarigo for the night. We bought lift passes on the Monday and spent the day once again practicing our telemark turns at Thredbo. The snow was especially good up top, and much progress was made with the bent knee style of skiing.
Although the weather wasn’t terribly favourable, we still enjoyed a great trip and had heaps of fun. Fritz will be uploading some photos to picasa sooner or later so we’ll send a link to them when they are ready. Thanks to those who came on the trip and made it such a good few days of skiing!