Party: Josie, Grant, Michelle, Tom.
Date: 31st August to 3rd September 2014.
Photos (Tom): https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomarent/sets/72157646946594127/ and https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204392909560006.1073741851.1148600754&type=1&l=f4e7432ed2
There was movement on the main range, for SUBW passed the word around,
That a snow shoe hiking trip was the next getaway.
So join all the bush walkers, as this trip had us Kosciuszko bound.
Some tried and noted walkers, volunteered from Sydney and afar.
We mustered at the Ngarigo campground, for our overnight stay.
For we loved the alpine challenge, where wild snow-capped mountains are.
Firstly was Tom who organised, and led the trip from scratch.
He meandered slowly forever, whilst keeping the weather at bay.
And few could walk beside him, when Mother Nature met their match.
And Josie of Sydney, joined in the alpine mountain fun.
She led us on the start of the journey, early in the day.
And revelled in the visual spectacles, glowing in the alpine sun.
There was Michelle all excited, with an ever present smile.
Feasting in the delights of Mother Nature, photographing her display.
Enjoying it immensely, she could only stay for a short while.
Grant was a great trip inclusion, and was hiking well ahead.
His fitness and enthusiasm helped us bag peaks until the suns last ray.
Up the steep slopes, and across the open valleys, it was he who often led.
Grant and Michelle arrived early on Friday, camping near Mt Clear.
They had a morning run, then breakfast, by a mountain shack.
And then visited a farmers market where no item was too dear.
We awoke on Sunday morning, with cold frost by Thredbo River.
Introductions, chatter, planning, and squeezing gear in our pack.
Preparing for high country weather, and no doubt some night time shiver.
Kossie Express lift to Eagles Nest, so that energy we did conserve.
Our first day on the main range, perfect weather we did not lack.
We left civilisation and the skiers, back country privacy we did deserve.
Not long rambling on shoes, heading west we climbed up over a ridge.
The source of the legendary Snowy River, covered below us on the track.
And Mt Kosciuszko ahead, with Townsend, Rams Head, and of course Etheridge.
Several hours hiking, photographing, admiring, and taking it all in.
We then reached our destination, Seaman’s Hut, and took time for a lunch snack.
Chatting with ice climbers, back country skiers, and snow kiters, showing where they’ve been.
Laying on the only dry grass adjacent to the hut, in the midday sun we soaked.
Then Michelle left us for the real world, wishing she could come back.
Camp site location chosen, and assistance from each other was invoked.
Packing bare essentials with EP plans intact, we hoped some peaks we’d get.
Passing by the exposed river, cornices, powdered snow, and past the hilly knolls.
We arrived at expansive views of Little Austria, Twynum, Blue Lake, and the western sun starting to set.
Grant and Josie led the charge up the steepest hill, towards Australia’s top.
Whilst I trudged slowly, picturing icy plains, rock formations, ticking off my exploratory goals.
The colour spectrum in the haze of the setting sun, contrails, patterns and clouds, made me stop.
Not long now to reach the Aussie summit, a peak on the seventh continental list (?).
Arrival with great company, the entire country ours and a spectacular show that unfolds.
The brightness dimming, but the colour range expanding to blues, yellows, reds, purples, pinks, oranges . . . . you may get the gist!
As the sun disappears and the temperature drops, the wind chill factor is on the rise.
I decide to wait alone to selfishly keep this days scene to myself, as the others strolls.
And continually rewarded by pastel blues, path lit by the stars, twilight, the moon, a feast for my eyes.
It’s time to wander freely, listening to natures sounds, watch nature casting it’s shadows over the disappearing light.
Solitude and reflection, thoughts and introspections, feeling invigorated, cleansed are our souls.
Time stands still, there are no commitments, only reaching our protected shelter for the night.
Regrouping at Seamans hut and preparing our meals, a celebration of venison, pasta, wine, port, are our meals.
We converse with our kindred outdoor spirits, tales of wonder, awe and adventure are told.
Then a retreat to a sleeping quarters, wrapped in down and thermals, a nights rest appeals.
The wind blows hard through the evening, threatening to blow our humble abodes away.
Tossing and turning and thinking and feeling, it becomes near impossible to rest.
Fortunately a little calm before the morning, gives us a little sleep before the day.
The sunrise shines brightly, painting the clouds with glorious colour, signalling another fresh start.
Warm hearty breakfast, packing equipment, farewelling the others, with warm clothing we’re dressed.
Fondly staring at the territory covered prior, with changing conditions, the scenery warms the heart.
Hiking commences, magnificent cloud formations, storm fronts, strong winds, spectacular to see.
Not far from our destination, but its constantly changing, so we stop constantly to be impressed.
Recording mental images, taking photos, being greatful for this choice and opportunity given by me.
On top of Rams Head once reached we see human civilisation, the ski-fields, our destination.
Having fun speeding down steep slopes, but oblivious to the magic over the mountains to the west.
I’m greatful that I can and do choose most options of nature and progress and civilisation.
Back to the beginning at Thredbo’s Eagles nest, the reward hot food, relaxation, and a beer.
Discussing our adventure and future dreams, watching other people, letting our food digest.
Chairlift to the bottom, plans for the day, packing our vehicles, and good byes that are sincere.
Grant takes the long scenic road via “everywhere”, yet another crafted adventure on the way home.
Josie takes the bus, and I can’t help myself, so much to do so I decide to continue my quest.
Camping by the Snowy River, downhill skiing, snow storm hiking, nude ice challenge bushwalk, on I roam.
By Tom Begic
p.s. I spent the next two evenings camping on the river bank at Island Bend, skied Perisher the next day, did some snow hiking in the evening during the snow storm, swam nude in the Snowy River and Pipers Creek (my version of Ice Bucket Challenge), skied Thredbo the following day, and then went home. A fantastic four days.