Saturday, 2 July 2016

Trip Report - Bogong High Plains Southern Circuit Ski Tour July 2013 Day 4

Wallace Hut morning.

I woke before dawn.  I was warm in my sleeping bag and thermals.  Sleet had been forecast so the clear skies were something of a relief.  It was a warm 0 degrees C night.  I breakfasted in the cold and gloomy hut. At least it had a table near the northern window but the rough seat at the other end was cold, damp and dark. 

Awesome tent site. Hut and a toilet is nearby (behind shot).

Picturesque Wallace hut
Walking down the hill the snow was quite deep over potholing heath. Walking in the sun and snow on the Eastern face down to the aqueduct I was sinking down to my knees.  The snow was dry, not very icy, loosely bound in underlying heath.

Morning sun penetrated the upper rear hut window.
Wallace hut roof structure

The fireplace is covered in steel mesh and unusable, so the hut is now an icebox in winter. The inner wall is lined with a thick wind resistant sheeting of some sort that reduces the ventilation inside. It might warm up with 20 people inside but the floor is rough slabs and covered in dirt and ice.

I packed and left Wallace Hut.   No other folks about today. After a few hundred metres I was climbing  in sunshine and deep soft claggy snow as I returnd to the main access road.
Looks easy

Clag: a sweaty struggle up sideways!

 Heavy clag uphill makes for hard sweaty work. Just take your time with pauses and remember to breathe.

About 3hrs ski (with 20kg pack) away. Zoom shot.
Herring-boning will only get you so far with a 20kg pack on, so I side stepped up the slope.
The sweaty struggle over, the view at the top of the rise of the ski runs looked like a 10 minute ski away.

The groomed surface of BHP road was welcome.  The fine weather continued, but I had no idea when it might close in.  The weather doesn't always come from the south west. Cloud can rise up from the northern valley quickly and envelope the plains in bleak and windy conditions with reduced visibility.

Relief at some groomed snow. The odd construction is a tourist board with interesting form but no function as any type of shelter.

It wasn't long before a few skaters turned up. At Watchbed Creek I met quite a few skiers out for a day ski, but no campers. A rare clear day for this time of year.
The great groomed road back made life a lot easier.

Watchbed Creek

Had a nice easy run, took a rest and fuel stop at Watchbed Creek and got back to Windy Corner in good form about 12:30pm and took a free shuttle bus down to the car.

Largish heel blister about the size of 20c coin. Ouch (x 3 days)

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