I'm trying to get myself up there this weekend. I'd really love to get into the WoJ area but just can't see that happening. Plan for Sunday is to hit out really early and see if I can't get out to Mt Field West. My ski gear is not really suited to long distance sliding but its what I have so it will have to do. If there is enough snow, and I suspect that there will be, I want to drop down to Lake Newdegate from off the Rodway Range and cut back via the Tarn Shelf. I did a couple of turns in a very nice gully at the top of that a few years ago and then ran out of snow. I made a mental note that it might be worth revisiting in better conditions.
Only went as far as Newdegate. I did ski right over the tarns to that point but it had that look of ice being submerged under a weight of snow and creating slush puppies. It was wet and heavy snow even on the upper reaches of the Tarn Shelf so I don't reckon I'd trust Twilight Tarn!! I reckon this would have been one of those rare occasions you might have been able to ski the entire circuit. There was 30-40cm on the trail at Lake Dobson. To give you an idea of the snow condition, I returned to the Rodway shelter from Newdegate without bothering to put the skins on. I guess the bases on my old skis might be a little dry but I had little trouble with grip even on a non-patterned base ski.
I was trying to remember how long it is since I last took the Tele gear out and I think it's around 6 years to the last time I did a day up here and then a couple more years to when I left Melbourne in 2008. It was totally weird - at times I had a basic muscle memory of movement patterns for a couple of turns but no ability to make quick adjustments on the fly. It several hours AFTER I skied wet, heavy steep snow in one couloir that I remembered I probably should have narrowed the stance width and weighted the tails a bit more in short turn rhythm! My left, little toe edge and ski weighting were crap in Tele turns to the left. It was like going back to some of my earliest experiences of skiing - I also discovered I had an old footbed lurking in my left boot that has rather an aggressive tilt to help me engage the medial edge (I'm massively pronated). But I've been skating all these years without using it so I was way overcooked on the medial side. And yet for general moving about in mixed terrain I retained all the nous for reading the features and picking the right techniques for getting about and was pretty stable and comfortable. It left me hungry as for a few hours of decent turns to begin figuring out how to do it again. Damn it felt good to be out there!