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Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by Mister Tee on XC Skis, Sep 10, 2019.
A full trip report with photos is as follows below..
Why start a thread before you are ready to post the report?
Your correspondent in the field went to Falls Creek on Tuesday September 10th ( 10/9/19 ) for a day trip from my friend's house in Myrtleford.
The weather was perfect with zero wind and almost zero cloud cover in the sky. I arrived at Windy Corner and was moving on planks just before 10 am. . There was quite a bit of fresh snow about in the trees on the drive up once I went past Howman's Gap. It seems it had snowed quite a bit on the night of 8/9/19 into the morning of 9/9/19.
There was no one at the Nordic bowl on the way out there.
The surface was firm, fresh but not icy.
I crossed the dam wall and put kicker skins on and went straight up the hill near the intentions book shelter on the Dam Wall east
On the way out there I spoke with a young woman who told me she was skiing out to Spion Kopje and back for the day . I replied" that is a long way". Then she said to me that recently she had travelled from Mountain creek to Mt. Hotham in 11 hours in one day. I surmised that she would have skied over Mt. Bogong, down the T -spur some of the way :-0 , gone up Duane spur, followed the AAWT over Mt. Nelse from Roper's hut , skied past Cope Saddle hut dropped down to Dibbin's hut from Pole 267 and skinned up Swindler's spur past Mt. Loch and reached Mt. Hotham that way.
"Oh my goodness , you must be very fit !" I replied. Off she went down the side of Heathy Spur towards the Creek below Edmondson's hut doing perfect parallel alpine turns. Very impressive!.
I wended my way down doing linked "S" shaped half plough turns until was safely down the descent and then skied around the creek and headed up towards the Ed. hut pole line. I snow ploughed down through the trees to the hut and was quite weary by the time I arrived at Ed. hut in bright sunshine.
It took me 2 hours and 45 minutes to ski as the crow flies out to Edmondson's hut, almost non stop bar skins on/off , trail mix/snack stops and many photo stops.
By the time I reached the hut I was starving and well ready for a rest. In fact I was buggered . However food, water and a rest inside the hut revived me and after taking some photos I got moving again.
I could have skinned straight up to the Mt.Nelse summit but being on my own I conservatively left some time and spare energy to ski back .The descent from Mt. Nelse would have been skiable for me because it was not icy.
I will make that trip on XC skis next time, perhaps next September in the 2020 white season. The view towards Mt. Wills was very clear.
After lunch the surface softened quite a bit and the trip down The Paralyser was sluggish, but still generated enough momentum to do some turns and get back to the Watch bed Creek 'shelter' in good time for a snack and a rest.
Then it was just a matter of skiing around the lake back to Windy Corner .Just after the deserted Nordic Bowl some sections in the shade had started to freeze over and so I did have to alternate between controlling my speed and trying to speed up. My heavier Madshus Epoch skis are great for skiing cross country well off the groomed routes but are slow on the corduroy groomed tracks.
Finally I arrived back at Windy Corner at approximately just after 1600 and was happily worn out. I must have skied 18 kms in a day.
I changed out of my sweaty clothes , drank some hot tea from a thermos , packed up my ski gear and drove back to Myrtleford in the late afternoon sun with The Byrds (Un Titled/Unissued) CD pumping out of the Tee Mobile.
Life .is. good.
I shall post some photos very soon. The visibility , full snow cover and scenery were all inspiring .
September 10th 2019. Heading up to ski on the Bogong High Plains on a sunny day.
Oh that spring goodness .
The peaks at the head of the Kiewa Valley looked well coated in snow.
Nordic Skiing on the Bogong High Plains is what got me into XC skiing in the first place , my main goal of skiing the BHP is a dream come true , and doing it is so good. As I improve at BC XC skiing I find that I can ski more terrain , further and longer. It is my favourite place to XC ski and BC XC ski.
The excellent visibility , good fresh snow cover and lack of wind as I skied over the dam wall were all good signs for a memorable day out on skis.
Heading up Heathy spur, not following the temporary pole and groomed skating route , just going N.E. more or less, as the crow flies . Sometimes I intersected with the groomed routes.
I put on kicker skins and went straight up the hill from the Dam Wall east. I crossed Paul's groomed track and The Heathy Spur groomed track and kept climbing up .There was a lot of fresh wind blown snow out there.
I became quite sweaty in my shell jacket and shell pants.
Edmondson's Hut and attendant scenery.
September 10th 2019.
If this scenery does not motivate you to come and XC ski the B.H.P. in spring then nothing will.
One fellow left a note in the hut log book saying he had skied the last leg off piste on skating skis. I saw his skating tracks on the way out. It was easy to ski in and out of the hut area on Madshus Epoch skis. I have become quite accustomed to skiing on those skis this season. Last Season in 2018 I skied a lot on my Fischer skinny track skis, even off piste .
An older and quite ocker couple dropped their overnight packs at the hut and went off on Alpine Touring gear to ski for the afternoon. It was very beautiful and serene in the old stand of snow gums at the hut.
I could see Mt. Feathertop through the trees.
Can you see my "S" shaped turn coming down off the top of the hill?
The trip back to Falls Creek after lunch at the hut.
It was possibly the best XC ski day I have had so far during the 2019 Ski season. The season kicked off properly during August with those four days of consecutive heavy snowfalls , so good things come to those who wait. I have one or two KNP NSW ski trips lined up and then I am hanging up the planks for 2019 . I have skied well over 20 days this season. I have gone at it like a madman. I have improved a lot at Nordic skiing. It has been great .
Soon it will be time to focus on other things.
The final lap for 2019 around the lake, back to my car. The water was so still it was like a mirror and the snowy hills reflected in the water were picturesque and quite eye catching.
The views of Spion Kopje and Mt. Bogong in the late afternoon sun on the way out were excellent. That night after a hot shower and a plate of pasta I slept like a log after all that XC skiing!
Your getting there Mr Tee doesn't look like you are stemming too wide to turn..........or is there some hidden Kassbohrer action we can't see
I think I have the skills to ski down off Carruthers's peak towards the Snowy River doing these sorts of turns this season. It seems to be working for me. I did not see a big grooming machine out there coming down off Heathy spur so those must be my tracks.
The cover on Nelse looks awesome, it's been my experience that it is wind blow away over the other side.
Spion looks primo for turns.
I could see ski tracks on Spion Kopje from the Windy Corner car park. If I had have started out earlier I could have made it to the unnamed third highest point in VIC. (1893 M.) West of Mt. Nelse. That is in my "in Tray" for B.H.P. ski touring for August and September 2020.
I am sure someone on the forum has done it before but what about crossing the creek below Howman's gap and carrying skis up the Spion Kopje fire trail?. That track is a jungle gym once you cross the Rocky Valley creek.
The Creek crossing is usually groin deep and quite cold even in January . Lower down the 4WD Ford coming up from Bogong Village on the Spion Kopje fire trail is easier but more of a slog up the said fire trail from lower down. I have hiked it before both ways , so carrying a full pack and camping in the snow up there would be good if the weather window in late August/Sept. was favourable.
Is parking at the point where the Spion Kopje Fire trail meets the BHP road permitted at all or must one park at Bogong Village near the Tennis courts and slog it up the hill?.
There is a flattish bend on the Spion Kopje fire trail above the Rocky valley Creek access track that leads to Howman's Gap. One could camp there in the tree cover out of the wind and go up and ski Spion Kopje for the day with a day pack. There is a stream that crosses the fire trail near there too, even in Summer it flows.
So finding water would not be a problem.
On further consideration I may have skied over 18 kms on 10/9/19 .
How much vertical?
I cannot estimate that because I do not have a hand held whatchamacallit. I am getting a Garmin GPS for my birthday so that information may become more readily available in future . I turned 50 on 19/9/19 . I do not plan to slow down with the outdoors activities at this point. My body is generally in good order, as long as I get enough good sleep.
Turned 50 on the 19th eh......many happy returns and welcome to the dark side Mr Tee.
Mt Carruthers southern aspects generally has a lot of skiable snow long after the lifts close. It is a serious area with the best lines running S and facing SSE from the summit ridge area. Several of these are very steep, run between rock bands and have no exit once entered, until down closer to Club Lake. However, the routes heading east along the Main Range Track are much more moderate. Just be careful which route you choose to ski down off Carruthers Peak!
Thanks Skiain, this is the sound advice, that lots of "newer" people to the backcountry may not be aware about.
Everything We can do as a community to help our fellow backcountry skiers to be safe is a bonus.
By the way, I once saw a logo on a tee shirt that may be relevant.
ooops, yes! Gotta make a new thread
Thanks for the tips. I have been out there on the Main Range on Snow shoes in mid. October but that is a different activity. I may get out there this season from Charlotte Pass and then again I may not. I have skied a lot this season and am quite happy to hang up the planks for 2019.The descent from Carruthers Peak back down to the Snowy River is more moderate if one tracks closer to the location of the green season paved walking route, which is not visible until later on in the thaw.
I have just returned from the KNP. It is a drive that never becomes any shorter. Much of the Westerly and and Northerly facing terrain below 1800 M. is cooked
I am now ready to go bushwalking and surfing really.