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Trip Report J.B.Hut snow camp and XC ski trip. Aug.27th-30th 2019

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Mister Tee on XC Skis, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Hi. Your correspondent in the field has been away on another successful XC ski trip .I have just returned.I snow camped at J.B. hut (in the Dinner Plain/ Mt. Hotham area) for three nights and I did a lot of Nordic skiing.It is an exceedingly long drive to Dinner Plain via Sale and Omeo but I did it both ways.
    I shall provide a full report with many photos in the next day or two.
    :)
     
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  2. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    On August 27th I drove up to J.B.Hut via Sale and Omeo for some snow camping and XC skiing.
    The trip seemed to go on forever esp. with road works between Bruthen and Swift's creek.
    The snow line near Dinner Plain had crept up to near 1500 M. and it was looking a bit sad. I knew more snow was being forecast to fall so that was an incentive to get up there and ski some fresh tracks.
    I took a number of stops for food, hot tea, toilet breaks, petrol and photos.
    It was a sunny day and the view along the way near Ensay was looking good.
     
    #2 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  3. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    It was almost dusk when I reached J.B. Hut . I made camp , got the fire going inside the hut and cooked some dinner. I played some guitar with the hut all to myself and then went off to read Daphne Du Maurier in bed. It was a cold starry night.
     
  4. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 2.
    The sunrise on day two, 28/8/19 was very clear. It was going to be a sunny day for XC skiing , until the welcome snowy change arrived at about 1630 that day.
    I had breakfast and went to the drop loo etc.

    I needed some more water so after breakfast I drove to Dinner Plain to fetch some water. I found possum poo in the snow I melted for cooking the night before. That was enough to make me drive down the road get some possum poo free water for cooking and drinking.
    That allowed me some time to pass while the icy corduroy boiler plate XC ski surface softened a little. While fetching water
    I met fellow XC Skiers from NSW Rick and Ros. in Dinner Plain and had a good chat with them about XC skiing in VIC. and NSW.
    The track groomer on the skidoo told me the night before that Precipice Plain did not have enough snow on it to ski the whole way, so that will have wait until next time.
     
  5. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 2.
    The external sides of the doors on the hut did not close properly. So the Hut door fixing fairy paid a visit.
    I know him well ;-P.
    He does a good job with small improvements such as these.
    Now spin drift in a snow storm or horse flies in summer will have to try harder to gain entry.
    Of course the hut is a BYO firewood and water type of place and I had enough wood for three nights.

    Once I had fetched water I went back to JB Plain and got my skis out and skied to Dinner Plain . I skied around the village and then skied
    back to JB hut along Dead Timber Hill.
    The track/route was not obvious but skiing through the snow gums was very pleasant . The terrain was varied and the surface was good to ski on .The scenery was also noteworthy with views of Mt. Loch and Mt. Feathertop socked in with clouds.

    Back at the Hut where I took my lunch , a film crew were filming an interview with a chap about Freeriding. I just XC ski so I know nothing about such a snow sport.
     
    #5 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 2. Dead Timber Hill Track. The entire terrain/surface/vicinity sorely needed a top up of snow and later that evening we XC skiers got it for sure.
     
  7. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 2.
    After lunch I skied out to Paw Paw Plain and back. I did it well and skied the black run down to Mother Johnson's picnic area with confidence and speed.
    The surface had softened quite a bit but I was still pleased about that bit of skiing. Paw Paw Plain always is a joy to ski on.
    On the way back to camp the sky began to really cloud over and then it started to snow. It snowed on and off for the whole night and the whole of day 3 . It was just what I wanted. :) .
    I guessed the total snowfall was approximately 6 cm of dry powder snow. Very nice !.
     
  8. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I had the hut to myself again on the night of day 2. It was snowing quite a bit all night and the scene on day 3 was transformed by this welcome snowfall. Day 3 was going to be a powder Nordic ski day. Just what I had wished for . Oh goodie!.

    Day 3 was the main event , JB Hut to Wire Plain shelter and back.
    Approx. 15 kms.
    When I went to get my Fischer skis from the car that morning, it was very cold.
    Prior to Lunch ,I only had one controlled stack on my left rump break going around a tight bend on the descending black run below Paw Paw Plain.
    I was unfussed and not hurt and noted that I was consistent because I came off my skis at the same spot last year . Lunch at Wire Plain hut was good esp. while it was snowing quite a bit on and off all day , looking very much like winter outside and it was exactly what I had signed up for.

    Skiing on fresh powder, approx. 6 cm of fresh snow was exactly what I wanted. Other Nordic skiers were very pleased with this too but their skis were balling up with sticky fresh snow. I applied Fischer Pattern Base De icer to one man's skis because the pattern bases on his planks were hopelessly clogged up with fresh snow: A nice problem to have . I re waxed my skis at least twice that day.
    On the way back being on my faster Fischer skis and not so fresh in the legs I didn't quite take a bend right as I charged down a hill. I skied it well the day before on a slower set of skis and a slower track. In a split second the right bum cheek was called into action, I skidded on my rump in a controlled fall and I avoided slamming into a tree. It seemed to be an instinctive reaction that most ski patrollers would have endorsed as the safer result.
    I was not hurt at all but It was interesting that the day before at the same spot ,I was looking further ahead and not at the tree. Where you look is where you go.
    60's era Pop Singer ,the Late Sonny Bono perished by slamming into a tree in Colorado while skiing.
    Wearing a helmet is smart .
     
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  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 3.
    After Lunch at Wire Plain hut there were a few sunny moments on the return trip where one could see The Twins and Mt. Tabletop , and skiing along that route was simply a case of "life is good". If you don't agree then the rest of this trip report will bring you right down , man.
    I skinned back up the big sweeping bend ( a black run) back up to Paw Paw Plain. I took the skins off and skied through the trees and from the top of Paw Paw plain. Oh Happy days !.
    I will have to get another pair of kicker skins and cut them to size for my Fischer skinny BC XC skis. That can wait until summer.
    I arrived back at camp at about 3 pm , well skied out and ready for a rest .
    What a fabulous day of XC skiing !.
    That night a group of eleven noisy Year 9 students and two teachers from the nearby Alpine School filled up the hut. I cooked dinner ,ate, dried out some ski attire by the fire and then retired to my warm sleeping bag in my tent and found some peace and quiet with my novel. I slept quite well.
     
    #9 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 4.Sunrise.
    J.B. Plain.
    30/8/19
     
  11. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Day 4 .
    Clear and sunny weather with fresh snow on the ground. I had a long trip home in front of me but I did take some photos of the environs before I packed up & started the LONG trip back via Omeo and Sale. I stopped at the Kosci. lookout near Omeo .The view towards Mt.Kosci. was clear.
    I took lunch at Bruthen and walked around the lake at Sale to break up the driving.

    Did you know that Lord Sale was involved in the British /Afghan wars in the 1800's ,which were a fiasco for the English?. The town is named after him.

    I will be back in August 2020 to do it all over again .I found out that the parking at Hot Ham is free after 1500.So I can ski the Big Spur XC ski trails ( within the resort boundaries) for two hours and soon be back at camp at J.B. Hut.
     
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  12. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    *It's free after 3 only if you have paid for the following day!
     
  13. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ah Ha! I knew it was too good to be true .
     
  14. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    However you could park at Mother Johnson's Picnic area, carry the skis and walk up the road side to Brandy Creek fire trail. With enough snow the Cobungra ditch track would be good to ski on.