I went to visit my old friend Ms. KJ at her Myrtleford abode. I turned up at 1030 am on the dot on Sunday 22/7/18 as I said I would. She was looking well ensconced on the sofa. She had been having a weekend of the Jazz Woodbines and so forth with her old chum Ms . KB.
I came in well revved up blabbing about "fresh snow on the Buff, let's go skiing!!".
Soon we on our way in the RAV 4. It was indeed a chains for 2 WD day which is a good sign for XC skiers.
We went directly to Cresta and set out on a jaunt along the mostly ungroomed 4 km loop that takes in The Valley of the Gods. This is back country XC skiing without the high price entry/parking tag and yet it is priceless .
The varied terrain allowed me to practise all my skills including getting up after crashing on the soft fresh new snow across the fall line, using ski edges on sloping down hill bends and traverses, diagonal stride up hills, bunny hops down hills, turning, stopping, herringbone ascents, skiing diagonal stride up hills, snow plough turns, step turns, skiing without poles etc.
It was not busy at all for Sunday.
We had hot chocolate from a thermos near a small frozen pond that offered a different vantage point of The Horn. Ms. KJ being a local and a life long skier had never skied this full XC loop before.We were both very pleased with our day out.
After this day in particular I am totally converted to XC skiing at Mt. Buffalo.When the conditions are right you cannot beat it.
The only way to I am going to learn to XC ski blue runs on ungroomed snow is to just bleeding well go and try and ski them. My BC XC skis were just right for this kind of thing. Ms. KJ has NNN BC boots and bindings too so she took my Madshus Epoch skis for a quick test run and they got the thumbs up. She said that my BC XC skis are ideal for ungroomed BC XC skiing. Mt. Buffalo has plenty of such terrain.
Some snow shoers had left pits /holes along the route of temporary pole line. I was one of those people once and now I am grumbling about it. However my skis are wide enough to ski over such hazards.
Day 2 of my Mt. Buffalo ski trip was 23/7/18. It was cold and windy when I reached the Chalet. The Gorge car park was closed. It was full of frozen slush and snow. There had been a freeze overnight. I parked behind the Chalet and put on micro spikes over my ski boots . I went and looked at the View of Mt. Bogong, Mt. Nelse and Mt FT.
It was a bit cloudy but I set off to ski the Lake Catani track from the Chalet to the Lake side camping area and back. The track was riddled with frozen foot prints. Any old ski tracks seem to discontinue half way along but I pushed on ahead and the wind died down once I was in the sheltered confines of the ski track . There was a fallen log I had to side step over in skis. I also had to take the skis off a few times where there was wafer thin ice or just gravel in a few spots.
Once I reached the Lake Catani camping area there was fresh snow to ski on and after making some fresh tracks I had a snack and a quick rest. It was very tranquil and nobody was around at all.
I then skied back to the Chalet . The track had softened a bit but it was not that nice to ski on. It looks good in the photos though.
I was hungry but elected to drive to Cresta to eat lunch there and ski some fresh untracked BC snow off the shoulder of the Horn road.
The sun came out after lunch and I had some fresh soft untracked terrain to myself to work on my turns and so forth without using ski poles. I had one spill because I put my weight too far forward and face planted in the soft snow.
I did a perfect S shaped turn and am getting better at skiing down declivities without snow ploughing all the time.
I took my time heading back to Myrtleford , including a photo stop at the Cathedral saddle and at Mackey's Lookout.
I am so totally going back to ski The Reservoir road and more terrain at Mt. Buffalo this season, ASAP.
Gate fees to ski are rough , just give me The BUFF
22.7.18 XC skiing near Cresta, Mt. Buffalo. Most skiers were skiing the 1km groomed loop but we set off to explore the full temporary pole line. It was a magic BC XC ski experience. We found a small hill in the valley of the Gods to work on our XC ski skills. Ms. KJ gave me some tips but she is a life long downhill skier first and foremost . She has confidence going down hills and she said I am improving.
Driving up from Cresta along the icy road , I was crawling along in the AWD in LOW gear. Some nuff nuffs in 2WD had not fitted their chains properly at all . You could hear them rattling before you saw them flapping about doing untold damage to the car and the chains.
The ice on the trees and rocks at the Cathedral saddle(1540 M. ASL) was noteworthy.
How was the view? As good as ever. Why the wise apes want to put a glass walk way, a revolving flashing casino and KFC outlet etc (SIC) at the Gorge lookout area makes no sense to me. It would be killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
I think I scratched one of my BC XC skis a little bit somewhere on some thin cover , as seen in this photo. I had to remove and reattach my skis a couple of times on the way out to the lake and back to the Chalet.
Down at Cresta there were some people having fun, but there were not many skiers. I did see two people skate skiing. I ate my lunch in my car and then went for a ski where there were NO ski tracks or footprints. The sun eventually came out . It was a pleasant afternoon.