On Tuesday August 22nd I got out of bed at 0525. Only a good day of sunshine and fresh snow is going to make me do anything like that .That was the forecast for Mt. Stirling. I went and picked up my friend and we drove to Mansfield. An idiot and wanker called Elliot at the Mansfield ski hire place, the first on the right as you enter town told us we didn't need to hire wheel chains for a tiny Jap. 2 WD. I said :"I find that very hard to believe" ( Get Smart type voice). So we pressed onto Mirimbah. We were turned back at the pay station and we had to go and hire some dodgy ladder chains at the Mirimbah cafe/ski hire shop. That meant we stopped twice for chains. We went back and paid for our car permit for a day trip to Mt. Stirling. We had to get out and fit the chains at chain bay No. 2. The road was diabolically icy and treacherously snowy. I have not put chains on a for a while, I usually hike up from the Valley floor for my snow trips.I got them on without too much fuss. On we went and at TBJ my friend hired some poles and snow shoes while I went and talked to the ski patrol. We headed off at about 11.15 am and fanged it up the Bluff spur track . There was full groomed cover from TBJ onwards. It was gloriously sunny and there was fresh , dry , deep snow everywhere. There must have been a huge snow fall recently. I got to the Bluff spur hut at about 1.10 pm and ate lunch. My friend Carola turned up shortly afterwards.The snow measuring thingy up there said 1.4 Metres. It was her first trip to Mt. Stirling and the conditions and weather were picture perfect. We ate and went up to the summit. The views and visibility were amazing and the horizontal ice on the summit snow poles, trig point and lone tree were very photogenic. After visiting both summits we headed down the pole line to the Howqua Gap Track . I was post holing in MSR snow shoes with extension tails. The snow was that deep and fresh .It wasn't quite powder but it was still very good dry snow. I was navigating because that is what I do especially when less orienated people are coming with me on these snow shoe missions. We took the turn off down the River spur track . The River spur had very good snow cover and some good spots for remote snow camping. I followed the arrows on the trees along the route. I had never been down the River spur before so this was something different for me. It stuck to the top of the spur and it undulated until it started to drop quite steeply. Going up it in deep fresh snow would have just been wrong. We would have missed our summit views because we would have taken too long to reach the top if we had ascended via the River spur. The weather began to cloud over and we began to put more layers on our heads and hands. When I plopped out onto the Circuit Road it was 1545 and I had to tong it back to TBJ. The Circuit road was the best I have seen it in white season for a long time. It had groomed continuous snow cover and there were tree ferns that were totally buried by snow as well as icicles and frozen mini water falls on the road side. It looked really skiiable and even though I am crap at XC skiing I felt inspired to give it another go if I could have the circuit road to ski on looking like that. I made it back to TBJ by 1645 so I covered 3.8 kms on snow shoes in one hour. There wasn't much storm damaged timber on the River spur track and we saw nobody else out there along that route . My friend followed my snow shoe prints all the way back to the circuit road, because I am quite quick on my feet once I get going. We took all the hire gear back and later set up camp at dusk at Carter's road where we had a log fire under the stars.I have not seen Mt. Stirling looking that good for a couple of years. It was one of the best day trips I have had at the snow for a long time. . Photos are coming soon.