You'd have to have a good set of knees and nerves to ski down the River spur. A day on snow shoes of ascending and descending a total circuit of 12km with a day pack is easily within my range of fitness.That's a long way to walk....it'd be much quicker and easier on skis
I find when it is really raining hard that only rubber dishwashing gloves are of much use out there in the snow.I was up there on Tuesday with fellow forumite Chriscross. The snow was slightly rain affected but we had cover from top to bottom. No other skiers on the mountain. The place was deserted except for ski patrol and a couple of others. We were expecting rain but luckily just had a few minutes worth while we were having lunch in the King Spur hut. We skied to King saddle and up the main Stirling trail stopping at King saddle shelter for a break, lunch at King Spur hut, a break at GGS and then a cup of tea at Bluff spur hut after skiing over the summit in clear weather! Mt Stirling is blessed with a good hut system. If it had rained as forecast they are a great place to dry out and have a cup of tea. Took some phone photos but not worth posting.
We skied Buller on Wednesday, that was a different story! Vis was crap and it started to rain and my good (insert good UK brand) gloves were a soggy mess in 10 minutes as were the merino liners!
I also bought some super duper expensive storm proof over mittens which are meant to be waterproof even while scuba diving or some such load of old bollocks.I bought a pair of OR Revel over mittens today. They are very light but fantastically designed. I must admit i was considering dishwashing gloves!
Nice photos.We went out to Howqua Gap Hut on Monday July 15th 2019. The weather was good and the snow was deeper and drier as we neared the Howqua Gap hut.We saw only one or two other skiers out that way all day . We were skiing on BC XC skis because the grooming on the Circuit road had been covered with up to 8 cms of fresh dry snow. It was bleeding great to ski on. I enjoyed It so much that This Wednesday could be worth another long day trip up there, conditions permitting.Chains were being fitted to 2WD and "AWD and 4WD at driver discretion" as of 8.15am yesterday. I opted to fit chains later on. As I was finishing fitting them, the lead 4WD in a group began to slew across the road leading towards the drop over a steep gully. Fortunately a vehicle from resort management arrived to assist so I was free to continue to the carpark. I was able to ski directly from TBJ carpark. There was a consistent cover of 15-20cm in most places. It was soft and wet low down with temps between 0C to 2C. The day was sleet->rain->sleet->snow->sleet. Repeat.
Heading along the Circuit Road was hard work on skinny skating skis, but especially because I had forgotten to remove the summer wax from this set and re-wax! Just before reaching Howqua Huts, the groomer came from Howqua Gap and the skiing was easier. The wind was cold and it was wet, so getting a fire in the hut going, let me dry some clothes. I had seen one skier for the day, a skater following the groomer back to TBJ. The cover was sufficient but needs consolidating after the groomer pass, otherwise it will create thin and bare patches.
I headed out towards Corn Hill, but the wind was increasing and adding to the sleet/rain/snow cycle, it was becoming unpleasant and as debris started to litter the trail, branches began falling. Heading back towards TBJ was groomed and after a little snow, mine were the only tracks. It was much faster travel. Having the trails to myself was exactly how I like it! However, later chatting to Ski Patrol I found out why. Sadly a tree had crashed across a car, writing it off, which resulted in the road closed for several hours in both directions. Luckily no one was injured, but it meant a very quiet mountain for most of the day.
A few pics
I just came back from a day trip to XC ski at Mt. Stirling. There was dusting of fresh snow on the upper trails at best. The rest was week old bullet proof knock knock , who's there? boiler plate ice. It was disappointing and not very nice to ski on.
I found that I seem to crash more on ice than on fresh snow, which seems to hurt the bum brake more. XC skiing descending bends on boiler plate with a perpetual snow plough is metal edged test your nerves mind game.
That weather system last night was fizzer for the location I selected!
Mt Stirling's upper trails were firm , fast and very unforgiving. Experienced skaters liked it. Total Novice school kids found it nearly impossible to travel on. It was groomed but one of the ski patrollers told me that the skidoo groomer was barely making an imprint into the rock hard surface.
Others would describe the Stirling trail between Hut 36 and The Cricket Pitch as Bullet Proof Boiler Plate.That was best skiing of the day for me complete with some side stepping icy sections , crashes and some successful manoeuvres too.
The lower trails were also rock hard often wafer thin ice in many places with many exposed hazards such as rocks and fallen debris from the trees.
Not much chop really but I tried to ski some of it but walked a bit of some iffy sections in micro spikes.
Herringboning up a plate of polished metal is tricky. Stopping and cornering on a plate of polished metal is also challenging.
I should have skied on my wide metal edged BC skis today. They are slower and heavier for a very fast and icy track and have better metal edges for snow ploughing on rock hard surfaces. So Mt. Stirling got 3 cm last , maximum. The Big snow fall did not happen.
I will lodge a separate trip report with photos soon.