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Trip Report Pinnibar Take II - 27 Aug 2016

Discussion in 'Backcountry Trip Reports' started by telecommuter, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. telecommuter

    telecommuter Addicted

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    After our last Pinnibar trip 4 weeks ago (with its trials and tribulations!), we decided on another attempt. After watching the weather and snow all week, we decide on today to give it another try. We drove up to the Pinnibar gate on Friday night and camped there - there was far less snow down low than last time and no chains were required.

    Saturday morning we set off for the summit - we had to walk the first kilometre - there was skiable snow above 1400m, near the helipad junction. The snow was pretty firm, but the kicker skins made the climb much easier. There was a bit of cloud scudding across, with sunny breaks in between. Winds were pretty light.

    It took about 2 hours to climb to the summit, and we had magnificent views to the south and east. No views of the Main Range were on offer due to the clouds. After morning tea, we set about skiing the bowls below the summit. On the lee slopes the snow was reasonably dry and fresh, on a very firm base - very nice skiing! Fresh tracks anyone?!

    After numerous runs down the summit bowl, we paused for lunch before setting off down the Tom Groggin track. Just off the secondary summit was a short and steep gully - lots of fun! There are a few more areas down there to ski - earmarked for next trip!

    Back at the summit, I headed off down the Shady Creek Upper Track then into the parallel gully - lots of turns in great snow - not too steep but really nice cruising. Back at the top we found some more untouched snow and wrote SSSSS down there as well - we just couldn't help ourselves!

    After a quick break at the summit, we packed up and set off for the cars. Turns out the best way to ski the 4WD track down is just to point the skis in the general direction and bomb on down. We were getting some nice flight time off those cross drains!!!

    The ski down was a lot of fun, and pretty soon we were back at the cars for the drive back to Corryong. Hopefully "Pinnibar Take III" will be a bluebird day with Main Range views!

    P.S. I made it out on my own two feet from this trip!

    Me taking a turn off the summit
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    Dad slogs back up to the top
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    Haha! I beat you to it! There's plenty more freshies to be had though!
    [​IMG]

    Dad drops a knee off the summit
    [​IMG]

    The youngster inhabits a parallel universe
    [​IMG]

    Nice snow scenes
    [​IMG]

    Groovy gully off the Tom Groggin Track
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    The summit from the Tom Groggin Track
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    Looking down Shady Creek Upper track and to Mt Gibbo
    [​IMG]

    A very cruisy gully on the West side of the summit
    [​IMG]
     
  2. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Good one telec - looks like the summit was skiing nicely.

    ...now we have some awareness - it's a good time to lobby for a near-summit refuge. ⛺️

    Perhaps just far enough of the main trails to discourage the 'lager-lout' SUV parties in summer!!
    (disclosure: I have an SUV and have been up Mt P in summer - Xmas 98' - just as the NSW storms were developing).

    More seriously though, with a summit refuge /ski hut etc....2-3 day trip with a night or two up high would make for much more time to appreciate the summit gullies and explore ridges. ❄️

    (I wonder if the VHCHA would be interested?)
     
  3. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    you will freak out the NSW "Huts are bad" contingent.....obviously a hut in tree line would permit more exploration and afford a rudimentary level of comfort...but this is only common sense and we know that's not ganna be forthcoming from many in this forum..:cool:
     
  4. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    ... a shame US. I better hang onto my alpine tent then.

    On a different note, these photos remind me of what a complex treeline Pinnibar has. No face or ridge is identical. And there's a lot of little treeless gullies near the summit - often they're not obvious until one is just above the entrance.

    ...These adventures remind me how lucky we are to have these 'large remote' peaks with skiable snow within a few hrs' drive of our big cities, given how dry, hot and flat most of Aussie is.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  5. telecommuter

    telecommuter Addicted

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    Pinnibar has been vaguely on my "to-ski" list for a while now, but hadn't really done it due to horror stories of winter access difficulties, and photos of rutted muddy snowy tracks in the days it was still open year round to 4WD vehicles. But after a couple of trips I think I will be skiing it more often. Yes a hut near the top would be ideal, but given that you can still drive within 4km of the summit in Winter, it is quite doable with a pack for a snowcamp weekend. This last trip was done as a day trip which is also quite achievable for us from home (in Wodonga). The mountain is actually quite reminiscent of Stirling in the early 80's!

    I still need to ski there on a bluebird day to get those Main Range views... Winter 2017 perhaps!
     
  6. mattyv

    mattyv Hard Yards

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    Hi telecommuter, can you please clarify whether you are approaching via the Thowgla Valley or the the Nariel Valley?
    Cheers
     
  7. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    I might interject and mention I use Nariel V - Dunstans Log Rd for most of the way.

    Takes you close to Ceres Hut.

    Be aware that as of ~ 10 years ago (early Oct) there was a lot logging at or just below (1300m) the snowline, and perhaps through overuse or under maintenance, the lower regions of the 4wd track (Mt P trk?) up to summit via nth ridge was pretty furrowed and boggy.

    It may not be so 10 years later - one would DELWP would repair after logging ceased?

    In our two ski trips (both late Sept/ early Oct) we left the 4wd near the ALpine NP sign. In summer this wouldn’t normally be the case unless you were in a single range/low clearance AWD like a Subie.

    Good luck & enjoy if you head up (Easter? Could see quite a few groups making hay before the do called ‘wet’ arrives!)


    Of course, in this drought the trk could be rough but v dry and a tad easier to climb.