Snow Report Tasmanian Backcountry - Condition Reports

Discussion in 'Ben Lomond' started by Rabid K9, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member
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    Afternoon all those fortunate to live in the southland.

    Planning a combination trip back to the island in mid-August with kayaking / backcountry snowshoeing & boarding / property buying being of main priority.

    Anyway, I know the vagaries of the alpine Tasmanian weather & snowpack, but you have been enjoying some good rainfall across much of the state in recent months & I'm just chasing some regularish updates from those out & about in the hills.

    Is there any snowpack starting to develop in places like Mt Field, Mt Rufus, Walls of J or Mt Anne?

    Any observations / insights from persons currently on the ground would be appreciated.
     
  2. RARRRRRRR

    RARRRRRRR Active Member

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    mt field has a nice start to a base.. one decent snowfall and shes all good!
     
  3. Maxcimus

    Maxcimus Active Member

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    Just out of interest, does anyone have any pictures of Mt Rufus in snow and what its like? Or any other decent back country in tas?
     
  4. tassie_simon

    tassie_simon Just Registered

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    there was about 10ish cm on the side of the road when i drove passed there on sunday, and was still puking so i guess rufus would've been awesome then. couldn't see any mountains though because of the weather
     
  5. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    re maximus
    I have some Rufus piccies but from pre digital days. The point of
    Rufus is that the slopes are not all dolerite so are relatively even and not as bouldery as is usual. I went up Mt Ironstone on Tuesday 7/7 and it really needed another good fall to be anyway decent. There is a grassy area I call "The Rink" I could tour on but I disappointed on the day because mostly you can tour on skis from back at the plateau edge.
     
  6. Cam Walker

    Cam Walker Active Member

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    hi all
    i haven't been there this winter, so can't comment on current conditions. I did start a rave on the backcountry wiki a while ago, someone may want to add details ...
    http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Mt_Rufus
     
    #6 Cam Walker, Jul 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  7. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Attempted Clumner plateau today found the road open and the track in reasonable order but nothing skiable at the top though there is a base. It appears everything westward of Ironstone Mtn has been hit by the r##n but the top and southwest slopes of Ironstone look to be well covered.
     
  8. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Went up Clumner again today not really expecting much and re-did the flagging on the track so you should be able to follow it now if you have to come back in cloud. The base had practically all gone and the new snow cover had been about 1cm and had survived mostly in shaded areas so in effect it's back to zero. Looking West the drifts around Cradle were surviving maybe 10% cover on the plateau and no new snow. On the way in Ironstone Mtn and the western Wild Dogs looked to have thin cover of new snow which had gone on the N slopes by late afternoon. The back slope (SW) of Ironstone showed better survival of the base an more of the new snow but had still definitely gone backwards from last week. Still the snow-forecast story for 3 to 6 days hence is looking good as it shows Clumner and even the W of J as little purple blobs.
     
  9. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 Dedicated Member
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    Thanks for the updates Ironstone, looks slightly more promising for some Tassie snow over the next couple of weeks. Have you been out Rufus way at all recently?

    What's the approx distance / approach time to Ironstone Mtn from end of road? Is there any huts in that area?
     
  10. LastRun

    LastRun Just Registered

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    It's 3-4 hours one way walk to the top of Ironstone via Sids track off Westrope road, similar for western creek track, also off Westrope road.

    There is a hut at the base of the mountain about 2 hours walk in. Its quite small & the beds aren't too comfortable.... i usually take a tent for a bedroom.

    Clumner Bluff is a much shorter walk.
     
  11. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    First a correction for the snow forecast. The snow-forecast people revised their forecast downwards in their thursday 10-00 posting so the purple (50cm stuff) has gone back to orange (10cm) nevertheless that system coming still looks pretty good.

    Next for yor questions Rabid K9. I don't go far from Lonny these days so havn't done Rufus for years but there are others who check the road. For approaches to Ironstone Mtn you will need the Lake Mackenzie map which as available now is a 2008 edition with the gridlines shifted. If you need a hut the approach to use is the Western Creek track. The hut is sited where the track ends on the map. It is 3km along and 460m of up (net) with some wet crossings one being serious in flood so you also need to know about Syd's track which is what I use on day trips. But timewise I would allow 3 hours. From there the plateau edge is another 1.5km without any clear route and some inevitable bush bashing and boulder field; but the gentler slopes west of the summit can be skied up when the snow is there.

    Syds track is not shown on the map though a defunct Ironstone track is. It starts at the highest point accessible by road at 890m, 581656 and track markers end at 580648 which because the track curls about a bit is about 1km and 280m up. From there to the plateau edge at 1390m 576628 is another 2km and 200m up by a fairly direct line to the wombats' route up the face which is almost invisible until you are on it. You will need time to sus out the route or some local help and it is slow in soft snow. When I was fitter I once got from Launceston to the plateau edge in 3hours 20minutes. These days I allow 2 1/2 hours from the car.
     
  12. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Took on the slog up Ironstone Mtn yesterday and yes there is skiable snow on top but not straight away, that is the good stuff is confined to the SW half of the 1400m country more or less. I skied a loop of about 4km on a nice surface and got to the summit and another lookout where I could assess what the situation is to the West that is WOJ and Clumner Plateau and Turranna Bluff where there is a base from last week no more. I spent some time flagging the route in in case anyone is interested. A point to consider for anyone wanting to do the Tiers is that often the more western areas are in cloud while Ironstone Mtn is clearish as was the case yesterday. Timewise I did some work on that a while back and found the drive plus walk time is about the same for Ironstone, Clumner and Cradle.
     
  13. RARRRRRRR

    RARRRRRRR Active Member

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    purple patches on snow forecast 2 days this week around cradle
     
  14. LastRun

    LastRun Just Registered

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    Bastion Bluff is looking good this morning! & Cradle link road is closed.
     
  15. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    I was at the plateau edge of Clumner at 12.00 today before turning back in a whiteout and it was snowing. there is about 20-25 cm of snow at that level but soft and it won't all survive the rain expected tomorrow but I would expect after friday there will be good skiing on top.
     
  16. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Did the drive up to Devil's Gullet to check out the damage and I'm afraid the base has all gone and though it was snowing I am not expecting it to build up. No snow was visible on the plateau edge for Clumner and I think that all what was new on 6/8 has gone. The only old snow I could see was a small patch on the front edge of Ironstone Mtn visible from near Mole Creek. Perhaps there is still cover where there was 60cm or so on 7/7 (surviving from the early falls, where pines make a snow fence) and there is a spot on Clumner where similar forest does the same thing but it is another 3 km of walking to get there and my motivation is running out.
     
  17. LastRun

    LastRun Just Registered

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    Keep up the good work Ironstone
     
  18. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Went up Ironstone Mtn today and found the touring cover had gone presumably from the r##n last Thursday. Visibility looking west was good: WOJ and Clumner are hopeless at present, there are drifts you could practice your telemarks on on Cradle Plateau. The only really good snow is just N of what I think is Geryon; white all over 2 summits. Otherwise there is a fair bit in what I think is the south of the park, long cornice lines and the like. It would seem worth checking Mt Rufus.
     
  19. RARRRRRRR

    RARRRRRRR Active Member

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    [​IMG] interesting so your saying its worth the drive from hobart?
     
    #19 RARRRRRRR, Aug 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  20. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Not exactly. One of the patches I could see was a kilometres long drift line on a mountain that could be Rufus (the mountain comes to a point with gentle descents on both sides of it) but if it isn't it must be lower. What deters me is the prospect of cloud the whole time this weekend and a good deal of rain. If what I could see is the North aspect of Rufus there would presumably be more on the South slope.
     
  21. billy boy

    billy boy Just Registered

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    i was just looking at the bom's radar images and there seems to be quite a bit precipitation over the cradle region, any one care to take an educated guess as to the chance its falling as snow there
     
  22. Jip1001

    Jip1001 Just Registered

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    Had a trip to Mt Field West this weekend. The total walking time was about 8 hours and only 3 hours were on snow with snow shoes. (mainly along the top of the Rodway Range) The condition of the snow was very poor and melting quickly.
     
  23. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Just back from checking things out as far as Cradle. It was miserable at Dove Lake so I didn't go up into the cloud in sleet but I got glimpses of a decent enough cover and I think it continued snowing all day on top. The cover on Ironstone Mtn and Clumner is all thinnish and fragile as viewed from Lake MacKenzie road. There is better stuff on Pelion East and part of Cathedral Mountain.
     
  24. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Went up to Cradle Plateau yesterday, and got some turning practice in on the only drift of reasonable size (50m) but on a slow slushy surface. It is not the one just over Plateau Creek but the next one out. I'd say none of the last fall survived the r@#n afterwards and some of the old snow went as well. The areas of distinctive mossy ground normally covered with snow at this time of year are still largely exposed. I still have hopes for next week although the snow due tonight is not likely to survive Sunday.
     
  25. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    I did a check of the Lake MacKenzie road this morning, stopped at the official lookout and skied in from there to the canal on cover generally 20-30cm on the road, also scouted the start of the pole line to Western Bluff. Off the road the snow is thicker but mostly air so very soft. It was snowing some of the time but it wasn't building up on wet rocks or bushes, just on moss, gravel heaps and the like, when I left it was gobbler coming down, yet all told the snow cover would seem to be holding up at this altitude 1100-1150m.
     
  26. almontyrat

    almontyrat Well-Known Member
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    I went for a play at Cradle today and managed to ski the board walk from Ronny creek to Snake hill (steps were interesting!). I have a silly ambition to ski from Dove lake back to the visitors centre but will need a bit more snow to make that possible. Bucketing rain when I left at 3pm so most of the low level stuff was dissapearing fast.

    Apparently a bloke had been out on the cradle plateau yesterday and had a good time but no direct report of how much snow is up there. There was 15cms down low last night so there should be enough up high to survive the rain....

    If the forcast for the next few days comes off, I might head to Lake Mac or Cradle Plateau next weekend if anyone would care to join.
     
  27. ahronshapiro

    ahronshapiro Active Member

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    I'll bet dollars to donuts the snow is quite deep on Cradle Plateau ATM.
     
  28. RARRRRRRR

    RARRRRRRR Active Member

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    i need to ski cradle one day!... nearly done everything at mt field < than a 8-9 hr hike
     
  29. Adrenalin Junkie

    Adrenalin Junkie Active Member

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    Did Cradle a few years ago (the skiable bit anyway). Climb up from Kitchen Hut was hard work on downhill skis but it was worth it to see the looks on a group of XC skiers.
     
  30. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Did a long day trip to Clumner yesterday even doing Clumner Bluff summit which gives you an amazing view of the surroundings, given reasonable visibility, which was provided; everything reasonable would seem do-able at the moment, For approaches to Western Bluff and points near Great Lake the cover looks too thin. However even for Clumner there is a problem with deep soft snow on the approaches. It proved easier to ski up the bit to the edge of the plateau on the way in, resorting to paddling over rocks and bushes at the top. The general snow cover on the Clumner Plateau is approaching a metre but as of yesterday around 15cm of soft stuff to sink into, hence slow, And more where the aspect encouraged softening. Quite a lot of water running underneath but the thaw could be a lot worse and some good cold nights would fix the problem. My party did not stamp in the track for the top quarter so anyone going should allow extra time, but it is rewarding.
     
  31. Jip1001

    Jip1001 Just Registered

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    Did you get a view into the Walls of Jerusalem? - wondering what the cover is like there as I will be heading in on the weekend.
     
  32. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    You can see the actual Walls of Jerusalem from Clumner but not the somewhat lower country you actually tour on. Nevertheless from what you can see of other country around that is down to say 1150m I would deduce that the cover is there and after tonight stiffened up after the frost. You may have some rain but next weekend looks like your best chance.
     
  33. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Did Cradle Plateau today. The cover has gone back a lot because of rain but the snow remaining is well shaped and consolidated and most of it linked into one big ragged patch. But getting to Kitchen hut did involve some paddling over bushes. Looking eastwards things don't look good but you are looking and the sunny side of everything from this position. There might still be cover on the top bits of Ironstone Mountain and Clumner Plateau, yet I think the only thing you can rely on to last a week without a refuel is the Cradle Plateau and it is rewarding at present.
     
  34. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Went up Ironstone Mtn today and got a good tour in on the remaining big drifts with a few short streches over rocks and bushes to make the linkups. Good snow surface, even better after the blizzard got going and put down an extra centimetre or so of new snow. I'd guess about 2 km of ground to traverse on snow.
     
  35. Jip1001

    Jip1001 Just Registered

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    Walls of Jerusalem last Monday morning 14 September after 40cm of Fresh Snow. Photos of the Jaffa Vale, Dixon's Kingdom and the King David's Peak.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #35 Jip1001, Sep 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
    tot and Aradica like this.
  36. Cam Walker

    Cam Walker Active Member

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    geez, these are awesome photos!
     
  37. Tezwah

    Tezwah Active Member

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    They are some amazing photos!!
     
  38. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Thanks for that photo posting
     
  39. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Very very nice, if only the snow was consistently there in winter!
    Great pix
     
  40. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture
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  41. LastRun

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    Lucky Bugger. Havent skied the Walls yet. How solid was the base, was it dissapearing?.
     
  42. robbied

    robbied Just Registered

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  43. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    The story is that subsequent to Jip 1001's photos there was one serious rain event which really knocked things. I would guess it peeled off something like a metre of snow so that of the places I have been to since, that is, Cradle Plateau and Ironstone Mtn the remaining snow is in big drift situations only. But there is some more snow on the way and from those photos I would think there are skiable lines left from the old stuff. So this weekend in horrible weather you are likely to manage on general cover of thin new snow to link to old drifts.
     
  44. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Active Member

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    Empty slopes and plenty of snow on Ben Lomond. The Walls could be interesting again after this weekend. Do you think any snow on Cumbner BLuff has survived, Ironstone?? how long did it take you to walk to the skiable snow on Mount Ironstone?
     
  45. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    First a time for Ironstone Mtn. I left Lonnie at 8.00 and was back at 6.00 and didn't push it I think I took 4 hours to the snow but there was a lengthy stop on the way. I should fix up the flagging because it is a bit thin in places and there is none across the open wet area places. The walk in is quicker than it used to be without the route finding hassles. At the top things did not look promising and The Rink - a grassed area - was bare but I think it will be skiable now. The big drifts come in on your right as you go South and after that they curl around the South edge of the plateau.
    As for Clumner I have to guess from what I could see of approaches to Fisher Bluff where there were plenty of biggish patches but without connections. Snow-forecast maps indicate almost continuous little top ups of the cover have been occurring. My guess is that if you stick to the +1350 bit of the plateau and put up with the slog through the bushes to the first 1400m point it would be do-able. Is anyone contemplating going out Monday-Tuesday to grab the predicted spell of calm weather?
     
  46. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Active Member

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    Thanks Ironstone. have to work this week unfortunatly. Tiers should should have got hammered today. Ben Lomond had a 10 cm cover BELOW JACOBS LADDER at 3pm today(and it was still snowing).
     
  47. LastRun

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    Doesnt look like the Tiers did as well as Ben Lomond unfortunately.

    Still big drifts visible, but no fresh.
     
  48. Ironstone

    Ironstone Active Member

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    Headed out this morning intending to go to W of J regardless of snow conditions but there was a tree across the road at Lake Parangana. Went to the lookouts along Lake Mackenzie road instead. I'd say Cradle Plateau is still good for semi-linked drift skiing, and there is some new snow there though less than I'd hoped for. New snow is slightly better for Cathedral Mountain, though what you can see is on the exposed side and not wonderful. Clumner Plateau has missed out on new snow and the visible drifts are scrappy but reasonable stuff is generally to be found in from the plateau edge in these conditions. If in doubt just go to Cradle or Ben I'd say.
     
  49. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman Dedicated Member

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    Benlomond has heaps of snow for x c , BLB will post some picks in benlomond snow report thread soon. Check em out!
     
  50. LastRun

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    Any word on Mt Field?