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Snow Report Tasmanian Backcountry - Condition Reports

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

  1. zar

    zar One of Us

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    It's Not that unusual is it? What is unusual from my viewpoint is that the base disappears very quickly in recent times, when once upon a time there was a reasonable cover above 1000m for an entire winter season. Sometimes for months.
     
  2. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    Im in WA but used to reside in Tassie, can anyone tell me is there cover on the western mt's Cradle, Black Bluff etc, the Cradle cam is down so I have no idea but I agree, there is obviously much faster meltage now days.
    I would think it has alot to do with the warmer sea surface temps to the west and just a general warming that does not effect the SE mainland as much during winter for a couple of reasons, one of them maybe a bit controversial for this forum.
     
  3. zar

    zar One of Us

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    The East Australian Current has also pushed southward and I think this pronounced warming along the east coast could be affecting winter time temperature and snow duration, together with the shift south of the westerly belt of fronts, so cold fronts are becoming few and far between.
    Of course it is climate change, if there is no historical equivalent to this situation.

    Soon we will be hearing news of the threat to flora in our sub alpine regions as conditions deteriorate further.
     
    ladycamper likes this.
  4. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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    Makes sense, water temps off Sydney haven't dropped below 18c this winter.
     
    ladycamper likes this.
  5. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    Climate change for sure zar, Im also talking deliberate climate alteration.
     
  6. zar

    zar One of Us

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    What do you mean S-man??
     
  7. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    I really don't want to get into it too much for a few reasons and not on this thread but I would suggest there is a bit more going on than just cloud seeding.
     
  8. zar

    zar One of Us

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    Can you private message me with your information? You can be as specific or as general as you like and I won't divulge anything on the forum. I am rather keen on hearing news about revolutionary concepts or theories.
     
  9. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    As at noon today, the Lake Mackenzie road is skiable with something like 6-10 cm of new snow cover. I drove up to the summit and then skied out to the Devil,s Gullet car park, smooth going but coming back big problem with sticky snow. It was snowing most of the time so couldn't see much, except on the way out I could see Clumner Plateau where there seemed to be a bit more snow than on Western Bluff as seen from Mole Creek
     
    sidetrack and Untele-whippet like this.
  10. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Yesterday I went up Lake Mackenzie road again; no snow on the road at all, pretty stuff 2 cm or so off the road. Visibility reasonable so no snow on the North face of Clumner Plateau, Good cover on Pelion East. Cradle Mtn still in cloud and snowing, bits around the edge showed snow not as continuous as Pelion East. I would think there is some chance of scrappy touring on Cradle Plateau this coming weekend as what fell there last week seems to have survived and had a top up. Coming back to Launceston all the cover that was there on the front face of the Tiers on the way out had gone.
     
  11. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Went up to Cradle Plateau mostly in drizzle and did a tour on top, as much paddling over the moss as actual travel on snow. There is more old snow about than I expected but the late falls have mostly gone, surviving where there is some sort of base to build on.
     
  12. Tasjez

    Tasjez Hard Yards

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    Drove over to Queenstown last Wednesday and Mt Rufus appeared to have significant accumulation already. I imagine with the current series of fronts coming through all those western peaks will now be holding a fair bit of snow?
     
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  13. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Attempted to ski the crack above Lake Seal at Mt Field (a pet project of mine) today. We hauled up camera gear, belayers and onlookers, but there wasn't enough snow for it to be viable. Got some turns in at Rodway though, and took my brand new ice axe and crampons for a whirl.
     
  14. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just got back from a super nice day at Rufus. The snow was looking a bit soft at the bottom, but there was actually a pretty decent base on the Eastern face (left over from May I'm presuming). In fact we saw the remnants of a reasonable sized slab avalanche at the top of the slope, which looked to be about 50cm thick where it broke off. The exposed bottom layer was very hard under foot with 10 cm of fresh stuff on top (which I assume fell on Monday), meaning the top slab must have been the result of the westerlies over the last few days. There was a gorgeous looking line further North along the ridge but I had to pass on it given the wind loading danger. Got an awesome 150m of vertical on the way back down. The fact that there's a consolidated base already is fairly promising for the season.
     
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  15. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    [​IMG]
    Not the best photo, but you can get the gist of the avalanche.
     
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  16. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hey Barmstro, where's mt Rufus?
     
  17. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just west of Lake St Clair. It's a 6+ hour day walk to get to the summit, with three different approaches.
     
  18. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Cradle today. It looked pretty grim from the car park, but there were quite a few solid drifts still hanging around on the plateau. Some especially nice chutes full of crisp corn around Crater Lake and towards Riggs Pass.
     
  19. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  20. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    A report from an afternoon on Ben Lomond, but heading out along the old track from Carr Villa, not from the village so sort of counting for backcountry. I made the decision after finding my chains were making horrible noises after fitting them. There is about 2cm cover at Carr Villa building to maybe 30 cm general cover once you get to the snowpoles. Though I left Launceston in clear conditions it was getting cloudy when I got to the pole line, but the snow at first was nice going, if not sufficient to cover the bumps properly. Continuing on to the Plains of Heaven Ice crust became a real problem particularly at the top of the steep bit where the wind has done its thing. On top and in the mist maybe a quarter of the cover was reasonably soft but hard ice crust and bumpy was it for the rest of it. Might post a piccy later but a complete new deal is likely should the forecasts come good; and considered as a base only what is there now is likely to turn brilliant. On the way out there was a little snow falling at Carr Villa.
     
    Ben Lomond Jez likes this.
  21. Andy Breaking Trail

    Andy Breaking Trail Early Days

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  22. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Reality check from yesterday at Ben Lomond heading South. There is plenty of snow but the surface is difficult; mostly uneven with lots of bumps, sharp winddrift over iced-over old snow. An exception is in Meadow Vale where a large area is smooth ice. My party headed for Lake Baker and got to sight it but turned back because going was too tough and slow
     
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  23. oze

    oze Hard Yards

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    Thanks for your quality honest reporting as always ironstone. It's always hard to get good honest info about Lomond as has been mentioned on this forum many times in the past. Can't help but think detailed pics and info on snow conditions is deliberately withheld by Ben Lomond staff to boost numbers (and revenue) to the mountain. Please prove me wrong by adding a couple of honest words about snow conditions (not amount) in the reports because it's very inconvenient to the punters trying to decide if its worth the trip.
     
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  24. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Spent the day going North from the Lake Mackenzie road to the edge of the Tiers East of Western Bluff massif. The road has been cleared as far as the official lookout but parking space is limited. There is skiable snow at the edge of the road even before the boom gate. It gets better where the snowplow hasn't been. Off road the snow was on the soft side, cover a bit less than a metre, sparkly with a breakable crust developing. there were just two of us and our route went up a long gentle gully. The snow higher up was firmer but tending to sticky. The surface is sort of even, lots of stratification visible as windslab has built up and then eroded. This roughness is not a problem. A brilliant day.
     
  25. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Hard Yards

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    I have some good pics of skiing at Pine Lake with Last Run. Can anyone remember how to upload photos?
     
  26. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    I am having the same problem but if you go back through the archives Maxcimus gave directions as to how to use photobucket. Between seasons I lose it but Have a collection to post once I get my act together. I had a run in a party of two at Pine Lake today mostly in whiteout after a good start. But re snow conditions it's even better here than on the Lake Mackenzie road to Western Bluff, I was mostly following your tracks. I'd say the reward for effort ratio for Pine Lake makes it the top place to go at the moment. Those pines west of the lake, brilliant. I was identified by one or other of you to on the way out.
     
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  27. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Hard Yards

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    It was good to run into you today Ironstone.
     
  28. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Hard Yards

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    Pine Lake was frozen solid so we skied across it.[​IMG]
     
    #178 cheapskiboy, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  29. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Hard Yards

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    The view of Mount Ironstone[​IMG]
     
    #179 cheapskiboy, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  30. cheapskiboy

    cheapskiboy Hard Yards

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    The snow between the lake and Adams Peak[​IMG]
     
    #180 cheapskiboy, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
    Majikthise likes this.
  31. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    See if this will post the photo

    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/Ironstone2/157.jpg.html
     
  32. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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  33. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've been up on the Eliza plateau for the last few days. The snow was very icy in places but the was a lot of it. I only did two runs but they were the two best runs I've had in Tassie.
    Trip report here: https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/mt-anne.72033/

    Thanks go to Outdoors for stamping out a track up Mt Eliza. Good effort on getting to the Notch!
     
  34. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    And if anyone skis the chute below shelf camp could they please retrieve my helmet.
     
  35. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    1. I have been out to Pine Lake today with 2 others keen to see what I was raving about. There has been some rain enough to compact things a bit so cover is generally about 0.6m with firm surface at least while it is cold and (just) snowing, but it softened later in the day. There is some crust but only to nuisance level around Adams Peak. I will have another go at posting photos

    [​IMG]
    heading out on a good firm surface
    [​IMG]
    this is what I mean by wonderful pines. Piccy below shows the surface later on.
    [​IMG]
     
  36. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    What I should have done was exchange contact details so we could link up for an outing. Sorry. I will be with a group overnighting in a cabin at Cradle Valley this weekend. My friends from my last trip to Pine Lake are going back today and would welcome others. I know of another group of notoriously early starters aiming for Little Plateau today. There is an e-mail buzz involving all of these towards establishing a group for contacting people to arrange trips.
     
  37. Outdoors

    Outdoors Hard Yards

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    After spending last weekend on skis at Mt Anne I was fortunate enough to get the second half of this week at Cradle through work. We were meant to go in to the Walls on an Outdoor Ed trip during the original big dump in early August but postponed it for 9 days in the hope that access might be okay this week. The road to Walls was still closed Wednesday so we went with our backup plan and did a 3-day circuit of Cradle instead. Our group of 7 students and 5 staff were on snowshoes however I also took my skis and skied up Horse Ridge to Waterfall Valley on Thursday but didn't bother with them Friday (into S-K) or Saturday. Here are a couple of photos from Wednesday (note these conditions existed for only a 30 minute window as most of the rest of the day was a whiteout up high). Some areas were extremely soft with waist deep unconsolidated snow (particularly the final 500m to Waterfall and the descent into Scott-Kilvert) whereas wind-affected areas were well and truly consolidated (especially after a great freeze yesterday morning). We came out via Hanson's Peak which was significantly icy but fine to travel over.

    [​IMG]DSC03852 by Mark Oates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC03854 by Mark Oates, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC03855 by Mark Oates, on Flickr
    and a shot coming out of Scott-Kilvert and Artists Pool area yesterday morning
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]DSC03878 by Mark Oates, on Flickr

    Am still to make videos of both trips and others and will do so eventually. Barmstro - did you skin up my tracks all the way up Eliza from High Camp or did you end up walking up to Eliza before putting skis on? I wonder how many others have got to ski both up and down from High Camp to Mt Eliza? Also saw lots of good chutes for you at Cradle. :)

    No doubt others got into Walls as soon as the road opened. Am keen to see photos and hear how conditions were on the trip in. Hopefully yesterday morning's freeze really helped those who went in yesterday/Saturday.
     
  38. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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    Very, very, very nice :D
     
  39. BenLomond Iceman

    BenLomond Iceman One of Us

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  40. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Plenty of fascinating terrain to explore atm. Lovin the tassie reports
     
  41. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I didn't bother strapping my skis on until we hit the summit of Mt Eliza, Outdoors. A bit too much scrambling to make the weight/post-holing savings worthwhile. And I didn't fancy skiing back down with a pack full of wet gear.
     
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  42. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    If the reports are appreciated they will keep coming. A quick report for Cradle area for the weekend past. Saturday was good and a choice to push along Maryland track proved a success with good going on old snow with pretty much continuous cover once past Waldheim huts. Main reward for effort being the chance for speccy pandani and tas snow gums. Sunday was horrible, rain destroying the good old snow and making a slushy surface I couldn't handle though my companion using wider ski and plastic boots could. We flogged our way up Horse track to the scout hut then followed the creek up to a saddle and over to view Crater Lake, mostly in whiteout, then turned back. By Monday morning there was about 20cm of new snow as I headed out. There was new snow cover back to Moina. With time available I checked out the road up the Mersey which was technically open at last but turned back at the Arm River T/O when the snow was falling heavily and building up on the road fast.
     
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  43. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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  44. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    I struggle a bit with photobucket but here goes for photos from the weekend just past.

    http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums...060&1439861796396&1439861803683&1439861813537
    I think this links to an entire album. These others are a selection showing ground conditions for punters to make up their own minds as to whether or not to go out if in Tassie and to share the joy with our friends on the mainland.


    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/aug 15 025.jpg.html?o=7
    Maryland track
    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/aug 15 026.jpg.html?o=16
    Maryland track
    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/aug 15 032.jpg.html?o=3
    Up past scout hut
    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/aug 15 044.jpg.html?o=2
    near Arm River t/o
     
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  45. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Sorry, botch up with photos from previous years included in album form. the links at least open at the point where the caption applies.
     
  46. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Quick word to do with the trip I was on yesterday; up Syd's track to the plateau edge, skiable from right there and going up to the trig point of Ironstone Mountain. The rain from Sunday does not seem to have done much damage here, and it was followed by maybe 20cm of new snow which blew around a lot so it is hard to be sure, and leaving iced over bald bits alternating with wind packed new stuff. On the high ground the old surface is plastered over with a soft stucco of new stuff making a fast manageable surface. I will try posting photos later.
     
  47. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Trying to paste photos now

    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/Mobile Uploads/035.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    [​IMG]
    The snow cover was adequate from the top of Syds Track.
    [​IMG]
    It got even better once you could see Ironstone Mtn.
    [​IMG]
    Taking a break on the way in.
    [​IMG]
    Up on top looking at Western Wild Dog.
     
  48. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Yesterday I attempted a circuit at Ben Lomond starting up the valley where the tows end, and intending to do Little Hell but was deterred by the lack of snow, since there has been alarming retreat of the cover since Wednesday. I could see another group prepared to do the rocks up to the summit, but my lot diverted to play on some big drifts going right from the pole line just across the saddle; here the surface was friendly for once and we practiced turns without the usual frustration, and went back as we had come. I had time enough to drive to Pine Lake. The cover has gone back by nearly a metre to the point of patchiness though the lake is still frozen and you could tour by picking through the bushes. Very sad

    [​IMG]
    On the strength of this I imagine the Menamatta Tarns trip would still be possible on skis.
    [​IMG]
    These are the drifts I mentioned. I could do turns on this surface.
     
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  49. Barmstro

    Barmstro Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Lovely day at Mt Field today. I got out to the Northern end of the Rodway range and skied a couple of really solid lines down to the shelf. The Eastern face of the range had very soft corn which was difficult to hold an edge on but still pretty nice to ski. It's all super consolidated and doesn't look like it's going anytime soon. There's a lot of exposed boulders put plenty of potential lines, and quite a few tracks already. The West facing slopes seem to be almost completely stripped of snow. Florentine Peak and Field West look fairly doable but I wasn't inspired enough to go out that way. There was enough cover to ski the trees below huts, which made for a fun alternative to the road.
     
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  50. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Quick report on a day trip to Walls of Jerusalem. Old snow survives from about the junction with the Lake Adelaide track and is general from Solomons jewels, today it was enhanced by having 10-15 cm of new snow on top. The group I was with turned back at Lake Salome in blizzard conditions. It is most definately worth doing at the moment. As for Clumner Plateau there will be snow up there but more clearing of the road is needed which as of Friday is blocked by two tangles of saplings 2km from the parking spot. I will post photos tomorrow.
     
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