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Snow Report Tasmanian Backcountry - Condition Reports

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

  1. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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    Good to see Tassie getting a decent ski season for a change :)
     
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  2. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks Ironstone: if weather is good do you reckon Walls still doable this Wednesday? Which way did you go in? How's the going from Solomon's Jewels up to the Walls proper? Cheers Mike
     
  3. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    My best guess is yes do it because even if the new snow all goes it will have protected the old snow beneath it, which is about 50cm in general once you cross about 1170m as of Saturday. As for me I am booked in for Clumner Plateau for Wednesday (higher more reliable and I've had my WOJ fix).
     
  4. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    I will try posting photos from yesterday's trip, with the usual hassle with photobucket.

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  5. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Whoops I didn't answer your question re the way taken on the way in. It was standard from car park to Trappers Hut and up the walking track till it gets to steps at which point going to the right off track was better going for skis; you should be able to follow our out tracks which followed this idea further. On a previous trip I took a line left of the walking track along a gully that led into Solomons Jewels. This was a better route on that occasion bu t there was more snow then. FYI I will try posting a link to an album assuming you'd like a few more piccies

    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/library/Walls of Jerusalem
     
  6. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    sounding like there is a plan!
     
  7. Outdoors

    Outdoors Hard Yards

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    Just do it Boodwah! Jen and I hope to get a quick overnight trip in there next weekend so perhaps we will see you there. Definitely worth making the effort to get down to Tassie. I can't comment on Walls this season yet but I was snowcamping at Mt Field last Wed-Fri and it still has great touring over the entire area. With the dump they got as we left on Friday and on Saturday I suspect touring will be fine up there all this week although you might have to take skis off in a few places but only for very short distances. There are definitely backcountry options available...
     
  8. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    You may see me parked at Dublin Road jn 8.00 Wednesday morning, waiting to link up with the Clumner party. I am going in tomorrow to clear the road/track and overnighting. Re access routes the official track has shifted so the route left of the track I did years ago is now right of the walking track; follow the first biggish gully to Solomons Jewels.
     
  9. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Yesterday was really good on Clumner Plateau. The road in required a lot of clearing work and I reflagged the walking track on the way out so it is open now, only overgrown with shrubs lower down and with fallen trees to inconvenience visitors. At the top there is snow covering most of the boulder field; this helps. All the plateau has skiable cover. The new snow from last weekend survives as drifts and sheets over maybe 30% of the surface the rest old snow with a softened ice crust.
     
  10. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  11. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nope. Small domestic issues...
     
  12. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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  14. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Out today to Cradle Mtn and on to Little Plateau. The cover has gone back so that the bits originally thinnish are now bare so any attempt at touring involves paddling across the moss. The drifts are big with a nice even surface so even I was able to do turns and get long fast runs in.
     
  15. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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  16. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    Nice photos

    What is the name of the hut ?
     
  17. Outdoors

    Outdoors Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the photo link Ironstone! Was a beautiful day to be on skis in Tassie for sure. We were in t-shirts for much of the day in the Walls. Great to see how much snow there still is at Cradle and around Kitchen Hut.

    Walls Update 6/9: skied into Dixon's Kingdom for the weekend. Pretty much no snow till you hit the plateau. I put skis on at the first creek crossing 1.5km after Trapper's Hut. Only had to take them off once for the 400m stretch near Herrod's Gate however I did wind my way around a lot and had to step across quite a lot of bare patches and rocks.

    South facing aspects have a reasonable cover but quite patchy elsewhere. Snow softening and away from main compressed track or south facing slopes I would think that it's starting to get somewhat challenging without snowshoes/skis. Saw 11 others in total out there and only 2 had snowshoes other than Jen and I. That said they seemed to be coping okay without them.

    Certainly the snow is melting but there are still some opportunities for touring for probably the next week I suspect (if you don't mind patchy skiing). Compared to some seasons there is more snow out there than the average and where there is snow, it is still consolidated enough at present for skis. Most of the lakes are still frozen but are now softening so I only skied on them right along their edges.

    We came out from Dixon's via Jaffa Gate, Zion Vale and Golden Gate and I was able to stay on skis except for the 400m leading into Golden Gate. I don't mind the occasional grass skiing though. :)
     
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  18. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    It's Kitchen Hut
     
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  19. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Yesterday I went back to Clumner Plateau with a party of 3 and found good touring cover, although scrappy at the edges such that we had to go 50m from the plateau edge then it was skis on the rest of the day despite some more-bush-than-snow near the start and some cautious route-finding. It helps that the drifts have been so big to start with. Looking in to the Walls I'd say it's finished except maybe inside and past Herods Gate, which itself is bare. Here are some photos.

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    http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/Ironstone2/media/Clumner Plateau mid SEPT 2015/015.jpg.html
     
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  20. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Yesterday I did a solo bushwalk in to a point where I could see Bishop Peak about 2 km away WSW, going in by the outlet of Chapter Lake and being eaten alive by the scrub for my pains. I had hoped to get a look at Mt Ossa and Mt Massif to check if the snow was holding there, and at least to see if the general Cathedral Mountain patch held up any better than the Walls or Clumner. Well maybe it does but not by much and effectively the snow has gone in all three places. There are isolated patches left only; it's time to put the skis away.
     
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  21. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for all the reports from the tassie contingent... It has been great to experience this winter vicariously from.your efforts..some fabulous reports that deserve to be classics, special mentions to reports on Mt Anne, and that epic attempt of FC.. Sterling efforts and some sensational photography. Brilliant work.
     
  22. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Well there has been a start to the season and I did get a go at Cradle Plateau on Sunday 26-6-2016, on skis from a high point past Marion's lookout to Kitchen hut and back but on soft snow with all the bushes poking through. My thought at the time was that a good follow up snowfall would be needed if anything but the drifts were to survive. Kathleens Pool had open water in the middle and slush ice over maybe two-thirds of the surface. I met up with another snow reprobate who gave a rundown on road closures affecting access to places like Walls of Jerusalem and Clumner plateau; and the situation is grim since a big section of the road before Lake Parangana is reportedly gone. Later (Monday) I checked out road access finding official closures at the King Solomons Cave turnoff on Mersey Forest road and the Western Creek track turnoff on Westrope Road. I have been informed that you can just drive on to get to Lake Mackenzie. The problem for Westrope Road is an eroded cliff impinging on the outer wheel rut. There is ample room to get past but safety hysteria may mean a serious barrier will be put in. To get to the start of Syds track a pruning saw is enough.

    There is no problem getting to Pine Lake but effectively no snow either.

    On Tuesday i did a tour on Ben Lomond. There was ample cover from the ski village but not from the car park. My guess is that Little Hell would be practicable but my tour went up to the Plains of Heaven instead on good touring cover. The earlier snow has been smoothed over and consolidated and 2cm of newer stuff had been put down, wetted, refrozen and thawed. In the end a good surface stem turns would work on; not the ghastly bumps and ice crust. I would not attempt the Menamatta Tarns trip because there is insufficient cover in the valley.
     
  23. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for taking the time to give some details on conditions down there Ironstone, will be interesting to hear more after this next system has done it business.
     
  24. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    Been up anywhere lately, Ironstone?
     
  25. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Sadly, no, partly because I'm becoming more reluctant to go out on my own. Also I don't like the way rain and delay between falls may be blocking snow buildup, like there was briefly good cover visible on Mt Barrow a few days ago but it has gone. Mt Ironstone was still looking reasonable when viewed from a distance 2 days ago.
     
  26. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    Yeah I know the feeling, I nearly drowned fishing on my own a couple months back.
    There is always cradle, bl etc with a few more ppl around I guess if you want to take a quick trip.
    I can imagine Ironstone and black bluff would be looking a treat, hopefully august delivers down there
     
  27. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Yesterday Thursday 4/8 I got to Ironstone Mountain going in by Syds Track then by a botched version of my normal route to the hidden pinch that gets you up without too much boulder field. It was tough going with maybe 40% snow cover after the top of Syds; nowhere near enough to ski on and a nuisance for walking. Once up there was less snow than I expected from the look of the mountain but once well south of the edge an adequate cover for touring on a good surface - level, about 1 cm of new snow over hard aged snow. My companion was so disappointed he just walked. He had been up Lake Mackenzie road earlier in the week and reports insufficient snow for touring. Looking that way it would seem there is enough of a base to make Gun Lagoon/ Western Bluff doable with another good fall if it's quick. I'll try for photo's later.
     
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  28. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Trying to do the photos

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  29. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    Looks good in the background of the first picture.
    Needs a heavier dump, by the looks there has been a couple average falls that are just holding together for now.
    Great effort though I will get up there one day
     
  30. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    A possible way to do this country is to follow a derelict pole line which starts going North from between the summit and the Devils Gullet T/O on the Lake Mackenzie road, then goes West to the high ground. There is a lot of nasty tall shrub (or was before the fire) but the direct way from the road summit is boulder fields best avoided. Recent falls have likely helped but I will be away till mid September and can't check it out.
     
  31. Roger Mexico

    Roger Mexico Hard Yards

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    A ski on Mt Wellington could be fun. Dreaming?
     
  32. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Had a look at Mt Rufus today. Ultra-marginal, but my first Tasmanian turns in a while. Hopefully the snow forecast for tomorrow follows through.
     
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  33. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Require photos.
     
  34. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Picture a 50/50 vegetation-snow ratio.
     
  35. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thats good for Tassie!!
     
  36. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Went up Rufus again yesterday. Still a lot of vegetation, but the extra 15cm of "Tasmanian Powder" on top of the consolidated base made for some very classy skiing. Had a look at Mt Field today. Good touring along Tarn Shelf, but limited downhill options. If the front coming through mid-week actually delivers (looking unlikely), it could be excellent.
     
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  37. Outdoors

    Outdoors Hard Yards

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    Skied Mt Field yesterday with surprisingly good ski conditions. Was able to ski all the way from the car park to Newdegate Hut via the Tarn Shelf and then around the back of the Rodway Range to K Col and over the top back to the ski field. Only took skis off a couple of times for 20 metres or so whilst ascending from K Col and then coming off the Rodway Range for the 100m down to the top of the Rodway Run. A variety of snow conditions with most of the rocks on top of the Rodway Range covered in thick rime. No decent slopes yet but good touring conditions.
     

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  38. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lot of big scree on top of Rodway Range, impressive to see it that well covered considering the winter to date.
     
  39. Outdoors

    Outdoors Hard Yards

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    Note that the previous photo I put up is at the far end of the Rodway Range, closer to Newdegate Pass, where there are areas of herb fields and alpine grasses. The top of the range is still exposed scree although with enough snow to manoeuvre around the rocks.
     
  40. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Cradle today. The face has awesome cover at the moment, very deep and consolidated. Got some good turns in, but didn't have the weather or the time to properly check out the higher chutes. The snow on other aspects and lower elevations is pretty thin and baseless though. Hopefully the next front comes through as snow...
     
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  41. S-man

    S-man Hard Yards

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    Good to see someone having a crack at it, looks ok on the cams.
     
  42. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Had a surprisingly awesome day to Mt Field today. I wasn't expecting much given the mediocre cover, but the perfect corn snow and t-shirt weather made for a really good trip. We headed out to the Rodway Range and did a few laps down to Johnston Tarn slaloming through boulders and trees. My British companion decided the skiing was better here than England's Lake District. The main field currently has okay cover and there's still snow down to the bottom of the fire trail.
     
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  43. Tasjez

    Tasjez Hard Yards

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    Guys would love to see photos of any back country trips, particularly Rufus.
    All peaks should have awesome cover after forecast snowfalls for the next 4-5 day
     
  44. Outdoors

    Outdoors Hard Yards

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  45. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  46. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    While the sensible option for the weekend was to enjoy the awesome conditions at Mt Field, I thought I'd see what Snowy South had to offer. Ended up getting about 3.5 turns on crappy snow in exchange for 7 hours of overgrown track slogging and chest deep grovelling through scrub and boulders. The cirque around Lake Skinner is just too low and scrubby for anything decent. There's probably okay skiing higher up on the summit slopes, but you'd definitely want late season conditions for a snow free approach. Nevada Peak might actually be marginally better in this regard.
     
  47. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds textbook Tassie, although the 0.5 turn per hour slog ratio sounds a little high!!
     
  48. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rodway magic. Must be a solid base for whatever September delivers?
     
  49. Barmstro

    Barmstro Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    A quick trip to Mt Field today. Cover is still pretty good, but it must have been rained on a fair bit over the last couple of days. Very sticky, dense snow that made for difficult skiing. Followed Outdoors' tracks down to Johnstons Tarn.
     
  50. Ironstone

    Ironstone Hard Yards

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    Went in yesterday to check access for Clumner expecting problems; two years worth of fallen trees and the big flood event. The trees down were dozens of small stuff and one big one which were attended to with a chainsaw up to the Clumner I-4 turnoff i.e. about 400m short of the normal parking area. But here there is a problem because the steep bit at the start has eroded severely and the 4wd ute was not able to get up and kept sliding into the gully. There was snow some 20cm over the road from about 2 km back and it aggravated the problem at the steep bit. From previous experience it is bad news for access when there is deep soft snow on the track. There was some melted snow falling it times during the rain on a day with only rain forecast. I would suggest the Walls of Jerusalem would be a better prospect at the moment.