Trip Report Untele-whippet and telecrag wander about first week of August

telecrag

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Oct 12, 2007
31,884
47,195
1,063
@Untele-whippet has further to drive, so I will go first, with my version of events, and photos from a GoPoo, as my camera is 2.5kg and just no.

After a night of fire and conversation last Sunday night, thanks to @dawooduck, we left a van and drove up to Guthega Powerstation, and commenced to hike. I was resplendent in new boot liners, yay! That didn't hurt at all! After about a day, we got to the Horse camp turnoff
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After about another day, it was skis on, finally!
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Whites is copping a hammering of visitors, we skied past
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Onwards and past the Hilton
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And onto our camp for the night
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A bit of weather came in overnight, and we woke to a weather day.
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I begged, perhaps even screamed, and convinced @Untele-whippet to bunker down in a hut, so we headed out into the abyss, searching out snowbridges, and the whiteness of the pass, some really hard and technical skiing up the top.
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After a night drying kit etc, we awoke to another day of whiteness
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Vis was shit, but the snow was great, we went out and had some turns here and there
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Snacktime!
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Thursday was the day
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We went and poked about, the snow had turned a bit, but we found a few turns
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I jumped off little lips
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Time to hit the FrognToad
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More bridges, route finding was, ah, different to usual
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Past Mawsons
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Time to head upwards again
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Then down to the Hilton again, and on up to the pass
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We attained the pass, at which point I mentioned that I hate skiing in the rain, so maybe we should push on by headlamp and get the fk out. We decided, as mature adults, to ask the internet to decide for us, thus absolving us of any need to make a decision. @Snow Blowey offered some sage advice which we followed. And so my day today started like this
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Untele-whippet

beard stroker
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2006
18,935
39,590
813
59
Blue Mtns, 1100M.
The Unreport Part 1
I was enrolled in the Rossignol Ski Camp at Thredbo this week to improve my untele technique and then next month be skiing with @climberman in Mt Cook NP but along came Covid and erased those plans.
So what to do and stay away from potentially virus ridden resorts.
Having already booked time off from work I asked the equally virusphobic @telecrag if he’d like to accompany me on a week long antisocial circumnavigation of Jagungal, hopefully camping out and avoiding plague ridden huts.
And thus the plan was hatched, all we needed was abundant snow and a good weather window!
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@dawooduck kindly invited us to stay in our vans in his paddock, so we could get an early start on Monday.
The weather for the week looked interesting and what abundance of snow there had been was severely rain depleted the previous week.
We ground up and up the road from Munyang and put skis on after about 2 hours of walking.
My fairly new Tecnica Zero Tour Pro’s walked almost as good as normal walking boots.....amazeballs!
We met a group of 3 coming out from Mawsons who gave us the goss on conditions and that there were 12 people socialising at Mawsons!
We continued up into the Kerries, bypassing Schlink Hilton and set up a sheltered camp near the very open creek.
I sent our camp location to +1 on the Garmin InReach and she sent the updated BOM and Weatherzone forecast
The predicted storm arrived overnight and we woke up to gale force winds, driven snow and little viz.
We’d already modified our route, knowing there was no skiable snow north of Jagungal and we were confident no one would be at Tin Hut, so we opted to ski over Gungarten Pass in a gale force blizzard ing whiteout navigating by the InReach GPS.
We found the barely formed cornice in the white room with about 1 metre to spare but that didn’t stop me catching an edge while sideslipping down with a full pack and performing a lovely downwards somersault.
Anyhoo, we skied by Braille and GPS to an empty hut.
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Rime man on Gungarten Pass
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Drying out the tents in Tin Hut laundromat.
The weather remained fairly brutal for 36 hours and unappealing for travel so we ate, chopped firewood and chatted.
The snow quality was fantastic but the viz crap when we briefly ventured out.
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Wifey messaged via the InReach Thursday’s forecast which looked like a pearler, so we set the alarm for 6, planning on hitting some lines before setting off.
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The alpenglow on The Kerries was magical and the skiing with views to Jagungal were fantastic even though the snow quality wasn’t as dry as Wednesday, but we could see!
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Untele-whippet

beard stroker
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2006
18,935
39,590
813
59
Blue Mtns, 1100M.
Part 2
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My fav pic with @telecrag doing his thing a million miles from Covid with Jagungal in the background.
We had decided to cut short our 7 day to 5, knowing that the weather was going to weird out on Friday with potential rain or heavy wet snow, so we were headed to camp on Schlink Pass for a straight forward bailout the next morning via Mawsons Hut and the Kerries.
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As we approached Mawsons I couldn’t believe the lack of snow, the northern slopes were shrubfests and the upper Valentines was raging with no snowbridges at all.
I’ve never seen it so bad in 40 years of touring in this area in August!
Very depressing.
Anyhoo, we had fun and interesting route finding and it was a cracker of a day, even hot!
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We had lunch at Covid central Mawsons, avoiding it like the literal plague and then followed a really good set of tram tracks up towards the Kerries.
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But who knows where they were going but certainly not where we were going, so having got suckered in for a lazy option we rerouted.
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It was a really lovely ski down the valley of the Kerries with superb views to the MR but with depressingly low levels of snow.
Once on the Munyang road we headed up to Schlink Pass were we considered whether we should ski / walk out in the dark to avoid a potential morning rain sufferevent with the impending easterly system about to unload.
We had reception on the Pass for the first time since setting out so TC suggested we consult the weather gurus on the forum about the incoming weather system before making a decision whether to camp or run as it was getting late and we’d been on the go with packs for 6.5 hours already.
Thanks to @POW_hungry and others for some info, we camped before escaping in the morning after some early morning snow then foggy mizzle.
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On the way down we met 2 large 8-10 groups of snowshoers heading up to stay in huts.
WTF, so much for social distancing in s pandemic!
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A great escape from an abnormal world with a great mate.
I found the Tectons were really great on my Karhu Guides as I could transition between walk and ski mode easily without taking my skis off, which is fantastic in rolling terrain with a pack on and for yo yoing. Recommend!
Am really feeling for the Vicco’s this year.
 
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telecrag

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Oct 12, 2007
31,884
47,195
1,063
Not enough riding in it I reckon, and would have been sketchy on the out. I have done it without the skiing, and its a good ride, you can go through to Geehi. I have used the bike for approach to ski the Brindies a few times, last was 2008 (last time I have skied the Brindies) hope to do it again.
 
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