Mt Baw Baw snow, look don’t touch

Egged on by the guys at church talking of their snow camps, I was enthused to try a very different hiking experience. Growing up in the Northern Territory snow was something that you only saw on TV and even then it was rare. I had become more acquainted with the white powdery or white wet stuff depending on your experience living in Connecticut, USA, near the ski fields of Vermont. However I’d never pitched a tent in it.

With safety our first concern and given our familiarity with the area we chose the Baw Baw Plateau as our destination and began the wait for some snow to fall. The ski season officially starts in June but it’s never guaranteed, most years August / September turn out to be best.

The logistical nightmare was getting time off work, where there was good snow prior to the weekend with reasonable conditions after. Following three failures to launch the perfect weather pattern that had been eluding us for weeks presented itself.

The plan was set in motion, we would drive to Erica, hire snow shoes at Erica Ski Hire, make our way to the Mt St Gwinear car park (it’s free to park there), walk over Mt St Gwinear, joining the Australian Alps Walking Track and then look to pitch up somewhere near Mt St Phillack.

Snow had been falling two days prior, one of the biggest dumps on record. Claire and I were musing over how much snow there would be. Hopefully a forest of white and enough to pitch the tent on. Careful what you wish for! Barely onto the dirt road and the snow made an appearance. Shy at first, just a dusting here and there, but as we climb the curtains pull back to reveal a thick coating, tree ferns weighed down by the unfamiliar site. I never thought we would need chains but sure enough we did and it was about to get worse and glorious all at the same time.

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Mt Bogong, expect the unexpected

Mt Beauty as the name describes is a picturesque little town nestled on the edge of the Alpine National Park, Gateway to Falls Creek, one of Victoria premiere ski resorts and Victoria’s tallest mountain peak, Mt Bogong.

Six months early fishing for trout on the pond on a cool crisp morning, daylight struck over the mountain revealing it snowy crown and the majesty of its peaks. I knew at that time I had to climb it. Clear of the city and now on the Hume, what had previously been just the imaginings of a hiker looking for the next adventure was about to become a reality.

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Day 3 Crosscut Saw, visiting the clouds

We’d had a great walk into Macalister Springs and treated to a brilliant sunset over Mt Howwitt Day 1 Crosscut Saw, is that a toilet?. Our First full day walking took our breath away, such beauty in a remote and rugged land Day 2 Crosscut Saw, views beyond compare  But this was all about to change.

The muffled sound of rain drops splatting the tent is incessant all night, thankfully it hasn’t been accompanied by high winds. I poke my head out and we’ve been sleeping in the cloud, wetter than all those fairy tale pictures of laying in white pillows of fluff radiant in the suns glow.

I can see the droplets saturated into the fly, one false move, even a thought of a brush with it, will open the floodgates for dousing. We’re dry in the tent just the dampness of our breath can be felt. With boots on I pull over a jacket and step outside to examine the damage, but I’m taken back by the situation that confronts me.

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Day 2 Crosscut Saw, views beyond compare

We’d had a great walk into Macalister Springs and treated to a brilliant sunset over Mt Howitt Day 1 Crosscut Saw, is that a toilet?. But this day was to be even more spectacular.

I wake from a restless sleep with those same feelings of when you are strapped in a roller coaster ratcheting your way to the top knowing there is no turning back from what lies ahead. Relieved the tent is dry there are many more of them with a great number of campers having arrived overnight. There is a line up for the toilet and it not just for the view. We get on with the packing up and woofing down breakfast, we’re ready to head off. What we didn’t know is the rest of the party’s breakfasts are little more substantial and that equates to time. Never mind there is plenty of it, or at least that is what we think.

Finally on our way we cross the saddle and with one of our younger walkers, Lachie, who is training for the army setting the pace, we’re quickly up past the Howitt Plain and into the walk proper. The view is amazing a panorama stretching from Mt Buller to the far reaches of the Alpine National Park. I’m distracted by the majesty of this place and enjoy the early part of the journey, the walk so far is similar to the Mt Feathertop razorback.

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Starting out on the Crosscut Saw

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Day 1 Crosscut Saw, is that a toilet?

Bidding adieu to the summer hiking season and the expectation that Easter will be cold like previous years, the weather surprises us with a final hurrah to Summer. I’m happy as I’m spending Easter with my parents on the beautiful Sapphire Coast (southern New South Wales) where we have enjoyed great places like Ben Boyd National Park, which I’m still to share with you!

A conundrum emerges in the days prior to leaving however, accept a surprise invite to walk the Crosscut Saw and shorten the holiday with parents or leave plans as they are. I decide the former and get ready for a 26 km, 2 night, 13 peaks of up and down joy just for the fun of it.

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Day 4 – Wilsons Prom, mountains to sea

Day 1 I wrote about the journey from Telegraph Saddle to Roaring Meg creek, you can read about it here, Wilsons Prom, a bucket list destination .

Day 2 I wrote about our experiencing the lighthouse and walking to Little Waterloo Bay, you can read about it here, Wilsons Prom, lighting up history

Day 3 I wrote about the view from Kersop’s peak and our rest day at Refuge Cove, you can read about it here, Wilsons Prom, Refuge Cove or was that party cove

The final day of the walk had arrived, it was tinged with sadness and relief . Although we had running water and been able stay reasonably clean, you could feel the sand and salt. Add to this a restless night sleep from a sore body and a hot shower and comfy bed was calling to me. We’re heading for our final coastal stop Sealers Cove. I’ve heard and read lot about it, it has a sort of legendary status and I’m curious to experience this place and see if the labels are justified.

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Day 3 – Wilsons Prom, Refuge Cove or was that Party Cove

Day 1 I wrote about the journey from Telegraph Saddle to Roaring Meg creek, you can read about it here, Wilsons Prom, a bucket list destination .

Day 2 I wrote about our experiencing the lighthouse and walking to Little Waterloo Bay, you can read about it here, Wilsons Prom, lighting up history

A sigh of relief washed over us when looking at the map we learned that the high steep mountain we spotted the day before was not on our route and was not in fact Kersops Peak, but Mt Wilson.  In any multi day walk, there is a flat day, either weather, spirits or fatigue knock you about. The walk to refuge cover is short just 6km, we had planned to walk through to Sealers but all the sites were booked. I was thankful for that, as this was shaping up to be my  flat day, my muscles protesting the idea of moving at all.

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