Mt Stirling Snow Shoe overnight
Leader: Beaver Bucknell
August is a good time of year to go snowshoeing, the snow is established and Spring days are on the way, generally a good recipe for snow shoe conditions. Our weekend starts at Carter’s Mill Camp Ground Friday night about 1km from the Buller/Stirling toll gates. Our group of Hayden, Lorraine, Matthew, Michael, Richard & I rendevous here readying ourselves for the trek come the morning.
Going up the mountain, consolidating cars is recommended as it cost $70 per vehicle to stay overnight on the Mountains and thus, share the fare seems fair.
Now to the task at hand, once hiring of equipment at our start point at Telephone Box Junction is completed we set off, in our ‘normal’ boots for 2km to King Saddle Shelter. The snow is patchy up until here, which was a bit of a surprise as i thought there would be a better cover of snow at a lower elevation than when i was last here 2 years ago.
With snowshoes now attached, the weather is fairly kind as we zig-zag up from King Saddle and the first views of nearby mountains are seen on our lefthand side. Arriving at ‘The Cricket Pitch’ for a break a quick game with a shovel used as a bat and trekking poles as stumps, Richard bowls to Beaver with the fresh new snowball, the ball has limited life and the bowler goes for the ‘new ball’ after each delivery. When Lorraine recieves a brute of a ball to the body, stumps are called and the group sets off to our camp at Kings Spur Hut.
The afternoon entrails us to head up to Stirling’s summit, but as time goes on the clouds start to build up from Buller, fortunately enough cloud-break allows for distant views over snow-capped Crosscut Saw towards Mt’s. Bogong, Feathertop Hotham and the heart of the Victorian Alps. It’s brilliant up here with a huge blanket of snow laying over the summit and tracks marking where skiers have gone before us, and a lone Snowgum that’s suffered significant effects of snowdrift. We head back to camp via Bluff Spur Hut with an hour or so of daylight up our sleeves to have a cuppa and a rest or build a snow wall around the tent. When the sun has set and we’ve had our fill, the fire-heated hut invites us all to keep warm and chat amongst ourselves while having a sip…. but tiredness creeps up like Winter’s Ghost sweeping across the mountain and we’re all ready to turn in somewhere between 7 & 8pm.
Dawn breaks and a brief sunrise glow gleams towards my tent and i enjoy brekky under the vestibule looking eastward with mountain views….. and the dunny just to give a little perspective.
Breaking camp at 8:30 to head back down the mountain via the scenic route sees us back at King Saddle and onward to Razorback Hut. From here Beaver takes us, what looks loike a track leading away from the hut through mud and slush, and a bit of a challenge for the modern snowshoe, but not for the much maligned Yowie’s that trample everything in their way. Fifty metres on, connection to the main track winds us back to Telephone Box Junction to complete a worthwhile snowjourn.