• Kepples Hut backpack

    26/27TH. MAY 2012.
    Hike leader: Paul Bucknell, Party;- Micheal,Ray, Lorraine,and Julie.
    After a bus stop run picking up people on the way, we left Frankston at 4.30pm and drove through heavy rain and gale force winds, talking about sceptic comments from our friends during the week about going out in such weather??
    On our way to Marysville, Discussions ran around the car about options? :- The cold freezing rotunda on snowy Lake Mountain, or , the cosy heated cabins  with soft beds in Marysville,? All but one courageously said the Rotunda.
    However soon after passing through Marysville, snow appeared on the road. The further we drove up the deeper the snow became, and more branches across the road. The doubting  Thomas’s emerged. Finally we came upon a Ute stopped at a large fallen tree. Showing little resistance, we piled back into the 4×4 and headed back to Marysville and the cosy cabin. After a jovial tea around the table, we snuggled into bed with the storm raging outside.
    SATURDAY;-  Paul raised the reluctant crew out of their cosy beds at 7am. With various mutterings and request for cuppa ,s in bed.
    We prepared day packs and donned wet weather gear and set off in the 4×4 along Lady Talbot Drive, wondering how far we could drive before the snow stopped us. We soon had tree clearing down pat and coming upon a fallen tree we would hop out and cut and drag it of the road. Once we had to us the 4×4 to drag it away.
    We saw many “long tailed chooks’ (lyre birds) and rabbits and wallaby’s on the way up. We managed to get as far as the Upper Taggerty Road and park. There was 6” of snow on the ground by now. Our progress up the track was made easier because a 4×4 had cut groves through the snow. However when we stopped for a scroggin break three more sloshed past and muddied up the snow..
    By 10.30am. We had arrived at the newly built Keppel’s Hut nestled in 18” of snow, a fairytale picture. We rekindled the fire inside the hut, had brunch and took the group photo in the snow.
    Then to experience virgin snow, we took the Boundary Hut Trail for a kilometre. Julie and Lorraine fell into the powder snow to make snow angles (see picture) the deep snow meant that the lead person sank 18” into the snow and the following people stepped into their tracks.   We returned to the main road and quickly descended back to the car. We left our wet dripping  gear on because we were just going down to the river to walk around the Beeches Cuiciut Track.
    This was a delightful walk through rain forests with lot of bridges over the raging rivers. We walked down to where they met then up past the Cascades water fall the back up to the road. Here we had to decided again; – Down the road, or the saturated bush track? We bravely to the track and bashed our way the wet over-hanging branches brought down by the snow…
    Back at the car we took of our wet weather gear and piled back into the car for the short trip back to our cosy cabin. Hot showers and a dry change and hang things up to dry, then we walked up to the street and feasted at the bakery on hot pies coffee and decedant “Bee Stings”
    When we returned to our cabin we didn’t feel like much tea but managed to graze until late.
    We awoke to the kettle going on for a cuppa at 7;15am. And sat around the table for a jovial breakfast. It took awhile to sort out the Chinese laundry of clothes hanging around but finally we were packed and the cabin cleaned. Then off to the Stevenson’s Falls. We had to force ourselves past the bakery  . We stopped at the first car park and walked down the “Ferny Gully “track and followed the river for 3kl. To the spectacular falls and the compulsory group photo.
    WE then shed some layers for the climbed up to the top of the falls. Impressive views of Marysville and the surrounding mountains.  Off then further up the mountain to the first lookout” De La Rue” to stop for a warm cuppa from the thermoses that Ray was carrying. The sun came out briefly which enabled us to see the view of Marysville and the Cathedral Range.
    On through the forest to the new steel platform at Keppel’s Lookout. The mist cleared briefly to see the view. Micheals craving for the bakery drove us down the trail with Michael leading the way. There was a lot of track maintenance in progress on the way down.
    Back at the bakery we indulged ourselves in coffee and many pastry delights. We then reluctantly drove home.  Everyone enjoyed the snow filled scenery and the great company.

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