Photographs from our hiking adventures
Snowy Mountains Fog
Food Drop at Kiandra
Preparing our Kiandra food drop (Kiandra in the background). This was our half-way buckets: two buckets full of goodies to last us the last week.
Start of the walk
Here we are posing at the Track Head. Just a little anxious to get going as the morning's food drops had taken longer than expected. Sandi is holding our SPOT that is sending our 'get going' message to all our followers.
The flowers along the hike always help Sandi along. This time through, in early Spring, there were not too many, and very different to the early summer we were last on this track.
Tharwa to Thredbo
Didn't see too many Hardenbergias this time, but just starting out they were glorious.
Climbing out of Tharwa
After leaving the rolling plains of Tharwa, the track climbs quite steeply over the hills into Bushfolds flat. The stairs can seem endless, but the wattles were a wonderful encouragement.
Tharwa to Thredbo
Aarn Water Wizards to the rescue
It didn't take too long on the second day before we needed to get the Water Wizards out: they really are a wonderful piece of gear (we were very thankful that they coped with the snow shoes we had to strap onto our packs).
Tharwa to Thredbo
Campsite on Orroral River
The day had really deteriorated, and although not raining the wind was viciously cold. Sandi is using the tent for protection so that we can get our dinner ready.
Orroral Valley Kangaroos
Apparently the Orroral Valley has the largest concentration of kangaroos in Australia (as the Outward Bound lass told us): there certainly were plenty that wanted their photo taken.
Tharwa to Thredbo
We seemed to walk for days through Hovea shrubberies, they really were splendid.
Campsite at Little Bimberi
I planned to end Day 3 at Little Bimberi, which is not a recognised campsite - but we've not let us deter us before. The wee creek had a plentiful supply of water, and the tent site was not very level, but was OK. We would have pitched it on the road, but some university kids had only just driven through, so we thought it may be better not to...
Tharwa to Thredbo
Tharwa to Thredbo
Tharwa to Thredbo
Tharwa to Thredbo
Walking up to Murray Gap
Murray Gap is where we cross from ACT back to NSW. We'll also climb Bimberi Peak.
Snow Gums on Bimberi Peak
Bimberi Peak is ACT's highest peak at 1,913m. When I climbed it last time, the change in vegetation as I rose higher was like a replay of the previous 6 weeks walking; back in Summer the Gums were in full flower. This time they were content to silently tell the story of the windy years...
Bimberi Peak. 1913m.
Just a splash of snow for the photo; it was very windy and very cold.
Oldfields Hut
Day 4 finished at Oldfields Hut, a palacious 3 room hut where we ate inside out of the wind and slept in our tent.
Dinner preparations at oldfields hut
Oldfields is a well trimmed hut, and quite wind-proof; we've taken to using candles to add ambiance in place of our headlights ;)
Cooleman Plain
Day 5 started with climbing over a small spur onto the Cooleman Plain. We seemed to have this storm cloud follow us for a while, coming down from the hills. Thankfully it didn't develop into anything serious.
Millers Hut
Day 5 finished at Millers Hut (we stopped here for lunch when we walked South to North, so it was a pleasure to reacquaint ourselves with this cute little one-room hut). Again: we ate inside and slept in the tent.
Sunset Millers Hut
We were treated with a glorious light show after dinner!
Crossing the Murrumbidgee River
Sandi wanted to go off track and follow the old fire trail down to the Murrumbidgee River. So Day 6 started with a lovely walk, the trail came and went, but was mostly gone. At the Murrumbidgee we had to hunt for a crossing to rock hop across... only to find we'd rock hopped to an island, and needed to do it again!
Crossing Tantangara Creek
Tantangara Creek was more of an issue than the Murrumbidgee at this point, and we had to go a fair way upstream to find some rocks to hop across. Definitely wouldn't like to try this without our Pacerpoles!
Witzes Hut
After a long and hard march through a ferocious wind, we finally came to Witzes. A one room hut built by two brothers in 1952, which replaced a more palacious and older homestead; we were very happy to get out of the wind and have a cup of tea with lunch.
Witzes Hut campsite
Relented over lunch and decided we'd stop here the night: it's hard to refuse such beauty.
Relaxing in Witzes Hut
Witzes Hut used the materials from the much older homestead it replaced, so those slabs are way more than 100 years old. It's a shame the newspaper and packing has disappeared, as the wind whistled through without much to stop it.
Chance Creek, Wild Horse Plain
This was to be our camp site yesterday, but it made a wonderful morning tea stop on Day 7. Sandi has her boots of as she's treating a blister :(
Eucumbene River, Kiandra
There was no rock hopping to get over the Eucumbene this time, so it was our first 'boots off' crossing. No photos, as the water was deep and everything was packed away in water-proof bags; the water was deep and unbelievably cold. The following walk up into Kiandra was great to get the blood back into all those little digits again :)
Sorting the Kiandra food drop
Retrieved the food drop without issues and, in this photo, sorting it into our various bags. I'm still amazed that two big buckets fitted into my pack... My Aarn Load Limo is like a Tardis Pack :)
4 Mile Hut
Day 7 ended with this descent to 4 Mile Hut. It's the last remaining Kiandra gold mining hut, and is clad with flattened 5 gallon tins, which gives the hut that rusty colour. It is a tiny hut, definitely a one-man structure, and our two sleeping mats filled the whole floor.
Walking to Jagungal
After Kiandra the track climbs up onto the Great Dividing Range, and the Southerly views are dominated by Mount Jagungal, where it seems you're walking toward it for days. We were looking forward to climbing it this time, as last time the weather was against us.
McKeahnies Creek camp site
Day 8 ended on the banks of McKeahnies Creek, another ad hoc camp site: a little boggy. We had planned to stop at Happys Hut, but passed it at lunch time unfortunately: it really was a favourite of ours.
Doubtful Creek
I'm not sure what's doubtful about this creek? It was very full and fast when we found it...
Shoes on again at Doubtful Creek
We really hate walking in wet boots and socks, so we take the time to take them off and on...
Approaching Okeefes Hut
We had 2 or 3 creek crossings today, and were pretty happy to finally see Okeefes Hut appear. What we weren't too happy about is that Mt Jagungal just can't be seen because of the cloud :( We were hoping that it'd lift by tomorrow and we could climb Jagungal and continue to Mawsons Hut as planned.
Okeefes Hut
Okeefes Hut has an extremely finicky fire that will smoke the whole hut if you don't get the drafts exactly right; still it was worth persevering as our walking clothes desperately needed drying. We slept inside the hut this time, as it's a huge 3 room structure.
Back Flat Creek
Day 10 dawned with low cloud, so there was not going to be any climbing of Jagungal. Crazy: after days of fine weather getting here, it packs it in :( Day 10 ended up a day of continual creek crossings: 8 in one day; some quite small (like the Tumut), but many full, deep and swift.
First snow walk
Day 10 also produced the first snow to walk over...
Valentine Creek
I'm not sure what part of 'creek' they don't understand: this was huge! And after an exhausting day, we had to be extra careful not to go for an unplanned swim.
Valentine Creek from Valentine Hut
After crossing the creek we walked up to the hut in our sandals. Valentine Hut seems a much newer structure than most and is painted bright red. The view down to the river is quite dramatic through the dead trees (from the 2003 fires).
Approaching Shlinks Hut
Shlinks Hut is commonly called 'Shlinks Hilton' because of its size, half of which is private. The plan was leave the track at Orange Hut (just a little further North) and climb up to the Rolling Ground, but we thought we should have a good look at it first; which we thought Shlinks would provide. So we stopped at Shlinks for morning tea and made our plans looking out the window :)
Climbing Dicky Cooper Bogong
Dicky Cooper Bogong at 2004m is 200m above Shlinks Pass. Although there is no track the going was relatively easy, and the view provided is pretty specatular.
View North from Dicky Cooper Bogong
Couldn't believe the weather when we got up Dicky Cooper... Jagungal really is climber shy it seems ;)
Snow shoeing
And before long we had the opportunity to put the snow shoes on and give them a go; we'd been carrying them on our packs for eleven days now (so it was about time).
Snow shoeing Dick Cooper Bogong
...and what fun it was! We just kept walking with gay abandon; stopping for lunch on a rock in the midst of the snow. When we finally got to the end of the snow it required a concerted effort to get back to where we should have been - we were planning to camp at Consett-Stephen Pass, and the track was quite a few kilometers on the other side of the ridge ;)
Consett-Stephen Pass
Consett-Stephen Pass is a wide saddle, that can be a little exposed apparently, but today it was beautiful so we had no hesitation in stopping in the middle of the saddle.
Consett-Stephen Pass camp site
We felt like we were camping in a postcard. A cold windy postcard, but still a postcard :)
Climbing Mount Tate
Day 12 started ominously with a hail storm while we were still tucked away in our warm beds. Climbing Tate didn't provide serious problems, although the track was covered with un-crossable snow, and we just needed to make sure we left Tate on the right ridge.
Approaching Mann Bluff
We'd negotiated Mount Tate quite successfully and were marching off to Mann Bluff, when we happened to look out to the North and see some serious storm clouds. We asked ourselves if it may pass around us, but put things away just in case... just as the hail started to batter us! We ran for some boulders to shelter behind, as the hail was coming in at 30 degrees, and viscous! We had to wait for about 15 minutes until it passed, then set off again...
Mann Bluff
We got about 5 minutes down the track and was sidling around Mann Bluff when this happened! Visibility zero. And because we'd seen the snow just beyond the cloud, we thought it better to wait for better visibility - we definitely did not want to slip off one of those step snow cliffs! So we sat behind Mann Bluff, sheltering against some shrubs, in the rain to see what would happen.
Under the fly
A couple of hours later, Sandi said she was cold; so I put up the fly and we scrambled under. It's amazing what a thin sheet of nylon will do! We had our morning tea and kept waiting. A couple of hours later Sandi was cold again, so I put up the tent as well and we got inside and had lunch.
Melting snow for dinner
About 3 o'clock it was obvious we were going to spend the night here too, so I completed the pitch and added storm guys, as even in our relatively protected spot, the wind was still flattening our tent when it gusted. Then we headed out to collect some snow to melt for dinner...
Minus 4 degrees over night: Frozen Boots
We'd been prepared for cold nights, but I was surprised when it got down to -4, because we'd been so warm. When lifting the fly flap to peek out in the morning, it was very resistant to my efforts, and had a layer of ice on top (from the rain) and underneath (from the condensation). When I cam to put my boots on... they were solid!
Breakfast on Day Thirteen under Mann Bluff
The weather had cleared and it was a glorious morning. Took the opportunity to air our sleeping gear, as we had no idea what the evening would bring; but the day looked like another beautiful walking day.
Anton-Anderson Saddle
Snow shoeing up Mount Twynam
Very happy to be snow shoeing again... threading our way up Twynam. We had morning tea just below Mt Twynam, then joined the Main Range for our walk to Wilkinsons Creek.
Albina Lake
After snow shoeing and walking our way over Carruthers Peak and Mt Lee, one of our questions was answered: 'Do the alpine lakes freeze over winter?' Obviously yes :)
Wilkinsons Creek
After negotiating the difficulties of Northcote Pass, it was an easy wander off Meullers Pass down to Wilkinsons Creek: always beautiful, but just amazing with its winter coat.
Wilkinsons Creek camp site
One of the rare days when we could relax in camp in the warm sun -- and in this case, feel we were in a postcard again.
Wilkinsons Creek sunset
A glorious finish to a difficult day.
Wilkinsons Creek sunrise
Day 14 sunrise with very crisp views to the West, which is down to Victoria.
Climb up to Rawson Pass
This will be our last snow shoe for this walk, where we'll cut across from Muellers Pass to Rawson Pass (where we were hoping to utilise the highest toilet in Australia).
Sandi's last snow shoe, just below Kosciuszko
Sandi: looking very polished on her snow shoes :)
And we're just about finished
How can 14 days go so quickly? But it did feel good to be romping down that metal pathway toward a hot meal and shower.
Mountain streams
We've really fallen in love with these mountain streams over the last couple of walks through the Alps: they bubble and gurgle, are crisp and clean and wonderfully beautiful.
Thredbo Alpine Hotel
After coming down in the chair lift, we asked information about accommodation options Bit of a Henry Ford solution: any place you like as long as it's the Thredbo Alpine Hotel. We were blessed to get a special on room and breakfast and were very happy overall. After washing the previous fortnight's dirt off, we spent the afternoon wandering around Thredbo (which was pretty closed up).
Clean at last
Clean, warm and relaxing with a cool drink: what could be better?

Photos of our 200km hike from Canberra (Tharwa) to Thredbo.

Location: Australian Alps, New South Wales, Australia

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