Whos silly idea was it anyway to camp in the snow when there was a perfectly good pub just down the road? Im not sure but we had 26 takers arrive Friday night keen to build Igloos and camp overnight at the summit of Mt Skene.
Jamieson Pub was the meeting place with the Sydney and Canberra contingent arriving early. Trip coordinator Craig Cheetham slipped up the Goulburn River to check a few crossings wed use later in the weekend following rain that had fallen in the previous weeks. Most arrived for a counter tea, some choosing an early night but others holding the bar up till late, Steve Gunderson undoubtedly Best On Ground (again) not recovering from the evening till mid Sunday
Saturday we fuelled up, aired down then headed up Sappers Track the four wheel driving starting less than a kilometre from the bar. Left onto the Jamieson Lookout track led to an interesting optional downhill section with deep ruts, washouts and rock steps. While some spectators had morning tea others negotiated the obstacles, only Steve attempting to go back up in his 90 Prado. With the new sports muffler system he sounded not unlike a Mazda rotary revving out as he tried to claw his way up eventually succumbing on the last rock ledge. A quick winch recovery and we were away.
Back on the main Licola road we picked up some firewood for the night then on towards the summit. Disappointingly there was little snow, in fact none remained on the road at all with fears we may not have enough to build the igloos. Lunch was had at the lookout then a site was chosen back near the summit amongst the snow gums.
Two igloos were started under the guidance of Craig and Gavin with the whole crew pitching in. It wasnt long before they took shape being completed in around an hour. A third one was then built to accommodate all those who wanted to sleep under snow for the first time. Many were surprised how strong they are when completed and how warm they were overnight. With the wind picking up a snow wall was built to shelter the fire and the group settled in for a fairly cool night, most pretty happy Darren had got ATS to supply beanies for everyone.
Sunday the group emerged from the igloos pretty warm & happy with the experience. Before departing Craig cut a window in with a chainsaw and Damien unsuccessfully tried to drive up the side before breaking through
On the road again we continued along the Licola Road then left down Lazzarinis Spur. At the end the track drops down fairly steeply then crosses the Goulburn River several times getting deeper as we went. After smoko we took the Holylands Link Track. This ford caused a little concern for a few as Darren had posted a video link the previous week of the Overlander group getting washed off the same crossing. Fortunately the level had dropped a bit over the week although a few (particularly the Prados) still did go down stream a couple of car widths causing the heart rate to lift. A few chose not to cross instead heading home for an early weekend.
Out of the creek a few bog holes led to a steep rocky climb of nearly 700 metres in less than two kilometres catching Stan out on one pinch. Up on top we stopped to pick up a lost deer hunters hound then dropped back down for one last river crossing. It proved to be the most challenging as we needed to drive thirty metres upstream pushing a one metre bow wave in the strong current, Stan again providing the entertainment with the Prado travelling at 2KPH and the Speedo showing closer to 30KPH foaming up the water around the tyres. Onto the Woods Point road we stopped for a late lunch before saying our goodbyes. Another great LCOOL weekend.
Sorry I couldnt provide the deep snow we had last year but with the interest shown this time we may have to repeat the trip again next year
Damian in his 60 Series - that new rubber under there mate?
Stan has a crack
Craig is our Snow Man - Here he starts with the basics of building an igloo - Block Number One..
go and make your own igloo over there - this is my one you've been helping me with ;-)
Yep, if you don't have a door, you sorta do a forward roll to get in - You know, like......
The boys are catching on quick - lets use BIIIG bricks ;-)
Well, ours is doing OK..
We've still got a bit to go....
A bit of careful positioning - and mortaring from both sides..
The Canberra lads with their washing up gloves going - that you Grant with the pink babies ??
I guess this is the guys in tents now warming their toes by the fire - the guys still building igloos freezing theirs on the wall of the igloo...
The door goes.... here
And we'd best let everyone know who's this is.
First there was one..
Pretty soon there was two - and a half..
One of the tent boys getting a photo of his car
The igloo boys mark their territory
And tuck themselves in for the night..
Now that would be GC with his laptop, and Zac watching on
One or two bundies later - fire is blazing and even the cameraman is on wobbly legs
Daz (you big Oaf ;-)
And his Kombie
The cars are all lined up - igloos in the background..
Grant contemplates who's left inside
Craig leaves nothing to the imagination - "we need a window boys !"
Steve G heads on up
And rutman heads on down..
GC on his way
Daz's ute, and that's not a bow wave - more like a tidal wave!!
Nice and deep ;-)
Steve G floats on through
Daz at another crossing
John Koniw with a free plug for Water Power Marine
Not all of it was bonnet depth
Stan with his supercharged Prado, creating more turbulence than Cyclone Rita under each wheel
Steve - he's one of the blokes I warned you about ;-) (Steve still not looking flash by Sunday)
Daz at another crossing
And not to be outdone
Some of the lovely scenery..