Stan, Daz, Damo & GG.
With a good dump of snow & a promising forecast it was decided to change the run from our usual location at Jamieson over to Porepunkah. Unfortunately the uncertainty caused a few late cancellations but eight cars managed to make it to the pub. The publican was all set to close up the bar until Daz & Co arrived convincing him otherwise.
Heading up the Buckland Valley we took the Powerline track then left on the Buffalo divide.
Although there was a sprinkling of snow from the night before only on the higher peaks had it settled, nothing to cause any problems but made for some interesting photography up on the summit amounst the burnt out trees.
Patchy snow fell around 1400m blanketing the ground but still the deep snow eluded us.
Lunch was had down in the saddle below Mt Selwyn.
Running along the Selwyn Road we were heading for camp when we came across a car that had slipped off the track. Apparently the edge had callapsed causing him to drop over the side so it was arranged to recover him the next morning.
We continued onto the Tea Tree Range Road from that smashing spot up to where the final turn off was. Along the way there were pockets of remnant snow, but nothing too exciting until High Point, at about 1400m on the final approach to Mt Sarah.
The last short track into Guys Hut is on the Eastern slope and was holding more snow than what we had seen up until now, and needed a few trees cleared that saw Davids blunt chainsaw come out. In contrast to elsewhere on the mountain where clearings we had driven through were obviously made with a tape measure allowing only a couple of inches more either side than a 100 series, care was taken to allow larger vehicles to fit between the cuts, just in case we had a visit later that night.
As it was fairly late in the day, the task of igloo building was under way by most as GG and I collected firewood that was standing and not buried under snow. With a slow start, almost as slow as the igloo building, the fire was finally underway with a bit of persuasion by kero and diesel. The boys were working hard building the igloo and GG and I chipped in for a while as it was nearing sunset, but needed to get back to fire duties after a few minutes to keep them alight. Meanwhile the snow had started falling sideways and quite heavily, which made the fire and igloo building a bit more of a task. Finally the igloo was ready and the young ones of the group set up beds inside.
Everyone got into the task of making dinner while the snow fell, no happy hour tonight, too much snow and prior incidents had put a dent in that as well, and my wifes left over hot casserole never tasted better. Some of the lads had Dazs nifty little fire stand to hang a large hot plate on and they enjoyed sausage sandwiches and steaks.
Later that night
.a little visit to the igloo where the young blokes had gone suspiciously quiet, realised that they thought it really was a smokin igloo, and that suddenly they were extremely happy about their efforts which gave them lots to laugh about. Soon after, all the old farts who had decided to camp in the hut went off to bed, ready for an early start, but not until the smoky old fire in the hut was extinguished to clear the air, much to Stans disappointment.
We woke to a clear morning and found that around 8cm had fallen overnight and the cars were covered. Time for a hot breakfast which included delicacies such as baked bean jaffles and bacon and egg rolls, and the clearing of windscreens begun ready to set off. We headed out without incident, making our way to the main road again and did a quick left hand turn to go a couple of hundred metres to the helipad on the summit where the snow was quite thick, with a firm crust and soft base.
Care was taken to turn around and not bog down, then we headed off back along the same tracks we had travelled the day before, only to find some beautiful pockets of snow covered bush, much more than Saturday, and lots more snow on the track.
Getting back to the car that had slid off the day before we set up Craig's big winch for the recovery, everyone pitching in, the owner more than greatfull to have it back on level ground.
We headed down the Selwyn logging road with fresh snow to 1000 metres then over the gap and back down into the Buckland Valley for lunch at Beveridges Station.
The boys looking at GG's lunch with envy while below Damien airs up the new VX for the trip back to Sydney. Is that a Virgin bush scratch on the side there Damo?
With participants needing to travel as far as Sydney & Geelong the group aired up completing yet another eventful LCOOL snow run ;-)
Report by Craig & Damien........