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  LCOOL Ultimate High Country Experience
Day 1 - 26 Dec 10

Home to Charlies Creek

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Main Camp

We had 7 Cars meet on Boxing Day in Benalla head over Mt Hotham to Omeo. Daz’s 80 smoked out a few slow going Winnebago’s on the way down who seemed intent on purposely holding up as many cars as possible. We met Muddy, Tanya & Terry at the Bakery, topping up fuel before heading onto camp.  
Across to Benambra we took the Beloka Road & Buckwong track into Charlie’s Creek where the 1st lcooler to arrive Phil, had just arrived. With rain threatening everyone quickly got set up including the giant group tarp just in time for a huge thunderstorm to hit. This added to what was already a pretty wet camp area but we all managed to squeeze into the higher ground.

Unbeknown to us this downpour was causing all sorts of problems down at Tom Groggin Hill which explained the late arrival of the NSW contingent. This brought us up to 14 cars on day one, a huge turnout compared to previous trips with many old lcool friends catching up for the first time in many years along with plenty of new  introductions. The scene was set for a great eight days in the High Country.


Craig


NSW Convoy (enroute to Charlie's Creek)

Matthew and Paula where by far the first to arrive at 7:45am.    We left Pheasants Nest at 9:30, Right on schedule. There is 8 vehicles coming from Sydney and we are on our way! With frequent talk on Channel 26 we are all occupied. Igor only has a handheld radio so we can't understand him properly.

We passed Canberra and had a view of the airport. We are on the way to Cooma for a lunch stop. We are finishing our lunch stop in the park and are about to head off from Cooma. We are passing Jindabyne and the lake is full, which is unlucky for Matt because he brought his surfboard for no reason! Farmer Dave has recently joined us while leaving Cooma.

We passed the Murray River at Tom Groggin but had to use the Tom Groggin Station bridge because the water was too fast!  We didn't get very far along the Tom Groggin Track before we came to a steep muddy hill and Bob went first in his 100 series and he managed to get through with some difficulty. Next Glen went in his 200 series with trailer but it was too slippery and with the added pull of the trailer and he couldn't make it! :(. As the car towing the trailer failed to proceed all the trailer towers decided to go back around Jindabyne and meet us tomorrow, we hope that the rest of us can get up or it will be a long day! Bob now attempted to pull Matthew up with a snatch-strap but this time they both got stuck. So once again a change of plan, we are going to Dogmans Hut to camp at tonight because who knows how long these two will be trying to get up that nasty hill?! Finally they have finished but Igor is now having a go and people are starting to have second thoughts, or third thoughts at this stage so we will have to wait and see what happens! Since Igor had a rather easy run Farmer Dave decided to have a go too, he was also successful at this and now it's our turn! Well that was a wild ride and I think Dad went the fastest out of everyone so far! Now Michael in his 200 series and trailer made it to the top with ease.   Now Darren in his 80 series with a trailer made it up easily.

We have now entered thick cloud and are very high up. On the way to camp on the mountain we just saw about 10 Brumbies and 3 foals! They were very cute but only we saw them because they got frightened. We arrived at camp at about 9:15 pm with 3 bog holes on the way in.

We sat around the fire and relaxed after our long day.
Maia Phibbs

NSW Convoy Minus (overnight at Dogman's Hut)

After coming back down off the hill, we (Glen, Scott and Steve) left to spend the night at Dogmans Hut before going in via Barry Way.   We quickly set up camp, got a fire going and settled in for a cosy night in and around the hut
Glen





NSW team enroute to Tom Groggin



NSW mob ready to roll from Pheasants Nest Servo



Having a chat to the locals at Tom Groggin, Raina, Paula and Jess



MadMat with trailer looking for a bit of assistance to pull up and over the pinch



Bob - "are ya ready mate"?



A bit further up - some big ruts sucked Matt in..



Rear view



Glen looking to set the winch up to help the car up the hill



Still a bit of movement on the track..



Isaac, Michael and Stephanie - guessing the thumbs up is for getting up the top ;-)



Muddy had some great signs to lead everyone into camp



As the day got on, the mist rolled in..