Friday, 23 December 2016

Snowy Range

21st - 23rd December 2016

Nevada Peak
Snowy North
Snowy South

Day 1
I approached the Snowy Range via the Nevada Peak track, which is currently accessed differently than the Abels book describes due to winter flooding taking out a bridge on Russell Road. I followed the directions to the Lake Skinner track as per the Snowy South entry and drove a little further beyond that track to reach the appropriate forestry spur road. The drive down took me around 5 hours, and I was walking by 12:30pm. The walk passed through an old forestry coup before entering lush rainforest. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the track, making for swift going. After an hour I left the giant Myrtles behind in favour of tall alpine moorland, dominated by Pandani. Soon that gave way to low alpine heath and I stormed through the gale force winds to Snowdrift Tarns. The collection of tarns sit in the lee side of Nevada Peak, making it a reasonable spot to set up camp. After a late lunch, I headed up Nevada Peak, which took all of 10 minutes to the summit. The view was wonderful and made me feel grounded in my position on the range, with both other Abels in sight. Dark clouds were on the horizon, so I made my way to camp where I was promptly tent bound for about 17 hours in fierce winds and pounding rain.

A spiffy new lookin' sign.

Mmmm... Rainforest <3

Wetpants Peak through some gum forest.

Wetpants, Scrivens Cone, and Snowy North.

AH! So this is why it's called the Snowy Range!

Home sweet home neath Nevada Peak.

Half way up to Nevada. My tent is just visible! Can you find it?

Looking south towards Snowy South, from atop the summit of Nevada.

Looking north.

Pandani and Pineapple Grass.

Day 2
I awoke to thick fog with less than 10 metres of visibility. So I waited. And waited. All of a sudden at 9:30am sharp the clouds began to rapidly lift as the sun grew warmer. I was prepared for this moment, and within 2 minutes I had boots and gaiters on and was strolling north along the range. I descended and then went over the shoulder of Wetpants Peak, within an hour of leaving camp I was a kilometre north of Scrivens Cone.The cloud was lifting, but a view of Snowy North still eluded me. The next hour and a quarter of similar low alpine moorland gave me the odd glimpse of Snowy North, but when I reached the summit I had no view from the trig point. I sat around for 20 minutes before slowly the clouds lifted to give me a reasonable view to the west and east. Mt Anne was visible, albeit with a head shrouded in cloud. The walk back to my camp took a similar time frame and I was rewarded with a hot lunch in the sun.

The edge of the world.

Westpants?! More like Cloudypants Peak.

A good representation of the terrain.

Alas, there be no view from the summit.

YES THERE IS! That's Mt Anne over there!

Looking south along the range.

It was just after 3pm and I had rested at camp for nearly an hour. I decided that I should go to Snowy South too, as I still had lots of daylight and it was a beautiful afternoon. I also didn't want to risk another foggy morning ruining my chances for a fine view the next day. The few kilometres of walking were pleasant, a lot of large scree with a patch of moorland in between. It only took me 50 minutes to the summit. I lingered atop Snowy South longer than both Snowy North and Nevada Peak combined. The view was amazing; Mt Weld, Mt Anne, The Denison Range, Snowy Range, Mt Field, all crystal clear. I was also kept amused by the small gum beetles who occupied the summit cairn, watching our over their kingdom. Another 50 minutes back to camp where I rewarded myself with a swim in one of the larger and quite deep tarns (I'd call it a lake to be honest).

Beautiful cushion plant.

Piles of scree.

Looking towards the second Abel to the day.

On the summit looking north.

These guys a keeping an eye out from their cain atop Snowy South.

Day 3
I woke up quite early to a beautiful day. I could have easily done Snowy South instead of the day before, but I was glad of my decision, as it also meant I could get the driving done with a fresh mind. The walk back to my car was lovely and took me a bit over an hour and a half. By the time I reached the car at 8:30am it was already 18 degrees in the shady rainforest. A part of me was glad to not be doing a big day! Soon I was in Huonville with many potato cakes (they have the best potato cakes in Tassie! Only $0.80! Get 'round that, people!)

Stunning morning.

Looking back towards Snowy South along memory lane.

Remnants of the well cut track.

75 left.


1 comment:

  1. Fantastic work Zane, I do love your photos :-) You have a keen eye for the little things, a great ability. Keep on powering on!!