Australian Snowy Mountains - summer edition


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I ditched the Japan idea. Too agar to go for the good chance of poor conditions. So I thought I’d head south and check out our imposing alps in summer.
I had reason to fly into Sydney and take the five hour drive down instead of flying to Canberra. The Bradnam Museum is in Bowral. It was closed for some reason. Damn. Incidentally Don Bradman is arguably statistically if not the most impressive sportsperson in the history of world sport - close to it. His test cricket batting average of 99.94 is double the widely regarded ‘great’ average of 50. He is first, daylight second and the rest at 62 or under. Truly unbelievable. He needed 4 runs in his last innings to average 100. He got a rare (for him) duck.

Anyway I stopped for brunch in Golburn. Home of the big merino ram. You can guess what they farm in the area.

The countryside is looking relatively good for our “wide brown land”.

We also farm cattle.

I’m now in the town of Jindabyne. It’s on a dam. The original Jindabyne was flooded when they built the dam wall for the Snowy Hydro project in the 60s.




I understand our hills aren’t the Euro Alps or the Rockies, Sierras or Himalayas. But tomorrow I’ll drive half an hour to Charlotte’s Pass and then walk to the top of Mt Kosciuszko at 7309 feet elevation.
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A big day.
Did the Main Range loop from Charlotte’s Pass. It takes in Australia’s highest peak - Mt Kosciuszko. The loop is nearly 14 miles. Gains a bit of elevation too.


^Perisher ski resort front valley.


Close to the start of the walk I had to cross the Snowy River.


Some wild flowers were out.


There are still some small snow patches.


Some nice scenery including alpine lakes.




Nearing the top it got cloudy. And the wind was howling.


It was cold up there. Inside nearby Seaman’s hut (600 feet lower elevation) it was 46 degrees. Must have been mid thirties at the top.


Hiked back to Charlotte’s Pass through snow gums.

Charlotte’s Pass ski resort is tiny. Only two lifts.

On the way back I crossed Spencer’s Creek. Home to the Spencer’s Creek snow gauge. Widely regarded as the measure of snow for the Oz mountains each winter.

Not a great trend unfortunately.

Altitude and latitude working against Australian snow conditions unfortunately.
Thanks for sharing your scenic photos. I find it kind of fascinating that despite common geographic factors, no two mountain ranges on the planet seem to be exactly the same due to differences in elevation, vegetation, erosion, underlying rock, etc. For example, your photo below of the Snowy Range doesn't really look like anything I've seen in America. If I were pressed to site something similar, perhaps the mountains in southern AZ/NM/CA?
If I were pressed to site something similar, perhaps the mountains in southern AZ/NM/CA?
I can’t comment as I’ve only been to the Sierras from Mammoth north. I’ve not been to the mountains in either Arizona or New Mexico. (Something I plan to change as Taos and the Los Alamos nuclear history place are both bucket list items).
If I were pressed to site something similar, perhaps the mountains in southern AZ/NM/CA?
No, those mountains are far more rugged and steep. Remember the famous avalanche on the north face of San Jacinto last season?

That face is at least 6,000 vertical on a 10,800 foot mountain. San Jacinto is steeper and more prominent than anyplace in Utah or Colorado. AZ and NM mountains are similar to character to some of Colorado's, there just aren't as many of them.

The closest analogy to the Snowy Mountains IMHO would be the Appalachians in North Carolina, similar in geologic age, topography, latitude and elevation (Mt. Kosciuszko 7,310, Mt. Mitchell 6,684). The glaring difference is that the tree line everywhere in the southern hemisphere is very low. And North Carolina's forest is extremely dense because it's a very wet climate.
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Yeah I've been to Mt. Mitchell and it's similar in elevation, but much more forested, which hides most exposed rock giving it a more benign look. I once drove in a convertible car from VA along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell, NC. It is quite impressive for Eastern US, and of course, the tallest US peak east of the Mississippi River. You can drive a motor vehicle quite close to the summit.
Was up early and caught the sunrise over Jindabyne.

Went for a more traditional style valley bushwalk because I want to save the other alpine walks for when Kylie is with me.



There are some huge boulders. I climbed one for the view.


The Snowy River. Have you people seen the movie Man From Snowy River? Filmed in the early 1980s. It featured Kirk Douglas who played two characters. They were two brothers. One had a leg missing. Anyway….

Some nice picnic spots.

After a late breakfast I drove to Canberra as I have relatives here. Had a quick (free) gym session at the Australian National University. A great gym.
Then went about 20 minutes south of the city centre to get a slice of Northern Territory style landscape. Red Rock Gorge.


Saw a small brown snake. Small but still very deadly.

Our capital Canberra is built around Lake Burley Griffin. Surrounding the lake is Parliament House, the War Memorial, National Library, Institute of Sport, National Museum and all the other institutions.



Now in the city centre but I’ll put those details in the beer thread.
Yes, know the film The Man from Snowy River.
Have you seen old Kirk Douglas film The Heroes of Telemark? It features some ski scenes.
Richard Harris and Kirk:
heroes of telemark.jpg

telemark kirk.jpg

I can't find anything that confirms Kirk was much of a snow skier, but evidently he was quite good at water skiing:
waterski kirk.jpg
Yeah I've been to Mt. Mitchell.....
In July 2018 we stopped at Clingman's Dome (elevation 6,643), where there is a ramp to an observation deck above the forest. It was very foggy so we didn't see much.

Have you people seen the movie Man From Snowy River?
The April eclipse cruise had a couple of sea days due to the cyclone taking out at least one of our planned stops. They showed us Man from Snowy River and also the more recent Australia with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.

In 1997 Adam's choir group sang at Parliament House and visited the Institute of Sport. We visited the War Museum outside of Canberra before I took our car rental to Jindabyne and Thredbo. On the way I stopped at the Snowy River Hydro Discovery Center in Cooma.
Graph looks like snowfall is actually more consistent over time, basically removing any big snow years recently that show ~every 4 years in the early part of that graph.
Perhaps. I’m guessing those big years now partly fall as rain. Certainly the locals report more rain days now than a few decades ago.
Graph looks like snowfall is actually more consistent over time, basically removing any big snow years recently that show ~every 4 years in the early part of that graph.
That graph is base depth, not snowfall.
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