Richard's Report - Sunday, 9 July 2006 6:32:10 PM

Home, Home On The Range

On my first lift ride up Kozi chair on Friday, it stopped due to an electrical fault. I was stuck on it for a while, luckily out of the wind which had suddenly strengthened from the 25kph that my computer said before I went out. We were eventually slowly inched off and then the chair was closed for a while for maintenance. I went out back with my kite only to find the wind felt more like 50kph. I did launch the kite but the strong gusts were too much so I de-kited (is that a real term?) and skied back in over Sponars. There were some very nice wind drifts up on the range.

A snowcat was preparing track from top of Basin to Karels lift on Friday then on Saturday morning Basin T-bar was opened and later in the afternoon Karels T-bar was also opened for the first time this season. I can’t tell you much about them as Peter and I headed out to Signature Hill before either was opened. We had two surprisingly soft runs down the steeper north face and then headed out into the Ramsheads. On our way south we came across one party returning and then we met up with two more friends before proceeding across to a suitable point to descend into Bogong for lunch. We passed more friends cutting lines from the top of middle Ramshead and then we were met by two more during lunch. The good quality snow and very pleasant weather conditions were bringing crowds (only kidding) out onto the main range. As we returned to the resort the snow quality continued to drop and I must say the bottom of the Basin was quite bad – but at least it was open.

Today the 50kph winds and –24C wind-chill kept me off the main range. I met up with Raymond and we did a couple of Supertrails on the manmade before the upper section got too bad. We had a nice run down Sundowner (that sounds like an oxymoron but the cover was great). Two runs on High Noon and then the manmade snow started to scrap off at the bottom of the steep section and the crowds increased. Time for a coffee - Merritts had really enjoyable snow on Walkabout and being “change-over” day, the lift line was quite tolerable. A few more runs here and then to check out Antons. Ouch – rocks on the traverse, rocks on the run down and rocks on the lift line going up. The high traverse across to Sponars revealed a mix of mini wind drifts and marbled bumps. The cat track was OK on skiers left and bare in the middle in some patches. From Bunny Walk down, the Supertrail was great and kept getting better as you approached the bottom. It all says something about the snowmaking. The snow inversion continues.

Wind drift beyond Sponars - Friday
Wind drift beyond Sponars - Friday

End of the queue for Snowgums chair – after Kozi breakdown
End of the queue for Snowgums chair – after Kozi breakdown

Peter’s 2nd descent of Signature Hill - Saturday
Peter’s 2nd descent of Signature Hill - Saturday

Once we’d trashed the hill it was time to move on
Once we’d trashed the hill it was time to move on

Waz and Jackie descend North Ramshead
Waz and Jackie descend North Ramshead

The cover looks good but it’s not very deep
The cover looks good but it’s not very deep

Cloud in Victoria, beyond our path to Bogong
Cloud in Victoria, beyond our path to Bogong

Snow shoes and skins were the only way to get where we went
Snow shoes and skins were the only way to get where we went

Peter descends into Bogong Creek
Peter descends into Bogong Creek

Wazza & Jackie’s lunch includes an endangered fruit
Wazza & Jackie’s lunch includes an endangered fruit

The maps look good for Tuesday onwards with and several cold fronts plus a full moon. It was snowing at Dead Horse Gap late this afternoon and the snow was actually settling on the grass. Here’s hoping the drought will soon end.

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Disclaimer: 
The views and opinions expressed on this page are my own personal observations and in no way represent the views or opinions of the resort or any other person.

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