Richard's Report - Tuesday, 21 September 2010 5:33:44 PM

Spring Sunshine

It really has been feeling like springtime over the past week with clear blue skies and snow softening before noon.

On Friday, Marion led Jenny on her first trip to Dead Horse Gap. The cover was great. Saturday I spent a long morning skiing with Traktorman and Jax until after lunch when we decided conditions were too slow and sticky to continue.

While on Sunday morning I decided that my annual trek to the roof of Australia was in order. Marion joined me and after an early coffee at Eagles Nest we headed out on our skins.

There were a few others out on the range but I wouldn't call it crowded. Two left the summit of Mount Kosciuszko as we arrived and another arrived just before our departure. The views were great as was the weather. There was a cooling breeze and some light cloud. Unfortunately the slope from the peak along the south ridge had a fair bit of sastrugi and made for a bouncy run.

I had earlier (from the valley floor) spotted a potential run from a break in the cornice. When I finally climbed to the spot and looked to the valley floor below I knew this was the descent I had to do. The top few turns were sweet then I hit a very firm chattery patch followed by firm and smooth and ending with creamy turns onto a snow covered Lake Cootapatamba.

We lunched beside an opening in the creek and then skinned back up to North Ramshead before the long ski down to Bogong Creek ending at Dead Horse Gap. The snow cover at the bottom of the DHG run is rapidly thinning.

With continuing warm weather, all lower slopes are taking a hammering but top to bottom skiing is still available on all open runs. With the drop in crowds we are seeing a drop in the amount of grooming being done but that's not a problem and with the softening of the snow pack, ungroomed and off piste areas are easily skiable by mid morning.

Jenny in the trees on her first DHG run last Friday
Jenny in the trees on her first DHG run last Friday

Saturday with Jax, Traktorman and a medical conference<BR>and nurse Buck?
Saturday with Jax, Traktorman and a medical conference
and nurse Buck?

Sunday's target - Mt Kosciuszko and the Lake Cootapatamba valley
Sunday's target - Mt Kosciuszko and the Lake Cootapatamba valley

Looking south beneath the cornice on Sth Ridge<BR>Spotting a possible safe descent line
Looking south beneath the cornice on Sth Ridge
Spotting a possible safe descent line

Looking north from the summit of Mount Kosciuszko
Looking north from the summit of Mount Kosciuszko

On top of the ridge, standing well back from the cornice edge
On top of the ridge, standing well back from the cornice edge

At the gap in the cornice, looking south
At the gap in the cornice, looking south

Someone else found my tracks and ...
Someone else found my tracks and ...

Below the Sth Ridge and Marion's chosen descent
Below the Sth Ridge and Marion's chosen descent

Looking over my shoulder on our climb back<BR>People specs on Kozi with the cornice in shadow<BR>And a glazed south ridge
Looking over my shoulder on our climb back
People specs on Kozi with the cornice in shadow
And a glazed south ridge

Forecasters think the run of sunny days will continue for some time. I'd prefer another 50cms of light and dry ;-)

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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