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Trip Index...

Club Lake The First Attempt (January 1994)
Club Lake, Kosciusko, Mt Townsend, the Lakes Walk. (November 1994 )
Club Lake,  (January 1995 )
Club Lake,  Easter long weekend. (May 1995)
Snowy Mountains Walk (February 1996)

Lakes Walk :
Kosciusko, Mt Townsend, Lake Albina, The Sentinel, Twynam, Headly Tarn, Blue Lake ( March 1998 )
Perisher, Porcupine, Charlottes June 1998(Opening week end)
Guthega ... Out and Back overnight with Ross, Owen and Belinda August 1998
Guthega ... Main Range, Headly Tarn, Charlotts Pass and loop to Perisher ... With Terry .... August 1998.
Day trip ... Kosciusko Sept 1998.
Day trip ...Caruthers Pk Sept 1998.
Day trip ...Kosciusko Sept 1998.
Day trip ...the Giants Castle (Rennix Walk). Sept 1998.

Hut Trip Easter WeekEnd ( April 1999 )
Skiing Mount Townsend (Oct 1999)

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Club Lake
Club Lake trip January 1994
Take 1
January 1994 was hot ... really hot ... For the Christmas just past, I had received a calendar full of majestic images of Australian scenery. One photo in particular had me spell bound. Club Lake Kosciusko National Park. Armed with this photo and little else but the desire to see this area, Glen and the rest of my family set off for Perisher and the chance to walk and view this scene for ourselves.

My limited research had shown me that well marked trails existed almost the whole way to the lake, and continued on to Kosciusko itself and then on to Thredbo. My plan was to spend two days walking, leaving from Charlottes Pass and arriving at Thredbo to be picked up by my wife, Sue.

We left Sydney with high hopes and few doubts about the walk. Sydney was ringed by bush fires and fanned by high winds and our main concern was that our house would be safe.

In contrast, Perisher was cold (<10C) and wet and windy. We went up to Charlottes Pass and found the temperature there to be about 6C and very windy with rain and occasional sleet.
To our better judgement we decided to wait a day.

The next day was even colder but it felt as though the wind had dropped, so off we went again. Armed with warmer gear and mittens. The video we took is atrocious. The Weather was furious. Glen and I walked higher, and the higher we got , the harder the wind blew. Hard enough to blow us off our feet at times. Soon , just past Soil Conservation Ck the wet sleet turned to dry fluffy snow. Within half an hour the trail was buried under shallow drifts and we were finding it difficult to follow. But the worst was yet to come... We took a wrong turn just below Caruthers Pk ( unbelievable now, in light of more experience), and soon we were staring down an impossible slope and wondering just where the hell we were !. (We were actually looking down towards Club Lake but didn't know it at the time). By scanning the ridges around us and check the map a dozen times, we determined where we'd gone wrong , and tracked back. Oddly the weather had improved just at the time we got lost, almost like it was trying to help us get back out. As soon as we started up Caruthers Pk, the weather closed in again, and visibility dropped to about 20 feet.

The far side of the peak is where the wheels started to fall of our little red wagon. Glen was in real difficulty with cold legs and we were in full force of the wind. We tracked back and forth across the ridge line looking for the track down into the lake, and on the third attempt decided to try and camp high as it was getting late and we really needed to get out of the wind. We couldn't find a spot suitable for the tent. Another hour was lost searching and eventually we found a boulder about waist height to pitch the tent behind. A wind gust caught us off guard at the critical moment and our tent was rendered useless. Glen silently packed it away and then sat back on his pack staring off through the cloud towards Charlottes Pass. It was 6pm.

The next few minutes are etched indelibly on my mind, although time has smoothed the rough edges, the emotions still remain. I was not happy with our predicament. I was tired but able to walk. I was warm but getting colder now that we had stopped. Our plans had failed and our makeshift plan had also failed. I wanted a cup of tea. I looked at Glen, chose my words carefully and said 'This is pretty grim mate.' Glen looked back, blinked once and responded quietly, 'Yep!'.
I asked 'Can you walk for two hours ?'. Glen nodded. We squirmed back into our packs and stood up into the wind. At that point we were just below the ridgeline and a little protected. We slowly walked back up to the ridge top and as we crested the top, the full force of the wind hit us again. I immediately wanted to just lie down and be out of it. The trail back to Caruthers Pk winds up through a cutting that funnels the wind from just about bloody everywhere. Coming down it was hard, going back up was going to be horrendous. I walked on with Glen following, just on the limit of my visibility. Every ten steps or so I would turn and confirm that Glen was still behind me, sometimes in full view, sometimes just a faint shadow in the cloud around us. As I approached the cutting. the wind and driven snow made stopping seem like a bad move. With my head down I plodded my way up the cutting and gratefully emerged out of the top and into the lee of a small hill. I turned and was surprised that Glen was not behind me. I waited for a minute and then started slowly back, calling out into the wind. Back at the bottom of the cutting Glen had stopped for a quick rest before this difficult uphill section. He had sat down with his back to the wind. As I reached the bottom of the cutting again, all I could see was Glen down on the ground and not moving ..... 'It's come to this' was all I could think. I walked towards him, called out and thankfully he turned and looked towards me, got up and started walking again. I let out a sigh of relief and waited for him to pass me and walked up the cutting together. Once over Carruthers Pk the walking became much easier. We were below the worst of the wind and the trail more easily recognisable. We walked together, munched chocolate, and spoke lightly, all the way back to Charlottes Pass. We made the hotel at around 8:30pm

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Trip 2 - Kosciusko, Mt Townsend, the lakes walk. November 1994
Kosciusco Weekend #2
Geln Vause Ross Gardyne and Me !

Since having been beaten so badly by the weather in January, Glenn and I have been champing at the bit to try the main range walk again. This time apart from taking enough clothing to cater from shorts to storm gear,an excess of food and two tents, we also took my long time friend, and seasoned veteran, Ross.

The three of us left Charlotts Pass at around 10:30 and the plan was to walk directly along the summit track past Seamans hut to Kosciusco and then follow the lakes walk track to the middle of Muellers Pass and camp down near the creek. We couldn't have asked for better weather.The forecast had been fine with storms on Sunday and we were as prepared as we could be. From Seamans' there was heaps of snow everywhere and a surprising number of day walkers and skiers out and about. After breif stops at Seaman's and the Kosciusco summit (for views andsliding down slopes on plastic bags) we continued to our campsite for the night arriving at about five in the afternoon. The veiw accross the valley to Mt Townsend (Tommorrows objective) was spectacular. Snow everywhere. Too much snow to walk through though ... :-(

After a relaxed dinner spanning an awsome sunset, we retired to our tents and sleeping bags only to be woken an hour later by the first of the storms breaking. All night long ... howling winds, rain, lighting and thunder. It's really an exerience being inside your tent when lightning flashes of that magnitude go off ! It's kind of like being in the 'inside' of a gas lamp mantle !
The darkness around you is complete.. and then ... just for a second ... WHAM... All you can see is RED ! With your eyes screwed tightly shut, every brilliant flash leaves a negative print of every blood vessel in your eyeballs!

No one slept.
No one could.

Next morning although the storms had past, the wind was still hurling through and the cloud cover had reduced yesterdays infinite visiblity down to 10 - 30 feet. This, combined with the fact that we didn't know what the snow conditions on the trail ahead was going to be like, and the (known) fact that crossing up over Carruthers Peak in high winds is really uncomfortable,
we wussed out and headed back the way we had come. Finding our way back to Rawsons Pass mostly by compass and map.To make the trip back especially memorable, the horizontally driven rain would occasionally turn to hail.

Seaman's hut was the lunch point again, although this time we actually had lunch inside. Sitting inside the hut, listening to the weather hurling itself about outside as it was, made us all question the NPWS stand on removing the huts from the high country. (it's a bit like removing life preservers from frerries and instead expecting that everyone who uses them must be able to swim).

The weekend provided some of the most spectacular views of the Snowy Mountains I've ever seen and although we still havn't completed the circuit, this trip achieved a number of firsts. Visiting Seamans', summit of Kosciusco, camping on the main range, seeing Mt Townsend and of course enhancing our respect for the increadible changes in weather that are common there.

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Trip 3 - Jan 95
tent broken above foremans crossing
made it to blue lake and then around to Club lake
torrential rain on leaving ......

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Trip 4 - May 95 Easter long weekend.
3 days perfect weather ....
camped at club lake (video)

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Trip 5
Popular Peoples Front
Trip Report 
Number 2
Snowies Walk #5
Snowy Mountains Walk (Feb 24th, 25th 1996)

Walking up from Blue lake ( L to R: Me, Linda, Brenda )
'In the beginning ...'
The second monthly Popular Peoples Front get together was scheduled for Feb 17th and 18th.
The (rough) aim was to drive down on Friday night and do the 'lakes walk' at Kosciusko on Saturday and wander back via Adaminaby and Tumut on Sunday.

With less than two week to go before starting, one of the key players became unavailable and at the risk of losing two from the group, the trip was postponed by one week. With one thing leading to another the group size actually dwindled to four by the time we were ready to go.

'Hi Ho ... Hi Ho'
The original plan was that Glen would pick Brenda, Linda and myself up from work (since the three of us work together) on Friday and we'd all go down there and back in his car. By about 10am on Friday, with all the managers gone for the day, the pressure became too great and the urge to get moving overtook us all. Brenda and Linda met me at my place about 4 and the three of us set off for Sawpit Ck with Glen following on later (he was unable to leave any earlier than planned). A fun but uneventful drive saw us at Sawpit Ck around 10:30pm and Glen actually arrived just as we were putting up my tent ( the tajh-mahovel). (Bummer, missed tenting with the girls by that-much!).

Saturday dawned early and we were up by 6:30, breakfasted by 7:30 and ready to go by 8:30, (pretty quick by our standards).
A quick drive to Charlott Pass and off we went (9:15), down to Foreman's crossing. The gradual climb to the Blue Lake turn off went extremely well and we passed a number of groups of grannies and other walkers. The girlies were doing well and didn't even twig to the 'this-is-the-hardest-part' rouse, the first three times anyway.

'Are we there yet ?'
Blue Lake was fabulous. We went left, around the lake and found a nice spot for morning tea and a quick swim. (Two days later and my voice has nearly returned to normal !). As we walked along the lake to rejoin the Main Range track we passed a little sandy beach which would be better lunch spot, just gotta remember it next time.

A short climb brought us to the ridge between Mt Twynam and Carruthers Pk and with it an awesome view down into 'little Austria' with Mt Sentinel poking up like a witches hat just below us. Having never seen this before, I was surprised at how steep and small it actually appears. (Still like to go out there one day).

Stop number 3 was just below Carruthers Pk looking down to Club Lk, lying innocently in the sun, 100m below us. In the beautiful weather of the day, it was hard to remember the difficulty Glen and I had had with this place before ! Over the peak and down to the saddle was easy, and lunch over Lake Albina was just slightly more than palatable. (smoked salmon, brie, avocado, fresh mushrooms, chocolate and tea ... ).
Up to here is probably the nicest part of the walk and from here on there's really only one hard bit, Kosciusko itself. It's nice getting to the peak in the early after noon as you only have to share it with about 50 other people, and don't have to feel to self conscious climbing the cairn and juggling the Klutz balls you've carried all day, for a quick photo !
After the summit we were naughty and walked directly down to Rawson's pass rather than follow the track (take that NPWS! that's for closing Mt Banks for us !), and headed for Seaman's Hut and another cuppa and some biscuits. With the sun setting fast we marched ourselves back to the car and finally dropped packs at about 6:30 (yep ! 9hrs !).
Me juggling Klutz balls at 2228m
Pleased with ourselves, we shot back to Sawpit Ck and ejected from the car to head for the showers. A moments lapse of concentration, a moments confusion with different sets of keys and ..... bingo ... locked car .... clothes, packs, food, the lot ! Having unlocked Brenda's car with a piece of wire that morning we thought 'hey ! piece of cake.' Glen even added that he'd done this once before .... an hour and a half later with darkness descending, I rang the NRMA in Jindabyne and settled in for a long wait at the campground entrance. Even the NRMA guy had trouble breaking in !

'Yes Possum ?'
A simple dinner washed down with a couple of litres of chataue-du-box port heralded in the night and the customary attacks by possums. I myself barely managed to escape with 5 fingers after extracting one beast from our chocolate cake! Later they got smart and started diversionary tactics as well, but we were awake to these and soon the activity of the day took its toll and we headed off to bed.
Glen and I slept soundly, lulled to sleep by the gentle groaning of the girls as they struggled to find sleeping positions that didn't impact on their sunburned legs.
Breakfast (apple and cinamon pancakes) was pretty quiet and sadly the girls announced that they felt like heading back to Sydney early, so Glen and I decided to head off in to the unknown for the day. After waving goodbye at Jindabyne we set off for Adaminaby and arrived in time for an early lunch of smoked trout (Hmmm.....) and took a couple of photos around the 'Big Trout' as you do !
A nice drive out through Kiandra to Yarangobilly throughout which we discussed the walk, the next trip, and solved many of the worlds problems. Now it was time for another swim ! For those that haven't been there Yarangobilly hosts a number of limestone caves, a george, a river, and a thermal spring.
(27C coming up from 760m). Very nice for tired muscles. After a quick dip in the spring we jumped into the creek just to see if there really was a difference in temperature. (I think we should have done this the other way around!). Just the same, the creek is fine !
Glen proving size isn't everything at Adaminaby
We started driving around looking for suitable camping sites for a future visit and unfortunately attracted the attention of one of the park rangers who came over and told us in no uncertain tones, that camping was allowed at Yarangobilly Village (right next to the main road ... yeah right!) or Khancoban (do you know how far away that is !?!... yeah right !).

Talbingo seemed a pretty good compromise and we found a number of good campsites and even a really nice caravan park if we want to go upmarket for a trip. As it was starting to get a little late in the day now (apparently the girls had already got home by now), we decided there was only really one option open to us ... go to Gundagai and get an ice cream !

The rest of the trip is just highway stuff and more solving the worlds problems and we eventually made it home around 11:00

Quotes and Highlights of the walk :

Wit: 'This is the hardest part !' - the view past Mt Sentinel.
Brenda: 'No more photos!' - all of the pretty flowers.
Linda: 'Are we there yet?' - morning tea at Blue Lake & ginger nut biscuits.
Glen: 'Gosh we're all really impressed down here, I can tell you !' - getting out after swimming in Blue Lake.

Sport, like war or adversity, makes people have a regard for eachother and establishes in this vale of tears friendships that no circumstances can mar or break.
- Herbert H Schlink
- 1st successful winter crossing Kiandra to Kisosko (July 1927)

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Mt Townsend and the Sentinel
Fri 6th - Mon 9th March 1998

With winter fast approaching it was high time to depart for the treeless land of wind, sun and grasslands. One last long walk before the snows of winter arrive and carpet the world of green with white. Hiding once again, the prominent features of a landscape that is never quite the same, from moment to moment.

Our small group bravely took 2 days off from our respective jobs and created a 4 day weekend, to travel and tramp in leisure and at whim. Direction determined by only weather and curiosity.

Friday morning saw the four of us assemble for coffee and a round chin-ups at Sparky's (Denise's), in Surry Hills. In minutes, we would be heading out of Sydney in a two car convoy... Destination McDonalds Queanbyan!

Where is McDonalds ?

Now! I' know where McDonalds is .... I've been there so many times in the past I've lost count. But do you think I could find it this time ? As was to become the norm for the weekend... I missed the spot we were aiming for and we were forced to circle back (and follow the signs !). A McHappy meal complete with pink pig, (our new Weather Pig), filled both the tummy, and the need to have some frivolous toy tied to my pack for the walk to come. (Somehow Terry and Geoff managed to come here via Oatlands ? I guess they stopped at Stu's for coffee !)

A pleasant but uneventful drive saw us reach Jyndabyne by about 6pm. A quick stop for munchies and hot chocolate, then off to inspect our nights lodgings at Sawpitt Ck. (Luxury!). In keeping with the ideal of keeping things simple, we headed back into Jindy for Pizza and Seinfield (the manuscript and flea exterminator episode), and a wine or two, then finally back to coffee and bed. zzzZZZZZ . (But not before the great MSR vs Electric Jug race .... and the result ?)

Saturday looked bleak and cold from the start. The park manager did agree that the weather report had forecast 'fine' weather. But in the mountains, 'Fine'  simply means 'not raining... expect worse' !

So, with this warning still echoing in our ears, Denise, Geoff, Terry, the pig, the chicken/duck, Ratbert and myself all set off to Charlotte Pass to begin our walk!

The plan for the walk , although loose, was basically to follow the Lake Walk (approx. 20km) over 2 and a half days, and visit a number of prominent features along the way. Starting at Charlotte Pass we ambled along the summit road towards Seaman's Hut. Although we kept up a good pace, we were passed by a number of groups with only day gear... We were rugged to the hilt to ward off the cold and wind, and carrying full packs for our 3 day excursion. One guy even offered us his girlfriend in exchange for warm gloves! It was a tempting offer but ...

Morning tea at Seaman's was, as always, a pleasurable exercise. Comfortable and out of the wind. Also a good excuse to re-adjust loads and clothing. The visitors book always makes for interesting reading and of course, our entry (the McHappy meals and Ratbert) was duly added.

The wind grew windier and the day grew bleaker as we set off to Kosciusko, but we were well rugged up (Geoff even wore a beanie to compliment his shorts!) and weren't too concerned. The groups that passed us before were now coming back. All said the same thing ..... " Bloody cold up there ! Ice forming!" .... We romped up the last section and enjoyed goofing around the cairn at the top, pausing for photos with Ratbert and Co. From here our path would take us off the marked trail, and our intention was to visit several other peaks close by.

The weather immedialtly began to now show definite signs of improvement as we started down the old 'closed' track to Mueller's peak. Across the face of the peak we spied a foot pad heading exactly where we wanted to go, the ridge between Mueller's Pk and Mt Townsend, so we beelined for it and followed it into a rocky section about halfway on the slope.


Well I guess that I'm being a tad melodramatic to call it a disaster, but suffice to say, the most expected least expected thing to happen, happened. At first we were all surprised ! "It's not a joke, is it ? This is real isn't it ?" "You ARE OK aren't you?"

It happened so quickly ... One moment we're all picking our way through the unstable rocks and undergrowth. The next we're looking back at our fallen comrade, lying incerimounioisly on the ground, looking back at us.

An insidious Snowy Mountains ankle snake had unexpectedly leapt out at Denise and tripped her up. One moment she's gracefully flitting from boulder to boulder... the next, she's sitting on the ground saying "Ouch!", and "Bugger!", and "Sorry!", and a few others things, and looking decidedly embarrased.
We all looked undecided as to whether we should show concern for the injury or just mercilessly take the piss. Fortunately the former won and Terry soon had the ankle bound up and we re-distributed some of her load. Our plan was now varied slightly to head down to the valley and make a camp there and work the rest out later.

Our first campsite of the trip was beautiful. Nestled under Mueller's Pk our view down the valley took in Kosciusko on one side and Abbots Pk on the other. Small creeks flowed down the valley running into one another as they receded forming one single creek at the end of the valley, where it seemed to simply pass through a portal. Dropping off the edge of the world and passing to ...  'the other side'....

With the campsite established, Mt Townsend was calling, and with several good hours of daylight and increasingly good weather, Geoff, Terry and myself set off for the peak. A fairly quick walk up from our campsite was rewarded with a fantastic view of the valley behind, as well as a better appreciation of the steepness of Mt Townsend. We paused (to catch our breath) and decide whether we should take the long and steep or the shorter and much steeper route to the summit. Choosing the latter we plodded on up the slope and surprisingly quickly, reached the rocky base of the peak itself.

The WIND was HUGE !!! An easy scramble up to the top was made rather unnerving by both the ferocity and inconsistency of the wind, and the fact that many of the large granite slabs we were hanging onto for balance, actually moved with our weight !! Standing in the full force of the wind at the peak, we reveled in the 360 degree view... Map out now and it was time for me to get fully confused. I picked a number of features that lined up with those on my map and immediately convinced myself that west was north an obviously he sun was setting in the wrong spot ! Terry kindly rotated the map 90 degrees and pointed out the features on the map that I was really looking at and all became clear .... Don't give me the map !

Heading back down we stopped at a curious 'hanging' rock formation and played around on it (gently). A slab about the size of two or three sofa's was balanced precariously from a huge dome across to a smaller rock. It seemed as if the slabs whole weight was supported by about a 10cm sq. friction point. Definitely worth a photo that one ! By now the wind was screaming and a few dark clouds were beginning to fill the evening sky. We hurried back to our campsite. As we made our way down, Terry spotted some movements ahead of us and said " Hey .. Is that a horse ?" .. Geoff and I scanned the sky before us ... " I can't see any hawk !" I said... and Terry just smiled...

Sure enough, two horses (brumbies) were grazing before us. Quite strange seeing animals like that roaming about. We walked slowly towards them feeling sure they'd take off and head towards camp where Sparky could get a peek at them too ! Wow ... What impressive animals !

With Daylight fading we made up dinner and tea and coffee and generally goofed around till tiredness and cold forced us into our tents and bags for sleep and warmth. (I can still hear that Cus Cus screaming as it went into the pot!).

A light wind and occasional drizzle throughout the night lead eventually into a wonderfully sunny morning. Breakfast in bed, of course... pancakes (heated to be slightly warmer than cold ofcourse) and maple syrup, tea and coffee. Boy do I know how to get things steaming inside a tent ! Packing up camp happened pretty quickly after breakfast, and having touched two peaks the previous day, we were keen for more today!

We circled up the ridge as before but this time aimed to cross behind Mueller's Pk at about ridge height with the intention of joining up with the tourist track. How surprised were we when we found that 'the other ' side of Mueller's Pk was mostly cliff.... From the ridge here though, we had a glorious view down into Lake Albina and of course, the back of Mt Lee and Carruthers Pk. Rather than circle all the way back around Mueller's Pk, we opted to carefully pick our way down the very steep slope into Lake Albina. What a reward. This is a very pretty hanging valley and we could not resist the urge to make morning tea and bask in the sun at the point where the lake exits and falls into Lady Northcotes canyon below. After morning tea we made short work of the uphill trek back to the tourist track, joining it around the back of Mt Lee. We strayed off this to look down into (infamous) Club Lake and then followed it up and over Carruthers Pk and started down towards Mt Twynam. The main target for today was 'The Sentinel'...

From the old 4WD track leading up to Mt Twynam, we followed a footpad leading out along the steep rocky spur that eventually ends as 'The Sentinel'. A sharp and inspiring rocky cairn, that in spite of it's lack of altitude, taunts you until you want to stand on it ! Just the track out there is daunting. From our high point on the range, we walked down through a gently sloping grassy knoll and then stepped up a short way onto the first of a series of razor like, descending ridges that take you out the Sentinel. I think there were about five of these. Steep twisty walk-downs, with the track just falling away into the valley on either side. Down Down Down Up Down again...
Just as you think you've reached the last, and can begin the final 'up-bit' to the summit, you struggle to the top of another small rise and see... more 'down' !!! A cool (easy) bouldering problem adds spice to the trip as the trail stops at two steep bits of juggy rock with a loose shute between. Cool stuff ! Finally the last ascent bit and 60m later.. we're on the top !!! Ratbert is well pleased and takes several photos of the group for prosperity.

The weather has been nothing short of perfect today, and standing (well OK slouching around amongst the rocks) on the top of the sentinel, some 100m below the surrounding ridge lines, we were in the perfect spot to absorb some solar warmth !

Reluctantly we gathered Ratbert and Co. and headed back up the knife blade towards our packs and the 4WD trail to Mt Twynam. Once back at the packs we rested and had lunch (that's what Terry called it... but it was around 4pm already!). Then, feeling refreshed, we plodded along the over grown rut that is the old 4WD access to Mt Twynam. Terry couldn't restrain himself as we approached the summit. Another 'trig' was available for the climbing. With unbridled enthusiasm, he launched himself up the tower as the rest of us collapsed in the shade of a convenient boulder and slurped water.

It's hard to describe the view from here. With the late afternoon sun throwing sharp light, and near on infinite visibility, we could see Kosciusko Townsend, Carruthers, Charlottes, Guthega, Blue Lake and much much more !!! We even spotted another tent way below us. With a rough plan of camping somewhere near Blue Lake that night, we headed off towards Little Twynam and then down to Blue Lake itself. As an afterthought, and in light of our difficulty behind Mueller's Pk that morning, we opted to cross over the saddle between the two Twynam's and descend down to Headly Tarn. My knee still hurts just from thinking about this long, steep, grassy descent. Eventually we leveled out in some thick scrubby bushes and so tripped and stumbled our way towards the lake at Headly Tarn. Bed on Sunday night was the warmest, softest sleep I've ever had camping! Dinner that night was completely comfortable. Our campsite had several dry washaways near it that provided both a stable cooking ground as well as comfortable seating. Denise invented the worlds first mushroom flavored hot water bottle, and I think it's going to be a goer for this winters camping !! The drawback is that after 10 minutes you have to remove it to eat it (Can't have your hot-water bottle and eat it too ...) Oh.. we disposed if the Cus Cus remains that night too ... From our campsite, our views were of the ridge below Carruthers and up the creek to the formidable ring of cliffs that rise behind Blue Lake. Not far below us was a tree lined area that Denise had camped in last year during winter. Must remember that for this year.
After dinner, a round of hot drinks, followed by another round of hot drinks, heralded an early retirement. I was so cold !. Once again, rugged up to the hilt and buried deep in our sleeping bags, Denise and I played 'spot-the-contact-lens' briefly and then collapsed into a deep peaceful sleep.

Monday morning dawned sunny, windless and warm. We ate breakfast alternating from chatty banter to quietly admiring our surroundings. Very late yesterday evening we spotted a lone walker following (Soil Conservation?) creek down towards Foreman's crossing. We idly wondered where he had come from so late in the evening but gave it not much more thought than that.

Breakfast over, tents dry, time to pack. The last big packing !!! With the warm turn in the weather we suddenly had full packs again as the wind and rain proof gear was relegated to the back seat. Shouldering our loads we moved stiffly off towards the lake and then up the creek to Blue Lake .... MMmmmmm Blue Lake .... Deep, Cold, Wet .... I'd been fantasizing about this lake ever since coming off the Sentinel yesterday. Today, nothing would separate me from my goal. To get wet ! We rock-hopped up the creek for a short while until it became a chore. 'Hey! There's a track up here!' Denise calls out ... Geoff and I persevered up the rocks for about 30 seconds more and then say 'what the heck.. if there's a track, let's use it'... Terry, true to form, makes the uneven rocks look like child's play and a couple of minutes later, we're all standing at the outflow from Blue Lake. Denise is very taken with the bareness of the rocks. She has only seen them once before, covered in snow and ice. Myself ... not able to wait any longer, drop my pack ...  and clothes, and after a bit of twiddling about on the edge... jump in .... Whoo Hooo ! It's great! But I can't convince any one to join me. Oh well !

After my swim and during a biscuit or two we heard the most extraordinary thing ... I look around and say, "did someone just say 'On Belay!'"?... We all look at each other blankly, and in that moment, as clear as a bell we hear the call ... "climbing!". We can't help but smile. What a great place to climb. Scanning the cliffs around us we see no trace of anyone, but we know they're there somewhere. Walking around the base of the lake we approach the huge cliffs and shutes that were formed by the glacier action which created the lake, and there we see two small figures at the top and one about one third of the way from the ground, moving slowly upward. Hmmm, now I'm getting ideas again!!!

Following the footpad from here is easy and we head up and up and up to the lookout on the main Blue Lake track, pause briefly for a photo and then continue towards the main tourist track. Time for morning tea. Our trip is almost complete and I feel very reluctant to begin the walk down the main track towards Foreman's crossing. (apart from the fact that I know my knee will hurt again from the descent)... We pass a few people going the other way, but most just say 'G'day', or comment breathlessly on our oversized packs, and keep walking.

Foreman's crossing is our designated lunch spot. Eat everything that's left and dump all excess water. One last climb left up to the cars. For our lunch we picked a small island of pebbles right in the middle of the Snowy River. Slouching around has become the order of the day and we're definitly getting good at it. We eat, bask, and drink tea and coffee till we're full. One last Easter egg and we really must get going. The last hill is a bugger ! Paved, steep, sunny, and relentless... Fortunately it is the last. Once again, on reaching the top, we collapse in the shade, sitting on the sandstone wall of the tourist lookout and survey where we've been over the last couple of days.

Starting from this point (1820m), we've been to Seaman's Hut (2035m), Rawsons Pass (2120m), Summit of Kosc>

, been halfway up Mueller's Peak (to 2050m), down to Wilkinsons creek(at about 2000m), the summit of Mt Townsend (2209m), and down to lake Albina (1900m). Up to Mt Lee (about 2050), looked down on Club Lake, crossed the summit of Carruthers peak (2140m), out to the Sentinel(1900m), back, and up to the summit of Mt Twynam (2180m) and out past Little Twynam, down to Headly Tarn (1840m). Up again to swim in Blue Lake (1900m), down to Foreman's crossing (1720), and finally back to our starting point. A decent outing of around 33km and involving about 500m of vertical although we actually walked about up and then down around 1.2Km.

A pleasant walk with the best of company in the most awesome surroundings.

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Perisher, Porcupine, Charlottes June 1998

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Guthega ... Out and Back with Ross, Owen and Belinda August 1998

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Guthega, Main Range, Charlotts Pass and loop to Perisher ...
With Terry .... August 1998.

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Day trips ... Kosi , Caruthers Pk and Kosi again .. also the Giants Castle (Rennix Walk). Sept 1998.

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