RRC Snow Camping - 6th, 7th and 8th August 2004
Various members of the Range Rover Club, Pajero Club and Land Rover Owners Club
Mark L, Mark F, James & Liam
Friday 6th August
As per the Caledonia Trip, the meeting place was at Licola on Saturday at 9:00am, so we left Friday evening after work, packing, shopping and other bits of running around. We arrived at Cheynes Bridge at sometime close to midnight and, remembering our past experiences, setup the tents for a comfortable night's sleep by the Macalister River.
Saturday 7th August
We followed the same path as the Caledonia Trip, heading out of Licola and through the Wellington River Valley. There are numerous campsites along the Wellington River which I'm sure we can include on a future trip to Tarli Karng. We stopped briefly at Bennisons Lookout and then continued up Tamboritha Road.
The snow along the road side gradually increased until there was good cover at the Lost Plains.
Howitt Road was thick with snow as we approached the Gorge Carpark, and we were able to set-up camp nice and early before lunch.
We walked across pristine snow fields whilst the kids played in the snow. The weather was absolutely magnificent with clear blue skies and no wind. It was quite warm, and I fell asleep relaxing on the camp chair after lunch.
The kids found the remains of a snow fort which they repaired and played in for hours.
In the afternoon Mark and I went for a walk up along Howitt Road past the Gorge, passing others in our group who were Nordic Skiing. We stepped over the seasonal closure gate, which was half buried under snow and walked along the road past boulders with icicles, snow gums in the snow and the upper reaches of Shaw Creek which was running well beneath steep banks of snow.
Back at camp the kids were having a ball with snow fights and sliding down the hill on toboggans.
The more industrious made a snowman. The temperature soon dropped to 3 degrees as the sun went down, so we heated up our lamb stew and cous cous for dinner. This was the only time I really felt the cold, sitting at the picnic table in the relative dark surrounded by snow. The dinner was warming, but it took a bit of effort to get the toes warm.
We spent a little time around the campfire, but most of the heat was traveling upwards and not outwards so we made an early night of it, heading to the warmth of our sleeping bags about 8PM.
Sunday 8th August
We awoke about 7 in the morning to a pristine campsite. A light dusting of snow had fallen overnight, which James experienced at one of his 5 trips to the toilet. We had a very warming and filling breakfast of porridge, honey and banana which cooks magnificently in the camp oven over the gas stove (no worries about burnt porridge!)
The kids played in the snow houses some of the regulars on the snow camping trip had made while we packed up the tents ready for our 9:30 departure.
We headed back into Licola, passing many rocky outcrops and cuttings with the distinctive pinkish-red rock. Debate over the radio of the basis for the rock colour varied from low grade copper to iron ore.
A short stop in Licola for coffee and tea and a real toilet and then we made our way up the Jamieson-Licola Road.
The going became tougher as we approached Mt Skene, and we got to a point about 5 or so kilometres from Mt. Skene where even the Pinzgauer couldn't even make it any further. We returned back down the mountain only to find the only convoy member who had fitted chains was stuck and bogged.
After lunch on the roadside, we made our way along South Road and across the ridges of Mt Selma before returning home via Matlock and Marysville.