|This appendix takes you back to the decade 1940 to 1950 which preceded the marked expansion of skiing facilities in the Snowy Mountains resulting from the inauguration of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme in 1949. It relies on the diary accounts of ski trips written by Frank Leyden and the photographs he took on these tours, to convey to you some impressions as to "what skiing in the Snowy Mountains in the 1940's was really like". Any necessary explanations have been made by the Editor in italics.|
ALPINE HUT, AUGUST 1945
The usual access route was from Cooma by bus to Berridale, where the local garageman met parties headed for Alpine Hut and drove them to the snow-line at Snowy Plains. Depending on snow depth, the Gungarlin River (Photo No. 1) might be as far as trucks and cars could penetrate in August.
Saturday August 11.
Breakfast at Railway Station OK, got away 8:45am. There were 12 persons in the Leyden party. Went fast in cars to Nimmo where new snow was falling. Was quite warm, strong gusty wind and cloud coming from NW. Eucumbene & Gungarlin rivers well up – latter crossed with some difficulty. Snowy Plains wind-swept and wet snow was falling continuously. Arrived Snowy Plains House at 11:30 and left after lunch at 1:45pm. All packs loaded onto two horses. Fresh snow on ground up Teddy's Creek. Put on skis with climbing skins fixed underneath the skis at start of Brassy Gap climb. Gusty wind and wet snow all the way up Brassy Gap. Everyone got wet through. Extremely beautiful effect of snow settling on trees, leaves, dead trees etc. Would have made excellent photos with good light. Horses could not get past the Brassy Gap. We had three bags of meat 36lb (16.4kg) and cheese, sugar, wheatmeal, jam etc. When this additional load that had been carried by the horses was divided between all members of the group, they all had extremely heavy packs.
Just over the top of the Brassy Gap, the wind was terrific. My right-hand finger tips were extremely painful with cold, for they had got wet. Climbing skins slipped off the back of my skis. Got to Kidmans Hut, very tired, at about 4pm. Left Kidmans at 5pm. We dumped some food at Kidmans, but should have left more of the food there. Deep fresh snow made skiing conditions exhausting beyond Kidmans. Wind was very strong and visibility bad. Worst conditions were at "The Diggings", where wind and sleety snow made slow continuous plodding necessary.
Weather was better after "The Diggings" and the NW wind was behind us. We were very tired due to the struggle through the deep snow. I had worst pain in left instep, possibly through lifting ski tip out of deep snow combined with the effects of a heavy pack. Next worse pain was in left groin, also due to lifting ski tip out of deep snow and a lot of track breaking. Arrived at Alpine Hut 6.45pm very tired. Hut was left by D. Richardson's party in excellent condition. Used medium THIN ski gliss, but with skins on all the way. Skins had very good performance, but the snow gets between skis and skins and compacts to ice loosening skins and allowing skins to slip off the back of the skis. NOTE: extreme difficulty of doing anything, such as fixing slipping skins, in a blizzard.
Sunday August 12.
Weather previous night relatively warm, heavy snowing and blizzard from NW to West continued thru' Sunday but wind moved gradually to South and died down towards evening. Snow was very soft and deep and very bad for skiing on account of the skis sinking in intermittently whilst running or gliding. Spent the day mainly wood cutting, water getting (on sled) from creek and doing maintenance work in hut.
Monday August 13.
Calmer night and colder. Bright sun with cloud and light snow coming from SW and clearing gradually. Plenty of photography around Dead Horse Creek & woodlands; also of icicles hanging on the Hut. Snow surface much improved. In morning climbed Penerith, Big Brassy, traversed to Little Brassy and ran down to Alpine Hut. Snow good on Penerith, excellent on slopes below Big Brassy (Little Arlberg). Snow deep and hard to turn on in lower woods, After lunch climbed to big practice slope, which was in excellent condition, above Kitchen Tip. Finally ran down Wood Run, which was also excellent, but we took a few wrong turns at first until we refreshed our memories as to where it went in amongst the trees. Thin layers of ski wax, such as Green Sohm, were OK.
Tuesday August 14.
Morning clear and cold; slight wind (cold) from SW; high Cirrus cloud. Temp 30 degrees F and Barom. 30.2 inch and gradually rising from previous day. In the morning climbed Big Brassy, skied down to Little Brassy. (Skiers visible in Photo No. 3 [from left to right] are Joe Scotland, Bill Cosgrove, Len Scotland, Hedi Spiegel, John D'Arcy, Edgar Spiegel, Trude and Richard Raubitschek.)
Spent afternoon practicing stem turns on Fletcher Nursery Slope, then the Wood Run. Good weather and snow much improved with a quite good surface. Bill and Laurie got "lost" in the woods of Big Brassy. Waxed skins to stop them icing up during the long climbs to the top of the ski runs. Still using Green Sohm thin ski wax, which is performing OK.
Wednesday August 15.
Morning extremely red sunrise after night that started clear & fine but wind blowing from 4 am. Weather warm and increasing wind + mist from SW & working around to NW and increasing all day but very little snowing. Big Brassy trip in morning. Practice slope & wood run in afternoon. Snow fast and hard on the tops. Pasty snow down among the trees. Rained overnight.
Thursday August 16.
Windy from W; hut rocks. Very warm in morning (38 degrees F which was about + 3 degrees C). Windy from W and very warm, over 40 degrees F all day. Snow around hut and in the trees very wet & pasty. Top slope of Big Brassy all pasty. We do practice slope in morning & in afternoon repair skins & stocks. Len, Joe & Dick do Bull's Peaks & Kidmans to bring back most of remaining food. Joe breaks ski tip and got back with a wooden block in its place. Green Sohm thin ski wax OK. Fast schuss but heavy turning.
(On a previous ski holiday at Alpine Hut in August 1944, described in our Second Ski Heritage Installment, Frank Leyden and his skiing companions toured to Mt Jagungal and Grey Mare Hut during a spell of good weather.)
Friday August 17.
Severe wind rocks Alpine Hut during night, very warm, snow melting fast, slight falls of wet snow. Weather still from W. Barometer same as when we arrived in blizzard. Departed at 8.45am for Whites (straight-line distance is 9.5km) and got to Tin Hut at 11.00am after going over Main Range in severe blizzard up to 60mph with bad visibility. Left Tin Hut at 11.30am and arrived at White's at 1.30pm in blizzard & visibility still very bad, but not quite so severe wind. Followed fence to Moriarty's Cornice, then went south for about a mile amongst the knobbly rocks of the North Ridge of Gungartan; then temporary clearing of mist showed us Dicky Cooper Peak and the run down the creek to White's Saddle (now known as Schlink Pass). Snow good most of the way, but a bit wet near hut. Whites well covered with snow. Weather moderated towards evening & got colder. Hut in good condition. Plenty of kerosene, flour, sugar, some tin meat, tea and other scraps in Hut; also candles, matches, 1 hurricane lamp, 1 headlamp (needs a glass), new tools, 2 brooms, needs more buckets & a repair to tap on fountain. Spent afternoon trying to make a "venturi" for the chimney with a biscuit tin (to aid the extraction of smoke from the fire inside the hut.)
Saturday August 18.
Wind much less but weather still warm & snow sloppy. Snowing but spots of clear sky & sun with distant visibility. Climbed to Gungartan Trig & ran down from Sunrise Point. Snow OK at top but wet & deep down in trees. In afternoon repaired sleeping bag, mended skins and collected firewood. About 4pm Rudy, Hanna, Manfred & Renata arrived after long hard day travelling over snow from Pounds Creek Hut.
Sunday August 19.
Finest day so far. Climbed Dicky Cooper in the morning. Perfect snow after frosty night. Perfect clear views from Dicky Cooper. Photos taken. Cloud over Khancoban and Victoria; slight cold west wind. Townsend & Twynam sharp & clear. Run down very good. After lunch climbed Sunrise Point on Gungartan. Took photos (one of which is presented as Photo No.5).. Very good run down. Then climbed Dicky Cooper again right away. Practiced on top & ran down on the ice after sundown. Used green sohm thin – very good. Skins OK with waterproof carrying bag and notch in back of skis (to positively locate the skins and to prevent them from slipping off the skis). Then got wood (for heating bath water) & had baths.
Monday August 20. (wet).
Started to rain early previous evening and continued heavily without a break all day & into Monday night. Barometer fell Sun night & low all Monday. Hail at 12:30 pm & during afternoon. Snow melted down about 2 ft (600 mm) uncovering rocks & grass. Bridges broken in creeks & all in flood. Thick low fog & quite warm. Previous day a long belt of even layer cumulus cloud hung over Victoria with wisps coming over Townsend and light continuous wind from west. Thunder and lightning in evening. Most peculiar and unusual weather. Confined to the hut all day.
Tuesday August 21. (snowed all day).
Monday night was the stormiest weather I have experienced in the snowfields. Terrific continuous thunder, lightning & hail. Hut rocked. Barometer lowest up to this time. Sago snow on ground in morning – much colder. Tapioca snow fell all day like hail. Practice slopes morning & afternoon up above the west side of Whites Hut. Excellent snow conditions. Remarkable large pellets of snow like peas. Heavy snowing & cold all day; bad visibility; gets calmer towards evening & colder.
Wednesday August 22. (To Pounds Hut straight-line distance is 11km).
Morning was cloudy & dull, but signs of clearing; cold & hut surrounded by tapioca snow. Cleaned up hut – left one case sealed for 1946 – small square case labeled & addressed. Departed Whites 10.00am; reached Mt. Tate at 12.30pm; arrived at Pounds Hut at 2.30pm. The extra half hour was used going up to Spencer's Junction for a snow bridge which was very precarious (Photo No. 6) as was the snow bridge we used to cross Pounds Creek. (Normally reckon on 4 hours for trip from Whites to Pounds.) Sky was mackerel overcast when we left Whites; on Rolling Grounds visibility to the horizon was quite clear, especially to Perisher. On top of Mt. Tate sky got very wicked looking from west & started to gently snow. Snow got heavier, but without wind, as we approached Snowy River down Tate East Ridge.
Pounds Creek Hut 22 August 1945
Pounds Hut in good condition with 6 beds & 5 mattresses. Fire burns & heats well. Some cutlery & billies but no tea. 5 chairs with backs, 2 good tables. 3 cans.
Thursday August 23. (Second perfect day on this trip).
Cloudy & still with clear patches of sky in morning – good prospects for a fine day. Departed 9:30am. Across Snowy after going half a mile up Spencer Creek looking for a rock crossing and then using snow bridge on Snowy at Junction (10.30am). Saddle between Twynam & Tate opposite Mt. Anderson – 12:00 noon. Reached summit of Mt. Anderson at 12.30pm and skied down to Friars Alp (first knob in trees – 1:00pm – then we stopped for lunch.) Departed Friars Alp at 2.00pm, reaching the top of Mt. Anderson at 2.30pm. Climbed to gap between Twynam and Little Twynam and skied down to the junction of Spencers Creek with the Snowy River in only 12 minutes.
Friday August 24.
Morning weather looked bad after mild night. Decided to cancel planned trip to Twynam and to go to Perisher Hut. Sky looked wicked. Wind strong from NW caused severe smoking of the fire in Pounds Hut. Departed hut at 11.00am. Followed up Snowy River to Charlottes Pass. About Blue Lake Creek, wind and mist came strongly with cloud moving fast over Main Range & very dark looking, but conditions only mildly severe. Ran down Charlottes to Chalet and moved down to Perisher Hut in increasing & wet snow storm. Practiced on Perisher slope in afternoon. Storm increased.
Perisher Hut, 24 August 1945
Perisher Hut (Photo No. 7) well constructed and lined with 3 ply wooden sheets. Hut very good but had insufficient heating. Three people from Hotel heading for Chalet arrived 7.00pm very wet. They dried out and moved on about 8.00pm. (Perisher Hut no longer exists, but was located in Perisher Gap beside the road to the Chalet, possibly near the present location of the loading station of the Eyre Ski Lift. It provided a base for touring around The Paralyser [Photo No.9] as well as around the Perisher Range.)
Saturday August 25.
Departed Perisher with wet snow falling at 9.30am. Skied to below Smiggins then walked. After Smiggins (Photo No. 8) weather fined up but was still bad on the tops. Arrived hotel about 11.30am. Had bath & lunch. Then on to Cooma (and caught overnight train to Sydney).
|(Frank Leyden and six of his friends spent two weeks at the Chalet Charlottes Pass in July 1947. Frank's account of how they travelled to and from the Chalet is reproduced here, along with his account of three successive days of perfect ski touring weather when they skied the Main Range runs of Little Austria, Mt. Townsend, Sentinel Peak and Mt. Twynam.)|
Friday July 11.
Departed Cooma 8.45am and arrived Hotel (now Sponars Lakeside Inn) at 11.30am. Departed Hotel about 12 noon and arrived Smiggins at 12.30pm & had lunch. Departed Smiggins on skis 1.30pm and arrived Perisher Gap at 2.30pm. Arrived Chalet at 3.30pm.
Went from Hotel to Smiggins in Hotel special austerity bus with chains. Luggage went in jeep type truck. The ranges looked well as we were going down the hill into Jindabyne (which in 1947 was a tiny settlement mostly on the east bank of the Snowy River). The snow was covering the tops well and sweeping down through the trees deep down the ridges. The weather in Cooma and right through to half-way up the mountain west of Jindabyne, was bright, clear & sunny with light west wind. The tops were covered with whitish filmy cloud & underneath it was darker, more turbulent cloud.
Snowing lightly and slightly windy at Hotel. Snow-line was well below Rennix Gap and Wilsons Valley. Snow thin on ground & not too good on the Slam Run but a fair covering on the Kerry Course & up towards the Plains of Heaven, but wet and slow. Road to Smiggins wet and some deep drifts. The transport system best yet. Met tractor just below Smiggins & dumped luggage. There was time to get essentials like gloves from packs, but it was cold, windy and snowing.
We went on to Smiggins & left packs for the tractor to bring. Joe at Smiggins gave us a good feed. Said he had arranged with Mr Peterson for us to stay in a hut nearby with some bunks & fireplace in it for five shillings a week, or thereabouts, and to have meals for two shillings and sixpence each at Smiggins Café with Joe. Len & Bill thought they would put in a week at Smiggins at the end of this trip. Anyway, one would not be stuck for somewhere to stay.
We skied from Smiggins right through to the Chalet without needing to fit skins to our skis. The snow was wind-packed, firm & running beautifully. Snowing lightly & blowing, with practically complete overcast. But the cloud was not thick, nor the wind too bad and the going was quite easy. Had a yarn with Frank Fyfe at Betts Camp & Manfred (who was booked in for two weeks at Betts) decided to try to squeeze in with us at the Chalet, making the party 8 persons altogether. Arriving Chalet we were all booked into a big room (Room 9) together.
We went up Stilwell for a run. The snow was sticky & not running well – too warm & misty. Then climbed half-way up Charlottes Pass, where the packed snow was slightly better to ski on.
Meals at Chalet were excellent, well-balanced & plenty – a big improvement on the previous year. The room & facilities were very comfortable & everyone was happy. Arranged to book sleeping berths for our return rail trip from the Chalet Office. We were advised that parties travelling between Hotel and Chalet are expected to check in at Betts Camp and Smiggins Holes.
Friday July 18. ("Little Austria Day").
Alarm went off at 6.45am as usual and, looking out the window, we saw for the first time this visit, perfectly clear sky, no wind and very cold (- 8°C). Richard sprang into activity; early breakfast was able to be quickly arranged, as some of the guests were going home. Left Chalet in a perfect clear morning at 8.40am. Arrived Formans site (on the Snowy River) at 9.05am and arrived on Carruthers Peak at 10.00am in perfect clear & bright weather. Climbing up to Carruthers we experienced a perfect clear bright morning, with snow very good and wind ribbed. Wind blowing cold from south on top of Carruthers, noticeably dissipating strands of mist in Geehi Valley. Low cloud over Cooma way, also straggly, low cloud over Victoria. Took a few photos on top of Carruthers and then ran across to a valley behind Mt. Lee and waited for the others who were behind. (Please see map "Charlottes Pass – Watsons Crags".)
Len Scotland and I ran down one side of the gully & the rest approached down from the Carruthers side and we met at the bottom. Fairly continuously steep, smooth and even beautiful snow for a few hundred feet ending in a narrow gully. We then swung north for a few hundred yards and arrived at the top of the "funnel". The scenery was magnificent and real Alpine (Please see Photo Nos 10 & 11.) We were closed in by steep walls of snow with iced rocks extending for hundreds of feet above the way we were going (being the only negotiable route without practically mountaineering). The snow was perfect running; also perfect weather.
The "Funnel" extended for, perhaps, the best part of 1,000 feet. Continuous turns wall to wall were necessary all the way down. Checking was easy in the good snow. Took some photos of trees with ice etc. We ran out into Northcote Canyon below Townsend Spur and went down the canyon a bit & had lunch overlooking Geehi, Grey Mare Pinnacle & The Dargals. Left at about 1.00pm to climb out the same route as we had come. (Photo No. 11) Aneroid barometer read 5225 ft altitude. The waterfall at the bottom was the most difficult feature to climb around. Further up was a small frozen waterfall of columns of green glazed ice thick as a man.
The climb out gave beautiful views and light mist wafted up slowly. It was strenuous climbing and took 1.5 hours to climb up to the saddle between Lee & Carruthers. Len and I went up onto Carruthers again. The others ran off towards Lee & found a good slope. On top of Carruthers the earlier wind had dropped and the air was still & calm with magnificent views. Took photos & then ran with Len down to Formans Crossing on the Snowy River. We saw the others ski off Lee in clouds of snow – they appeared to have a good run. We did well high up; the sun had softened the ice on the tops.
Crossed the Snowy River and reached Charlottes Pass at 4.00pm. From here we could see mist creeping over Lee but more mist obscured Mt. Tate and Gills Knobs. Kosci was clear. Skied to Chalet thru' the flags down the Pulpit Hill Ski Lift run.
Saturday July 19 ("Townsend Day").
Had early breakfast. Fine, bright, clear morning but with light wind from SW causing a weaving sinuous movement flowing over the surface of the snow. Departed Chalet 8.45am. All tops clear. Ran down to Foremans site and went tight up Club Lake Creek to underneath Mt. Lee. Went south and then climbed the saddle between Northcote & Lee. Icy conditions made climbing very difficult. Len Scotland picked a route and got nearly to the top when he slipped and slithered as a snowy mass right down to the bottom of the slope about 50 ft (15m). Eventually, Richard made a track and we got up onto the crest with much trepidation. At every step the snow creaked and groaned. Very slow small steps were necessary, hanging on to the top stock by its base.
At the top we took off the skins and ran south along the top for a few hundred yards to the top of a wide gully leading down into Lake Albina. (Please see map Mt. Kosciusko – Carruthers Peak). Geehi and all Victoria was under a sea of low white cloud extending to the horizon, but the tops were all well above the cloud everywhere & so was the country towards Cooma. A light constant wind from SW by S continued all day and was only disturbing in exposed places, but quite fierce on Townsend Trig. The run down off the Northcote – Lee saddle down to Lake Albina was steep but quite nice with the good snow and was easily negotiated. We paused in the shelter of Albina (11.30am), put on skins and then climbed up a gully leading up to Townsend. It was an easy steady climb right to the top.
We then went along the wind-swept flat to the base of the final pyramid. This was a bit steep to side-step but over a few bumps and ice flutings, we came to the Trig encased in a mass of eagle's feathers ice formations and the wind was cold and searching. The sea of white cloud extended to all horizons; to the west high reddish cloud was above the main bank. Some holes in the cloud gave glimpses of the timbered ridges below the snow. Pinnibar and the Victorian Alps stood alone, well in the clear; also the Dargals, Jagungal and all the tops in between, also Round Mountain etc.
The view was magnificent and the sky above clear & the sun brilliant. Took photos all round; also of the ice flutings on a rock and ice cave. Then ran down from the summit on to the flat & then down the gully to Albina, where we had lunch. The run down was easy and very nice with good snow. There were small crevasses in the snow at the sides of Lake Albina about 6 inches (150mm) wide and going down to green depths extending far across the surface.
Went across after lunch to the North end of the lake, to look down into Little Austria, which was in the mist. The climbed onto The Grandstand, views magnificent, then onto the summit of Mt. Lee.
The swirling mists were rising up gradually from Little Austria. Ran off Lee to the North for about ¼ mile (400m) then traversed downward to the top of a big rock slope, very steep and hard to hang on; the others soon flew down, but Len and I had to hang on by traversing across the very steep slope. Eventually it became flatter & we soon ran down into Club Lake Valley & thence Snowy River, Charlottes Pass & Chalet at 4pm. On Charlottes we saw mist on Kosci and swirling over Mt Lee, moving fast from the south. In the morning a slight fall in the barometer was observed; also only -5 degrees C.
Sunday July 20. "Sentinel Peak & Twynam Day".
A beautiful morning without any wind, but the sunrise was red and high cloud fingers radiated from the NE horizon. Left Chalet at 8.45am. To Formans (Crossing of the Snowy River) thence up half-way to Carruthers then down into a valley above a cornice and up onto "the tops" north of Carruthers. Ran down into a little valley west of the Blue Lake, to the beginning of the ridge that leads down to Sentinel Peak. Went out along a knife-edge of snow for a few hundred yards before the ridge descended steeply to Sentinel Peak. The views were marvellous (please see Photo Nos. 4 & 5 of the AAC First Heritage Installment) but a SE wind was blowing furiously, especially on this narrow ridge. Took photos & then climbed north on to Twynam West Spur and part of the way out above Watsons Crags. Views excellent (Photo No.13).
Had a look at the slopes off Twynam West Spur and Richard Raubitschek said they were not so steep and could easily be run in good snow. Then climbed Mt. Twynam & had lunch just under the Trig Station (Photo No. 12). After lunch ran down to Blister Gap (between Twynam & Little Twynam) and then climbed around onto the North side of Little Twynam and ran down towards the Snowy River. Had to climb a bit to continue the run. Came down to junction of Snowy with Spencer's Creek. Took some photos & rested there. Went up Spencers Creek and arrived at Chalet about 4.30pm.
(14 months passed before Frank Leyden and his friends had the opportunity to ski the slopes on the North-East side of Twynam West Spur).
Dawned perfect sunny fine day with very light wind, but slightly more wind than previous morning. Wind was coming from West to SW. Left Chalet with a party of 9 skiers at 9.40am on soft spring snow. No ice down to Formans; good run; dull leaden sky extending from SW with mist coming over Carruthers. Climbed Carruthers Ridge in soft, pasty Spring snow up to cornice in "Sunset Valley" (Site of the KAC Downhill). Arrived 11.30am. Twynam Trig approx due North. Climbed up to left around a little valley with Blue Lake & Evidence Valley on the right, Twynam in front and Sentinel Peak on left. Crossed to saddle between Twynam and the Snow Peak on Twynam West Spur (now known as Tenison Woods Knoll). Arrived 12.15pm.
By now mist had cleared away leaving sunshine and spots of cloud from the dissolving mist. Took photo from rocks looking down straight into Watsons Gorge Creek (Photo No. 14) then climbed Snow Peak. Clear & sunny – excellent views. Richard picked spot to run down by dropping about 3 or 4 feet over a vertical edge (cornice) then a very steep left traverse on the North side of the Snow Peak at a rocky outcrop. (Photo No. 15).
Richard & Trude went over, then Edgar, then Hedi, who fell at the start & went head-first down the steep slope for about 100 feet (30m) hitting rocks & fonally stopping against a large rock; fortunately not badly hurt and, after a time, was able to continue the run down. After first steep part, opened into magnificent and reasonably easy run on excellent snow (best Spring snow since the Arlberg, according to Richard). They turned and ran down to a patch of grass & lunched. Manfred then ran from top down to join them, whilst the remaining four members stayed & lunched on a rock at the top of the run. Bert & I ran out for about ½ mile along Twynam West Spur to Watsons Crags. (Frank took photo of the five sets of ski tracks, presented as Photo 15). Two easy ridges down off the spur were noted. (Frank then came back to lunch spot where they were joined by Richard and his four companions who had climbed back up from the bottom of the run).
We then came back along our tracks, leaving the saddle about 3pm. Diverted to saddle between Carruthers & Sentinel Peak Spur to see Eric Einingers western run from Carruthers into this valley.
Then traversed onto Carruthers Spur to run to Formans in good soft Spring snow. Departed top of Carruthers at 4.00pm and arrived at Foremans at 4.15pm and rested. Richard, Trude & I climbed Stillwell cornice & ran down hardest snow of day to Chalet, arriving 5.30pm. Weather perfect & hot all afternoon. Sunburn fierce requiring plenty of cream. Some streaky fairly thick cloud over Main Range before their last run down.
(A few days later on Monday 4 October, Frank and his friends went from the Chalet to Smiggins by snowmobiles and then walked to Hotel. Had 12 noon lunch at Hotel and caught 2.00pm bus to Jindabyne and Cooma. Caught night train back to Sydney)