Article Index

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.)

AAC 52 04
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.

AAC 52 05
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.

AAC 52 06Monday 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.