A post Christmas urge to get out and walk off our excesses saw us planning a trip to Mt Jagungal; also it was a chance to have an adventure with our daughter and her partner. Weather forecasts had us abandoning the gentle walk in option and going straight to the big downhill trek to cross the Tumut River. It was then an endless slog up the other side with the only diversion being a fellow on a motorbike coasting quietly past as he shouldn’t have been there. Finally the track levelled out and we could start to appreciate the looming sight of Mt Jagungal, the highest peak that dominates the northern end of the Snowy Mountains. O’Keefe’s Hut was a very welcome sight at the end of a hot afternoon, complete with a table and six chairs for unforeseen comfort. We also shared the dining room with a family of swallows who had made their nest in the corner.
Next morning we headed along the track to the weather station where we dropped packs and then made our way up through the scrub to a rocky ridge as the view opened out behind us. We found ourselves in a wildflower field which slowed progress down considerably as we took lots of photos. Ray was waiting for us when we finally started climbing again and reached the top with views to the main ridge and small patches of remnant snow. We headed back down the other side finding an easy descent down a well worn track but without wildflowers. We passed a ridge top with colourful snowgums that had survived the 2003 fires and then an avenue of skeletons that hadn’t.
We headed back along the track to retrieve our packs and then continued on to Dershko’s Hut, a hut without character but having a lovely sheltered campsite in a grove on top of the hill and impressive views back to Jagungal. We shared the hut with a large family group and yet another family of swallows.
The walk out the next day gave us our gentle amble with the bonus of a field of bright yellow billy-buttons to play in.