Rumbling round the Snowies


After walking in the towering, rugged mountains in New Zealand’s South Island it was a bit of a come down to plod around the rounded bumps of the Australian alps but they managed to impress us with beautiful scenery backed by stormy skies. We had two days managing to skirt around the afternoon thunderstorms before being hit with rain. The first day saw us strolling gently for an hour up to our usual campsite beneath the South Ramshead. We stopped early as we were worried about running into a storm without protection but they all went around us. (We later met some hikers who had got drowned on Mt Twynam, about 10 km away!) We found the usual tracks we followed had faded and we surmise it’s because of removing brumbies from this part of the range.

Our campsite gave us bleached,skeletal trees and granite rocks to entice us out for sunrise and a silhouetted ridge against the colourful sunset.
We headed across the deserted Ramshead Range enjoying the wildflowers and then hit the main track to Mt Kosciusko from Thredbo and it was wall to wall people. We quickly turned off and head along the range past photogenic Lake Albina and on to the dramatic but surprisingly low Sentinel.

We camped in the secluded valley but then were surprised to find another camp further down the valley that had an even more scenic position. After a float in the stream we headed out to the viewing point and thought about perhaps climbing the Sentinel on a future trip.

The next day saw us following the track back past Blue Lake until one of our number got sick of this track walking so we headed cross country to pick up the Ramshead Range again on the east of the main path. It started as a gentle amble across the wildflower meadow and of course ended as a balancing game across a boulder field with all the rocks hidden under bushes and then a slog straight up the side of the range through the vegetation.

We dropped from the range down to an idyllic campsite on the infant Snowy River. We quickly sampled the pool to find it was the home to little fish who enjoyed nibbling at our skin – tourists pay for this in Asia! After exploring the surrounding tarns and rocks we had to retreat to the tents as a thunderstorm finally found us.

The rain cleared long enough for us to cook tea and then sent us early to bed.

After a roundabout route we finally found our way to the main path and then headed on down to Dead Horse Gap with only a sprinkling of rain. It was lovely to come across a grove of unburned snow gums on the way.

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