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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 52
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
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Author
Perisher Backcountry ski/climb trip info!
llewg
15/08/2012
10:41:06 AM
Hi all,

hoping anyone might have some advice for a first time backcountry ski trip to Perisher. Only ever down hill skied but lots of experience trekking it/camping in alpine environments.

I'd thought it could be cool to ski up and off Kosciusko but no idea how possible this is. Trip to blue lake would also be on the cards but otherwise not sure what would be highlights.

Trying to do some research on even the simple stuff like where to leave your car overnight for a couple days and where to set off from.

any help would be much appreciated!

Llew
citationx
15/08/2012
10:47:11 AM
perisher to charlottes pass is closed between the long weekends so unless you wanna pay to get a cross-snow shuttle you'll be leaving from guthega. you park in the overnight parking area which is around 1km before guthega village, unless you're part of some nsw ski club thingo and get an exemption pass you're not allowed to leave your car overnight in the guthega carpark proper.
buy yourself a perisher 1:25000 topo map.
I don't believe it would be cool to ski off kosciuszko. you can hardly pick it because it's just a nipple in the surrounds for the most part. there are many cooler places to ski off. look at the map.
with a big pack things take a lot longer unless you're an ultra marathon runner/skier so expect to average 2km/h max for the first time.
be prepared for very crap conditions skiing unless you're going to stay below 1700m. the recent winds that were present when the 50cm of pow fell just turned everything into sastrugi hell.
still need to get my photos up from the weekend...
climberman
15/08/2012
11:37:23 AM
On 15/08/2012 llewg wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>hoping anyone might have some advice for a first time backcountry ski
>trip to Perisher. Only ever down hill skied but lots of experience trekking
>it/camping in alpine environments.

What sort of gear will you use ? Skinny skis and XC, or an Alpine Touring rig ? If you can already ski an AT rig will be more natural for you as you can lock the heel down and ski in the manner to which you are accustomed. If you are desperate to learn how to do telemark turns then take that up.

>
>I'd thought it could be cool to ski up and off Kosciusko but no idea how
>possible this is. Trip to blue lake would also be on the cards but otherwise
>not sure what would be highlights.

Kozzie is cool as it is, well, Kozzie. Frankly the whole area is awesome I reckon. Blue Lake is wonderful, The Sentinel is the bomb, Club lake is great and I love the runs of Carruthers north.

>
>Trying to do some research on even the simple stuff like where to leave
>your car overnight for a couple days and where to set off from.

Overnight parking - for PB, either at the skitube terminal at bullocks flat, at the Guthega overnight carpark or below Sponars-ish on the Kozzie road. You can't leave a car at PB.

Charlotte Pass - you could go Bullocks - Skitube - Oversnow - Charlotte - then out, it has time and $$ implications. You need to book both ways for the oversnow. It get you nice and close though. After the 'resorts season' the road opens up to the turning circle at the Pass itself which saves oversnow etc.

Guthega - head out past Illawong lodge and use the bridge then head up to Twynam and then the Main Range is your oyster.

Thredbo - in the overnight parking area. Thredbo do a one-ride lift that gets you to Eagles Nest cafe. You used to be able to ski down to the Basin and then Karels and get waved through by the lifties as a love-job for weird backcountry people, but the new RFID ticketing system has killed that. However for around $10 more than the single ride lift they have a 'backcountry assist' pass or something that is single ride Kozzie express chair - Basin - karels which get you lifted the closest to Mt Kozzie.

Dead Horse Gap - I think you can o/night park at DHG. Ascending from DHG saves a few hundred vertical over Thredbo village - the Gap is around 1580m (village is 1340 I think) if you don't want to splurge for tickets at Thredbo. It can be quite straightforward, I'd reckon follow the summer DHG path which links DHG and Thredbo. Walk up stairs, skin when snow becomes available, head out past Ramsheads.

>any help would be much appreciated!
>

Have fun, don't die, call it off if weather is shite, GPS's are great in a whiteout, PLB's are good.

Research on distances, snow, avalnches, death, hypothermia and stuff is up to you. People die there. They also don't. Be one of the ones who don't.

>Llew

deadbudgy
15/08/2012
11:55:39 AM
If Kossy is your goal and it is your first time on the Main Range I would definitly recomend starting at Thredbo. You start up high (if you buy a lift ticket) and on the flat. It will give you a good chance to get used to your gear before you need to deal with any hills or substantial creeks etc and the route finding is very easy. Remember that distances are very hard to judge on the Main Range so keep your goals conservative the first time you head out there.

robbie
15/08/2012
12:03:42 PM
Great goal.

Option one. The short way too Kosi. Park up at Thredbo. Get the Crackenback lift up to the Eagle Nest and then tour out to Kosi.

Option Two. The long way too Kosi. Go to Guthega dam. Park up. Slog upto Blue lake an then across the skyline. Going to Blue lake via Sharlots can be a hassle if you can't finf a snow bridge to get across the the Snowy.

Remember, the elements can be DEADLY in this area, so do your homework. Cross country with full kit and free heel skis is another kettle of fish from onpist downhill.
As for highlights, try serviving a blizard or maybe try skiing central gully at Club Lake. Not when its iced up.
kieranl
15/08/2012
12:19:28 PM
And if you want to try a snow-cave, keep it ventilated, especially when you've got a stove going.
llewg
15/08/2012
2:34:57 PM
Great advice thanks guys. Will pick up a map today.

Not decided on ski type yet, but alpine sounds like it could be easier to transition to. Was just going to pick up some rentals either way. Is there a benefit to cross country?

There will be four of us (all around the same experience level) so I think we will try cram into my three man (3 seasons) tent for the night.
maelgwn
15/08/2012
2:46:11 PM
On 15/08/2012 llewg wrote:
>Great advice thanks guys. Will pick up a map today.
>
>Not decided on ski type yet, but alpine sounds like it could be easier
>to transition to. Was just going to pick up some rentals either way. Is
>there a benefit to cross country?
>
>There will be four of us (all around the same experience level) so I think
>we will try cram into my three man (3 seasons) tent for the night.

Cross country/Telemark gear is generally cheaper, lighter, easier to hire, more comfortable to tour in except when going down and harder to ski without a bunch of practice.

Make you sure you camp somewhere low/relatively sheltered with a 3 season tent.
climberman
15/08/2012
2:51:25 PM
On 15/08/2012 maelgwn wrote:
>On 15/08/2012 llewg wrote:
>>Great advice thanks guys. Will pick up a map today.
>>
>>Not decided on ski type yet, but alpine sounds like it could be easier
>>to transition to. Was just going to pick up some rentals either way.
>Is
>>there a benefit to cross country?
>>
>>There will be four of us (all around the same experience level) so I
>think
>>we will try cram into my three man (3 seasons) tent for the night.
>
>Cross country/Telemark gear is generally cheaper, lighter, easier to hire,
>more comfortable to tour in except when going down and harder to ski without
>a bunch of practice.

XC is light. Tele-specific modern gear less so.

Alpine Touring gear is on par with modern tele gear for weight and you'll be able to use it having already had experience in downhill skiing. You'l need to rent it from one of a few specific spots. Try Rhythm in Cooma or Wilderness Sports or Paddy Pallin in Jindy. You want AT boots, skis, bindings and skins.
citationx
15/08/2012
3:10:30 PM
On 15/08/2012 llewg wrote:
>Great advice thanks guys. Will pick up a map today.
>
>Not decided on ski type yet, but alpine sounds like it could be easier
>to transition to. Was just going to pick up some rentals either way. Is
>there a benefit to cross country?
>
>There will be four of us (all around the same experience level) so I think
>we will try cram into my three man (3 seasons) tent for the night.

you can get resort teles (or AT bindings/skis) and skins - makes you get up things much more easily than getting scaled "touring telemarks". depends on how "efficient" and serious you want to be. if you're just going to be mostly lax about it, just stick to scaled tourers.
AT gear = 2 X $$$ as resort teles + skins. (150 vs 75)
resort teles+skins =~ 1.2 X $$$ touring skis.
i'd suggest checking out what's available at rhythm snow sports in cooma (can't remember link) they're open 24/7 during winter and you can buy gear if needed, rent gear and get chains etc too.
simey
15/08/2012
7:37:56 PM
I reckon scaled touring tele skis are great for Australia. Combined with plastic boots and cable bindings you will have a good degree of control. AT gear and skins seems overkill - too heavy and too much hassle.
climberman
15/08/2012
7:58:20 PM
On 15/08/2012 simey wrote:
>I reckon scaled touring tele skis are great for Australia. Combined with
>plastic boots and cable bindings you will have a good degree of control.
>AT gear and skins seems overkill - too heavy and too much hassle.

Except you need to learn to telemark. Modern AT gear is basically the same weight as modern tele gear. Scaled skis are pretty popular with AT gear as well.

Not many folks heading out on three-pinners anymore simey.

I've been having plenty of fun and not much hassle on AT gear and skins for 20 years (although if I had an ulitmate quiver it would include dynafit-style bindings and a scaled ski, but only for longer tours, amongst a bunch of other skis !).
simey
15/08/2012
8:38:42 PM
On 15/08/2012 climberman wrote:
>Not many folks heading out on three-pinners anymore simey.

I've noticed that. It is unbelievable how soft Australian back country skiers have become in recent years with all this beefed up gear. They make sport climbers look bold and adventurous in comparison.

Turning is overrated. Nothing beats launching down the gullies of Feathertop with a pair of leather boots that twist like a dishrag on top of long, skinny skiis with the turning characteristics of a brick. Don't forget the bamboo stocks that come up to your armpit.

citationx
16/08/2012
6:43:19 AM
On 15/08/2012 climberman wrote:
>On 15/08/2012 simey wrote:

>Except you need to learn to telemark.

No you don't. perfectly easy to do parallel turns on free heels.

Paulie
16/08/2012
7:19:23 AM
On 15/08/2012 llewg wrote:
>Great advice thanks guys. Will pick up a map today.
>
>Not decided on ski type yet, but alpine sounds like it could be easier
>to transition to. Was just going to pick up some rentals either way. Is
>there a benefit to cross country?

If you've never used free heel gear then stick with AT, your 'fun tour' will become a misery otherwise.

Tele / XCD gear is deffo lighter and faster but is a true skill to get the hang of, especially from a touring perspective where you will be carrying weight.

Paulie
16/08/2012
7:21:32 AM
On 16/08/2012 citationx wrote:
>On 15/08/2012 climberman wrote:
>>On 15/08/2012 simey wrote:
>
>>Except you need to learn to telemark.
>
>No you don't. perfectly easy to do parallel turns on free heels.

With modern gear and some idea I agree, but he'll still need a few days out on the groomed tracks to get the feel for it IMO...remember the older XCD gear and heavy backpack scenarios from our youths?...I personally have blotted most of it out.
TonyB
16/08/2012
7:30:05 AM
I wouldn't bother with Kosci, there's a lot more interesting spots. As previously mentioned, it's best to park in the overnight car park at Guthega. Keep a shovel in the car just in case you have to dig yourself out. Access to the main range via Illawong can be very difficult due to poor snow cover at times. I also find it a bit of a boring way in. It's quicker to head straight across the dam and follow the valley up via Tate East ridge. Take great care in the first little section past the dam, if it's icy. I've written several letters to P&W to extend the 4WD track but alll I've had is "we'll look into it". When the valley flattens out, you have the best camping you'll find anywhere, with lots of shelter and running water. It also has the easiest, fastest and safest retreat if bad weather hits.

A GPS is absolutely essential (and hope they don't spend a day reprogramming the satellites as happened to me on one trip). Try following a compass bearing in a whiteout for a day to discover why. From your camp you can almost always guarantee good snow to play around in either on the Tate East ridge side, the Guthega trig side or at the end of the valley. Keep heading up to the fantastic panorama at the top of the main range. I'd also recommend a PLB.

For a beginner, spring is the best time to go. Ego snow. Nothing like the spring slush in the resorts.

I've always preferred lightweight gear. 'An ounce on your feet is equivalent to a pound on your back.' Good technique will allow you to parallel and tele almost anywhere. I've found that heavy gear will allow you to do amazingly tight teles with one hand dragging in the snow but I feel the extra weight isn't worth it. Inflexible bindings make touring a chore. My preferred boot was the Alpina 2000 (I bought my last pair new from US, on ebay for $20 after they had stopped manufacturing them for a period). Here's me in the area I mentioned on lightweight gear with my vintage tonkin cane poles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mkLLdtzZzc I learned to tele back in the days when teles had been forgotten, from the book "the Wonders of Skiing". There are 3 styles of tele, with mine being the trad style.

One final note on snow caves. They take a long time to build and despite the best intentions and design, can be lethal. Don't forget the 4 young fellows from the Rockhouse who perished in one some years back.

aarond
16/08/2012
8:48:25 AM
hey mate this guy has some info on his website on Australia back country.
pretty good site, nice pics too.

http://ozbc.net/

my only advice is it will most likely take you twice as long to get places than what you expect if you haven't done it before.
climberman
16/08/2012
9:18:57 AM
On 16/08/2012 citationx wrote:
>On 15/08/2012 climberman wrote:
>>On 15/08/2012 simey wrote:
>
>>Except you need to learn to telemark.
>
>No you don't. perfectly easy to do parallel turns on free heels.

Umm, the OP has not used them before and people are suggesting he use lighter XCD or light touring gear. The OP has done downhill skiing. So, yep, you 'can' parallel or snowplough or stem christie or whatever on light touring and XCD gear. But not generally on your first day. Whereas he'll be able to downhill from minute one on AT gear.

Having no experience with up, he's likely to suffer immensely on either during this part of the journey !
climberman
16/08/2012
9:25:04 AM
On 16/08/2012 Paulie wrote:
>On 16/08/2012 citationx wrote:
>>On 15/08/2012 climberman wrote:
>>>On 15/08/2012 simey wrote:
>>
>>>Except you need to learn to telemark.
>>
>>No you don't. perfectly easy to do parallel turns on free heels.
>
>With modern gear and some idea I agree, but he'll still need a few days
>out on the groomed tracks to get the feel for it IMO...remember the older
>XCD gear and heavy backpack scenarios from our youths?...I personally have
>blotted most of it out.

Thank fark, a voice of reason.

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