Early summer is a great time to hike in the Snowies with warm weather making ideal walking conditions. One of Sydney’s Venturer Scout groups decided to visit the area and take on a challenging walk – here are their experiences and tips for other groups:
1st Haberfield Venturer Scouts wanted to reach Opera House Hu, which is deep in the valley at the end of Lady Northcote’s Creek.
Their planning route was:
Thredbo chairlift > Wilkinsons Creek (camp) > Albina Lake > Lady Northcote’s Canyon > Opera House Hut (camp) > Watsons Crags (camp) > Thredbo chairlift.
The group departed on time at 6:30 am from 1st Haberfield Scout Hall. On arriving in Jindabyne, the clouds were swirling, and it was raining on and off. It was likely that extreme weather was going to eventuate, so they decided to stay at the Scouts Alpine Activity Centre. It was luxurious and Alpine Activity Centre’s manager Jennifer Cairns made it easy for the Group to stay at short notice.
The next day dawned sunny, so they headed to Thredbo to catch the first chairlift up. However, on arrival, the chairlift was closed due to high winds with no ETA for reopening. They decided to hike from Thredbo up to Dead Horse Gap and make their way up to the main range from there.
Two kilometres along the track, they came across a collapsed footbridge that prevented them from crossing the Thredbo River, and after some discussion, they went directly up to the main range by going off track and through the scrub.
It was a tough couple of hours but eventually, they broke through the tree line up towards Ramshead Range and set up camp in a beautiful grassy area under the Snow Gums.
The Group knew they were too far behind their original plan and had to scrap their goal of reaching Opera House Hut. Instead, they traversed along the Rams Head Range stopping at nearly all the snow patches for some shoe skiing. Eventually, they joined the boardwalk and summited Kosciuszko to then camp on the plateau between Muellers Peak and Mt Townsend.
It was time to descend down to Albina Lake and spent some time exploring the first part of Lady Northcote’s Creek. Finally, they went back to the main range track and headed back along the boardwalk and caught the chairlift down.
“Our hike was challenging and enjoyable even though we missed out on reaching Opera House Hut”, 1st Haberfield Scout Leader Dirk Goës said.
“It was good for the Venturer Scouts to experience the constant review and decision making that can occur on an outdoor adventure. It was also good for the Scouts to experience how we had to create a new route plan while in the field when it became clear we could not achieve our original goal”.