Monday, 18 August 2008

Mt Wellington - 18th August 2008

View of Big Bend, Mt Arthur and Lost World from high on Pinnacle Rd, Mt Wellington - 18th August 2008The good forecast today and the good snow cover suggested this might be the best day to get into the snow. Mt Wellington was the easiest target, although I met Roger at the Chalet, and he was planning a walk to somewhere like Nevada Peak or Adamsons for tomorrow. Adamsons certainly has a very solid cover of snow, and makes a fine sight from Huonville when the sun catches it right now. However, Mt Wellington was pretty good.

Eucalypts weighed down by snow, one had broken off; Mt Wellington - 18th August 2008I walked up the ZigZag Track, and had some trouble on sections of it. The snow was mostly quite firm, but the usefully hard crust also made it difficult on the steepest section. The ZigZag isn't too bad, but there are sections where if you went sideways off it you'd slide a fair way before fetching up against a rock or a tree.

Snow plough operating at Mt Wellington summit - 18th August 2008I hoped to have the summit to myself, but the snow ploughing crew were there. The little snow plough is quite interesting to watch, although they did rather shatter the silence. The design of the actual ploughing implement is intriguing, but obviously effective. I asked them to keep the road closed for a while so I could walk down it without having to look out for cars. They managed to do so.

Summit shelter hut and pinnacle in snow, Mt Wellington - 18th August 2008The return was easier, as I avoided the ZigZag and used the road and other tracks to return easily around the north and east sides of the mountain. A couple of others who had climbed the ZigZag decided this was the best policy too. I think crampons would have helped in a descent (or an ascent for that matter). The snow is really quite deep in places, and reminds me of years past. I don't think I've seen this much snow on Mt Wellington for a long time. I recall a good fall when my eldest was about 12 months old (1994), and then some really deep snow in the 1970s, when the road was cut between 2-3m banks of snow. With more snow forecast, it looks like it will continue for a while. The amount of snow that is there now will take a while to melt even without further falls.

Northerly view to Mt Hull, Mt Faulkner, Mt Dromedary and Platform Peak from Pinnacle Rd, Mt Wellington - 18th August 2008A pair of Wedge-Tailed Eagles passed across the front of the mountain as I walked down. I was accompanied at this point by Ray, who told me that there are two pairs of eagles who frequent the mountain at present. The only photo I could manage at the distance was unfortunately not worth the the inconvenience I caused the electrons with which it was recorded. I will refrain from troubling any more electrons, or your eyeballs. This is the northerly view to Mt Hull, Mt Faulkner, Mt Dromedary and Platform Peak, upon the last two of which it appeared to be precipitating in direct contravention of the BoM's instructions for the day!


Mosura said...

Some great snow shots. Reminds me of Scotland.

Andrew Collier said...

G'day Mark, I run a site trying to document Australia's mechanised oversnow history. Do you mind if I add this great picture of the Rolba snowclearer in action?

My site is at:

I will credit you with the picture.

Cheers, Andrew