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Old 07-23-2012, 02:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Perisher Australia slackcountry trip report

This is a collection of pics and a few words from tuesday 17 to friday 20 july.

Day 1. After the 15cm dump on Sunday there were still some good stashes to be had but there was a crust developing on the surface which made what looked like powder sometimes very icy and sketchy, it was a pity as there was so much fresh snow that had not been ridden. I was camping at island bend and launched from guthega, did a few runs there before lapping my fav run around the back of double trouble.

My lunch spot, looking at the back of double trouble.



After a few laps there I decided to go and boot pack up the rolling grounds across guthega dam.


Well it was hard work with the snow being like mashed potatoes over there so I decided to try a test slope before I invested any more energy into this post hole stomping walk I had undertaken. Sure enough the snow was super slow and sticky so I retreated back to my car and went back to island bend for the night.

Day 2.
Another beautiful morning at island bend.


On my way out I was approached by a guy who happened to be Mattaus from the forums. See this thread.
Island Bend Campground Perisher - Ski Forum

They had been down from QLD for a few days already and were pretty well set up. We had a chat and he introduced me to his brother Chris and their mate AJ. We headed off to guthega together so I could show them some of my favourite parts of the resort. Disaster struck for Chris as on the first run to double trouble he twisted his knee and had to get taken out of a snow mobile by ski patrol who Chris accidentally told we were riding double trouble which is closed. I almost fell over when he said it lol but the ski patrol guy was a really nice guy and said "ok so you did it here at guthega" with a wink and continued on with his accident report. Dealing with ski patrol was definately a positive experience. Turns out Chris had sustained a grade 1 MCL tear in his knee and was relegated to bar hopping (literally!) for the next few days.
Matt, AJ and myself continued riding but there was a terrible wind crust on the surface so we decided to call it a day and we all headed back to Island Bend for the night. Much drinking was done with Chris claiming that he was in no pain and should be right for tomorrow. The morning would reveal a different story as his knee was clearly not up for riding.

Yeah it was windy. Pic taken above pleasant valley station.


I dug by hand a small hole to get a look at the crust and what was going on under the surface, you can clearly see the new wind crust which was about 20mm, it was the top of sundays 15cm dump, beneath that you could clearly see the old rain crust layer that was extremely hard and even thicker at about 30mm. In between these 2 layers was quite dry soft snow.


Wind crust on the surface


A piece of the wind crust


It was snowing when we left for the day.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Day 3. 5cm fresh.
So it was a cold night, condensation was frozen above our heads as we woke. The river had frozen on the surface and there were ice sheets stuck in the trees from last nights high tide.




Grass pattern on the bottom of an ice sheet, I remember as a child my parents caravan had curtains that were clearly made by the same designer.


So we were cooking breakfast when a guy from national parks turned up to make sure we had out vehicle permits, he informed us that there had been 5cm new snow over night. Excited by the thought of new snow we headed up to perisher car park so Chris could spend his day bar hopping. The rest of us headed out into the huge lift lines at front valley and made our way over to Mt Perisher. The snow was fresh but was sitting an yesterdays ice crust, there was almost no bond between the old and the new snow. On the chair up there was small (30cm or so) pieces of soft slab that had released below some ski cuts that I saw, it was on a miniature scale but I was experiencing my first soft slab conditions. I was actually excited to see them as I had been expecting just this scenario with the fresh, extremely dry snow sitting on a very thick wind crust. In steeper terrain with more new snow the possibility of avalance would have been high in my extreme noob avalanche eyes. I didnt get any pics of this unfortunately and I am now kicking myself for not taking some.

We did a few laps in the clear blue skies from above top station at front valley down around the back of double trouble to guthega which was fantastic in the fresh snow which was more like 10cm out there with wind blown stashes much deeper. All day I was eyeing off some lines further out than I had been before, we decided that if the weather was fine tomorrow we would consider having a look out there.
The still clear conditions leant themselves perfectly to a nice big fire which kept us and a few of the local possums more than warm. The boys cooked up a batch of deviled sausages which went down much better than the noodles I had been living on so far. As the wild turkey and bundy rum flowed the night progressed into a very funny affair with AJ constantly having to either add more wood or reconfigure the wood that was already burning in the fire much to our amusement/horror at times! A fun time was definately had by all.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Day 4.
We woke at 6(ish) lol. Negative 3 on the mercury, it was fresh. The skies appeared cloudy so we assumed there would be no mission to the peak we had been eyeing off the previous day. Once at the top of Mt Perisher however it was a clear as you could get, a check on the loose layer of snow revealed that it had bonded quite well to the crust beneath so we decided it was worth heading out for a look. This is what we were faced with.
.

It was on. So from the top of Mt P we rode straight down the back through some glorious terrain to a smaller peak which we hiked to the top of. The peak we were heading for was the bigger one behind the one we were hiking and can be seen centre of pic above, just in front of the largest peaks in the background.

Some of the terrain we rode on the way.




After hiking the smaller peak we rode down the back of it to the foot of bigger one we were heading for, I am unsure of its name. Numerous checks of the top layer stability were perfomed along the way, it was holding on very well.
We boot packed to the top which was quite an effort, once at the summit we ate a few mini snickers, drank some water and then warmed out insides with a tiny mouthful of wild turkey that AJ had smuggled along.

Myself, AJ with the offending mini bottle and Matt in the background assuring his girlfriend that he still loves her after being seperated for 6 days or so haha.


You can see Mt Blue Cow in the far upper left of this pic. Mt P is just out of pic on the right.


Looking further afield


Wind loaded gulley to the side of our line


Looking down our line


We dropped in one at a time, the snow was beautiful, not as soft as it would have been in the wind loaded area next door but after seeing the way it was releasing yesterday on the wind crust I wasnt taking that chance, we rode all the way to the bottom and across the river on a nice little snow bridge that was conveniently located and then traversed/hiked our way back along to another creek crossing and back up the hill to the burning log cafe. Exhausted and extremely satisfied we were more happy than usual to load onto the t bar and up to the top of the blue cow home trail where I took this pic at the screw.

The face we rode
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This shows where we went.


All in all it was one of the best days Ive had in the mountains, perfect weather, great company and some really nice lines down faces Ive previously only dreamed of riding.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Top of Mount Perisher...I think:


Looking out towards our goal (on the far right anyway):


Tearing down the back side of Mount Perisher:


Working hard to get up the next ridge:


AJ Spreading his wings haha:


It was a hard slog:


The little hill at the end:



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Old 07-23-2012, 02:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Top of Mount Perisher:


Looking down the last hill:


Resting at the top of our trek:
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Way to work for your turns out there! Jelly!
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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bonza mate.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hahah you and snowolf (AKA dirtwolf when he moves to Western Australia) with your bonza shit! Youre gonna stand out pretty badly saying that on the gold coast mate ;-)
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Not as badly as you will stand out in Asahidake with your Aussie accent Japanese .

Don't worry I won't be pulling that one out in Oz, been there like 6 times already and know the lie of the land a little.

Only once just after the English had won the ashes, a taxi driver got a little upset with me for rubbing it in (I realize the ashes will be foreign to most people on here, its a cricket thing).

Keep the photos coming.
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