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1993 New Year's Eve Snowy Mountains Walk - by Elizabeth Backer

We came from a sultry summer Sydney and drove straight into the snow blizzards, which was a bit of a shock to the system. On with the winter clothes, mittens and hats. Fred and I were a few days earlier than the rest of the party and had two magical daywalks through the snowed-in country. On one of these we did a supply drop to Kidman's Hut - some goodies and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate New Year's Eve later that week.


We duly met the other walkers and set off early on the 29th December. Disappointment Spur lived up to its name. With visibility very poor and intermittent rain there was no question of taking that route to Mawson's Hut, so we plodded up the SMA road to Schlink's Pass. Stopped for morning tea at Whites River Hut and were greeted by a big snowman still standing in the rain. When the time came to leave the road and go cross-country to Mawson's, visibility had not improved much. Even that short route was quite difficult to navigate. There were quite a few people camping near the hut. We all cooked in it. With a roaring fire, candle-lit dinner and good company we all felt better.

The next day dawned overcast but the clouds disappeared - phht - just like that, so that big Mount Jagungal allowed us to come up. What a pleasure it is to walk that terrain - wide distant saddles, the Valentine and Geehi River (cold and deep to cross) and then finally the climb up Jagungal. We were not the only ones. Everybody took advantage of the improved weather. The main range and Victoria were still shrouded, yet the vista was impressive.

Then it was New Year's Eve - time to cross the Brassy Mountains and take a route down. Fred and I had found quite a good pass some years ago which is not too scrubby, and so onto Kidman's. I am not ashamed to say that Denise and I drank most of the bubbly, only we did it in about five minutes flat. Yoohoo - happy New Year!

The next day was an easy four hours to get us back to the Snowy Adit where Stuart and Nathan Davies awaited us with a welcome cup of tea. A great walk - we will be back.

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