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1994 Snowy Mountains Hike - by Gwenneth Prior

Elizabeth and Fred's January walk in the Kosciusko National Park began auspiciously. There was much thunder and lightning but only a few raindrops as we camped at the Snowy Adit Portal. Such luck was to continue for the next four days.

It has to be a special walk when the leader plans a 'first' morning tea break. It was just one of the highlights. The only people we met on the whole trip appeared before lunch on that first day. From then on we had to ourselves the rocky outcrops, the mountain ranges disappearing into the distance, the wonderful weather, the wildflowers, creeks, balmy evenings and dry tents in the mornings.

We camped above Schlink Pass: at Tin Hut with a spectacular view from the toilet: and at Kidman's Hut. The log books provided interesting reading and verification of 1993's New Years Eve party when Denise, Elizabeth and Fred celebrated in luxury at Kidman's.

Of course, there were mountains. With Jagungal creeping closer and closer, we climbed Gungartan (2020 metres) and Big Brassy (1910 metres) - which are much higher in feet, of course. With the assistance of many shoelace stops and our leaders' encouragements we all made it to the to the peaks. The views were well worth the effort and we took our time enjoying the scenery.

The ravens on the mountain tops, the huge hares on distant slopes and trout spotted in several creeks contrasted with Denise's encounter with a big, hairy local, John standing on a small brown snake and Elizabeth's generosity to the March flies. Denise and I also claim a platypus sighting, despite some scepticism from some people.

If a similar trip is programmed for next year I suggest booking early. Elizabeth and Fred have detailed knowledge of the area and its history, and don't lose anyone. Except Col. The coffee shop is the one that smells nice, Col!

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