This post comes from Adam West of Main Range Backcountry and was originally posted on the MRBC site.
With my car full of every piece of mountain gear I own, I was woken at 5.30am on Saturday morning @ my mate’s house in East Jindabyne to find him packing for a trip to the high country near Mt Jagungal. I too packed all my kit with enough food for two days and we headed off!
Two plans were proposed, Whites River Hut or Burrungubuggee Hut. We went for the Burrungubuggee option as it seemed like more of an adventure! Our main objective was to ride some virgin snow in a remote part of the KNP.
At 9.00am we parked the car at Island Bend Fire trail and started walking. Packed was everything, Food, Tent, Sleeping gear, Splitboards and even crampons! From last week’s tour to Leather barrel Creek, I was coming prepared this time. My pack was very heavy but I was sure we would be skining soon as we headed up.
Within 2.5 hours we had gone from fire trial to chest deep spikey scrub and I was second guessing my choice for the weekend. I was happy that our new sponsors gear. The Mont
pants were up to the task as I think my light weight Arc’teryx shell pants would have been shredded by now. We checked the map and knew we were near Burrungubuggee Hut but unsure how much further
200m round the next bend we found it or whats left of it. We decided to continue on to Kidman’s hut as it looked like there was actual snow up the valley. A quick check of the map showed we had come half way. Up the valley we could see where the 3 creeks merged and this was our goal and hopefully some snow to ride.
The next 3hrs was an “experience”. The chest deep scrub turned into dense scrub that at time was almost impossible to push through. With each bend in the creek we hoped to see a clearing with low grass and gentle ground but all we came across was more dense scrub, Boulders and snow! We might just get to use the Splitboards.
By 3.30pm we made it to the where the 3 creeks merged and decided that would do. We were now in the snow line so set up camp and got the fire going. We cleared a level area for the tent and had a cup of coffee and prepared dinner for the night. It was an almost full moon so there was plenty of ambient light around. We hit the sack early at about 8 and hoped for good weather in the morning.
Woke @ 7am and got up and got the fire going. Was boiling water for my backcountry cuisine “Cooked breakfast” when I looked west and saw the weather closing in fast! I decided to forget the breakfast and pack the tent up as it had started to snow now. We had the whole trip back to the car, all 8.5KM to look forward to in the Snow/rain, happy days!
The trip home took just under 4 hrs and by the time we got back we were wet to the bones with boots full of water! I would imagine that this area of the KNP is rarely visited due the heavy scrub , so it was a treat to head out there but the lack of “Alpine” terrain and the very little snow meant that our main objective to ride this remote area didn’t eventuate.
All in all a great experience, the 17km loop trip wasn’t huge but took all my efforts to make it back to the car!