Most go to the snow stay in the resorts and catch the ski lift and do a bit of boarding or skiing, not us :) we hike up in snow shoes and camp out in the -6 degree snow, go sledding, climb in snow caves, see wild brumbies and lay down some positive memories :) This was the break from the daily grind of getting to school and battling school lunches that we both needed :)
I had promised Chaos I would take her to the snow, its certainly been a useful carrot over the months, however I dunno whether it was what she expected and whether she will now associate it with a whole bunch of hard walking, cramps and cold hands :) Time will tell and we will see next year…
I am pretty impressed with her tho, in hindsight the 2.6 km walk up is probably a bit much for most 9 year olds including her, but with her defiant and never give in attitude it was harnessed for good! there was a few sections where she got a free ride on the sled but pretty much she made it on her own steam on her snowshoes– that segways nicely into a little advertorial for my backpack, I have the sled tied to the backpack wooden spines, yup you read right, wooden :) even hauling the sled with Chaos on it, my shoulders and back did not end up sore at all, this bag has such good support and is so well balanced with the majority of the load going straight to hips (even when hauling the sled). Whats this bag hear ya say ;) designed by the Swedes of course :) Fjall Raven, If you have a few spare minutes google Fjall Raven man, pretty good :) Anyways, its a great backpack, a bit heavier than some the newer style ones, but its very robust and has very nice configuration of pockets and has a cool logo (Arctic fox) ;)
Back to Chaos and the snow shoe hike up, we hiked up Dead Horse Gap, which we have decided now to rename to Live Horse Gap, since its clearly incorrect ;) to camp just at the top of treeline with some magnificent views of the Kosciuszko River and thredbo valley. We brought the appropriate items for snow man building, including a crusty old carrot and polished stones, she carried them up in her bag with her sleeping bag and mat – so I could not argue.
It was such a beautiful evening with not a breath of wind in the air, fog rolled over and killed the sunset, but that was OK, being able to set up the tent in a nice spot without howling wind was reward enough. We had a few cramp issues in the night, but all in all we sleep well and were warm enough, even down to the -6 degrees, I was glad I did not build the snow wall up too much since they (snow blocks) and the top layer of snow freeze solid making for hard work recovering pegs etc.
Sunrise and some exploration of the area with the discovery of horse dung led to the obvious question, ‘are there horses up here’ ? To which I (now know in hindsight) incorrectly stated ‘nah, can’t be’ :) We are also found a cool snow cave which someone had dug out, nice job, it was surprising how many campsites existed up there, I guess without snow to cover them up hey all remain quite prominent until the spring melt and this time of year is probably a favourite for the back country camping.
Well, about that horse, I got the shock of my life when we stumbled upon this wild brumby about 1.5km up the track, it was certainly looking worse for wear with its ribs clearly visible, but I guess coming out of winter it would be hard, but it had found a really nice patch of grass from the snow melt which it was mowing down, that patch of grass was probably the only reason why it hung around while we marvelled at it. I am glad we did see it, it kept Chaos talking about it for the rest of the day..