Sunrise.

Its pretty awesome when you can roll outta your sleeping bag 35 minutes before sunrise is due to come up and stumble 5 mins to a epic tree.

Just a glimpse of the sun as dawn hit before the clouds rolled in and covered it all up… then rolled away.. then covered it up again..a perpetual cycle of this particular day.

5 shot panorama to really show this snowgum’s size. D750+24-70mm @ 27mm f/8 1/100s.

Kosciuszko National Park

South Rams Head

Its been a few years since I have gotten down for a snow camp session, last year was an absolute write-off. So when my sister (Lorena Blacklock) said she wanted to go this year and it could double as a birthday present how could I refuse 🙂

I have been wanting to get back to this area on the slopes of South Rams head, and given its a fairly mild snow shoe hike up it ended up being perfect. The weather forecast was looking ok, also conveniently timed around the new moon so plenty of black night for astro if the opportunity presented itself and of course a location close to some stunning snow gums and the peak of South Rams head. Everytime i go to the NPWS office at Jindy, the lady asks me the same question, have you seen the weather forecast ? its like a trick question to vet those unsuspecting back country folk 😉 The wind forecast was not much chop, on the friday the place had been issued with a severe wind warning – thats no fun, but it was calming down with 25-40km/h winds, still could well be enough to make things miserable if one got stuck in that with -7C.

We made it up to the treeline and it was pretty gusty, and not consistent direction gusts either, like the ones that swing around 180degrees to mess with your head as you try and find a nice camp spot 🙂 We did find a pretty nice spot that seemed fairly sheltered and with a nice view (that is pretty important:) ) It was snowing a bit and a bit windy still and the spot was on a fairly decent slope – enough that when I put my camera down and it went for slide half way down the hill 🙂 it still works so no new camera for me 🙁

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Snowgum.

There is no where else in the world where you will see Eucalyptus trees (gum trees) covered in snow other that in a few select areas of Australia. These areas have diminished and the number of trees been significantly reduced over the years, particularly by bush fires which have occurred in multiple years decimating them (circa 2003). Note these species of trees, unlike some other gums, do not need fire to activate the reseeding process.

There is some good news tho, they do appear to be recovering and hopefully the coming generations will see these (Eucalyptus Pauciflora) growing back to magnificent sizes like this grand snow gum on the southern reaches of Rams Head.

I love this tree, its just on the lower side of the treeline at about 1900metres and has such gnarly curves and colours. This was a bit after the sun had come over the hill and after a night of nice snow fall.

#Kosi #kosciuszkonationalpark