Thursday, June 12, 2008

alpine heights

The ski season starts on the Queen's birthday, so we had a limited time frame to head south down the Great Alpine Road and climb Hotham Heights ( 1,862 metres) and through the ski fields before the snow started to fall.

It was quite a scary climb for the van, winding through the clouds and past all the signs warning not to pass beyond that point without snow chains ( forgot to pack them). When we started the climb it was 14 degrees, at the top it was 3 degrees and the Alpine Village was full of staff preparing for the start of the season. Views were limited due to the cloud cover.

We crossed Dinner Plain then camped half way down the south side of the mountain.The road to the camp ground was a steep dirt road and probably a little ambitious for the van, and all the signs warned 'dry weather use only'.We then lay awake for most of the night as the rain fell worrying about whether we would ever get up the slope again. We made a lucky escape and headed slowly down towards the coast.

Three days later and it was announced on the News tonight that heavy snow has fallen and the mountain awaits the first skiers.

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