Leader: Morrie Donovan
Kosciuszko NP: North/South Traverse
22 - 31 March 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos top: Jocelyn Gaskill
Photos below: Janette Fiore
Morrie Donovan, Jocelyn Gaskill, Janette Fiore, Lynn Dabbs, Anthea Michaelis, Kaye Birch, Ron Binet, Tony Hickson, Roy Burton, Guest Susan Beck
8 Days, 8 Huts, 80 kms. Bus to Round Mountain then walk to the cars at Munyang. All full pack walking is undulating and on trail. There are 2 optional off-track day walks. Map: Toolong Range, Jagungal, Geehi Dam
Report: Janette Fiore
Everyone arrived at Jindabyne and had dinner at the good old bowling club. So good to see old friends and get out into the Bush again.
10 excited and slightly apprehensive walkers gathered all asking the same questions. Did we have enough food, warm clothing and were we fit enough for this adventure?
Everyone’s pack seemed heavy ......very heavy. While drivers took cars to Munyang car park for end of our walk we waited and at 10.30am took a bus to Round mountain car park ....two hours away.
Then DISASTER struck. The road was closed due to fallen trees!! Morrie had no choice but to change the whole walk and return to Jindabyne.
Poor Morrie, a sleepless night .....planning again. Thank goodness we had a leader who knew the area so well and with help from Tony it was decided to walk from Guthega power station to Whites River hut. Off we went by car to Guthega Power station.
Our Hearts dropped AGAIN. From the 25 March to 31 March there was a Feral cull and a lot of the areas were closed!!!
On closer inspection it would not involve the tracks we were on. Thank goodness. So off we set, heavy heavy packs and rain all the way up that steep steep fire trail. First break was Horse Camp hut for morning tea then Whites River hut for camp. With tents up and a roaring fire what more could you want?
Everyone awake early today!!! We had so much rain overnight that most tents were saturated. So grateful for a dry hut for breakfast and a regroup. Packed and out we went ......tossing our packs over rivers, then ourselves, we headed off ......
In heavy rain and freezing winds we walked to The Shlink Hilton for lunch. Due to the weather, constant heavy rain and freezing winds it was decided to stay at the Hilton .....no one except Tony camped outside that night !!!
Everyone with all their gear dry and after a good night sleep we set off to Valentines hut .....very cold in the morning but turned into a lovely bright sunny day. Glorious weather, beautiful camp site and a bright red hut ... Oh what a joy to be alive.
After a reasonable night and breakfast 8 walkers ...lead by Tony this time, set off cross country to Mawsons hut. With a day pack only it was still a challenge, up hill and down dale and into the usual bog ...
Back to Valentines for tea and a swim in the river, and drying off in the warm afternoon sun ..... 5pm we noticed 4 walkers coming this way .. The 4 men were exhausted and were going to sleep in the hut.....Oh no. We got all very territorial about OUR hut but when another man arrived, a good looking one at that, we all were more welcoming!!!
Morrie built them a fire in the hut and information was exchanged. They were very grateful and impressed at our ages and fitness,.....76 to 52 years. Not bad at all.
Information about the weather was coming through the boys and Morrie....it didn’t look promising with more rain and perhaps snow. Decision was made to reduce a day walking and head down.
Leaving Valentines was with mixed feelings ....we did so want to go on to Grey Mare hut. So back to Whites River hut for the night. Tents up, firewood collected, it was a reasonable night till 5.30 am the next day when it started to bucket down with rain.
After packing up wet tents again, we headed to Horse Camp Hut for morning tea and via the Aquaduct track. Everything looked so different this time around. The fire trail back to Guthega was still a boring old hike, can’t believe we walked up it in the pouring rain with heavy packs on our backs.
Back to Jindabyne for coffee and carbo loading and a nice warm bed and dinner at the Hotel ....
After breakfast and setting off the fire alarms making toast we said goodbye to everyone.
Dodging the fire brigades we set off.
Until we all meet again on the track ..........Janette Fiore.
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