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Backcountry snow report from Mont Ambassador Doug Chatten

October 09, 2017

Backcountry snow report from Mont Ambassador Doug Chatten

Ski touring on the Main Range is currently in great shape! Kosciuszko Rd to Charlotte Pass is still snow bound so best access to The Western Faces is currently from Guthega. Cover is getting patchy through the trees from Farm Ck but consistent from Illawong flats onwards. Faces that are normally by now starting to get land locked like North side of Twynam, Carruthers & Sentinel country are still continuous cover.

Doug relaxing in the dug out

 

“Faces that are normally by now starting to get land locked like North side of Twynam, Carruthers & Sentinel country are still continuous cover”

Just finished a four day spring mission dug into the lee side of Crags Ck saddle, skiing great lines off the Nth side of Twynam & very challenging variations in the Crags which are only skiable in good winters. Often during winter the descents in the Crags are wind scoured & not for the faint hearted. With ideal spring conditions we could really get into skiing some difficult pitches and exciting climbing. Ascending with climbing skins is not even an option & best done with crampons, a lightweight ski mountaineering axe & the Black Diamond Whippet. This handy tool is a ski pole that has an ice axe pick built into the handle & a great bit of kit to beef up your protection in exposed areas.

Doug-cramponing-up

On the way out climbing Mt Twynam with a loaded overnight pack I was stoked with how breathable the Mont Ascent Jacket is. My buddies made two clothing transitions while I kept the Ascent Jacket on from the start to the top of the climb. Even while working hard cramponing out of the Crags & again up the backside of Twynam the Ascent with its active cut & excellent breathability was the perfect choice.

 

“With clear & calm skies we opted for the freedom of open air camping digging our dog boxes into the slope.”

Cramping up in the backcountry snow

With clear & calm skies we opted for the freedom of open air camping digging our dog boxes into the slope. A kitchen, bedrooms & hardware room connected by a 15 metre terrace. Couldn’t have been toastier tucked up in my Mont Main Range sleeping bag under the stars. With excellent conditions & skiing straight out the back door there was plenty of time for lounging & back to camp for a cuppa with lunch then an arvo session of more steeps.

the-dog-boxes-and-terrace

Doug Chatten
Pro Patrol & Mont Ambassador


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