Last-minute plans on Sunday night called for an impromptu day trip on Monday searching for skiable snow in the ACT. Stockyard Spur had just been reopened after its closure due to the ACT's devastating summer bushfires. The walk starts at the base of Corin Dam and heads up towards the peak of Mt Gingera. With an elevation of 1855m, this was the perfect location for our trip. I wasn’t optimistic about the snow coverage so opted to hike up with snowshoes instead of skis, but that didn’t deter Mel and Steve from bringing theirs.
The return trip is 20km long and has approximately 800m elevation gain. This is a hard day walk, but if you’re looking for a challenge with rewards of great views (well, unless you get caught in a whiteout like us), Stockyard Spur is an excellent outing year-round. Best of all, it's just a 45 minute drive from the city to Corin Dam.
Given we weren’t taking too much gear, but still taking enough in case the weather turned bad, I opted for my Mont Sentinel 42 and packed my:
I wore my La Sportiva GTX Ultra Raptor's (a lighter, and still waterproof alternative to hiking boots), Adventure Light Pants (Men's, Women's), Reactor Long Sleeve (Men's, Women's) and Grid Pro Hoodie (Men's, Women's) to start. After sweating up a storm walking up Stockyard Spur, patches of snow started to appear between the burnt trees. It didn’t really improve once we arrived at Mt Franklin road with patchy snow at best. Disappointing for Steve and Mel, but not so much for me!
We got about a hundred metres up the Mt Gingera trail when we decided there was enough snow to put skis and snowshoes on. This was actually my first time using my new Tubbs Snowshoes - they were incredibly easy to put on and walk in (although I did fall over trying to walk backwards at one point!). While the Masters Trecime's were sufficient for this trip, I would take stronger poles if we were expecting to be in snowier terrain. This would provide more confidence in situations where you are more likely to put extra weight on your poles.
(Still working out the straps!)
When we reached the top, Steve pulled out his Jetboil Minimo and we decided to melt some snow to have coffee for the novelty of it. It was worth it.
(Fresh, hot coffee, straight off the mountain)
After our little break, Steve and Mel scoped some “lines” and I patted myself on the back again for choosing the snowshoe option. We then made our way down the mountain and back to the car before sunset.
All in all, a brilliant way to spend a Monday!
Photos and story by Mont Staff Member Alex.
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