[SUBW-A] Trip Report - Jagungal wilderness 18-21 July

Roger Lembit gingra at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jul 30 07:48:53 AEST 2002

Trip Details: Snowy Gap-Gungarlin River-Doubtful River-Mt Jagungal (The
Big J)-Upper Pugilistic Creek-Tibeaudo's Hut-Gungarlin River-Snowy Gap.
Participants: Roger Lembit, Bad Dave Noble, Nips.

Drove down on Wednesday night (16th), petrol station at Michelago not
open so stopped at Cooma where Nips purchased a mug. Camped in the pine
forest on the western side of Eucumbene Dam after almost knocking over a
gee-gee on the road north of Rocky Plains Public School.

Thursday dawned bright and crisp with evidence of fresh snow from the
day before. After a hearty breakfast headed up to Snowy Gap where we put
on the skis and pushed on up the road to Adams Hut. Reaching the Hut
precisely 6.54 minutes ahead of schedule we headed west following snow
leads on the southern flanks on hills for our first date with destiny -
the icy crossing of the Gungarlin River. No snow bridges were in
evidence so it was off with the boots & socks & into the bracing waters.
We then skied over a hill and stopped on a grassy bank above a smallish
creek for lunch. Here we met our first couple of Black Riders for the
trip. After a brief, but pleasant conversation we tucked into our sambos
and a beer.
After lunch we headed up the gradual, climbing ridge towards the Munyang
Range near Cesjacks Hut. We spotted a group of 4 black riders on a day
trip from Flanagans Hut, then traversed the range to the south to seek a
dry crossing of the Doubtful River. After a successful search we skied
onto a small promontory above the river and found a campsite nestled
amongst the snow gums.

Our tent site had an easterly aspect and we had an early start the next
morning. The weather was fine and the snow was fairly good. This meant
only one thing - an assault on THE big J. We crossed over the spine of
the main south-east ridge north of McAlister Saddle and headed across
the southern flanks of the peak. After a brief elevenses in the Geehi
catchment, we reached the broad valley south of the main peak, dumped
our packs and slogged up. A celebratory beer was drunk on the summit,
then the video camera was out whilst we carved a series of elegant s's
down the southern slopes, back to our packs. We then crossed onto the
Toolong Range to the west, crossing Woody & Deb's ski tracks, and skied
down through a tangle of small snow gums, soft snow and scrub to reach
the Grey Mare Fire Trail close to its crossing of the Tumut River. We
lunched at a spot in the head of Pugilistic Creek, then toured north
along the road which heads along the Toolong Range towards Round
Mountain. Unfortunately some skidoo riders had been in the area defiling
our wilderness experience, but the snow was good, although tending to
become crusty as I found when I attempted to carve s's down a small
cornetto. We spent the evening cooking, drinking port and reading
literature. At one stage everyone got a bit hot and Dave decided to cool
himself down with some night skiing (Peter Tressider style).
Unfortunately he forgot to put on some apparel before heading off into
the snow, but fortunately didn't fall down!

With the slightest tinge of a headache and with Hughie building up for
something unsavoury, we following the Grey Mare Fire Trail east, up and
down as we crossing creeks, ridges, rivers and spurs. We had a quick
lunch in the sun and turned west to see a big, black cloud about to
pounce on us. We skied faster and reached Tibeaudo's Hut seconds after
the icy rain started. The rain turned to snow and we settled down for
the rest of the afternoon. That night we finished the rest of the port
toasting good old Chappie Dyson, but avoided the temptation to ski
around in the falling snow.

Sunday dawned bright and clear, so we headed down the valley to Boobee
Hut to check out the rocking chair. It turned my memory was poor - it is
a wooden chair with arms, but not a rocking chair. Anyway, I recall that
JDA found it quite comfortable on a previous trip. On return to
Tibeaudo's we headed across to the upper Gungarlin and past Kelly's Hut.
Regrettably the snow on the road had melted somewhat, so it was a
mixture of skiing and walking back to the car & the re-invented greasy
joes at Queanbeyan - gee those mixed grills are big - not sure that
Ashley would approve!

Happy Ski-ing,

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