Standing Firm - Snowy Mountains NSW

Size Guide


Back in 2014, I decided to hit the slopes early in the season and get up on the Main Range in July rather than September - BIG MISTAKE. Thanks to my friend Mike Banks, who pointed out afterwards that he always avoided the Main Range in July or August. It was simply too dangerous.

The wind blew for two days. I equated it to someone standing outside my tent and shaking it as hard as possible. I swore that at times it was going to pick me up and deposit me at the bottom of Thredbo Valley. That night I woke to find a foot of snow piled against the door. Shovelling it away, I didn’t rest easy thinking that I may have been entombed in my own tent! I dug myself out a second time that night before the sun finally rose for a new day.

Thankfully the wind moderated a little, so I decided it was safe enough to go for a walk. Although the visibility wasn’t great, I figured that I would just retrace my steps.

I walked pretty much in a straight line across the eastern face of the Range above Thredbo to the southern end before turning back. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was so conscious to take in every landmark for my return walk just in case.

Of course I wasn’t able to retrace my steps - the wind does a good job of shifting snow and covering tracks fairly quickly. Walking back for a good 90 minutes or more, I was looking for any landmark that was recognisable. I started to question my intelligence: being out here on my own with low visibility and darkness only a few hours away wasn’t sensible. My tent was my refuge - I desperately wanted to find it.

I came across a rocky outcrop. The large rock shelf to the left was deep and I considered using this for shelter should I not be able to find my tent. I came around the corner and finally recognised this granite tor. From there, I knew how to get back to my tent - up the rise and only a few hundred metres away.

Thank goodness!

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