A short walk in the snow

This year hasn’t been a good year for trips to the snow to take photos. In fact I only managed one trip up to Mt.Hotham in Victoria, and even then only managed to take a relative handful of shots.

The best shots I got was actually from a short walk I did up to the top of Little Mt Higginbotham, which is at the south end of the Mt.Hotham Alpine resort area. The night before there had been a few centimeters of fresh show, and there was some low cloud hanging around to give an interesting light to get out and take some shots.

This is looking up the hill from the Davenport area at Mt.Hotham, as you can see, it really isn’t that far up :

Normally you wouldn’t expect this ‘hill’ to be much of a problem, but in the days before the little bit of fresh snow there had been significant rainfall onto the existing snow cover that then froze as the cooler weather came in. This meant that just under the thin cover of fresh snow there was a hard, slipperly layer of ice. Luckily I had borrowed some Yowies from James which meant I had some traction. These are a bit like snowshoes, but specially tuned to Australian conditions and have a mini crampons to help grip in the typically icier snow.

There was a short and relatively steep pinch which meant I had to be extra careful heading up even with the yowies on. This is the view back over the village area from the top of that section which also gives some idea of its steepness :

On the way up I took this relatively unique shot for the area, there aren’t that many rocky outcrops around these parts :

Snowy Outcrop

Further up the summit opened right up into something the size of a few sports grounds. I was quite surprised as I hadn’t been up this particular part before. You can see in the foreground a small clump of icy snow barely concealed by the fresh blanket of snow, hinting at the hard stuff below :

Mount Little Higginbotham Summit

Up on top there were a number of interesting snow gums with a lovely icing of snow, this one though, really stood out :
Summit Snow Gum

The other side of the summit fell away on a nice, but too-steep slope for me to safely walk down :

…and down a nice tree lined ridge which I headed down (carefully) :

Well, not quite carefully enough, as a camera bag I thought was fully closed spilled much of it’s contents out, which then tumbled down the side of the mountain. This meant much clambouring up and down through the snowgums trying to retrieve the spilled contents. In the end I came back short of one battery and a water bottle. Not too bad considering I could have lost a lens or two.

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