Plans to get my 100 points fell through at the last minute (4am on the morning of) so, sitting on 97 points, I decided to check out Mount Lloyd, followed by Snowy South. I left Lloyd at 9.30, and decided I didn’t want to drive all the way back through the city and down to Huonville, so I opted for the ‘short cut’ on forestry roads. Little bit risky, as I didn’t know if I could actually get through, if I was taking the right way through, or if I’d come across one of the gates I kept seeing across side roads on the road I was on. So I drove somewhat anxiously, and was very glad to pop out the other end!
The weather was no better in this part of the world, but I was warming up and drying out in the car, and I still wasn’t over my disappointment at having had plans cancelled. So I was determined to get to the top of Snowy South, having made one attempt before on a bushwalking club trip, and another with a group of friends, and being turned back due to lack of time on both occasions. I also had a rough plan to head across to Nevada if I could see what the terrain looked like and if it didn’t seem too scrubby.
To get to the track start you head to Huonville, take the Glen Huon Road out to Judbury, taking Lonnavale Road until it forks off to the right. You don’t take this fork, but stay straight ahead and drive on what is now Denison Road. You continue along Denison road, and it does a similar thing, branches off to the right while Weld road continues straight ahead. Take the right to stay on Denison. Follow this for some way until it forks, and take the right fork which is McDougalls road. Continue on this road until you turn left at 55 G 476911 5245786. Shortly after this there’s a spot to park cars and a sign marking the start of the walk.
I didn’t get this far in the car on this particular day, as there was a decent sized gum tree down across the road 2.5 km from the track start. Not to be deterred, and knowing it was just an extra 20-30 minutes each way, I set off on foot. I started walking from the start of the track a few minutes before 11.30, and made relatively good time up to Lake Skinner, there by 12.30. It was cold and wet, and the views were even worse than the last two attempts. But I was driven by a need to walk, so up I went. I was on the plateau in 20 minutes, and now started the fun part. I couldn’t see where I was going, and had no idea what lay ahead, not having been much further on the previous two occasions.
I followed the cairned pad a fair way, which got me nice and close to near the summit, then scrambled over some wet rock in the now rather strong wind. Found the summit by gps, then by the cairn, let out a small smile for 100 points then thought about what to do next. It was 1.30, I couldn’t see 15 metres ahead, the wind and the fact that there was already one tree down across the road made me increasingly uneasy about being out for too long, and I had no idea of what the terrain was like between Snowy South and Nevada so I scratched my tentative plan. Funnily enough, the day I did do it the weather was no better!
I headed back down, not quite as fast as I’d gone up as the urgency to make good time was now gone, and was back at the start of the track 4 hours after I started. Another 20 minutes jog down the road to my car, but it was only when I was off the forestry road that I allowed myself to relax!
There’s a few photos here from the first two attempts, because the weather was much better, so much so I only took about two the day I actually made the summit. Snowy south remains so far my most attempted peak. But it’s a lovely walk, with some beautiful snow gums, and I’d definitely do it again, having seen photos on a stunning day from a club trip more recently.
One way (up): 5.8km, 2.13 hrs, 832m ascent.