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Ths author is a Chartered Professional Engineer, providing specialized consultancy services in International Broadcasting Engineering. He is graduate of the Royal Melbourne Instiutute of Technology.and holds the rank of Member, Institution of Engineers Australia . he is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to Shortwave Radio, and was employed by the PMG's Dept/ATC/Telecom Australia from 1956 until 1997...

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Falls Creek Snow Trip, Alpine National Park


On July 28, 2008, we went up to the Falls Creek Ski Resort, in the Alpine National Park.

We started at Bright, 335 km NE of Melbourne, and travelled through Tawonga Gap and Mt Beauty, then up the High Plains Tourist Rd, arriving at Falls at about 10.30 am.

The law required us to carry wheel chains, which were to be fitted to 2WDs at Howman's Gap. We were OK, as my Forester Subaru is an AWD, exempt from chains, unless directed otherwise. The general exemption applies to engaged 4WDs.

The snow ploughs do a good job of keeping this road open - paid for from the $30 per car daily entry fee!

Snow had fallen as low as 800 m.

It was our intention to do some cross country skiing along the groomed trails, picking up from our 2007 trip. This turned out to be virtually impossible - the ground temperature was minus 5 at noon, and wind gusts were reaching 60 km/hr. Natural snow depth was about 105 cm!

Blizzard-like snowstorms and high horizontal winds along the High Plains Rd created an almost "no-go" situation.

My friend Mick actually got as far as the start of the Rocky Valley Dam Wall, but was forced to retreat, along with some other skiiers, due to heavy continuous snow and huge winds.

I didn't bother with the skiis, and trudged up towards the Nordic Bowl, then turned back! I did this four times, about 2 km in total, but the wind drove me back!

School groups who had come up for the day were very disappointed at the horrific conditions.

We had our lunch in the Shelter, then drove back down the mountain, stopping at Mt Beauty township, then a big loop through Happy Valley and Myrtleford, back to Mick's new country house at Bright.

There were stupendous views of the snow-covered Alps from vantage points near the Mt Beauty village, and from the Bogong View Lookout on the Kiewa Valley Highway, near Tawonga. There were excellent views also across to Mt Buffalo from Happy Valley Rd.

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