Snow Trip 2017
The Gap Getaway / Mt Skene Weekend 14th – 16th July 2017
Our group all met at the BP service station on the highway at Little river. We had 10 vehicles in total for this weekend away.
We began our journey towards the high country, with a brief stop in Healesville to gather one of our group, and then made our way to Marysville. Here we all topped up with alpine fuel and made Marysville our lunch break, a chance to stretch legs and let the kids have a play.
We arrived at “The Gap Getaway” around 2pm and checked into our accommodation and unpacked. No snow at this point.
It was still early and Warren and I lead the group down to woods Point. We turned onto Johnson Hill Track and weaved our way down to Gooley Creek and the little hut and had some fun with the many river crossing in that area. We returned via the many crossing and back up onto Johnshill track and back to Woods point.
Some of our group had not been to the iconic Woods Point pub so this was an opportunity for those members to take a look and have the obligatory beer.
Leaving woods Point we followed the road just out of town where we turned right onto TingerSpur Track. The ascent from the road was quite steep and slippery and a few of our group needed to reduce tyre pressures in order to tackle the climb. With that climb behind us we continued along Tinger spur track coming out on the woods point Matlock road. Tinger Spur track is a great track and a good alternative to travelling the main road to or from woods point.
We returned to the Getaway where we were greeted by our wonderful hosts, Brian and Heather Prothero.
After a feast of hot BBQ food, we all settled around the bar and fabulous heater for a good night of laughter, singing and socialising. The night was becoming increasingly cold and we all prayed for snow.
We awoke to a completely changed landscape. Overnight we got SNOW. Not a lot but enough to make the the whole landscape white and have the 4bys covered with the white fluffy stuff. This was very exciting as this was what we had hoped for.
We all enjoyed a hot breakfast of bacon, eggs, snags and toast thanks to our hosts.
Before we could begin our day, we had to help get a few of our vehicles started as with the overnight freezing temps we had vehicles with frozen lines. This did not take long and soon we were on our way towards Mt Skene.
We left the Gap, and turned onto the main road heading for Matlock. We then turned right onto the Walhalla Road. There was plenty of snow. We made a brief stop to show everyone the sad Walhalla Road (Mt Victor Hut) which is slowly disappearing down the mountain. We then turned onto Mt Selma Road. We stopped at Christians Hut briefly before continuing on. We stopped about half way along Mt Selma road for a coffee and a chance for everyone to have some fun playing in the snow. We were so lucky to have snow for our entire journey.
We then continued on, turning left onto South road and then left onto the Jamieson Licola road.
We made a detour onto Lazarini Spur Track to show everyone Crows Hut. There is very little turning room at this hut so we did it in groups of three and all met back at the Lazarini Spur/Licola intersection.
Just a few metres from this intersection we turned right onto a little unknown track which ran parallel with the main road. The track was very overgrown and rutted and rocky in places but a good track none the less. We did meet another group on this track and after some manoeuvring we managed to get all our group passed and after a few ks popped back out onto the main road.
As we got closer to the summit of Mt Skene the snow on the road became thicker. This is what we had come for, to see snow (some for the very first time) and driving in snow. It was awesome
We then arrived at our destination, Mt Skene. Everyone was so excited and although it was cold everyone had a ball. The kids made snowmen, and of course the snowball fights. The snow then began to fall heavily, it was amazing. Some of group had seen snow but never had it falling on them, so this day everyone got their wish.
The weather soon deteriorated and it was time to move on. We had plenty of thick snow on the road for quite a distance. We needed to stay in the wheel tracks with some momentum.
We continued down to Jamison and then on to Kevington.We stopped at the iconic pub for quick drink and stretch of legs.
Just out of Kevington we turned right onto Flourbag Track and then onto Moonlight Spur Track. This is a long track with some ruts and rocky sections and rock steps. Made just a little more challenging because it was wet. As we neared the top of Moonlight Spur track we came across a very rutted section. The ruts were about 1200 deep and off camber. Tackling this section, we also had to be aware of the tree as we climbed out as with power on there wasn’t much room between the rut and the tree. We did have to winch one of our group out of this. We all conquered this section and eventually we came out on Ryan’s Spur Track. It was getting onto dark by this stage as we made our way back to “The Gap”.
Brian and heather had a wonderful roast meal with lashings of thick gravy ready for us on our return and it’s fair to say we were all a bit hungry after such a big day. (and a bit tired as well).
Most of the group were headed to bed fairly early on Saturday night. (think we wore them out).
We again started our day with a hearty hot breakfast of bacon, eggs, baked beans, snags and toast before packing up and saying farewell to Brian and Heather. They are wonderful hosts, very friendly. The Gap is a fabulous place to spend a weekend, warm and toasty in the bar area, great food and plenty of it and accommodation was warm and inviting as well. Massive thanks to Brian and Heather.
We left the Gap and headed up to Mt Matlock. There wasn’t any snow left but no one was worried. We continued along Ryan’s spur track following the ridge line tracks. We had a stop at Ryan’s Spur Hut for a morning cuppa before continuing towards Mt Terrible. A couple of the ridge line tracks proved challenging with some of our group opting for easier options. Two of our group Dave and Tim managed to drive up one track which always proves to be challenging. They did it while the rest of us watched and drove around.
Mt terrible track is becoming more and more rutted with the constant traffic. Nearing the top of Mt Terrible Tim decided to try another little side track with a huge rock shelf. He did get into trouble and had to be winched back onto the main track, no damage except some frayed nerves.
We parked at Mt Terrible and were blessed with a rare and clear day looking out over the alps. We could see Mt Buller, the bluff and Mt Skene very clearly and they did look picturesque all snow-capped.
There was still a dusting of snow at Mt Terrible as well making for a very pleasant stop.
We then headed down Newman’s track coming out on the Eildon Jamieson Road. We had lunch at Alexandra before heading home via the Hume.
We had a fantastic weekend away and ticked all the boxes for our great trip. Waking up to snow, snow falling, driving in snow, some of the best scenery the high country has to offer, and some great tracks as well. Add in an awesome group of people, a great accommodation and you have a recipe for a truly great weekend. This is why we own 4wheel drives.