Gwinear to Baw Baw - 28 August 2011

It was a fine and sunny day so what better way to spend it than hiking in alpine country. The return walk would take us from the St Gwinear car park over Mt St Gwinear, Mt St Phillack and Mt Baw Baw to Baw Baw village and was expected to take 2.5-3 hours one way.

Soon after leaving the St Gwinear car park at 11am, we came across a small patch of snow off to the side of the track which was a pleasant sight. That was just a taste of things to come as we would soon find out that 60% of this walk was on snow covered terrain which made for a very scenic walk. However, the snow did hinder our pace as other than the obvious traction issues, it had completely covered the walking track which made navigating a challenge (with only blazer poles every 25m directing the way) and also the melt from which turned the non snow covered sections of the walking track into boggy swamps.

We finally made it to Baw Baw village around 4pm but were advised to postpone our return walk until the next morning as we would never make it back before the sun went down. Navigating was difficult enough during daylight let alone in pitch darkness. The advice was heeded as although well prepared, we didn't fancy a night lost in the rain/snow, subzero temperatures or getting on the news for getting lost in the bush. We were lucky enough to come across Gary the mini-bus driver who was willing to drive us for an hour along dirt tracks back to the St Gwinear car park for the bargain price of $80! This saved us from having to spend a night on Mt Baw Baw and making an embarassing phone call to the boss saying that we wouldn't be in at work tomorrow because we got stuck out at Mt Baw Baw!

This is where we went; Wurundjeri Country.

Thomson Resevoir.

The first sighting of snow.

Mt St Gwinear summit.

Freshening up with the purest of water.

After this section, we wouldn't see the actual track floor for a while.

The cave man.

We walked a section of the Australian Alps Walking Track.

Climbing up the snowy terrain.

In amongst the snow gums.

The summit of Mt St Phillack.

Where to now?

Views along the way.

A frozen sheet had formed on the surface of this pond.

Climbing towards Baw Baw.

A bit of respite before reaching Baw Baw Village.

Peering down below.

Climbing Mt Baw Baw.

Feeling the effects of the steep climb.

Naughty boy...climbing up into a restricted area.

The view from atop Baw Baw.

Sliding back down.

Gary and the bus that took us back to St Gwinear car park.

The setting sun that would've beaten us.