Main Range Spring Touring Conditions – Still Plenty of Snow

October 20th, 2021


Perfect conditions in the Mina Range last Sunday where th snow pack is looking good. Photo: Doug Chatten/Snowy Mountains Backcountry

Mountainwatch |Doug Chatten

Well alpinists, there is currently plenty of joy left on the Main Range for alpine tourers, splitboarders and snowshoers alike, with conditions set to be suitable until well into November.

Last weekend was excellent and although there has been some rain this week there was also a decent little top up above 1600 metres on Tuesday and the leeward faces and glacial cirques are still holding plenty of snow.

We are now launching our Snowy Mountains Backcountry tours from the Charlotte Pass trail head, which  is not accessible in winter. At  1830m it provides excellent access to the bigger peaks of the Main Range including Mt Townsend, Mt Northcote, Mt Lee, Muellers Peak and Carruthers Peak.

The glacial cirques of Blue Lake, Club Lake and Lake Albina, which lie amongst these high alpine peaks, afford excellent skiing/riding with stunning backdrops. Last Sunday we toured to Carruthers Peak last Sunday, and it was fantastic. Check out the pics … I know right, a bit unbelievable for October 17!


The climb was worth it for some excellent turns on the way down. Photo: Doug Chatten/Snowy Mountains Backcountry

The tour starts with a 750m walk down to the Snowy River with a crossing of both the Snowy River and Club Lake Creek and then it’s onward to the high peaks. Last weekend it was skis on all the way during the approach but I expect there will a bit of walking over the next few weeks as the flatter access areas burn off.

However, with another 200m of elevation above the resorts there is a lot of terrain between 1900m and 2200m which holds snow longer than the resort slopes and rest assured, the skiable faces will be holding snow for quite some time yet.

For an added bonus, the steep glacial cirques provide an excellent forum to practice Ski Mountaineering techniques and develop the skills needed to move around in this steep terrain. This includes ice axe and crampon usage, dealing with the exposure of steeper terrain, descent strategies and transitioning in steep terrain.

If you are keen for a spring tour of some of the best terrain in Oz, contact us now through our online booking page or call us on 0400349319.