canada general moosling snow trip reports

Easter at Wheeler Hut

*** First up, the disclaimer… I’m finally updating here after months of no posts. I’ve been dealing with some pretty nasty fatigue issues for most of this year, which have turned out to be related to a reactivation of mono/glandular fever in my system. So adventures have been few and far between, and I’m still not feeling great, but I’m going to try and catch up on telling some stories and sharing photos.***

So, although I wasn’t feeling great, we had a family hut trip booked at Easter, and I figured I should be able to manage the ski in. It’s only about 1km from the road in to Wheeler Hut after all.

Roger’s Pass was fairly warm, and after getting all sorted we set off up the steep climb up from the road. Once you’re up this it’s basically flat the whole way. The first bit is definitely pretty steep though.

We were trying out new AT conversion attachments on Finn’s skis. They clip into the downhill bindings on a pair of kid-size skis, converting them into something that lets him lift his heel. But – they also end up being fairly heavy, and he’s quite high off the ground. He was also in a bit of a cranky mood. And so the attempt to get him to try them out didn’t go so well.

In the end we took them off and he did just as well just using his downhill skis with climbing skins on the base. Adorable tiny climbing skins that Alex had made by cutting down an old pair for skis he didn’t own any more.

I struggled more on that 1.2km ski in than I have on 50km trail runs. Finn wasn’t having a great time either. But we made it – slowly, very very slowly!

Once we reached the hut, everything got better. Most of the crew we’d met before on previous Tanya trips, but there were also new people to meet. I was feeling exhausted though, and curled up in the corner and read, and napped, as around me games were played, pokemon cards were battled, drawings were coloured, snow balls made, people went skiing…

Finn convinced people to play Settlers of Catan…

toboggan tracks were built…

and crafts were made, meals were cooked, brie was eaten (I definitely helped with that), fires were stoked, and the kids played and played.

It bucketed down snow.

The Easter bunny got busy and there were eggs hidden everywhere surrounding the hut. On Easter morning the troops assembled and ready to hunt for eggs first thing, mostly still wearing pyjamas under down jackets.

Kids climbed onto the roof of the hut…

And teamed up to try and get to the top…

By the last day the roof had melted off a lot.

We skied out on a beautifully sunny and warm morning, and discovered that the flat ski in was one of those pernicious slight uphills. It was much more pleasant in the other direction, and with company to boot.

And Finn’s years of skiing are apparently paying off – he flew down the sketchy icy descent and had a blast

Although not as much fun as he had afterwards, playing on the snowy cliff by the trailhead with the other kids. They would have happily played there all day. Who needs to go skiing when you have a snowy slope to play on?

climbing general

statistical distribution of rock climbers at easter

Distribution from small selected sample (people who live in my house):

Arapiles – 1
Moonarie – 1
Blue Mountains – 3

Blue Mountains wins! I’ll be back in a week :)

climbing general trip reports

easter trip report

climbs completed: six

climb of the trip: probably seconding kachoong (21). according to the guide book, it’s “the most dreamed of, photographed and fallen off route at arapiles”. alas, the photographers ledge was getting too warm, so our photographer had escaped into the shade when i was climbing. the roof was absolutely awesome – huge jugs, that were also good as foot jams (well, leg jams for val, she could have got a hands free rest there). feeling very pumped afterwards, lots of napping in the hammock for the rest of the day. a very lazy trip overall.

possums sighted: nil – they must have been scared off by
the hoards of people in the campsite. that, or the pickings were so good they didn’t need to come down for more than a few minutes each day.

half-price easter eggs consumed: one white chocolate lindt bunny (courtesy of val), one m & m egg with m & m’s inside, and a box of crunchie eggs – but no crunchie bunnies this year!

favourite film of the easter holidays: both simon mentz’s ‘rams to the slaughter’ and a new bouldering movie ‘a colarado daydream’ were shown at natimuk town hall on sunday night. ‘rams to the slaughter’ wins hands down. it was excellent. ‘a colarado daydream’ was boring. there was minimal bouldering footage, an excess of gimmicky shots, overuse of graphics/filler footage, and far too much time spent setting up the ‘daydream’ concept. nice idea but it just didn’t work for me (and the others i saw it with). (plus i couldn’t stand the music)

climbing general

grampians – easter 2003

Nick bouldering at Andersens.

Nick bouldering at Andersens.

The Easter Bunny, captured in the Mt Stapylton campground.

The Easter Bunny, captured in the Mt Stapylton campground.