Got invited to go to Snowy Gorge Hut behind Ohau with Luke Jarmey, Ian Covil and Manu Nadler. Last year, I had skied down to Maitland Hut and climbed Mount Peterson so the opportunity to climb two other mountains in the barrier range was too good to pass up.
We set off from Ohau at around midday and made quick time to Snowy Gorge Hut. We skied down the chutes towards Dumbell Lake and followed that drainage down before heading hitting snowline, conveniently right when we needed to start climbing again towards Maitland pass. A quick ski down from there and we were in the valley that contains snowy gorge hut.
The next day we walked back up the flat valley, collected our stashed skis and made our way up Mount Saint Mary. An easy ascent up the looker’s left flank of the mountain (with only one minor detour due to a poor ascent plan), saw us reach the summit and descend back towards the valley finding pockets of powder and loads of soft spring snow.
Back to the hut, we were surprised when three more people turned up for a night making 7 people in a hut that sleeps 5… One of the new party decided to sleep outside under the stars (and morning frost) whilst the other took the sensible option and slept on the floor. The next day Luke and Ian made their way back to Ohau while Manu and I climbed and skied Mt Stafford. A teeny bit more challenging that Mount Saint Mary but overall, very similar, easy ski tour with limited exposure making for a pleasant day.
Manu and I had our final night in the hut and awoke to some drizzle and gusty winds as we made our trudge back up to Ohau ski resort.
Luke Jarmey’s video:
Total climbing: 9403 m
Total descent: -9720 m
Total Time: 03:37:58