Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Get RSM on your side at tax time.

How to get into snow business

By Ari - 28 April 2009 40

[First filed: April 28, 2009 @ 08:30]

Having seen the weather report over the weekend and wanting to offer a new experience to my two-year-old daughter, I had been musing whether to head to the Brindabellas for some fun in the snow yesterday.

Then I happened upon this post in which commenters offered a mixed bag of info, some good (Chrisinturner is spot on), some less accurate (yes, I’m looking at you PB and Rawhide).

So it was confirmed … I’d go and take a look for myself.

I grabbed a carrot from the fridge, plus and old scarf and hat and waited for the wife, bub and dog to get home from a walk.

The wife thought I was acting a bit strange when I met her at the gate … perhaps my waving a carrot at her had something to do with it.

We all jumped in the vehicle and headed off.

I should say here that it would not be a good idea to go in anything but a 4WD (with 4WD engaged from the first bit of dirt onwards). A 2WD *might* have made it on Monday, but equally *might* not. It would probably be guaranteed not to make it today, given the way the road condition was changing.

You can head out either on Cotter or Uriarra roads and turn off onto Brindabella Road heading towards Tumut.

After something like 13km you’ll hit Piccadilly Circus where you can turn left on Mt Franklin Road.

That’s it, just keep going. The snow gates aren’t closed yet, but that may well change soon.

The wife not-so-secretly thought I was indulging in wishful thinking in my quest to find some snow … and I must admit the first 20 minutes or so of Mt Franklin Road rather confirmed her beliefs.

Then the snow started to appear, firstly in little blobs here and there in sheltered spots, then quite a bit more, then more still … until we we were driving through a landscape completely blanketed, with big fluffy flakes smashing themselves back into liquid on the heated windscreen.

Regarding the road, just be careful, folks, it can be extremely wet and slippery and there are some quite precipitous cliffs a few feet to one side at times.

Just before we got to Mt Franklin we turned right up a few hundred metres of quite steep track to the Mt Ginini air navigation beacon where there was a flat area and room to park the vehicle.

Then it was time to employ the carrot … and the scarf and hat … and build a snowman. I have included a pic (with a large Labrador for scale).

It was snowing lightly as we started, but this built over about 40 minutes into quite heavy snowfall. It seemed to be a good time to leave.

All in all, it’s a straightforward excursion if you have the right vehicle. It could go disastrously wrong if you don’t.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
40 Responses to
How to get into snow business
Clown Killer 2:30 pm 28 Apr 09

Anyone who’s seen the Swedes and Norwegians in winter rally races doing 200km+ on snow covered roads through forests will know that 4WD isn’t an absolute pre-requisit. That said, 4WD/All-WD is a big bonus for control if you’re trundling the family along to get some snow-play.

Slightly off topic, but my work gets me to a lot of genuinely remote places along the Great Divide and I never cease to be impressed by the places I come across the rusted bodies of older cars like 1950s Holdens, 1930s Ford trucks and even earlier vehicles with custom coachwork – some of these vehicles are sitting beside old forest tracks that have taken over an hour of low range driving to get into.

Ari 2:27 pm 28 Apr 09

ant said :

Who turns on their 4WD on dirt? I certainly don’t.

When it was as slippery as it was yesterday, I do. Not because it is necessary, but because it is safer.

When you’ve got a child in the car, macho “she’ll be right” attitudes get thrown away.

In the ’50s and ’60s people had no other option but to go in their their 2WDs, and a heap of them came unstuck doing it.

As for your attitude in dubbing other people “office experts” … hmmmmmm.

ant 2:16 pm 28 Apr 09

I agree, Mr Knife, having a 4WD is a nice bit of insurance (although I always carry chains for mine in snow country and once even needed them!), but I think a bit of historical perspective is never a bad thing.

In the 50s and 60s (and even to this day) people managed to negotiate all kinds of terrain without 4WD, as 4WD cars were not as common. And listening to these office experts opining that one couldn’t go to some place because it had dirt roads and they didn’t have a 4WD just reminded me how far we’ve come, how things that used to be normal are now regarded as not-doable. I’m still puzzling over why they thought 4WD was necessary. Who turns on their 4WD on dirt? I certainly don’t.

I used to trundle my Daihatsu Charade up to teh carpark for my forays to Gingera, and while I’d certainly hestitate to try it if the road had a foot of churned-up snow on it, un-churned snow and chains would be quite OK.

johnny_the_knife 2:00 pm 28 Apr 09

ant said :

It’s funny how for years, my family managed to go skiing at Mt Franklin and Guthega with just a stock old Holden. Certainly never needed rescuing.

I was listening to a conversation the other day, where the conversants were all convinced that you needed a 4WD to drive on a dirt road. I’m still puzzling over that one.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a 4×4 is necessary on any dirt road, quite the opposite. I suspect that most days I could get my Peugeot hatch back to the snow around Brindabella, but that one day the weather turns, or I have to detour around the ‘main road’ for some reason (road blocked by a fallen tree for example), I’ll be glad I took my other vehicle, which is a 4×4 Ute.

crazyfish 1:19 pm 28 Apr 09

A somewhat safer and easier place to get to (sealed roads) that often has snow when the weather is like it has been the last few days is Corin Forest. Not sure if there’d be as much as there was in the photo’s, but there’s usually some.

TP 3000 12:26 pm 28 Apr 09

From the Tuggeranong Parkway I saw that snow was 1/3 down the side of Mount Bimberi (at 11:54am).

But another tip may be to take a UHF radio as there are properties & someone is bound to hear your call. Also in the fire season, if you head north at Piccadilly Circus, you will reach a fire control tower that has someone in it from early morning to 18:00ish.

Also on the dog point, I have a Samoyed (snow dog) & the closest place I know of that I can take him is Nimmitabel. But that is when it snows there, which is usually whenever I plan to drive to the Eden.

G-Fresh 11:18 am 28 Apr 09

ant said :

It’s funny how for years, my family managed to go skiing at Mt Franklin and Guthega with just a stock old Holden. Certainly never needed rescuing.

Better to have a decent 4WD (read off-roader not soft-roader) if there’s a chance of getting snowed in up the Brindies.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:15 am 28 Apr 09

I was like “carrot?” and then I was like “d’uh” 🙂 Awesome pics.

ant 10:07 am 28 Apr 09

It’s funny how for years, my family managed to go skiing at Mt Franklin and Guthega with just a stock old Holden. Certainly never needed rescuing.

I was listening to a conversation the other day, where the conversants were all convinced that you needed a 4WD to drive on a dirt road. I’m still puzzling over that one.

Mr Evil 9:37 am 28 Apr 09

Was the dog taken along as survival food; in case you got caught in the blizzard?

captainwhorebags 9:27 am 28 Apr 09

No better way to keep warm in the snow!

Ari 9:24 am 28 Apr 09

captainwhorebags said :

you do know that you’re not supposed to take dogs into Namadgi NP

It’s actually a small boy in a dog suit 😉

captainwhorebags 9:19 am 28 Apr 09

Ari, great post and awesome pics. I can confirm that in good weather a Leyland Mini will make it to the Mt Ginini Air Nav facility. Total coincidence that the gearbox crapped out a couple of months later.

Not meaning to be a threadsh!tter, but you do know that you’re not supposed to take dogs into Namadgi NP, right? I’d hate to see Rioters get hit with a fine by the Ranger, and on the popular snow days later in the season they often sit at Picadilly Circus checking vehicles.

Thumper 9:06 am 28 Apr 09

Yes, please do make precautions.

Althought the SES enjoy doing their job, we really would rather be sipping beers in a warm pub than stomping around in sub zero temperatures looking for lost motorists, bush walkers, hikers, etc

Have fun, but be safe 😉

johnny_the_knife 9:01 am 28 Apr 09

Just a note to anyone planning on heading out that way, don’t do it unless you:

Have an appropriate vehicle, 4×4 and good ground clearance really is essential. Even if you don’t engage 4×4 it provides an excellent safety net if conditions get worse, or you have to detour off the ‘main’ roads for some reason.

Know how to operate your vehicle in off-road conditions. The road to Picadilly Circus is a fairly easy drive, but can get very slippery, and many of the side roads will require some experience driving off-road to handle safely.

Carry supplies, food, water and obviously warm clothing, first aid equipment and I would recommend a stove of some kind and appropriate fuel. If you have a mechanical failure or some other issue, you don’t want to be stuck without supplies. Typically on the weekends there are quite a lot of people in the area, so it is pretty safe, but even still, ten minutes spent packing some supplies and equipment is time well spent.

Tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back. Leave them with instructions to contact appropriate search and rescue groups in the event you don’t come back. Draw a line in the sand with this one so the person doesn’t need to make a call themselves. For example, if you plan to be back by 4pm, tell the person to contact authorities if they haven’t heard from you by 6pm.

Have fun.

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site