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Day snow fun in the Brindabellas?

By Demosthenes - 19 July 2011 56

Trying to get meaningful information about snow up in the hills around Canberra is quite difficult.  However a few weeks ago I went for a walk from Corin Dam up to the hill there and there was a few inches of snow up the top.  Quite pretty.  That’s all I wanted.  I was happy.

However, I can never really seem to find out what’s going on from week to week and it’s a frustrating experience trying to work out if it will be rained out (damn that global warming!) or if it’s worth a day trip and a 2 hour hike up a hill?  2 years ago a friend and I drove up to around Ginini somewhere and it was great.  So any suggestions?

All I can go by are the BOM reports that are unfortunately reporting rain down to 1800 metres this weekend.  So I have a group of friends lined up for a day walk from Corin Dam and I’m wondering if I should can it as it will just be cold and wet and miserable or snowy and fun like it was a few weeks ago when I went up with my wife.

What’s Your opinion?


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Day snow fun in the Brindabellas?
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Demosthenes 11:16 am 20 Jun 12

Well we walked up Stockyard Spur from Corin Dam last year to the peak, it was GREAT! Was quite a lot of snow up the top, was quite beautiful.

We’re going up this Sunday even though the Namadgi Visitors Centre said there’s no snow up there so will probably just me muddy and cold, but meh, should be a nice walk anyway.

Stockyard Spur is a great walk btw, anyone done it recently?

KB1971 4:03 pm 22 Jul 11

Demosthenes said :

Hang on I just looked out the window and there’s snow on that distant hill! Whatever that is. Gingera? Argh…

Jeezus, make a decision would ya………..

Demosthenes 3:29 pm 22 Jul 11

Hang on I just looked out the window and there’s snow on that distant hill! Whatever that is. Gingera? Argh…

Demosthenes 9:55 am 22 Jul 11

I hate living in a sunburnt country sometimes, plus I read that global warming has been SLOWED by aerosol emissions (ironically from coal burning) so our kids or grandkids may not believe us we say “yeah Australia had SKI resorts in the old times”.

I’m a sad sad panda.

Demosthenes 9:43 am 22 Jul 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Just got back from Selwyn Wednesday night. The snow is melting away rapidly, with the days all above zero ad the snowguns unable to operate, and rain below 1500m. Selwyn is still great but the surrounding areas are getting exposed very quickly. I wouldn’t count on snow in the Brindies therefore.

Fair enough.. well as all my friends bailed, looking at the dodgy weather reports plus your report (how high is Selwyn?) I think I’ll go for a nice LONG day bike ride instead. At least it looks to be sunny tomorrow.

Gungahlin Al 8:58 am 22 Jul 11

Demosthenes said :

Well I spoke with the wife, we’ll give it a crack tomorrow even if it’s soggy wet and c..p – our only concern being a very very slipper slope on the track up from Corin to the fire trail, but we desperately need the exercise so either way the fresh air and peace and birds will do us wonders.

Forecast is still snow only to 1500 metres and the fire trail is marked at 1450 metres, so we’ll walk up from Corin, turn RIGHT and walk up to Ginini, although looking at the map, Gingera is higher (1800 metres?) and off to the LEFT once you hit the top. But I understand Ginini is easier and closer once you get to the top?

We don’t have maps, only what we can print out, unless there are shops in the city that will sell any that I can nick out to at lunch and pick some up? Naturally we’ll let the visitors centre know where we’re going and stick to that plan (i.e. turn left toward Ginini) and let people know we are going up (I even notify on Facebook to be safe).

Our other friends bailed so it will just be my wife and I, unless a whole heap of Riotacters turn up at Corin Dam car park around 8:30am.

Just got back from Selwyn Wednesday night. The snow is melting away rapidly, with the days all above zero ad the snowguns unable to operate, and rain below 1500m. Selwyn is still great but the surrounding areas are getting exposed very quickly. I wouldn’t count on snow in the Brindies therefore.

Demosthenes 8:38 am 22 Jul 11

Well I spoke with the wife, we’ll give it a crack tomorrow even if it’s soggy wet and c..p – our only concern being a very very slipper slope on the track up from Corin to the fire trail, but we desperately need the exercise so either way the fresh air and peace and birds will do us wonders.

Forecast is still snow only to 1500 metres and the fire trail is marked at 1450 metres, so we’ll walk up from Corin, turn RIGHT and walk up to Ginini, although looking at the map, Gingera is higher (1800 metres?) and off to the LEFT once you hit the top. But I understand Ginini is easier and closer once you get to the top?

We don’t have maps, only what we can print out, unless there are shops in the city that will sell any that I can nick out to at lunch and pick some up? Naturally we’ll let the visitors centre know where we’re going and stick to that plan (i.e. turn left toward Ginini) and let people know we are going up (I even notify on Facebook to be safe).

Our other friends bailed so it will just be my wife and I, unless a whole heap of Riotacters turn up at Corin Dam car park around 8:30am.

creative_canberran 10:33 pm 21 Jul 11

KB1971 said :

I just had a look at my Bimberi 1:50,000 topo. It looks like it’s about 4km from Corin to Mt Franklin road. The turn is closer to Pryors, about 1km away so that makes it about a 3-4km walk from the turn at the outside. It’s easy going fire trail.

Now, just looking at the 1:100,000 map, it looks like Ginini & Franklin are about 6-7km apart so that makes it fairly even without the climb from Corin. So it depends on you. The drive to Corin is easier but the walk from the chalet is flatter.

I personally would do Corin as you would encounter less people.

Anyway, enjoy. I will be building retaining walls this weekend……

Install Google Earth, it has full topographic data for all that area and very high res imagery. You can basically walk the trails virtually before hand.

LSWCHP 6:48 pm 21 Jul 11

molongloid said :

Demosthenes said :

molongloid said :

My method: check BOM website, check peaks with binoculars, call Namadgi Visitors Centre. If promising then do a best-effort drive+bike+walk up the Mt Franklin Rd.

Fair enough, but I live in Belconnen. All we need to know is if there is snow up the top of Stockman’s Spur going up from Corin Damn, or are there better treks?

Similar location. I don’t think where you are in Canberra changes much really. By that I mean getting to Bulls Head takes longer than getting to Corin.

Corin to Stockyard is a different style of walk which maybe you prefer. The main thing that puts me off Corin is that the road is always closed whenever I try it and I have to make do with Square Rock. I hit snow at Bulls Head more often than at Square Rock.

I tried to take my kids out to Corin a couple of weeks ago, without the slightest hint of snow, and the damned road was closed. We went to Tidbinbilla to go up to the mountain creek walk, and that road was closed, due to deadfalls caused by recent winds. Sigh.

Might try Corin again this weekend.

KB1971 6:02 pm 21 Jul 11

I just had a look at my Bimberi 1:50,000 topo. It looks like it’s about 4km from Corin to Mt Franklin road. The turn is closer to Pryors, about 1km away so that makes it about a 3-4km walk from the turn at the outside. It’s easy going fire trail.

Now, just looking at the 1:100,000 map, it looks like Ginini & Franklin are about 6-7km apart so that makes it fairly even without the climb from Corin. So it depends on you. The drive to Corin is easier but the walk from the chalet is flatter.

I personally would do Corin as you would encounter less people.

Anyway, enjoy. I will be building retaining walls this weekend……

Demosthenes 5:17 pm 21 Jul 11

grunge_hippy said :

geez I’d hate to see you when trying to make an important decision

As I said before if it was just me I wouldn’t care, but I’m doing this for others too.

Well now it’s just my wife anyway so that’s ok – we can go up regardless. I guess I’m also excited too as I’ve grown up with stinking heat and hot bush and frankly, I’m sick of it.

I like the cold snow landscape as it’s so rare and exotic for us.

grunge_hippy 5:04 pm 21 Jul 11

geez I’d hate to see you when trying to make an important decision…

but I have enjoyed the info. I want to take my girls up to see some snow and cant be arsed going all the way to selwyn etc…

Demosthenes 4:46 pm 21 Jul 11

Cheers. I’m still concerned about this snow down to 1500 metres thing and what that means but I think we’ll go up regardless anyway.

KB1971 4:16 pm 21 Jul 11

Demosthenes said :

KB1971 said :

Nice.. So when we get to the top we turn RIGHT not left at the firetrail and just walk.

Last time it took us about 2 hours to get to the top from Corin Dam, if there’s no snow at the top of at the firetrail then it would only take us half an hour to walk to Ginini.

The comments here suggest that this is the fastest and most accessible route, for the fit and able.

My only concern is getting back by twilight. If we left the car park at 8am, got up to the top by say 10:30 or 11am (ample time for burgers on the way or whatever) – walk up to Ginini, muck around, leave at say 2pm at the latest, that would be sufficient time to get back by dark to the car park?

There were people going up the trail when we were there too so I guess to be safe we’d stick to that trail and if anything happened we’d be found soon enough (and of course we let friends and the Namadgi centre know where we’re going).

Yes, turn right & head up the hill. If you turn left you will get to Priors.

When we did the walk from the gate at the base of Mt Ginini to Pryors it took us between 45 minutes to an hour from memory & that was lugging two 15kg kids in backpacks & wallking with a 7 year old. My brother in law swore it was 6km return but it was more like 10 as we can burn along at 5-6km/h at a regular pace.

I will look at my topos tonight & have a look to give you a better idea.

I forgot about Johnboys blog. One of the beuties of living south is that all of this is on my doorstep. Corin is about 25 minutes from home…….

Demosthenes 4:09 pm 21 Jul 11

molongloid said :

(And in case anyone reading this thread doesn’t know about it already: http://jevans.pcug.org.au/ )

That’s awesome!! Someone who may actually know something!

Demosthenes 4:04 pm 21 Jul 11

Cheers. We’d aim to be up and leaving by 2:30pm at the latest then. I think we’ll go up regardless because work has been *full on* and we desperately need some fresh air and exercise.

I have a 900 / 2100 Three phone (HTC Android) so I’ll take an external battery pack too. Maybe my wife’s old Nokia N900 900 / 2100 phone as a backup too.

So… get to Corin Dam latest 8:30 – means we leave home (Belconnen) at 7:30am and grab a burger on the way, be on the path by 9am, 2 – 3 hours to the fire trail, that’s mid-day – one hour easy walk to Ginini – that’s 1pm – turn around by 2pm. That’s got sufficient buffer in it for all sorts of things.

Current Ginini Forecast is “Partly cloudy. The chance of showers during the morning, falling as snow about the ranges above 1500 metres”

The firetrail is at 1550 metres I think, so we should be ok then.

Saturday is currently

“Australian Capital Territory area Mostly sunny. Areas of morning frost. Winds southerly averaging 15 to 30 km/h.”

With Ginini forecast to be -3 to 2 on Saturday.

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