Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mount Hotham, AAWT - November 2017

Mount Feathertop
My seemingly never ending Australian Alps Walking Track walk still has me inching my way north like a sloth on valium. Last weekend was a bit of a milestone for me though, yep I shuffled my way into Mount Hotham. The quiet (in summer) resort of Mount Hotham marked the first spot since leaving Walhalla 15 days ago that I could buy a beer....or anything else for that matter. Mount Hotham also was the first spot that Sam was able to come up and meet me on the AAWT so far.
My walk up to Mount Hotham on Friday was an inclement affair.
After an 9 kilometre slog up the Great Alpine Road I was ready for a bit of R+R.
Friday ended well though as I carbo loaded for the next section of my walk.....
I shuffled into town through snow flurries on Friday, with visibility only around a hundred metres I'd given the actual summit of Mount Hotham a miss and headed straight to The General, my accommodation of choice for the next few days. Friday afternoon was taken up drinking at the bar doing my washing, drying out wet gear and carbo loading up in the bar. So by the time Sam rocked up on Saturday morning I figured that we'd better go for a bit of a leg stretch incase I ended up porkier when I get to Canberra than I was when I left Walhalla, not an easy task considering the the amount of climbing I'd been doing recently but one that I was having a good go at.
With Sam arriving on Saturday I thought that we'd better go for a short walk incase I ended up fatter at the end of the AAWT than I was at the start. 
Mount Hotham Beach at the Mount Loch car park.
Mount Loch
With the sun out we decided that the very short amble up to the Mount Hotham summit from the Mount Loch car park should do the trick, at less than two kilometres it still should leave me with some energy reserves to get to Canberra. After parking the ute next to the Mount Hotham Beach (actually that could be another Feral fact?) we checked out the water before deciding that it was a bit cold for a swim today, instead we crossed the Great Alpine Road and climbed up the grassy slopes towards the summit. Reaching the top station of the Summit Chairlift we meandered our way around the dormant, creaking skiing infrastructure and made our way over towards the fire spotters tower that marks the summit.
My first clear view of the mountains that I'd walked through yesterday.
The summit shot.

I'd had my share of crappy weather on the last couple of days before I'd arrived at Mount Hotham so this was the first time that I'd actually seen some of the mountains that I'd been passing over with any clarity, yeah I was able to point out to Sam the spots where it had snowed on me as well as the spots that I'd camped in the rain for the last couple of days. There was only so much excitement that we could take though so eventually we retreated back down and headed to the sanctuary of our room, so I could sort out my gear for the next section of my AAWT walk over to Thredbo (which I'll be shuffling my way towards by the time anyone reads this).
Time to head back down.
Mount Hotham is a pretty quiet spot in the off season.
I had a red robin as a mascot on the last section of my AAWT stroll, every time I stopped on the Barry Mountains section I'd look around and there'd be a little red robin flittering about.
The Dirt.
This barely qualifies as a walk but for what it's worth the amble from the Mount Loch car park to the Mount Hotham summit and back was around two kilometres by the time we meandered around all over the place checking out the snow drifts and the views, with a climb of around 75 metres this definitely falls into the easy category. While I was recovering at Mount Hotham I stayed at The General, this is one of only a handful of places open in the warmer weather up on Mount Hotham and while not a cheap and cheerful option it made for a very comfortable spot to spend a few days off the track.
Relevant Posts.
Dinner Plain to Precipice Plain, Alpine National Park, 2017.
Mount Hotham to Mount Bogong, Alpine National Park, 1992.

The view from our apartment at The General.
I'd already spread my gear far and wide around the apartment by the time Sam arrived so there is no shot of a nice clean apartment unfortunately.
Open plan showering... only close friends should share this apartment;)
My time at Mount Hotham wasn't all blue sky and sun.

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