Mount St Bernard Weekend – February 17-19

This is a brief report on the Mount St Bernard weekend; see the March Newsletter for the full story.

Twenty-six members gathered at the Wangaratta Ski Club Lodge at Mount St Bernard for the annual High Country weekend, and all seemed delighted with the facilities. Two other members joined us for walks, and the shared dinner on Saturday evening.

On Friday afternoon a short walk up nearby Mt Smythe proved a warm-up for the weekend. Soon after, storm clouds burst, blotting out the magnificent mountain views from the lodge windows, but providing an enthralling display of lightning and torrential rain.

On Friday evening there was a Happy Hour, and drinks and nibbles became the introduction to a degustation dinner, enjoyed by 28 noisy participants, content to socialize in an internet and TV free environment.

On Saturday we walked Cobungra Ditch, an artificial waterway that provided a source of water for gold mining operations in this area, and in the modern era provides a 10.5km walk. Half the group preferred to do the one-way hike with a car shuttle; the other half opted for the full circuit, returning via the Brabralung cross-country ski trail to complete 18km.

On Saturday Evening Helen, and her assistants, had organised dinner for us back at the Lodge, and it was a very pleasant evening where we enjoyed lasagne and red wine, followed by pavlova for dessert.

One of the walks on Sunday was a loop of The Twins, just south of the ski lodge. It was a perfect sunny morning on top of the mountains as ten walkers chose to undertake this walk. This hike was challenging in numerous places, but worthwhile for the spectacular views on such a fine summer’s day in the high country.

Another group headed out towards the environs of Dibbins Hut, turning around before that big descent down to the Hut, and the Cobungra River.

A special thanks to the walks leaders including Marino, who ‘volunteered’ to replace Chris, who had decided that the previous day’s walk was enough for his sore back.

Sufficient to say that we all look forward to these High Country weekends, especially when conditions in Wangaratta heat up! Wangaratta Ski Lodge proved almost the perfect venue, but perhaps, by next year, the landslide-closed Falls Creek Rroad will have opened for a return visit there.

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