It has been a while since we last hit the slopes, the last visit was before our big lap of Australia.
Previously we have stayed at ‘The Station’, which is just outside Jindabyne. Owned by Perisher it is basic but not as outrageously expensive as the luxury houses on offer. This year, however, it was time to try out the camping at Sawpit Creek.
It is an official campsite just inside the national park, at about 1,000m elevation. So a shorter drive up to the snow each morning. It is also surprisingly popular, we had booked a few months out and the only spots left were unpowered tent sites, so it looked like no trailer for the weekend and sleeping on the floor
If you don’t ask you don’t get; on the Friday a quick call to the camp to ask about cancellations revealed a last minute cancellation on a trailer site. Great news.
There is not much to say about the drive from Sydney to Jindabyne, other than it is long, dull and goes near Canberra. One thing worth mentioning is ‘Some Cafe’ at Collector. Just off the motorway there is plenty of space to park and the cafe offers a wide selection of delicious cakes (and a very tasty cheese toasty) – it is well worth a stop.
A short stop in Jindabyne later, to pick up skis and lift tickets (and the equivalent of a small nation’s debt paying for them), and then it was up to the campsite. It probably looks better in the summer, now it was a rather wet and very, very cold (no surprise there being winter….). Fortunately, and unexpectedly, there is a great little stone hut with a fireplace in it, which provided a lovely warm spot in the evening.
Having the trailer with us was so much better than the tent would have been. Being off the ground, on the mattress, under a heap of blankets we were toasty warm. However the morning run to the amenities was rather chilly.
The weather forecast was for snow, and it certainly delivered. Sadly it also meant the visibility was poor for most of the weekend, even if the snow was lovely.
What is amazing is the people who ignore the signs saying snowchains are required. On the Sunday morning there was a little 2wd sedan which had ignored the snow all over the road, getting half way up the last climb before losing traction. I have no idea how they got out of there, but the policeman in attendance was decidedly unhappy with them. A great thing about the 110 is, being a 4wd, no chains are required.
If anything the snow was heavier on the Monday, with overnight falls leaving an inch of snow on the trailer and more on the road, making for a very challenging drive up.
However it also rewarded us with some great icicles when we got back in the afternoon….