Tag Archives: Ramsheads

Snow camping on the Ramsheads

Two weeks ago I had a few days camping in the snow up on the Ramshead Range (between the top of the Crackenback chair at Thredbo and Mt Kosciuszko). Setting out from the top of the chairlift, the wind was blowing across the snow from the west at 60km/hr, so we (friends Colin, Barry and I) decided not to trudge into it on our snowshoes for too long, and agreed to make camp on the leeward side of a biggish granite-bouldered hill. An hour of snow-shovelling later we had a nice flat platform on which to erect our tents, and some protection from the icy wind.

Ramshead camp site

That was our base for two nights, and during the day we explored around the south side of the North Ramshead, and I got into some nice light, views and photos in the early morning. It was unfortunately too cold and blowy for me to attempt the time lapse star trail photos I had intended to make, and we spent quite a bit of time “loitering within tent”.

Ramshead sunrise

The full set of photos from this trip can be seen on the main Jokar web site in this folder.

Anyway, despite the windy conditions, it was a lot of fun, and it was a whole lot more clement than our previous outing. Back in August 2008 we (plus Rob) ‘enjoyed’ winds gusting at 130km, and had 90mm of precipitation thrown at us in the form of sleety snow during the second night. On that occasion the tents blew flat and leaked badly, and hypothermia was a real option. Got some nice photos  before the storm hit however, including this one of Little Red Riding Rob descending to the red-painted Cootapatamba Hut.

Little Red Riding Rob

A couple of gear notes:

  1. my Salewa ‘Sierra Leone‘ tent is sold as a “four-season tent”, but really it’s just a comfortable fair weather model, and not very sturdy in strong wind. Next time I’ll be looking for a “five-season tent”.
  2. I doubt that there is any sleeping mat more comfortable or more warm than the Exped DownMat 7. It can be a bit slow to inflate using the carrying sack as a pump, but it’s otherwise just a brilliant piece of lightweight luxury.