Mt Buller & Mt Buller
Sept. avec Amalia & Oct. avec Greg, 2003


At the suggestion of Amalia (ski-bunny extraordinaire) we formed a plan. I awoke at 4am and we headed out into the dark as the night-club kiddies headed home to bed. We were off to join the crowds on Mt Buller. A drive for an hour (or two, or three), a coffee (or two) and a pastry (or two) later at the Mansfield bakery, a further drive... some dollars later... and she was skiiing about as I plodded into the blasting winds to explore the Southern cliffs beneath the summit ridge outside the ski-area.

More details on this trip when I get my own analogue photos developed. However...

The previous reconnaissance had turned up some worthwhile gullies which I'd soloed, and plenty which I hadn't. So two weeks after the recce, Greg and I approached the problem from a different angle... the West. We still had the 4am start to contend with, and happily the Mansfield bakery. But the Western approach was a bit out of the league of the ski-bunnies - and the $ collectors.

After getting lost on the fire tracks in search of the walking trail (it ended up being along the very first turn-off about which we'd said "Nah! That can't be it!") we donned massive boots and packs which could have seen us right for a week and headed into the scrub.

The gullies of Buller's Western face appeared between the snowgums after about half an hour. Some were still filled with snow... ice? Pretty please... ice?

A weird bid chirped at us from inside Greg's pack. Oh, Greg's mobile phone is ringing... isn't Buller so civilized?

A further hour with much bush-bashing, precarious rock scrambling and eucalyptus branch tripping in full-shank boots, we were seemingly "almost, nearly, just about there...". Stopped for a bite to eat and a drink of water. ...must also remember to put on sunscreen or I'll get toasted again like last time.

After some more stumbling about on the approach ridge we figured we'd skip the West face gullies which looked rather dry upon closer inspection and head up towards the snow on the South.

Here's me (left) grimacing as the cloud comes in yet again. That is Doraemon the robot cat on the front right of my helmet in case you were wondering.

Here's a shot (right) showing Greg on the first bit of a slope. The ridge we wallked along is in the background and drops away behind the snow for several kilometres and a few hundred metres vertical. The cloud has lifted, the snow is firm and crunchy for the most part. So, now we're here, what do we do?
We sit down in the snow of course. Then we wait for more photos to be developed.