Snow and Ice – The Best Bush Walk Ever! – Ben Lomond

I don't like the idea of this Mum! I wouldn't mind it if you took me home now!

I don’t like the idea of this Mum! I wouldn’t mind it if you took me home now!

Two-year-old “I want Mummy!”

Dad “We are just going for a little walk up the mountain not far.”

Two-year-old “No I don’t want to go up. Me want to go home with Mummy!”

Hmmmm was this a good sign or what? (Yes she does speak that well!). With a sigh and no expectations about getting further than a few hundred meters we move on.

Dad had packed all the coats and nibbles in his hiking pack and THIS TIME, 2 year old got her way and got to sit on Dad’s shoulders for 95% of the walk. Rather than sitting in the toddler backpack. The walk took 4.5 hours!

This is where I'm meant to be on a bush walk!

This is where I’m meant to be on a bush walk!

Now the Ben Lomond Carr Villa track is meant to be a 3-4 hours return journey and for others and in summertime it would be just that but our girls decided they hadn’t been ice skating for AGES and as most of the track was ice, they had a lovely time. Skating on the way up. Breaking ice on the way down. And when they weren’t preoccupied with ice (and snow) they were photographing it! Daughter number one actually put Mummy to shame this trip! She was very trigger happy! I am yet to see her shots, but look forward to them.

Amazing crystal formations in the snow here and my camera has run out of memory! Argh!

Amazing crystal formations in the snow here and my camera has run out of memory! Argh!

Look guys a heart shape in the ice!

Look guys a heart shape in the ice!

The first section which takes about half an hour consists of walking on scree through the low shrubs. This of course is unstable underfoot and hence the early realisation that toddler was a bit scared and was better on the shoulders. No convincing someone this stubborn without experience, so Dad resigns to the fact its time to carry her. I’m not much help after surgery in December. I’m not up to carrying anything much other than my camera and rather large lens. So until I’m fit again it’s up to Dad to carry the heavy stuff!

"I want to get down and skate on the ice for a bit Daddy!"

“I want to get down and skate on the ice for a bit Daddy!”

We had a short drink stop at the top of the big opening and then continued to find ice appear on the track as the track started to flattern out. This is when the trip slowed down. We were following the snow pole line which leads up at a distance, past Misery Bluff 1500m.

We then hit a boulder field where the girls were fascinated with the ice crystals in the snow.

Plains of Heaven

Plains of Heaven – following the snow pole line

Amazing how these sturdy highland plants withstand the weight of the ice and snow.

Amazing how these sturdy highland plants withstand the weight of the ice and snow.

Once on the Plains of Heaven we skated ourselves along the flat to the summit pass 1518m and this is where we stopped and had some vegimite sandwiches and a thermos full of tinned spagetti. The sky was so blue. Just a cool breeze and a lot of snow and ice to keep us amused. That was all we needed!

After an icy snowball fight and several damp bottoms from skating accidents it was time to head back down the mountain. The toddler was really into it now and was happy to walk holding our hands for a bit giving “Power Horse”, “Super Dad” a bit of a rest.

Check out this ice guys!

Check out this ice guys!

No hiccups on the way down other than a little reminder to daughter number two that she has to carry her own coat! I wish I could say this was advice accepted with ‘grace’ but it wasn’t to be. Hence Dad with toddler on the shoulders and big girl scooted on ahead while I worked on getting daughter number two down and in a happy mood!

Slipper up hill bit to the pass

Slipper up hill bit to the pass

Time to head back down now. "But we haven't made a snowman yet!"

Time to head back down now. “But we haven’t made a snowman yet!”

All that done we arrived back at the Scout Hut to sleeping two year old and Tim-Tams to share.

Very successful day. But you can never plan for a good day. If it works out that way then it’s when we get lucky! And we got lucky yesterday at Ben Lomond. It was a glorious day with number two admitting it was her favourite bush walk EVER!……. Just on the quiet…….she says that every time! (Very cute!)

Enjoy these crisp, cold, bright, winter days!

Nomewome

3pm and the ice is still stuck hard to the snow pole!

3pm and the ice is still stuck hard to the snow pole!

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