Growing up in Queensland Australia, I could count the amount of times I’d seen snow on one hand. When we decided to go and spend a year in Tasmania, you bet that climbing up Mt Wellington in the snow was high on my list of things to do.
Months of winter went by and we would have the occasional dusting of powder on the summit, but nothing really worth mentioning. We were definitely in one of those warm years and as spring was starting to get closer, the chance of climbing Mt Wellington in snow seemed to get less and less likely. Up until that one random weekend that good news finally came our way. SNOW! And lot’s of it! Forecasts predicted it would snow even down to 200m above sea level.
That weekend, I got up early, put my gaiters on and went up that mountain. It’s funny that when you are hiking on a mountain close to a city in summer, people sort of say a quick hello and than rush the other way, as if you were never there. Like we don’t want to share. In snow, it was the complete opposite. Maybe it’s because the roads are closed and the only people you encounter are the real nature and adventure fanatics. People that really want to be there. Or maybe a sudden change in weather makes people more happy and alive, but almost every person I crossed paths with stopped for a chat.
At the top, snow got really thick. At points it was loose powder up to my waist. I decided to stop and rest for lunch in the little rock cabin at the top. Navigating my way to it, was a little more difficult than I expected. The paths were impossible to find under the snow, so I went with following the only set of footprints to be found on the summit. As I getting closer to my lunch stop, the footprints all of a sudden stopped by two hand prints in the snow. Since I was waist deep in powder, I decided to call that a proper warning sign and turn around to find another way.
I circled around the pile of snow I was trying to cross, only to find myself in the exact same situation with the same two hand prints on the other side. It took me a few tries to get to the little rock cabin, but when I finally did, the view inside was pretty spectacular! Ice and snow covered the walls indoors. A perfect spot to relax and admire the views before starting my descend back home.
I’m so stoked I got the chance to climb Mt Wellington in winter snow before moving back to the tropics! Now that I’m writing this a couple of months later (with spring just starting), it’s clear how much luck that one weekend was, because we haven’t had a decent dumping of snow since.