11-12 February 2017
Three of us set off on this trip with a good weather forecast. It was my first time through Ashley Gorge to the Lees Valley and it was certainly an impressive drive in Keith’s trusty old ute. A couple of vehicles at the road end gave us hope that the hut would not be full but a tent was carried anyhow.
We chose not to travel up the river but regretted that decision as we toiled in the heat up a never-ending upward high sidle track.
Eventually we dropped down to the hut and ended up with sharing it with a sole young hunter. Despite the heat, the sandflies were pretty ferocious which spoiled any chance of a swim in the river.
During the night the wind got very strong and in the morning the party split. I headed up over the tops to Lilliburne Hill and back down via the Tarn Hut track while the other two set off an hour later down the river. Unfortunately ¾ hour into their route they had to turn back due to high water and take the high sidle track back - so maybe the previous day’s decision was justified. Despite being blown over a couple of times I eventually walked into the lee of the wind and had a pleasant descent down to the truck where we all met up. It was a great weekend trip. Did I mention what a great leader Keith is? We were: Keith McQuillan, Norman Burden and Ruth Barratt. (RB)