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One does not normally associated snowy mountains with Australia, but here they are, the Snowy Mountains. They are an ancient and worn down range so the mountains and neither very high nor very sharp, more rounded hills. However they can have heavy snowfall in winter, and some snow will hang around until early summer. They provide wonderful play gound for ski touring/camping and also offer access to some remote downhill skiing for those with the stamina to earn their turns. This shot was taken in late October, which is late Spring here and, as you see by the photo, it can be warm and sunny. This particular day was windless and quite warm, bordering on hot and I had skied out to the ancient glacial Blue Lake, which was still frozen over. I tentatively skied around the edges photographing the icey cliffs hoping the ice would hold my weight.
On the return trip to my car I found this snow gum standing all alone on the hill side. It was begging to be photographed, so I took several from different positions, but this was my favourite. The snow gum - Eucalyptus pauciflora - is a small’ish tree often found growing above the snow line in alpine regions of eastern Australia. Its smooth bark is often a brilliant display of orange, yellow and light gray and can grow up to 30 meters, but up on these high slopes it would rarely exceed 4 meters. At this time of year the road is open all the way to Charlotte pass which makes this region very accessible for day tripping, provided you are prepared to wade across the upper reaches of the Snowy River, usually less than knee deep.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor