On the 8-9 July High Country Adventure Tours (HCAT) held its inaugural Mt Terrible & Surrounds 4wd Snow Adventure Tour and what an absolute cracker it was!
We began with a meet and greet at the beautiful riverside town of Jamieson which is located at the junction of the Goulburn and Jamieson Rivers. Our tour comprised of 10 vehicles in total, 3 Nissan Patrol’s, & 1 Navara, 3 Toyota Landcruiser’s & 1 Hilux, a Mitsubishi Pajero and a Ford Ranger which made it quite a diverse group.
Departing Jamieson we meandered up Eildon-Jamieson Rd until we reached Bald Hill Gap to begin our ascent up Mt Terrible Track to the 1325m above sea level (ASL) summit of Mt Terrible. Mt Terrible Track offers a wide variety of 4wding, whilst the main track is relatively easy, there are a number of fire trails that cut off some of the spurs of the main track – some are quite steep and can be very slippery when wet due to their clay base. Whilst descending one of these fire trails, one of the Nissan Patrol’s lost traction and slipped off into a freshly dozed fire break which involved a recovery to get it back on the track. The Patrol was winched backwards by a vehicle that was secured to a tree with a chain to prevent any of the vehicles slipping any further. Due to our extensive experience and knowledge with these type of recoveries we were able to get the Patrol back on the track safely and continue on our way.
Upon reaching the summit, Mt Terrible was completely clouded in with visibility down to about 20-30 meters – the fog was so thick the fire tower was not visible from the veranda of the hut! The inside of the hut was a welcome sight and even more so with the well stoked potbelly fireplace fired up earlier by one of the HCAT crew prior to our arrival. Leaving the hut we continued along Mt Terrible Track which provided some great low range driving which included rutted, rocky ascents and descents as well as the odd muddy patch prior to our lunch stop at Ryan’s Spur Hut. The reminder of our day saw us trek up to Frenchman’s Spur and onto McAdams Gap for our overnight stay at the Gap Getaway.
Upon our arrival at ‘The Gap’, everyone made a beeline for the enormous heater in the centre of the bar which used to be a boiler at the old A1 mine site and it provided us with much needed warmth from the cold icy wind outside. Owners Brian & Heather Prothero were our hosts for the evening and provided us with good old fashioned country hospitality for our stay. Brian has been a local of Woods Point for over half a century and he has some fascinating stories about the history of the area which he is more than happy to share! We had a fantastic night at The Gap with great food, many drinks and plenty of laughs!
We woke up the following morning to what everyone had come to see – SNOW! The Gap received a light 1cm dusting of snow which transformed the landscape to a blanket of white – everyone was pumped as to what the day would bring! After a sensational cooked breakfast we said our goodbyes to Brian & Heather and it was onwards to Woods Point. After exploring this very historic town and capturing the obligatory photos of our vehicles outside the old service station, we began our climb up above the snow line
Upon reaching 1200m ASL on our way to Mt Selma the landscape became whiter and whiter and soon our tyres were touching solid snow. This is what everyone had come to experience, snow driving in their 4wd in the high country! We parked up at the trig marker at the 1465m ASL summit of Mt Selma and had a good old fashion snow fight! We had an absolute ball with many good hits and heaps of laughs!
The final leg of our tour was along Donnelly’s Creek Track which is a picturesque drive in the history rich area of Aberfeldy with a few rocky sections and half a dozen river crossings! Our tour then concluded at the Thompson Dam wall.
A massive thank you to the 18 people that came on this tour. You were an awesome bunch of people that whole heartedly embraced every aspect of the tour. It is no doubt one of THE all-time favourite trips I’ve been on just because of that! It was an absolute pleasure to experience the winter magic and beauty of the magnificent Victorian High Country with you!
Anthony & the HCAT Team
High Country Adventure Tours
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