Brass Monkey Biv

2 - 3 May 2015

Two groups of three met in Culverden and travelled on to Lewis Tops car park where Julie, Penny and Kathryn left their car and piled into Merv’s empty car to drive on to the Rough Creek track start. Merv, Vesna and Kerry started up the Lewis Tops track.

At the bush-line, snow from the previous Tuesday still lay in patches. Higher up, the snow was up to 15cm deep and firmer depending on how much sun hit it. South-facing slopes off high-points including Lucretia called for great care. We were helped by foot prints from days ago made when the snow was softer. We were pleased to be carrying walking poles but would have preferred ice-axes. Kerry fell behind, trying to sidle Lucretia in soft snow over snow-grass but gave up and joined the party. The sun got low and the snow got firmer. We sidled from a saddle between points 1605 and 1602 on a north-facing slope with minimal snow. This took us a little low from Brass Monkey and in darkness, headlamps on, we plodded. We had a club GPS but lacked the experience in its use. It did tell us we were lower in altitude than the biv. At 7pm we saw a light and a biv. The “girls” had arrived at 4pm and had eaten so welcomed us with hot drinks and helped us get our macaroni meal started. Visitors earlier in the week had tracked snow into the biv so the floor was wet. The best we could do was try to sweep water into a floor vent/drain. Kathryn and Vesna slept in the biv. Merv and Kerry, Julie and Penny tented. By 8pm frost was forming on anything left outside so we thought our tents would be icy in the morning but a breeze must have spring up as we had dry flys in the morning.

Day 2. We three headed NW, sidling to get out of the One Mile Creek catchment and onto the ridge containing point 1390. This ridge leads via 1482 to a NE trending ridge that overlooks the Rough Ck catchment. Sidling on a steepish flank of 1482 we cautiously trod the shaded snow aided by earlier footprints. That was the only awkward bit of our Sunday. Looking into the Rough Ck basin it’s not apparent but there are a few bluffy bits which we had to bypass before we got onto the poled route that leads to Lake Christabel or down Rough Ck.

From our lunch stop near the bush line it’s nearly a 700m descent and 4km in distance to the road so we were out by mid-afternoon for a leisurely drive home.

Julie’s vehicle was waiting for the women to arrive as we passed the Lewis Tops car park. They got out at 4:45. We were: Penny Webster, Julie Wagner, Kathryn Meuller, Vesna Mojsilovic, Merv Meredith, Kerry Moore. (KM)