Sunday, June 12, 2011

Snowy Mountains

One pleasure of the austral winter is the sight of snow on the high peaks: flying back into Launceston on Thursday I was able to catch a glimpse of snow on the Great Western Tiers (the escarpment descending from the Central Plateau), and, the last few days having been mainly fine, cool and clear, the sight of white snows shining from afar on two of the three eastern heights visible from home, Mount Barrow and Ben Lomond (the latter an alpine plateau containing the second-highest peak in the State) has been delightful – apparently, it's been one of the best start-of-season snowfalls in decades, and the skiing should soon begin.  Only Mount Arthur, northernmost and lowest at 1188 metres, showed but a tiny scatter of snow.

I drove up to the top of Trevallyn Hill on Friday, and took these (rather poor) images of the two snowclad giants:

Mount Barrow, 1413 m high and about 46 km away

Ben Lomond, maximum height 1570 m and about 50 km away

Because of snowfall in the highlands, and down to lower altitudes in the North-east (dusting Scottsdale and other towns), there are floodwaters from snowmelt coming down some of the rivers, and so the Cataract Gorge is in flood again already, as the Trevallyn dam's impoundment is reduced to its minimum level to cope with this influx.  I had a pleasant walk through the Gorge yester-day, and a coffee, enjoying the spectacle of the onrushing torrent.

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