Autumn leading up to and including Easter is almost my favourite time up in the Vic Alps, and last weekend was no exception. The weather had cooled right down so that it was almost sleeting as we crossed Hotham on Thursday night, eventually fining up beautifully for Sunday after some significant rain.
We got a bit done on the house and kept the fire roaring after a few forays with the chainsaw between showers. We also had two excellent meals at Graze and High Plains Hotel - I think DP is the only place in Alpine Oz which really ticks all the boxes for all seasons, but I'm biased.
I ran out to Precipitous Plain twice, once with Charlotte on her bike - and both times with cattle everywhere, which struck me as odd as I didn't think they'd been allowed back into this part of the Alpine NP. If it was scientific, then the science seemed pretty clear: shit and erosion everywhere, with the only fuel reduction courtesy of my Stihl. The snow gums were starting to change though, with some spectacular colours.
On Sunday morning I tried to run from DP to Basalt Temple via Brandy Creek Mine and Spur, Cobungra and Paling Spur. I got very wet, and although it was nice to be up on the Bogong High Plains again, it was quite cold and very misty. Just short of Young's Hut (I think), I realised that I was reasonably lost. This was mostly due to the fog and lots of false trails left by deer and horses. I had water and a few gels, but nothing else - and then my phone ran out of batteries. When I stopped running I would rapidly cool down. Following a bearing on my Suunto (sithout a map) soon got me back to recognisable terrain, and then back the way I'd come as the clouds finally started to lift into a very nice day.
We had a nice lunch on the deck and then went and got some more wood (Charlotte found some deer antlers - trying to free them from a rotting carcass proved a bit on the nose and was upsetting for Balti!), and then we went for a wander and a fish. We got plenty of small-fry, but several bigger specimens weren't landed.
Then home to a stunning sunrise from the Alpine Way.