Having pulled the pin on a previous attempt to summit Mt Snowy due to blizzard-like conditions, we were determined to reach the summit; even if the weather was less than ideal. The plan was to reach Arthur and Emily Tarn, then head up to Snowy returning via Hartz Peak. Unsure of how much snow would be around the other side of Hartz, we packed snowshoes and set off along the main track- the first visitors for the day according to the logbook. Heading out along the well maintained track, we made quick time over the duckboards and had no need for our snowshoes or rain gear. Once we found the turn off to Arthur’s tarn, we didn’t stay dry for long- the track was pretty overgrown and boggy in places.
We reached Arthur’s Tarn an hour after leaving the carpark, but didn’t spend long as the wind had picked up and was howling down the valley. We continued uphill for about 100m, passing through some nice alpine gardens before heading back down towards Emily’s Tarn, which was surprisingly sheltered from the wind. We stopped briefly here before looking for the pad up to the Hartz/Snowy saddle, still hoping that the cloud would clear and we would have at least some views or a break in rain.
From the saddle we followed a rough pad for 15 minutes up to the summit of Mt Snowy, where we found the wind was too strong to stand up straight. On the way back we chose to follow the high route across Mt Hartz – though this proved quite slow and challenging as the large dolerite boulders were icy – but we made it to the summit in just under an hour. For the first time that day we chucked on the snowshoes as there was just enough snow on the north-western slopes of Hartz to warrant them. On our way down we passed a number of very cold and seemingly unprepared walkers post-holing their way up in blundstones and jeans.
All up 10.3kms in 3hours and 35 minutes with 698m ascent.
Getting there: See Mt Hartz