Mt St Mary from Snowy Gorge Creek, Barrier Range

Here’s a long ski mountaineering adventure, quite remote, and a lovely small ski hut to stay in.  We skied this in early July when there was a good amount of snow down low as the Hut is at 1125m. Access is easy from Ohau ski field. Descend towards Dumbell lake, continue all the way down the drainage until Maitland Stream.

The ascend to the Maitland pass from where you can either a) ski down to Snowy Gorge hut, or what we did was to traverse into the valley leading up to Mt St Mary. We ditched our excess gear (sleeping bags etc) in valley and then toured and climbed up Mt St Mary. Our skinning route was up the true right which proved to be a good straight forward route (the true left was wind scoured back to rock). We climbed a couple of short sections around the 35-40 degree mark.  The ski descent was good and challenging. The long flat glide down back to the hut was a bit like a polar outing.

The hut is uninsulated, but reasonably tidy with nice wood beams. It sleeps 5 with good mattresses. No stove. One night was reasonably warm, one was  so cold that Stefan slept with his gloves on his feet.

Gear – warm sleeping bag, cooking equipment, ski crampons, rifle – plenty of Thar and Chamois on the many bluffs.

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