I have booked the Australian Ski Club lodge for the weekend of Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October. The logic of our booking system means that we need to book for the nights of Friday 29 October and Saturday 30 October.I especially encourage new members of the club to come on this weekend away as it is a great opportunity to get to know a few other members as well as to learn more about photography.
I have organised visits to Guthega in past years and these have been social and photographic successes. I am a member of the ski lodge where we stay.
Twynam Lodge has a panoramic view over Guthega Dam and across to the main range. There are 14 bedrooms. Ten rooms have double beds and four rooms have two single beds. Each bedroom has its own en-suite bathroom. Pillows and blankets are supplied but visitors need to bring their own linen, pillowcases, towels and food. The lodge is well heated and has an open fireplace, which sets a great ambience for discussions of all sorts.The lodge operates on a co-operative basis and each room has a duty allocated to it. Rooms should be left as clean as they were when you arrived. The duty allocated to your room is listed inside the door. (Whoever has the role of shovelling snow off the balcony should help out with something else – unless there really is snow on the balcony!)
I will take bookings on a first come first served basis by email or phone. In your booking nomination I need to know the names of all that you plan to bring; the best phone number to contact you on (I prefer a mobile contact); and if you need a lift or if you can provide a lift for someone else.
If you are coming by yourself, please let me know if you are prepared to share a room (if there is a lot of demand, I may need to ask singles to share).
Accommodation is $35 per night. I will seek payment from everyone who is coming during the week starting 24 October 2021.
The ski club applies the relevant Covid rules for NSW, which currently require using the Service NSW app to check in and out, and masks to be worn indoors except when eating or drinking. The rules may change by the end of October and I will keep everyone informed.
We have to cater for ourselves. Each room has its own fridge and food cupboards located near the kitchen. The ski club has a well equipped kitchen area and you will need to bring all your food as the nearest shops are at Jindabyne (a 45 minute drive away). The lodge has basics such as cooking oil, jams, some condiments and some staples like rice, pasta and oats.
Guthega is in the heart of the main range of the Australian Alps. It is rugged country and in late October it can get cold at night with the possibility of rain or snow. We can expect to see some wildflowers and with cloudy weather the scenery can get dramatic. There are always lots of small things that catch people’s eyes and the millions of burnt snow gums from the 2003 fires often produce great black and white shots in early morning and late afternoon sunshine.
The remnant spring snow drifts give the mountains at Charlotte Pass a ‘tiger stripe’ effect.
This weekend is a few weeks after the introduction of daylight saving so the sunrise is a bit before 7:00 am. Early morning photography can produce pink tinges on the snow or, if foggy, there is lots of ‘atmosphere’.
There are good walking tracks starting at the lodge and further opportunities by driving to nearby locations. The weather always has a big effect on what we can do. On a clear night there are far more stars than can be seen in Canberra (but I don’t know what the moon cycle is on this weekend). Bring a tripod for night shots.
Weather and other considerations
It can get cold and wet (it occasionally snows in late October) it can also get hot. Guthega is at 1700 metres above sea level so it is very easy to get sunburnt even on an overcast day. Long sleeves, a hat and sunscreen are essential.A second reason for having long sleeves is to keep the mountain blowfly (called the March fly) off your arms and legs. It is slow moving and easily brushed off but it is persistent and its bite can hurt. They are less common in October than at the end of summer but their name doesn’t limit their presence.
A waterproof jacket is essential and a layer of warm clothing is good to have available in your car or at the lodge if we are close to those. Carry them in a small back pack if we are further afield.Bring a 600 ml or larger bottle of water (I don’t recommend drinking the stream water, but tap water at Guthega has been treated with UV to kill bugs).
I will act as a coordinator for putting those who need a lift in contact with those who can give a lift. Don’t forget to let me know if you need a lift when you e-mail your booking.