Back Country Awareness Please read the following articles before considering going back country and research widely. Do not use information provided here as textbook accuracy as anyone can edit it. Double check anything found here and consult with experts before heading beyond the resort boundaries. People die in the back country every year, don't add your name to the list.
Mt Jagungal is a wonderful and (winter) remote mountain in the Northern Snowy Mountains. It is the northernmost peak over 2,000 metres on the continent - it comes in at 2,061 m asl. Ski touring/ back country is quite different here to the Main Range as it is more remote feeling, broader in size and scope, but less alpine feeling because much of it is forested. The touring is generally fairly easy in that the mountain sits in a broad region that is a series of higher ridges interspaced with plateau-type country.
Access is generally from the Main Rain, Guthega Pondage, or from the North. Details on these and other approaches will be posted soon. Because it is relatively remote, you generally need at least 4 days to really explore the area.
The mountain has a very long approach - up to 2 days - but the skiing in can be excellent and the runs on the mountain are great although no where as challenging as the big drops off the west side of the Main Range.
- RATING: Approach Steepness
Rather than steepness, the main consideration is navigation through the tangle of ridges and valleys in the southern approach from Gungartan to Jugungal itself, this requires good conditions and skills to navigate.
Runs of up to about 250 to 300 metres off the summit ridge of the mountain, but lower sections not too steep
Access and Trip
The general area is great for touring rather than huge downhill runs. However, there are some nice spots for a bit of steep as well:
Jagungal Mountain. The actual runs on the mountain are nice and reasonably long, although nothing like the western face of the Main Range. Best bet is the southern face, which holds the snow nicely. The drop to the north west of the summit is the steepest off the mountain and there are good runs off the entire ridge that runs south west from the summit, down into the Tumut river valley.
If you are skiing in from the south there are good runs off Gungartan and Dicky Cooper Bogong, and it can be fun heading out this way and on to Consett Stephens Pass for a quick descent back into Guthega (note you have to walk or hitch back to the power station if your car is there).
The area around The Brassy - due east of Gungarton has decent drops to the Finn River.
This is remote country. While it is more 'forgiving' than the Main Range owing to its gentle topography and tree cover, a trip here should not be undertaken lightly.
The route finding is exceptionally difficult from Gungartan most of the way through to Jagungal in anything other than clear conditions. If you can't see where you are going, it is wise to stay put until you can. This is untracked country once you leave the road up Whites River, meaning you need very good navigation skills.
Most of the huts aren't in great shape so I would suggest you plan to mostly camp rather than rely on them.
Mobile Phone Coverage
- Overview :
- Backcountry Run Rating
- RATING: Approach Steepness
Access and Trip
Also see the notes on the Rolling Ground and the Kerries, Brassies & Bull Peaks (not yet done as at April 2009) for extra details on approach.
There are various ways in that I know, and probably others that I don't. Generally the easiest is from the south, either starting at Guthega Power Station or in the Guthega ski village.
FROM THE SOUTH
1/ From Guthega village
There are various ways to get out of the valley - the aim is to cross the Rolling Ground and eventually come out at Schlink Pass. From here, follow the directions in the Power station notes. Perhaps the easiest way from the village is to cross to the far (northern side) of the pondage, then head roughly north up valley, following the Guthega River to its head, then straight on up to Consett Stephen Pass. The first section is through snow gum forest but this thins out as you climb.
You can also head out via Tate East Ridge or via Guthega Trig, both these routes will take you to the Pass.
From the Pass, keep heading north - eventually crossing the Rolling Ground and passing by Dicky Cooper Bogong before descending to Schlink Pass. See the power station notes below from here.
2/ From Guthega power station
Cross over the dam wall and head up valley. In poor seasons you can follow the road, otherwise, there are poles that take you up valley. There is an initial steepish switch back type climb, then slow and gradual ascent via the Munyang (Whites) river valley, passing Horse Camp and White's River huts before climbing through Schlink Pass. This is about 7 to 8 km from the power station.
The next stage is to climb onto Gungartan Mountain (a few metres higher than Jagungal itself, at 2068 m).
The 'Schlink Hilton' hut, just about 2 km north of the pass is worth a stay if you have headed off late in the day. From the hut you gain Gungartan by climbing the obvious gully system going due east which is visible from the hut. Climb until you gain the top of the Kerries - a very nice open and rolling area that offers some very nice cruisey skiing.
If you are coming from the Pass rather than the hut, then just follow the ridge on the east side of the pass straight up to Gungartan, then north to the Kerries.
Crossing Gungarton to Jugungal
Once on Gungarton or the Kerries, you just keep navigating northwards - due north and staying on the crest of the main range will lead you into the Valentine Creek Valley (where Mawsons Hut can be found), then climb over the rise to the north of the hut, and thence into the Geehi River valley, and onto another high point (generally you can just cross the river near 'the Big Bend' on the Vallentine, then follow a shallow valley north and cross the highpoint just to the west of Strawberry Hill. From here veer slightly eastwards, staying as high as you can until you come to the direct climb up Jagungal itself.
Length of trip
I generally allow two days for this trip, with a camp at Schlink Hilton or Mawsons on the way in, or on the Kerries if the weather is clear.
If you have the time, its worth spending a few days around Jagungal. Dershkos Hut, located about 4 km west-north west of Jagungal, makes for a pleasant base camp if you want to get out of the snow.
Returning to the south
There are a number of ways to get out - either following the route you took in - via White's (Munyang) River or via Consett Stephens Pass. If your car is at Guthega power station, a return via Disappointment Spur makes for a good option as well. You basically follow the high ridge line south from Gungartan summit, veering to the right (south west) as you get closer to the Snowy River Valley and always trying to sty on the high point of the ridge rather than dropping off on either side. Head for the junction of the Snowy and Whites/ Munyang River rather than descending below the dam wall. The east side of this ridge (facing onto Finns River) is steep and forested.