Ramshead Roaming, a Thredbo treasure.
Posted on Monday, 5th of September 2011
Thredbo is a great little resort, it offers challenging terrain, long runs and usually a good cover of snow. As far as Australian skiing goes, I rate it as the countries best resort skiing. However, the real jewel in Thredbo’s crown for me is what lies over the fence. From the top of one of Thredbo’s T Bars you can hike out into a snow covered playground called the Ramshead Range that is conspicuous by the lack of 2 things; Ski Lifts and people. What it does have is some of the best and most accessible backcountry skiing in Australia.
I spend a lot of time dreaming about skiing in the Ramsheads. Wild, broken outcrops of ancient granite covered in wind carved ice separate hidden valleys and deep gorges. With gentle cruising slopes or steep chutes and long runs the skiing in the Ramsheads is perfect for a bit of spring time afternoon picnic touring or some serious adrenaline charged peak bagging. Places like Bogong Creek, Leather Barrell Gorge and Twin Valleys are like hidden worlds waiting to be discovered. What makes touring out of Thredbo so special is that the Ski lifts deliver you close to the top of the range so in 40 minutes or less you can be standing at the top of one of these mystical places getting ready for a long run in perfect conditions with no tracks in sight and just your friends to share it with.
Just in case you haven’t worked it out yet. Once you finish this pristine run dropping into the snow covered silence, you have to turn around and climb back up to where you started. This is hard work, no chairlifts or skidoos to help with this part, but for me that is the part I love the most. The climb out is peaceful and absorbing as you get into a rhythm with your breath and the wind the only sounds and a view that is priceless.
It worth noting that the other things missing in the back-country are the Ski Patrol and signs You are on your own out back and you have to know where you are all the time. If the weather comes in it can get very tricky very quickly and many people have perished in this environment. Going with a guide is a very good idea. If you are interested in experiencing backcountry skiing or even snow shoeing through the Ramshead Range, both K7 advertures and the Thredbo Snow Sports run tours from Thredbo.
To get an idea of what it is like out back, have a look at some video I took on my last trip out to Leather Barrel Gorge.
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