Christmas in July at Horse Camp Hut, Kosciusko National Park
That time of year had rolled around again - short yet sunny days, dark beers and big bonfires. Winter.
We'd been chatting about our Christmas in July trip for months, and the time had finally come for our annual expedition to Horse Camp hut in Kosciusko National Park. We filled a couple of crowlers with stout, lugged even more beer into the car and set off from the brewery towards Jindy where we'd relax for the night. We got to our mate Barnesy's place, reminisced on past adventures, enjoyed a beverage (or two) and hooked into a ripper feed at one of our favourite spots: Brumby Bar in Jindy.
We woke up before dawn and laid out our packs ready for the adventure ahead. The biggest problem of the morning was dividing up copious amounts of beer and food - when there's a will there's a way and we certainly found a way. A crowler here, cheese wheel there, and we were sorted.
The trek started brutally, with a zigzagging incline for the first 700m. We continued up the fire trail toward the hut, stopping briefly to refuel, share nibbles, and remove layers. After crossing the river, we continued into the valley and arrived at the hut around noon. We were greeted by our mates Thor, Billy and Dan who'd arrived the night before and spent the morning relaxing at the hut.
We took packs off, set up tents, put our beers in the fridge and ventured out to chase first tracks down the mountain. Trekking west, after 45 minutes we were above the treeline. We took in the view and gave ourselves a well earned drink at the top. After briefly scoping lines, we bombed down the mountain and cut first tracks. No greater feeling.
Back at the hut - we were greeted with mulled wine on arrival from the crew who'd arrived shortly before. We then began our rolling degustation fit for the vikings of medieval times. We started with a heavenly cheese platter accompanied by cured meats and dried fruit. We washed this assortment down with one of our favourite drops recently - the Dairy Road Milk Stout. The main course came next - pickles, potatoes, cured meats covered in freshly melted swiss raclette. A true alpine dining experience.
We'd eaten so much we'd just about been sent into a state of comatosis. What better way to re-energise? A 5k snow hike under moon light of course. Dan was that keen he left the hut in his finest alpine trekking kit: ugg boots!! After checking out our epic moon shadows in the distance, we trekked back to the hut and hooked into some cherry clafoutis. More beers were expended, until we eventually called stumps on the night.
We ventured up the creek the next day and found unique lines all the way back to camp. After filling up on leftovers from the night before, we ski'd back down to the power station, jumped in the car and drove home. Suggestions of the next trip had already begun on the drive home.
Until next time Horse Camp Hut. Yeeew!!