Snowy Mountains: Disappointment Spur Loop 14.5km

The third successive day of hiking in the Snowy Mountains. Today Good Mrs and I settled on a medium length and strenuous hike, the Disappointment Spur Loop. We have walked it once before, but it was a few years ago.

We drove into the Kosciuszko National Park through its northern entrance, the same as for Charlotte Pass.

The road took us through wallaby infested territory this early morning before we parked outside of Guthega Power Station.

Good Mrs shows you a map of the Snowy Mountains Scheme below.

We zigzagged between the power station’s buildings and facilites towards the trailhead for the loop.

Then this. The only bridge that would take us across the creek and onto the trail closed. No specified reason for the closure and no alternative route suggested.

So what else to do than to ignore the sign and walk across the bridge anyway. It looked sturdy enough to us. Provided you perhaps didn’t jump hard or deliberately tried to break anything.

The beginning of the Disappointment Spur Trail was on the other side of the bridge according to the sign.

The trail goes gently up and up and up for several kilometers with a valley and creek to our left.

The weather started off sunny, cool and no wind, but it soon closed in. Clouds appeared, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. LL Bean jackets on.

Well, I thought that it was cold enough to also warrant both scarf and gloves. As per the old say “better safe than sorry”, why get cold when you don’t have to?

A selfie with the beautiful mountains as the backdrop. And there was still some blue sky…

After some 4+ kilometers, we arrived at the Disappointment Spur Hut. Cute!

A few pics from inside the hut. Could you squeeze in 8 souls here, 4 on each platform? If so, I bet it would be warm and cozy…

Not much in the form of hut facilities, but it looked nice enough inside.  It would definitely be enough for a night’s stay.

A few notes on the wall inside the hut…

We had passed that water supply mentioned above just before we arrived at the hut. And his was how the fresh running water looked like there.

After a break with apples and water sitting on a bench outside the hut and away from the wind, we soon moved on.

But not before a group of overnight hikers caught up with us. These guys must have violated the “keep off the bridge” sign as well.

The 9 hikers looked serious and professional. One of the blokes was even wearing shorts despite the cold weather. We complemented him on that, but he suggested that he always wears shorts, even in snowy weather. Good for him. The group arrived at the hut after and left before us. They only had a short break.

The winding trail then made for some nice photography.

At one point there was some maintenance work in progress. We couldn’t quite figure out what they were doing here in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps there had been a landslide or it had something so do with waterflow…

Good Mrs looked like she was enjoying herself. She had borrowed a hiking pole for the day and it seemed to work well for her.

This is where the Disappointment Spur Trail meets the Schlink Trail. This is also where we turned around by hiking back the latter towards Guthega Power Station.

Beyond here, behind me taking the photo, there is wilderness and exposure. The Whites River Hut would be the next stop and then the Schlinks Hut. For the hardcore hikers only. And yes, the hiking group of 9 progressed that way.

Down the Schlinks Trail, the landscape opened up. The river is still to our left, but the trail now zigzagged back and forth, up and down.

Another selfie along the way…

We stopped for a quick break at this bridge. I stopped here longer than Good Mrs as she wanted a short head start to conquer the next hill. That is her in the distance.

Looking back from the bridge above, the clouds started to look a bit threatening. Will it or won’t it? The forecast was for afternoon rain, but it was still some time before noon.

Then we arrived at the water pipes coming down the mountains to arrive at Guthega Power Station.

That meant that we were almost finished as the power station would be just down below. After conquering a bit of vegatation, I came to a spot where I could look down and confirm that to be the case.

The final stretch of the Schlink Trail zigzagged down a hill. That gentle ascend and descend provides bearing for vehicles getting up or down. You can also wander down parallel to the pipes above. Which I had done during an earlier visit.

Today though, we took the longer route and we were soon back at our parking lot.

There was a picnic table convienient next to our parked car, so we had a bit of lunch there as time now was around 12.30pm.

Free were great views of the Guthega Power Station that you could see in the second picture above. Don’t laugh. Anything around the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme in my view is impressive.

And no, we didn’t get rained on, nor did it rain as we drove out of the Snowy Mountains National Park. Just a few drops many hours later on where we stayed in Kalkite.

In summary, a nice few hours in a more isolated part of the Snowy Mountains. The cold weather made it a bit more challenging than it otherwise would have been, but much enjoyable.

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