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Williams Saddle, 29 - 30 June 2019

Always a classic trip for PTC, which we last did in October 2013. The main memory from that trip was crossing the flooded Bealey and Mingha rivers at the start! The lead up to this trip was just the opposite. Dry conditions, little snow and therefore low rivers.

Compared to 2013, we experienced the new highway setup at Greyney’s bend for the first time. Parking our vehicle at Greyney’s Shelter, walking by 10.00am through the rail underpass and up the stopbank to the corner. Then the uneventful crossing of both rivers. Continuing to the true left of the Mingha we climbed up along the Edwards Flood Track and dropped into the Edwards.

This section of the river heads east, shaded to the north by ‘The Spike’, so days/weeks of fine weather had taken their effect; hoar frost that was indeed a beauty to behold and the subject of many photos.

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Yvette and Vesna starting up the Edwards River. Photo courtesy of Merv Meredith

At the Edwards Hut, a bit after 3.00pm, conditions by then were getting decidedly cooler. Cleaning up the mess around the wood burner and then struggling with plentiful but mainly wet firewood took some time, but eventually who took charge in front of the burner? Of course, no one else but our camp fire supremo, Yvette. No problem. Then to add to the ambience, before dark three young blokes turned up from the Tarn Col – Walker Pass through route.

Sunday morning and away by 9.00am. My memory of the route to the saddle was to go straight up the stream until it tightens up significantly and then sidle left to above the saddle. There is now a slip face on the true right that conveniently marks the spot and had I sidled horizontally from there, it would have taken us easily around the corner at saddle height. Instead, Vesna and I went a little higher from the slip, and climbed to a point looking down to the saddle. Meanwhile, Kerry had not followed us and led Peter and Yvette up the face heading for ???? After a wait, they eventually came back down and joined us for the walk down to the saddle in lovely weather.

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Vesna on Williams Saddle. Photo courtesy of Merv Meredith

The next trick is the sidle down through the bush on the Mingha side, ie., travel left above the bush, pick an entry spot, line up the stream on the far side of the Mingha below the gorge and follow the compass bearing down. The first bit staying high went well, stopping at a clear spot with a view up to Goat Pass for lunch, then continued on avoiding dropping into the big basin and making a ‘hook turn’ beyond it. Travelling ever down we were pleased to drop into the Mingha bang on the end of the Mingha Track at 3.30pm. Then straightforward walk out and back to the car by 5.00pm.

We were: Merv Meredith(leader), Vesna Mojsilovic, Kerry Moore, Yvette So, and Peter Umbers. MM