Ascent of Bluff Knoll on 2015-08-09

Climber: George McManus

Date:Sunday, August 9, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bluff Knoll
    Location:Australia-Western Australia
    Elevation:3593 ft / 1095 m

Ascent Trip Report

On a weekend trip in the Great Southern, my dad and I learnt on Saturday night that snow was forecast on Bluff Knoll for early Sunday morning. Whilst we were planning to climb Bluff Knoll the next day, we set our alarms for much earlier than anticipated (5:30am), to get to the mountain early enough to see snow.

After an hours drive from Albany through hailstorms, we reached the Bluff Knoll carpark. The car park was already half full, with people eager to see the curiosity of snow in Western Australia. At this stage, the sun had come out (to our horror), but the top of the mountain was still shrouded in cloud, and it was very cold. As we climbed up the steep slope of Bluff Knoll, a cloud quickly approached from the south. When we were at about 850m ASL, the cloud hit the mountain and it started snowing. The snow fall was moderate in strength and quite respectable.

As we hiked along the plateau to the top of Bluff Knoll, the snow continued to fall, with all the vegetation and rocks blanketed in white. We stayed at the summit and enjoyed the snow fall for around 30 minutes, with children making tiny snow men and engaging in snowball fights. It was probably around -2 degrees Celcius at the summit, at about 8:30am. On our descent, the snow stopped falling, and eventually the cloud passed, leaving the snow to melt quite fast. By the time we reached the car park at around 10am, the cloud at the top of the mountain had completely disappeared, and I'm guessing all the snow had melted.

Conditions that day were perfect for seeing snow, as whilst it was cold enough for snow, there was little wind or low visibility.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2084 ft / 635 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.9 mi / 6.2 km
    Trailhead:Bluff Knoll Car Park  1509 ft / 459 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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