Fitzgerald Hut, Alpine Retreat

Falls Creek, Snow Report, May 2014.
Conditions Summary:
Great for mountain biking.

What a depressing start to the season (unless you’re a mountain biker). So while I await the snow, I’ll share my experience of skiing at Falls Creek a previous winter.

My parents and I had decided that we wanted to explore the alpine high country on this particular weekend, but since only my father is a half-decent backcountry skiier we chose an accessibly destination: Fitzgerald Hut.

The hut is a mere 10km return from Watchbed Creek (and around 13km from Falls Creek village in the winter). During the summer I’ve taken this same route up the Big River fire track, though I usually turn off for Mt Nelse or Spion Kop. For Fitzgerald’s, after joining the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT), we turned off at the convenient sign marked “Fitzgerald’s Hut”, and made our own fresh trails in the snow from there.

Fitzgerald Hut was built by George Silas Fitzgerald in 1903, and was one of the well known cattlemen’s huts. Its very popularity probably helped lead to its demise: accidentally burnt down by a school group on a camping trip. Two years later, in 1993, the hut was rebuilt with drop slab construction and made from railway sleepers. The new hut, which was constructed with the help of the Wallangarra Youth Group of Licola, includes a gloriously red roof that looked particularly wonderful at sunrise the next morning.

It was a comfortable trip, including a stop at nearby Kelly’s Hut, and we had Fitzgerald hut all to ourselves. (In fact, we had been the first visitors since the last snowfall, as we knew from the loo.)

And then, as always, the weekend drew to a close, and we returned from the snow.

But at least there was snow at all! So here’s hoping for a half-decent 2014 season!

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10 thoughts on “Fitzgerald Hut, Alpine Retreat

    • It really is the perfect friendly trip, for people new to skiing or hiking. It’s such a shame that sunrises are particularly impressive in winter – they’re so much more difficult to get up for, particularly in the snow!

  1. Pingback: On Preparations and Last Minute Snowstorms | words and wilds

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