He’s reached Mt Buller and is charging on solo through the overland wilderness toward Mt Hotham, with the expected snow this weekend the only barrier to reaching his destination on time.
In a journey expected to take some 50 days, Huw Kingston, 59, is skiing and walking the 700 kilometres length of the Australian alps this winter and, along the way, skiing at each of the 12 snow resorts.
His alpine odyssey aims to raise $50,000 for Save the Children’s Our Yarning project.
On Saturday, two weeks after setting off from Mt Baw Baw, Huw Kingston arrived at Mt Buller, as thick snow fell, having skied across from Mt Stirling.
These marked the third and fourth snow resorts of his alpine odyssey.
“I can’t deny it was rather nice on Saturday night to have my first hot shower and soft bed in a fortnight,” Huw said from Mt Buller.
“I doubt I’ll ever again make that much effort to reach a ski resort!”
It has been, as expected, a tough first few weeks, he said.
Heavy rain early on washed away the snow at lower elevations and brought its own challenges.
Thick bush did all it could to tangle Huw’s skis carried on his pack and one horrendously slippery log crossing across a swollen river was memorable.
A rib injury added to the challenge.
Huw pushed hard on very long days, particularly in this past week, desperate to traverse the infamous Crosscut Saw before the weather broke again.
‘”You get what you get in an Australian alpine winter, but for sure it felt like my skis were a form of crucifix carried on my pack not sliding under my feet,” Huw said.
“It was certainly nice to put them on as I approached King Billy and Mt Howitt, but then it was crampons, metal spikes for my boots, all the way along the Crosscut Saw.”
The Crosscut Saw, as its name suggests, is a series of rocky pinnacles joined by a very narrow ridge and it is undoubtedly the most challenging winter ridge traverse in the alps.
“The weather indeed broke just after I got across and a mixture of rain and sleet soaked me to the bone,” Huw said. “A couple of days later I finally reached Mt Stirling, a cross country ski area, and enjoyed the trails there, before coming across to Mt Buller.
“After resting up on Sunday, I enjoyed a great day on the Mt Buller slopes on Monday, skiing here for the first time.”
Huw’s journey has a strong Indigenous link given he has set out to raise $50,000 for Our Yarning, a project that produces books for Indigenous Australian children, written and illustrated by Indigenous authors and illustrators, telling their stories, stories that are so important to retain in Australian culture.
Our Yarning is a project of Library for All, a fully owned entity of Save the Children Australia, a charity for whom Huw is a long-time ambassador.
With over $35,000 of his $50,000 target raised already, Huw is very hopeful of exceeding it.
As part of the fundraising, you can ‘buy’ each of the resorts.
Mt Buller is still looking for a new owner!
Those readers wishing to contribute to the cause as Huw dots his way toward NSW can access the fundraising page here.
More information on Huw and his trek can be found here.