St James Walkway
Was wondering if anyone has been out on this track in the winter and what the conditions might be like? Looks like it has a couple low-level alpine passes but overall looks like a nice walk. Would be nice to get an overview of this track from anyone who's done it recently, regardless of season. I'm most curious about camping opportunities. Cheers.
Love the St. James any time of year. You've got Anne Saddle at 1136m and Ada Pass at 1008. Each saddle can get snow but unless we get a heavy dump and prolonged freeze, although you may encounter snow, you're unlikely to encounter ice. Also, the gradient is so gentle I've never had to use neither ice axe nor crampons. Winter is a great time to walk the track. Although epic in summer, the sandflies are minimal in winter. Plus, there's heaps of camping opportuniities. Two of my favourite camping areas are the upper Boyle and upper Henry rivers. Last time I walked the track was January 2018. I usually take 4 days regardless of season. The track can be walked in 3 days, but that will require 20+ kms/day. This is not overly difficult, though, because the walking is easy and the country is delightful. Biggest threat is exposure. You're walking through open valleys most of the time and the wind can whip through pretty ferociously. All the huts are in good nick. I have a soft spot for lil' Rokeby, a canvass 3-bunker with a lots of charm. The sandflies nominated me "Feed of the Year" back in Jan '18. I've stayed there in winter, too, and was snug as a bug in a rug. Back to the camping, one could spend a week wandering the gentle valleys off track and find an enchanted spot every night. Risks are nominal, topography is gentle, and river flats abound.
There are avalanche warning signs in Cannibal Gorge. Can't recall anybody coming to grief. (edited for spelling.)
The 2 saddles are barely alpine passes and are pretty easy to manage.In fact they are both still in the tree line at the top of each one.Ada Pass had a wee sign on it and you wouldn't even know you were on a "pass" if not for the sign. As Gregor says its a lovely tramp and the scenery is awesome. There are lots of camping possibilties anywhere and the huts are also well sited. We did it in April 3 years ago,had lots on snow on days 1-2,but loved it.Nice open valleys and great views. Most walk it clockwise I think.
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