Hat Hill Lookout Australia

Well last weekend they gave a snow warning for the upper blue mountains which is about a twice a year event in our part of the world. Something to get a little excited about, well young kids and the easily entertained adults.

So since i had the day off work i checked the weather forecast on my phone, jumped out of bed which was a 15min procrastination because its winter remember and my house is freezing. So after 15mins of slowly getting out of bed, i packed my bag and slipped on my hiking boots and got into the car.

I was driving up the mountains getting excited in the prospect of seeing snow because its almost a year since i saw snow while holidaying in Canada, anyway thats a mother story and video.

Well for those of you not familiar with the Blue Mountains of Australia its a steady 1hr drive up a gradual hill to about 1000m then the side drop off like the grand canyon. Just imagine the grand canyon covered in green trees with a blue haze into the distance and a small stream down the bottom rather than a huge river.

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Well i arrive at Blackheath and drove down Hat Hill road and park the car. I put on my backpack which i packed in a rush and no doubt forgot major items, the commenced the walk up to Hat Hill which is only about 500m from the car park.

Well after about 3mins of messing around with my camera trying to get a shot of some burnt shrubs the hail came out of nowhere. I fumbled around putting my camera away and trying to find my gloves which i must have forgotten. Then i raced up the hill to find some shelter as the hail and wind caught me unaware.

By the time i got to the top of Hat hill lookout my fingers were so cold i thought they were about to drop off. I changed into my water proof pants as that would cut out most of the wind and stop my legs getting wetter. I checked my phone for the weather report and i could see it was only 2 deg. As quickly as the storm came it just disappeared into the distance.

I managed to find my gloves underneath my waterproof pants. This managed to thaw out my fingers then I was off again along the ridge in search of another lookout.

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After another 1km i was again caught by more hail flying across the sky at an angle so great that sitting behind a bush was enough to totally protect me from natures storm.

I managed to do a little more filming at this stage to try my new camera and microphone but my fingers were so cold once it took the gloves off that i don’t think the microphone got attached.

This storm passed just as quick as the last and it was back to hiking again with frozen fingers.

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I love to hike, bike or kayak in extreme weather conditions just to get experience because having adventures in perfect weather all the time doesn’t give you anything to learn from. I believe this makes you a better hiker and you learn what gear works and doesn’t.

As an example my large snow gloves are good at keeping your hands warm but too bulky to operate the camera. So i had to keep taking them off and freezing my hands.

What i learnt from todays hike is to take my smaller wind proof gloves that i could operate the camera with. They were packed in my old rain jacket pocket not my new one i was using that day. When i got home i placed them in my new jacket for next time.

Any way I got to the end of the track and a magnificent lookout over the valley. The down side i could see some serious white clouds coming, could this be the snow that was predicted or more hail. I thought i better find some cover as i was getting a little hungry after hiking for a few hrs. I managed to find a small rock over hang like a cave where i made some hot chocolate and had my lunch.

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A little later it got darker and started to snow, i was so pleased that it was not a wasted hike and something else to film. There was only a small dusting of the white stuff but it was enough to make me happy and gave me an opportunity to take a few photos.

The walk back was something else, it was like id walked through a cupboard and in to Narnia. In this case id walked through a cave.

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So as always if you would like to see the video of my trip just click the link below.

I took my friend the very next week and the weather was completely different. 10deg and not a cloud in the sky. After 1hr of walking we were in only our tee shirts.

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Hike: Hat Hill Lookout and ridge trail

Distance 5km return

Location Blackheath, Blue Mts Australia.

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