Finding a Windless Snow Campsite Above the Tree Line

(footsteps crunching on snow) (wind blowing) – Good morning campers,
it’s winter once again. There’s the snow tent. In previous years, we’ve made the mistake of putting our tent in places. where there was just too much wind, such as too close to ridge
tops or mountain tops and in some of those videos,
we focused on building a wall, a small wall around the tent,
you may remember one video titled, Snow Tent Blasted By Spindrift. This year, we’d like to focus more on selecting the right campsite, that is a campsite, where
there is almost no wind. The last few days, the wind has been traveling
in that direction. (wind blowing) Check out the nice view just down there. I just have to crouch down here, ’cause the wind is coming back once again. (wind blowing) So, if I swing the camera round, you’ll be able to see we’re kind of… camped next to this steep embankment, which has been acting as a wind block for the last few nights. Back to the tent. (wind blowing) Let’s just go over and have a closer look. As you can see, we have of course built a small wall
around the tent as usual, always necessary, ’cause
no matter what you do, you will get a little bit
of spindrift coming in. So there’s the vestibule
pit, where we do the cooking. So, because there’s very
little wind at this campsite, it’s quite a bit warmer and
one new problem we’ve had, because it’s quite, hotter here is the ground underneath the
tent has actually been melting, so when we first set up
the tent a few nights ago, we had nice level ground, but unfortunately now, last night we were kind
of melting downhill, literally sliding downhill, as the ground underneath
us was unevenly melting. We still managed to get a
pretty good night’s sleep. It would definitely be better if the snow was nice and hardly-packed. It’s just the beginning of winter here, so we’ve only got about 12
inches of snow on the ground, you come back here in a few months and there’s be a deep sort
of one to two meter layer of hard-packed snow at this location. But just behind that
steep embankment there is another mountain top, so if we were camped at
the top of that hill, the wind would just be 10 times greater, believe it or not, there
is a lot of wind out here, just in this particular
spot, we’re nicely protected, so that’s what I wanted to focus on today. From what we’ve learned over the years of being blasted by shocking
wind out here in the Alp and spindrift, spindrift being
sideways, windswept snow, that comes up under your tent fly, so what we’ve learned is
the most important thing is just selecting the right campsite, so regardless of snow craft skills like building a huge
wall around your tent, or even digging the tent in, you can’t go wrong by just
spending a little bit more time to find a less exposed campsite. I’ll just take you over here, a lot of other really nice
spots to put a tent here, plenty of fairly flat ground. Just over there, another
nice little flat spot there, protected from the wind, so because the snow here is
only about 12 inches deep and we are on a gentle slope downhill, we had to move heaps of the snow, we’ll just go over here now
and have a look at that spot. (footsteps crunching) You can see just there,
that’s where I was digging, so all the snow from that
spot, I’ve had to move over to make the ground
underneath our tent level, at least it was level for the
first few nights. (laughs) But we are literally
melting downhill here. Just have a quick look
inside the vestibule, there we are, Christina’s
packing, getting ready, because we are about to
evacuate this campsite, there is a big snowstorm coming tomorrow, so originally our plan was
to trek out of here tomorrow, but I’m guessing that
tomorrow morning this time, that this whole area will
be a complete whiteout. Another very important
factor in snow camping is to check the weather every single day. I actually do that for the
entire three months of winter, even when I’m in the
city, I’ll be monitoring the wind, snow, weather forecast up here, because clear blue skies like this, this is the kind of weather
you want to be hiking in. You definitely don’t wanna
be stuck in a whiteout, a lot of people die in whiteouts. You know, two or three
people hiking together, you can actually lose your hiking buddies. The person you’re hiking with
might only be 20 meters away, you won’t even be able to see them, so in that situation, people will actually have to tie a rope to each
other, so they don’t get lost and today, (footsteps crunching) we’re gonna be trekking down that way, crossing a river, back
to the car. (laughs) Thanks for joining us on another adventure
in the Australian Alps, we’ll see you next time. (flowing water) Smash the ice, smash it. (smashing ice) – No. (smashing ice) – [Grayson] Go on. – Can you help me here? – [Grayson] You’ll be right. – Can you…? Woo, gosh, oh my God. – [Grayson] We have to smash the ice in order to make footholds
through this river. (footsteps crunching) Eventually you reach a point where you have to take
your snow shoes off. We’re almost there. (footsteps crunching) (heavy breathing)

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