Witzes Hut was built in 1952 from the remains of a nearby homestead, which itself dated back into the 1880s and was used by Gooandra Station for grazing livestock. With its vertical slabs, single window, stone hearth and iron clad chimney it makes a wonderful place to camp overnight. You can approach using the Australian Alps Track directly from the Snowy Mountains Highway, come down from the north or, as I chose, head up from Wares Yards campsite using Nungar Creek Fire Trial.
Whichever route it's enough distance that I decided the mountain bike would be preferable over walking. Gearing up, with full camera kit and tripod across my back, I noted some dark clouds forming. I thought maybe I could get ahead of it and thus arrive at the hut with some real drama in the sky. The things us landscape photographers do!
A few kms in there was lighting, thunder and torrential rain. The track was reduced to a mud slide, making riding a dangerous affair. I walked as much I as rode, forcing my way uphill through the downpour, which thankfully eased as I finally made the hut some hours later. I shot the scene for a couple of hours, making good use of the storm clouds and nice rising smoke provided by a kindly couple staying there, and then headed back down, hoping to make the car before dark.
The first few kms went fast as I tore downhill at an unseemly speed for a middle age man, alone in the wilderness. Wild horses appeared, racing alongside me, the stallion whinnying his challenge. My bravado was, however, cut short by the dread sound of an inner tube expelling air in a rush as the back tyre went suddenly flat. Fish tailing madly I came to an ungainly halt as the herd veered away and thundered across the evening landscape with mocking ease.
Of course, I hadn't packed a spare, so after a good 10km walk pushing the now useless contraption, it was well dark when I, at last, returned to the car, completely spent and covered in mud from head to toe. Hopefully this image presents something of the adventure!This image is capable of being enlarged to enormous proportions while retaining fine details.