A group from Adelaide hiking the Heysen Trail did not expect to encounter snow on their walk at Mount Bryan last Saturday.
The “Friends of the Heysen Trail, End to End” group, had been walking the trail from north to south, covering small distances over weekends and occasional longer stints.
On Saturday morning they checked the weather forecast for Burra before heading off, which was for 10 degrees and 1 to 8 mm of rain.
As they ascended Mt Bryan they were subjected to heavy downpours, then hail and sleet, and finally near the summit snow driven horizontal by gale force winds.
“We’d never experienced conditions like this previously along the trail, and definitely did not expect it.” Robert Alcock said.
Although the group found the conditions bitterly cold and the snow stung their skin, Mr Alcock said it was all part of the challenge of the trail and the group was back out walking on Sunday.
Fortunately rather than sleeping along the trail the hikers were staying in Burra overnight and driving back out to the trail in the morning.
Flooded roads meant the group could not reach their planned starting point by car, and they had to reschedule their plans, walking the trail in non-consecutive sections over the week.
Good rainfall fell steadily across most localities in the Mid North over the past week, replenishing dams and soil moisture levels in most localities.
Creeks flowed over floodways and fords making some roads difficult to cross and water across Horrocks Highway north of Rhynie, from a burst embankment on a private dam, slowed traffic for a short while.
Manager Development, Infrastructure and Environment at Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council, Grant McKenzie said dams were full and rivers flowing but nothing had burst their banks.
Flood remediation work carried out around Stockport appears to have been affective as there was no flooding in the area.
A Mill Lane Auburn resident reported water running through his property on Saturday.
Mr McKenzie said council had implemented measures to direct runoff away from the area following previous rains, but further work would need to be done to remedy the problem.
Clare has received 457mm of rain for the first six months of the year, which is about 75 per cent of the average annual rainfall.
The forecast for the Mid North and Clare Valley this week is for maximum temperatures in the low teens, falling to between 3 – 6 degrees overnight.
Rainfall figures for the past seven days
(up until Monday 9am from the Bureau of Meteorology)
Black Rock 6
Booleroo Centre 2
Crystal Brook 37
Farrell Flat 55
Mt Bryan 67
Port Broughton 54
Snowtown North 59
Wirrabara PO 36