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A New Wonnangatta Mystery

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Total Whiteout, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    How many posts have you contributed to this thread?
     
  2. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anything new JR or more of the same?
     
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  3. NeoSamurai

    NeoSamurai One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If I retrace my steps I can probably find it.
    Speaking to the local Mansfield weekend (hardcore) deer hunters you would be totally surprised at how many of those extremely remote areas have many active deer cameras set up throughout the entire area of the remote areas of the Bluff//Howqua/Howitt/StanleySpur/Wonnangatta and the Terrible Hollow - mostly ridiculously WAY off the beaten path - where hikers would never venture.
     
  4. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would totally teabag a deercam so the bloke would be like wtf nutscapes.
     
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  5. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    are these 4G type cameras?
     
  6. NeoSamurai

    NeoSamurai One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If I retrace my steps I can probably find it.
    HD or 4K - not 4G.

    The local guy/hunter I met he was camping in Bluff Hut and was one of the Lovick clan. He told me how surprised they were to see on one of their hidden, sensor activated deer-cams in the remote Terrible Hollow - WAY off any walking path/route a single, female hippy hiker nonchanltly walk past the camouflaged camera. Even he said as a local it was a totally WTF moment!

    'Hobby hunters' from Mansfield (Lovick +2mates) - they would only hunt on most weekends and had already 'bagged' about 350 Samba in the past 12months!
     
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  7. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Really glad for their activity - lots of Sambar in the Wonangatta - good to keep the numbers down - seen lots of wallows -even along the upper reaches of the valley
     
  8. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was told by a bloke who gave me a ride while hitching once there are a few secret hunter huts in the Terrible Hollow area. His claim was he would guide folks in with pack horses for their gear and either stay but mostly come back for them in a week or two as arranged.
     
  9. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Before the (2003 or 2006?) fires, I heard that there was a private hut on Mt Speculation, not far from the Camp Creek campsite / road closure gate. While I was aware that someone might be trying to have a lend of me, I kept quiet about it because if it was true and the hut did exist, either PV or the more radical variety of environmentalists might doze it or torch it respectively.

    The hut would have made a great ski base. Drive to Cobbler Lake, spend a few hours skiing to it and the huge variety of slopes on Mt Speculation and Mt Koonika would have been just outside the door. But I never saw the alleged hut in person, not did I see a photo or an indication of where it might have been on a map. But all these years later, its probably safe to mention it. If it isn't, I'll delete this post pronto.
     
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    On the current paper copy of the SV map of the Buller/Howitt area a hut is shown to be near Mt. Clear just down the slope off the AAWT as it heads for Chester's yard/Rocky Point. Another curious one is my GPS topo map shows a hut down the ravine between Mt. Howitt and the start of the Cross cut saw facing [broadly speaking ]West.
    The Rooftops Map wallah has huts listed on his maps in some quite inaccessible places that only he or intrepid deer hunters could be bothered going.
     
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  11. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    No evidence of it, but lots of spots where it could have been - near the lower access road for example. Below Catherine Saddle for example there’s a flattish spot where the lower road comes in and some signs of soil disturbance consistent with a prior structure or campsite.
     
  12. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well I did say that my original informant may have been trying to have a lend of me (i.e. fool me) and this was well before the fires when the hut might have still existed. I was also careful to use terms like "alleged" hut. But I later heard from a totally different source that the hut did exist and it had been burnt in a big fire that went through the area. (That was possibly from someone the early days of the Vic Huts Assoc. I was on the original committee, but drifted away when they decided to focus on 4WD accessible huts and ignore the remote huts I was interested in, although that changed after I let my membership lapse.)

    There is at least one well known hut that was apparently built without authorisation. The story goes that the Jamieson Ski Club never got permission to build their hut on Mt Skene, but I think that was in the last few years of the old Forests Commission which had a fairly relaxed attitude to such things. If it didn't hurt anyone or degrade the environment, they often turned a blind eye to things that people did on their turf.
     
  13. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting comment Bogong re a Hut pecking order.

    As both a lapsed (overnight) bush walker, and current daywalker, XC skier and occasional 4WD -er,
    it does feel as though Vic Huts policy is dominated primarily by 4WD, horse-riding and to a degree, cattleman’s groups.

    I acknowledge the latter two (above) were fundamental to developing the hut network in the alpine areas.
    But it does seem that skier/walker hut requirements need a push from / with PV & DELWP every now and then.

    BC Skiers & BushWalkers have long been taken for granted in Vic when it comes to government funding an infrastructure policy. (Compare this to the traction fishermen and hunters get!)

    Huts away from roads fit into this space. So it’s good to think the Hut association may help correct this status quo. Now if only they could assist with walking trails and signs? o_O
     
  14. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I suspect Parks Victoria are like most bodies and practice the old adage "the squeaky wheel gets the oil".

    So the ancient mountain cattlemen families get attention because they were dispossessed of their ancestral lands (which was probably good for the environment, but harsh on families who had taken their livestock to the mountains for hundreds of years). 4WDers get attention because they've always been a well organised and vocal lobby. Likewise the more loud and aggressive greenie groups have the power to mobilise large numbers of people in places like Fitzroy and Brunswick and they terrify everyone, so PV dare not even squeak if there is likely to be a protest, complete with street theatre for that extra level of intimidation, in the Treasury Gardens.

    But hikers and XC skiers aren't loud, nor do they have an effective lobby. Back around 2003 to 2008ish, I ran a large walking club, I went along to quite a few meetings of Bushwalking Victoria and my impression was that they were a lot of fussy old blokes squabbling over marginal things with utterly no idea of how to have an impact in the modern world. Snowsports Victoria still existed back then, but they were on their last legs and certainly didn't have the time or resources to lobby on behalf of back country skiers.

    So unlike 4WDers, mountain cattlemen, greenies, etc. who are effective at lobbying, hikers and XC skiers don't have an effective lobby, so they get no attention.
     
  15. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    You mean the black lesbian disabled protest theme puppet show operators ? ;-P
    They are to be feared. They have quite an inner city vegan type voting base :-0 even if they never go off track in the Terrible Hollow and do battle with blackberries and deer.
     
  16. Cam Slee

    Cam Slee One of Us

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    Sambar deer are easy to deal with....just shoot them.
     
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  17. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    True but those militant vegan protest street theatre wallahs are a protected species in voter land.
     
    #217 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Jun 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  18. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    "ancestral lands". Pardon? " ancient mountain cattlemen families?", "hundreds of years"? Sorry, Bogong, I have watched your informed posts for years and respected your offerings, research and opinions but this needs to be questioned, does it not? Two hundred years ago, there were no European families with farms in the mountains, certainly not in Victoria. Maybe the Henty family were hunting whales and aborigines in the Portland area. Melbourne was officially established in 1835. McMillan arrived 1838. A very small number of farming families later made a living on the fringes of the high country, for a short period. It's telling that they had to push their cattle into the mountains (crown land) because they could not survive on their own land. The Man from Snowy River is a movie based on a poem, based on a myth. We need to get real about Australian history and ditch the romantic notion of "ancient mountain cattlemen families".
     
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  19. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, fair enough, you got me there. I was typing in a hurry without my usual attention to detail and it looks like I just typed in a couple of standard phrases without thinking. I am totally and utterly sorry if I conveyed that idea. I'm certainly not contending that even the oldest mountain cattlemen families have anything remotely as close a connection to the land as the aborigines. Although, perhaps the older families that managed to keep leases in the same area for over 150 years developed a very slight ancestral connection with their land? (Possibly families like the Pendergasts fit that category?) That is probably how I should have put it. Sorry. :oops:
     
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  20. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok. You are the historian/researcher. We all appreciate your input. But high country history is much more complicated, as you have acknowledged. Families like Lovicks,Treasures etc have been living/ working up there for a long time but dates need to be realistic, not romantic.
     
    #219 chriscross, Jun 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  21. CaptainC

    CaptainC Addicted

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    Bogong is right about the squeaky wheel gets the oil. A couple of years ago I was on a Bushwalking Vic track clearing from Howqua River up Howitt spur. The ranger said that they get lots of complaints about horse riders about the tracks, but hardly any from bushwalkers.
     
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  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    That particular route is used by horsey people. I have seen horsey people leading a horse down off Summit west at Mt. Howitt . The horse was not keen :-0 but the horsey person had the bridle and was walking too and leading the horse down that initial steep and rocky bit.
     
  23. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Horses have no place up and down walking trails. They should totally separate except perhaps on a hardened metallised road. Ive witnessed terrible erosion On the AWT from Big Hill going up to Mt Howitt. IMO the damage was from hooves. It was like walking up a rock river - just not a natural one.

    If horses are regularly taken on walking tracks, they’ll never be fit for purpose. They should make their own ‘erosion paths‘ preferably in someone’s paddock. :rolleyes:
     
  24. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    When I was camping on the Bluff some years ago, 2 people with horses came through on the walking track from the North, seemed to think it was quite ok. I thought I was in the Alpine National Park, couldn't believe it.
     
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  25. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    C’mon get with program CC. Horses are iconic and historic symbols of the bush! :rolleyes::eek:
     
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  26. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I was bushwalking up that way about two summers back and there were people from "True Blu(sic) Trail rides" who are based in Merrijig taking people on horses along the track between Lovick's Hut, Mt. Lovick and The Bluff Hut. Then of course you have many big heavy duty 4 WD users driving along that route. Bushwalkers and BC XC tourers seem to be a minority in using that segment of the Alpine N.P. .
     
  27. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    PV should dust off their wallets post Covid 19 and cut a separate walking track along the ridge from Bluff Hut to the Signpost near King Billy 1. I’ve skied, walked and driven along this ‘road/track’ - it’s crazy to expect all to share. FFS! It’s not the AWT at that point but it deserves a decent walking track.

    we’re so tight and cheap in Vic!
     
  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    It was good to get off the 4 WD tracks on that hiking trip and head off from King Billy 1 and camp at the saddle near Hellfire Creek on the AAWT. The walking track from the Bluff Hut to the Bluff summit was quite overgrown. Finding the "track" off the escarpment was interesting and it was very steep to descend down towards Refrigerator Gap with a multi night pack on one's back.
     
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  29. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    That track on the way up in snow is a tad more challenging, I suggest. With a 2 night pack.
     
  30. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    it’s fun enough with just a big daypack. I love the Bluff - it feels much higher than it is. All that faulted, tilted Cliff. N stuff! :cool:
     
  31. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    ABC SouthEast Radio just ran a story on the creepy stalker, serial killer known as 'Button Man'.

    Hopefully, it's available for playback soon.

    I reckon the journo lurks around here. Good story though.
     
  32. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Addicted

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    hmmm...the 4WD crew do seem to be the common-denominator. Pun not intended. There is some overlap even with the solitary hunter and 4WD.
    Surely, the BC skier is waaay down the pecking order.
     
  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Most people have no idea that you can actually ski without access to a chair lift in a ski a resort . They don't get it and have never heard of the winter Olympic sport of Nordic skiing. Then again not many people go bushwalking that much anymore ...or do they ?