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AAWT 2023 ?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by DidSurfNowSki, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok, looking at @Ramshead's epic AAWT walk has me wondering if I could follow in his footsteps.

    Unfortunately, the northern part of the AAWT is closed and will be for some time:

    Bimberi Wilderness
    Locations of interest
    • Mt Bimberi
    • Cotter Hut
    • Australian Alps walking track
    Works to be complete
    • significant damage to tracks and safety concerns will see precinct substantially closed until works completed
    • restoration work required on Australian Alps walking track in collaborations with NSW and VIC
    • Orroral Valley Precinct work required to allow access to this precinct
    Status
    • CLOSED
    Note: Anticipated opening September 2023​

    https://www.environment.act.gov.au/...k/namadgi-national-park/namadgi-national-park

    So 3 years away.

    I broke my leg a year ago and it's still a work in progress to build up the klicks I can walk. I'm currently doing about 50km a week, it's been slow progress and in the back of my mind I wonder if the AAWT is even doable for me.



    My local stroll

    As some may be aware, when I put up something like this up on the forum, I generally follow through on it. Physically I might not be up to it ? I guess we'll see.

    Also, why am I looking at https://markoates.exposure.co/australian-alps-walking-track ?

    That would almost be as stupid as heli-skiing in Alaska as an intermediate, going on a around the world ski trip 6 months after breaking your leg or doing the State 8...
     
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  2. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    As I'm sure you're aware, it's therapeutic to set goals for the future when working one's way back from injury. But build up gradually, carefully. That entire track is a major undertaking. Maybe take it a few sections at a time? I haven't hiked the track, just minor pieces, although the first day from the South end is a big day.
    FYI, I had a femoris tendon to knee re-attachment about 5 years ago. Was fortunate to find a really good physio. I told him I wanted to ski in Japan the following northern Winter. He set me a gradual but intense program which I mostly followed. Skied Hakuba in 2016. Good luck.
     
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  3. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    When strolling up Bimberi, Kosci and Bogong quite a bit of it was on the AAWT. Also did the Mt Tennant climb many, many times. Lots of great hiking there.
     
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  4. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Maybe consider doing the best bits in Vic. .
    Start with Walhalla to Stronarch's camp. ( The Baw Baw area)
    Then do Mt.McDonald to Mt. Speculation.
    Then Mt. Hotham to Mt. Wills.
    Then rest and reflect on fitness, equipment, supply drops etc.
     
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  5. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    If one can do the Vic parts, the rest should follow reasonably well.
     
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  6. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Park and ride out to Yankee Hat car park. Hone your route finding and bush bashing skills ( made easier by the fire damage) . Slog up to Scabby and Kelly and Gundgenby or up around Mt Burbidge and Mt Namadgi. Use stealth.
     
  7. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Gudgenby is underrated. Just don't camp up top, I believe it's a sensitive site.
     
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  8. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    You forget I used to do that for a living...
    I wasn't always a fat cat public servant ;)
     
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  9. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Gudgenby looks great from the North. East side of Scabby looks good for some turns .
     
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  10. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    So what would need to be met for this to occur ?

    Me

    Work on my fitness
    Lose the weight (or lose the weight on the track)
    Be able to track up to 100km ./ week
    Build up strength on the left leg

    Time

    Plan on a 6-7 week slog. Sort out where to camp on the trail depending on how I'm travelling on the day which is totally different from how I normally micromanage these things. The trail will determine the pace.

    Dates

    If I'm skiing this... when there is snow.
    If I'm walking this... when there is reliable water

    Rest Days

    Would be in Hotham and Thredbo. Plan on some weather days.

    Food Drops

    Would need to be done beforehand when the roads are open.

    Navigation

    Would need to plot route beforehand, including where to find water and shelter. Would need a proper GPS and backup maps for this one.

    Gear

    If I'm skiing this, would need lighter AT boots.
    Would need a better tent.

    Trial Runs

    Do some of the Victorian legs beforehand to bed in gear.
    Maybe do Heinz's virtual Austrian ski tour for real.

    All of the the above seems doable, just need to commit.
     
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  11. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have the time
    And the flexibility to use the time
    And adjust as required.


    That’s my take after Cloudride.
    It’s kind of hard but if you don’t have anything else to do all you have to do is get up every morning and ride (walk). It’s quite liberating.
     
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  12. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also, practice doing things when exhausted, and it’s dark, and cold, and raining. This is a key for your equipment. Yes, it’s light, or tough, or whatever; but is it easy to use when you are fkn munted?
     
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  13. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Segments of the the AAWT in Vic. are tough enough in green season( e.g. Roper's hut to Cleve Cole hut). In White season they would be on the next level and then higher.
    Plenty of type 3 fun.
    :-0
    The Crosscut saw ( AAWT :Mt. Howitt to Mt. Speculation) in winter would be daunting in places with steep rocky sections covered in ice, cornices , high winds :-0 .
    Sections of the Vic. AAWT are often well below the average winter snow line such the dip between Mt. Erica/Mt. Talbot and Mt. St. Phillack on the Baw Baw plateau.
     
  14. malas1

    malas1 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Check beau miles on YouTube his run along some sections of it is instructive.
     
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  15. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yep. For me, the worst bits are in Vic. Lots of reasons to go home after wrestling with those sections. But then just as you say that you are done, some of the best bits pop up to keep you engaged and committed.

    Climberman nails it, it just makes life simple in so many ways. Get up, get going, camp, repeat. Very therapeutic.

    Three years should be ample to recuperate and build up to what you need to succeed.

    Go get it!
     
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  16. The Bluff

    The Bluff One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    the consistent snow covers in my earlier life doesn't seem to exist currently.
    a winter traverse with snow shoes not skis would be sensible.... but not romantic.
    The section of the track in Victoria with reliable snow are short ( like one to two days per region at best= 6days)...in NSW in a good year perhaps you could plant some skis around the Pilot and drop them off at Kiandra ( say 4-5 days)...
     
  17. The Bluff

    The Bluff One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Crosscut is probably the most exposed area on the track (dangerous only if you slip)..but..wait for bad weather to pass .... snow shoes (with the crampon teeth underneath) would be fine usually ( or at worst boots with instep crampons)
     
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  18. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, there would be more walking and carrying skis than skiing in many sections of the Vic. AAWT. The Baw Baws, Mt.Skene , Mt. Clear to King Billy, Parts of the Barry Mountains( e.g The Twins road), Mt.Hotham & The Bogong High Plains would have some skiing most winters.
    The suggestion of stashing ski gear with boots and ski poles at certain places makes a lot of sense. You could have slightly different BC XC ski gear for some different terrain.
     
  19. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Not suggesting people here are less experienced but there is also a wealth of experience and knowledge here http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=64 and they are also very free with the help. Having done the Crosscut in winter once and summer many more times I can attest to what has been said above. It is exposed but other than in bad weather it is one of the best bits and not that hard. Doing it in bad weather would be the biggest waste of great views anyway. Ropers to CC hut is simply a down hill, a river crossing and an up hill. Not much different in reverse. There will be lots of them before you get to this one so it will not be too difficult by then. A couple of hours up hill followed by a couple of weeks of the same. Doing this sort of stuff is more about mental conditioning than physical and just make sure you look after your feet. Whatever you wear on your feet must not cause rubs or blisters and test them out with a full back on lots of up and down over a couple of days.

    Just a suggestion, Glen Wills is about half way and there is a great guest house just off the track. He will take care of your food drop (post it if you like) if you stay there a night and rates are very good for AAWT people. You will even get a lift back up to the track. The youth hostel at Thredbo is AAWT friendly and I think the General at Hotham is also.
     
  20. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great feedback :thumbs:
     
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  21. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nah, if done in winter the AT gear is coming along too. I'd need the poles for the tent I've got in mind anyway.
     
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  22. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Went up once in the most incredible regrowth (early 90's, fire was in the 80's), could not see more than a few metres, really hard pushing up, but literally ran back down, you fell over, but the sapling prevented you from hitting the ground. When you came to a big fallen tree, you could run down it and just jump off, to be caught by the saplings. We were yelling to each other the whole way down, so as not to get separated too much. I love the top.

    @DidSurfNowSki just load up a pack, and do repeats of Stockyards, you will be either really fit or dead!
     
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  23. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Actually, when its open I would love to do Namadgi, we had a bit of a peak bagging thing going for a while, and I have climbed almost every peak in the range, including many unnamed ones, but never got around to Namadgi for some reason.
     
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  24. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah...nah...
     
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  25. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  26. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like your thinking.

    A winter ski traverse after all these fires would be a real psychological test of endurance if planning to carry skis the whole way.

    The Oates brothers footage highlighted just how tough it is carting skis on your back (or even on your feet), through dense regrowth and fallen timber.

    Snow shoes might be a wiser option for the lower heavily treed sections.
     
  27. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would do the walk in the middle of summer in hiking boots before using snow shoes.
    #realfriendsdontletfriendssnowshoe
     
  28. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I suggest employing @ecowain as a sherpa, then you can take whatever you like!
     
  29. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    My mighty thighs are smashed from Saturday, I had to work all yesterday (which involves squats) so today is my rest day. Plans to ride 60-70k tomorrow, might take a bit to warm up!

    The mental side of adventure is pretty important IMO. Being able to push through pain and manage energy, function without any at times. But to be able to do so in a manner that doesn't actually kill you. A friend (some on here know him) paddle around OZ in his kayak, I knew he would make it. Four or five people have had a go since, and he knew they would not make it. Nothing physical about it, he said they didn't have the head space.

    How do you work on that head space? Maybe you just have to be born with it?

    Being physically prepared is only part, an important part, but a part.

    I tend to be more mentally prepared, and just hope I don't need a hospital after.
     
  30. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    ....and take a chainsaw to clear the track for my winter traverse.
     
  31. skifree

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

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    So my first overnight wander was Howitt to Hotham over a week.

    I then visited the AAWT each summer for a week or so and ended up doing Walhalla to Bogong all beit in 1 week blocks. Some sections such as Howitt area have been re-visited. I was planning to do Bogong heading North but the area was closed that Summer due to fire risk. So I went to Tas for the Summer for a wander and have not stopped doing that. So I've never got back to finish any other AAWT sections.

    Mate of mine did Hotham to Speculation in Winter with skis. Used then for the first day then carried them the rest of the way. It rained pretty much every day on him while carrying the skis. He met us at Speculation (we had driven into Lake Cobbler) within an hour of the pre-agreed time. And then we spent a week going out to Vallejo Gantner and back. During this week we had plenty of snow to fool about on, some of it super smooth silky power. Lottsa sluffing and spooky stuff. This is the trip I got separated from the other 2 blokes and well, that's all another story which is buried in the forum somewhere.

    If you have to do Winter with skis I'd use some 160s, the shorter the better and probably have them as part of the food drop at maybe Mt Skene if the Winter was a good one, or Vallejo Gantner if poor or even South of Hotham.
     
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  32. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did you know Blizzard make the 0Gs in a length of 164cm ???
     
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  33. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Some people are. I wasn't. Always a middle distance runner from primary school age to end of high school then life took over. Still maintained some middle distance off and on but it was not until I had a complete life changing event when absolutely everything in my life changed for the worse (at the time) that I threw myself into the long distance. Sunday would be a four hour run through Glenbrook NP. It all started with a recovery from a serious motorcycle crash. The best marathon runners are usually older. I was not one of them but I was older.
     
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  34. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wasn't born with it.

    I've failed at so many things in my lifetime but have succeeded way beyond far more qualified people.

    Explain that one to me ???
     
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  35. skifree

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

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    160 is a standard length for a lot of the super lightweight randonee race skis.
     
  36. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Wanting it more. Watch the movie Gattaca. One motivation for me was when somebody told me I couldn't do it or was too dumb to do it or wasn't capable of doing it.
     
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  37. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Harhar.

    I'll carry DSNS' emotional baggage. But not carrying actual stuff. Who do you think i am?

    Actually, I could get the toddlers to carry things.
     
  38. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Zero G race in a 161cm.
     
  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Maybe get the team leader @Ubiquitous Steve on an hourly rate to work like ten men to clear the worst bits? .He is very thorough.
     
  40. elray

    elray Hard Yards

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    I have done Walhalla to Mt Bogon in winter. I had snow shoes for Bawbaw and picked up skis at Hotham. Found this was a good compromise. There is a lot of walking before you get good snow. Still planing on completing but not this season.
     
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  41. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh wow, the AAWT is now on Guthook :)

    It's downloaded on the phone, time to start daydreaming :)
     
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  42. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    That section of the AAWT from Stronarch's camp to Mt. Skene looks terribly over grown and a lot of work for little reward. I would be inclined to skip that bit. At present If given a choice between completing that segment and staying in lockdown then I would be covered in leeches and blackberry bushes now.
     
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  43. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lockdown Mk 3 would seem a doddle compared with battling leeches, blackberries, fallen timber and swollen rivers. This is why it's important to walk these sections :)
     
  44. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tackling the whole track in one go has always been in the back of my mind since first attempting the Howitt-Hotham section in 1979 as a teenager (we had to bail due to lack of water). Like others, have walked sections over the years but never the whole lot. As I'm not getting any younger, your post and this bloody Covid situation has me thinking about it again. Who knows, if I come out of this without a job then I might see you out there
     
  45. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Count me in !!!
     
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  46. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't forget the mosqitoes! And occasional tiger snake, if summer.
     
  47. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    i recall a group being so tormented by the mozzies on the southern sections that they elected to carry water up hills and camp on ridges away from the blighters
     
  48. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I now approach many prolonged outdoor things with the following rule (not mine)...
    Cold, wet, dark ...choose any two.
    I figure if you put any decision through that filter it is a simple way of making safe decisions.
     
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  49. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Doing any distance in Oz making friends with the dark is the start - I’ve never minded walking or skiing at night and in Oz especially with the heat in summer being relaxed about either starting early or finishing later just opens things up.

    Navigating by GPS in the dark in unfamiliar country has its moments, but setting parameters one is comfortable with and knowing when you’re OK to continue and when it’s best to stop is a big step forward.
     
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  50. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
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    Canberra, ACT
    Not on this track, but on the walk up Bartle Frere was so good before dawn. There was a colony of bats using the trail as a killing zone as they ate the insects for breakfast. Was a sight to behold.
     
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