Trip Report AAWT Trekking. Mt. Wills to Mt. Bogong... & back !. Nov.23-27th.2020

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Namaste`.
Your correspondent in the field went to do this exacting trek in perfect weather. Ms. Carola came along to see some terrain she had never seen before
( she has now become Bogong- ized !)
and get some mountain trekking match fitness back. We got the match fitness.... like it or not !
:-0.
Day 1. Monday Nov. 23rd 2020.
We drove up to Wodonga .We had lunch at Lake Hume and then drove onto Mitta Mitta and Lightning creek . Then we headed up to the Tallangatta Ski club lodge gate and parked there. After looking at the locked ski lodge , the old ski run and tow and the views from that area we trekked up the locked management track to the Mt. Wills hut. We elected to sleep in the hut that night and
get an early start the following morning for our hiking destination : Cleve Cole Hut via LONG SPUR.
AAWT= Australian Alps Walking Track.
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Day 2.
We could not get anyone else to come along for a 5 day trek from Monday to Friday and offer a car shuttle at Camp Creek Gap at the bottom of the Eskdale spur foot track or Granite Flat Spur car park or even at Mulhauser camp.
So I devised an itinerary that involved
retracing our steps all the way back to Mt. Wills :-0
where The Tee Mobile was parked.
The turning circle at the Mt. Wills car park looks like it has been graded and there are new locked gates and signs up there.
Carrying packs with 5 days worth of food was
somewhat demanding
, esp. for me because I eat like a horse and then I
burn it all off.
Sunrise at Mt. Wills 24/11/20
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Day 2 . Trekking down the steep track (AAWT)
from Mt. Wills to Big River Saddle , along Big River Log Rd. and Up , Up, Up the Long Spur 4 x4 track.
That section was taxing with some long steep sections that made the sight of the first picnic table and the sign marking the start of the foot route to Mt. Bogong a
very welcome sight indeed. We stopped, rested and ate lunch at that location. I am glad that Tuesday 24/11/20 was not hot at all.
@Ramshead , this is some of what you missed on your trip that led to you writing a book about the AAWT .
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Day 2.
The LONG SPUR foot track on the AAWT.
I should have carried
6 litres of water on the way there on day 2. This was an error I would not repeat on the way back.
. I now know that is not optional for this 20 km trek from Mt. Wills hut to Cleve Cole Hut.
3 Litres were
not enough and it impeded my performance and my confidence that I would reach CC Hut .I managed to sip 3 Litres with ORS sachets of electrolytes dissolved into my drinking bladder's contents
and made it last until we reached the T spur junction on the AAWT
where there is a reliable stream.
I was dehydrated and panting by that stage.
The Long and DRY spur is what it should be called.
There were many obstacles incl.
a lot of head high scrub to push through in sections, a quintillion fallen logs, black berries and some bits where the track seemed a tad unclear as a result.
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Day 2. The 2nd picnic table on Long Spur and trekking
onto CC Hut.
Bits of the bush were still charred from the bushfires in summer 2019-20.
Grovelling up Bosseide Hill was taxing esp.
after the day's solid effort thus far
but the lure of water and camping at CC hut kept us going.
We left Mt. Wills hut at 0730 and finally arrived at CC hut at 1800. We were totally
exhausted but we bl**dy did it !.
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chriscross

One of Us
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Jul 1, 2005
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Good effort T and Ms C. But a rather ambitious trek, may I say. Interesting to see patches of snow still on Bogong, or am I deceived?
 

chriscross

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The Foothills
Good effort T and Ms C. But a rather ambitious trek, may I say. Interesting to see patches of snow still on Bogong, or am I deceived?
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Good effort T and Ms C. But a rather ambitious trek, may I say. Interesting to see patches of snow still on Bogong, or am I deceived?
Yes both Mt. Nelse and Mt. Bogong had some small drifts on their eastern and Southern faces. An Ambitious and demanding trek , perhaps yes , but possible. Some mind over matter moments , some swearing and displays of tenacity took place but we did it ! Hut to Hut , both directions!. Not bad for a couple of middle aged bushwalking bums I must say!. Everything went right. No car trouble, no injuries, no loss of orientation ,no gear failure, no heat stroke or serious dehydration and the weather was fine all week.
 
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Ramshead

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Fantastic pics mate. Enjoyed slowly viewing each and every one of them. Very sorry I missed Long Spur but it was the proper thing to do given it was closed and I do not know the area. If I knew that area, maybe a different story. Anyway, one day... Meanwhile congrats on a tough but rewarding trip beautifully captured
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Day 3 . A day walk over the Mt. Bogong summit area and back including a sunset at CC hut. This half day walk was a pleasant excursion. Ms. Carola had never been to Mt. Bogong before and the Mountain was being hospitable for a change.
The afternoon gave us a chance to simply rest and reflect while chilling out at the campsite next to CC Hut. Being a member of the Mt. Bogong Club I took a look inside the members only locked storeroom at the club guitar. It is knackered and needs news strings. I will go back up in Jan. 2021 and restring it . I took my own travel guitar on this trek and played it that afternoon while we rested in preparation for the return 20 km trek that was awaiting us.

Some other friendly walkers came and went while we camped at CC hut for two nights . They were all doing the loop that includes Roper's Hut/ T spur/ CC Hut/ Summit/ Quartz Ridge/ Bogong Creek saddle/ Timm's spur/ Watchbed Creek.

None of them seemed to " enjoy " the T spur ascent!
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Day 4.
Cleve Cole Hut to Mt. Wills hut.
The whole thing again , but in reverse !!!.
Ms. Carola wanted to visit Howman's falls but I was not keen. Since I know the area I voted against such a side trip because we had a long ordeal in front of us. The trip along the Long Spur walking route was straightforward enough. We stopped at the Mulhauser spur track junction for lunch and perched ourselves on the picnic table . The ants still found my pack :-0 .
We met a tough bunch of female hikers from Melb. bushwalking club who were up to day 9 of 10 days of walking the entire Bogong Alpine area map. They had used a food drop at Mt Hotham and were given a lift to Mt . Wills once they popped out at Glen Wills near track 107 , descending the BHP from Kelly hut .
Impressive, fit and tough!.

Initially we had planned to camp at Big River Saddle. There was a good water point nearby but it was occupied by what we surmised as being nocturnal noisy booze addled rock ape, knuckle dragging bogan yobbos. They had set up a " we are here for the whole green season " type car camp. It had no shade and the afternoon sun and lower elevation made for a hot slab of down time. We decided to have a 2nd lunch , refill our water containers, take some pain killers/anti inflammatory pills and ORS and push on up the AAWT track back to Mt. Wills hut which is a winning location where only walkers can go.
I guessed the Big River Saddle denizens' nocturnal booze filled witty repartee would consist of yelling " You're a fu**en spanner " at each other all night , and then the 4 am call of " Oh Chooker you threw up in my sleeping bag again miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite!, you fu**en spanner!".
I thought David Attenborough could have made a documentary about it , not unlike the one about the Gorillas of Rwanda or something. Indeed verily Chooka's sleeping bag could have become the world's biggest air sickness bag being used at just 1185 M. ASL. Some sort of a world record one might think.


That was enough to make us break through the pain barrier in the humid afternoon heat and push up the terribly steep west facing AAWT track back to Mt. Wills hut .
In the end we were glad we did. We arrived at 1800 or just after feeling well beyond spent. Just ga ga..... totally knackered, almost delirious!. However we bloody did it , again!!!
That was really hard.
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Carola

Hard Yards
Aug 16, 2019
3
5
53
Fantastic pics mate. Enjoyed slowly viewing each and every one of them. Very sorry I missed Long Spur but it was the proper thing to do given it was closed and I do not know the area. If I knew that area, maybe a different story. Anyway, one day... Meanwhile congrats on a tough but rewarding trip beautifully captured
I enjoyed reading your book too, very inspiring making me want to hike more of the AAWT
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Day 4.
T spur/ Long Spur Junction to the end of The Long Spur foot route. I did not expect to see anyone else out on that route but there they were , looking as fresh as if it were day one. Some tough and experienced mountain trekkers for sure!

I am going get a lighter pack!. I am going to XC ski in Japan rather than bushwalk in our January heat and I am going to do many things .............once I finish this bleeding hike!
It turned out @Carola knew the Melbourne Bushwalkers walk leader from a previous trip.
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Day 4
The fire trail down to Big River Saddle was a chance to smash out some kms. Indeed I did. Ms. C. was slowing down at that point whereas I was low on energy after breakfast that day.
The blackberries at the bottom of the Mt. Wills AAWT ascent were a nuisance but with pants zipped back on we made light work of them.
We had a rest half way up that hill and then made the final and agonizing push onto the Mt. Wills hut. We arrived in a state of exhaustion and set up in the hut rather than using our tents. Hot tea and hot cous cous made a difference as did a change of clothes and a chance to flake out . The sunset was grand after
such a full on hike.
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Jul 29, 2015
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Day 5
The walk back to the car from Mt. Wills hut and the long drive home. We stopped at Mitta Mitta, Wodonga & Benalla and made it back to the evil empire despite some very risky driving displayed by many heavy articulated lorry drivers on the Hume Freeway.
That drive is always more dangerous than hiking , skiing or any other outdoor pursuit ever could be.
Our trail angels guarded us all the way home.

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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Great reading. I'm a little bit jelly.
Jelly knees just thinking of it or envious?. This is a hard walk either way. I am glad we did it but I am in no hurry to do it again. There are easier ways to reach Mt. Bogong and Mt. Wills can be visited another day if I am in the area, esp. without so much effort.
However I have now walked the AAWT terrain from The Twins to Mt. Wills.
Tick!
 

sn0wbunny29

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Jan 11, 2015
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Jelly knees just thinking of it or envious?. This is a hard walk either way. I am glad we did it but I am in no hurry to do it again. There are easier ways to reach Mt. Bogong and Mt. Wills can be visited another day if I am in the area, esp. without so much effort.
However I have now walked the AAWT terrain from The Twins to Mt. Wills.
Tick!
A bit of both. This year was supposed to be the year of the Tour du Mont Blanc and a return to the Himalayas for us so I've been doing some vicarious hiking.
 

plink01

Hard Yards
Jun 27, 2018
51
198
83
Awesome trip write up mate! I just bought a bunch of overnight hiking gear and I can't wait to head up and explore the Bogong region. Good inspiration, thanks for posting!
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Awesome trip write up mate! I just bought a bunch of overnight hiking gear and I can't wait to head up and explore the Bogong region. Good inspiration, thanks for posting!
The walk up from Big River Saddle to the Mt. Wills hut was BRUTAL. :-0.
I do not need to do that again!
Any questions about the many routes up to Mt. Bogong ? Just ask me.
I have done them all.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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A bit of both. This year was supposed to be the year of the Tour du Mont Blanc and a return to the Himalayas for us so I've been doing some vicarious hiking.
I want to get back to complete the Gangotri Glacier trek up to Shivling Base camp in N. India. The best trek I never did due to illness on day two of the expedition :-(.
 

plink01

Hard Yards
Jun 27, 2018
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198
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The walk up from Big River Saddle to the Mt. Wills hut was BRUTAL. :-0.
I do not need to do that again!
Any questions about the many routes up to Mt. Bogong ? Just ask me.
I have done them all.

Yup will do. Im going to start with some easier overnighters/2 nighters around Hotham region to get my head around my pack weight, what gear i need/don't need, how much food/water i need etc. Then once im comfortable ill ramp it up and start doing some harder stuff out Bogong way.
I've done a lot of hiking but always single day'rs camping out that back of the car.
Ill hit you up when I need some Bogong info, thanks mate!
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Nice pictures...a very scenic walk from Mt W to Mt B.
Hopefully some work gets initiated on Long Spur by folks of Cleve Cole /Bogong Club.
I have reported the condition of Long Spur foot route to Bushwalking Victoria. Some steps need to be put in where the steep eroded track is becoming treacherous , head high scrub needs to be slashed back properly , a quintillion logs need to be cut and the blackberries need to be banished!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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There is an old campsite on the upper section of the 4x4 Long Spur track....there used to be a sign indicating water in a gulley to the north....Team Leader remembers filling up with water from a small spring but it’s all overgrown.Its a flat grassy saddle .....last time Team Bears failed to refind this water course...the water needs to be found and a trail recut to it.:whistle::whistle::whistle::whistle:You need to study maps and walk in with a gps and a chainsaw !So this water source was located well along this route..
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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There is an old campsite on the upper section of the 4x4 Long Spur track....there used to be a sign indicating water in a gulley to the north....Team Leader remembers filling up with water from a small spring but it’s all overgrown.Its a flat grassy saddle .....last time Team Bears failed to refind this water course...the water needs to be found and a trail recut to it.:whistle::whistle::whistle::whistle:You need to study maps and walk in with a gps and a chainsaw !So this water source was located well along this route..
I would like to make a new sign for Mulhauser spur and one for this water source you allude to.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Feb 29, 2008
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It would be good if some gave consideration to clearing works along this route.Perhaps a Camp at Mulhe and some day trips out along Long Spur....so not going anywhere except out along the Ridgeline to cut the fallen rubbish.Have lunch at the picnic tables but take out saws and gear to clear this mess.

Team Bears have been hampered by drongo Dan!We will do some work there but not till later in the summer.
Work is being concentrated in the Keppels Complex first!

Mr T’s pictures show the beauty of this area.....but it needs constant work.
 

Xplora

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Jun 7, 2015
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Any questions about the many routes up to Mt. Bogong ? Just ask me.
I have done them all.
You have done all the popular routes but there are still 2 you have not done. Any guesses which one's they are? They would not be routes to recommend to someone starting out or those used to marked tracks and would possibly fall into your type 3 fun category.
Some erosion control is needed but any steps would have to be horse friendly as it is still accessed regularly by horse groups. The extent of the tree fall mentioned must be recent. I noticed a few trees last time but they were easy to get around for walkers. Horses would have a problem. The encroaching scrub is periodically maintained by the Bogong Club with permission from Parks Vic. There are some areas already noted as needing attention but for the most part it is not bad. The Long Spur provides some of the best views and best walking in the mountains but it is as the name suggests.
 
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