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Advice needed Areas in Kosci to practice with crampons and ice axe

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Melb_child, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Melb_child

    Melb_child First Runs

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    Hi all. I'm going to be spending some time in the Kosciuszko area over winter. A friend and I would like to find some slopes to practice our skills using crampons and ice axes. We can both competently self arrest - my friend has needed to arrest a real fall, but I haven't. We'd like some steeper and longer slopes to climb. Any ideas? Ideally something that doesn't need roped travel though this is something we would like to practice again once we are more confident.
     
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  2. Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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  3. Melb_child

    Melb_child First Runs

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    Thanks a lot! Everything I've seen about Blue lake is about ice climbing. Are there some gentle chutes to climb unroped as well? If anyone has pictures I would be really grateful!
     
  4. skifree

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

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    There are all over the place but very conditions dependent. There are small icey/snowy clifflettes on the East face of Tate for example. Nothing fancy or long but suitable for training. Likewise a couple of spots on The Paralyser.
     
  5. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Towers at Thredbo ;-)

    More seriously, there are some great slopes around blue lake that aren’t icy. Also out the back of Thredbo on way to north ramshead.
     
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  6. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just watch out for skiers!
     
  7. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    Club Lake would be good.
    The central chute (The Elevator Shaft) is now so popular with skiers and boarders and the top entrance is blind, so it’d unfortunately be best to avoid climbing up it but the terrain either side is steep with safe runouts.
    The Corrie and The Couloir at Leather Barrel Creek would be good too.
     
  8. SMSkier

    SMSkier One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did my training with Steve Bickerstaff on Tate... plenty good enough for crampon, ice picks, whippets, self arrest training. Pretty safe out there.

    Paralyser not a great spot. Don’t want all that picky stuff screwing up the runs LOL....
     
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  9. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just go out after a gale, polished ice as far as you can see
     
  10. Melb_child

    Melb_child First Runs

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    Thanks all for the tips. This is great, looks like there are plenty of places and hopefully more than enough room to avoid skiers. What is the etiquette in the situation we do come face to face with some skiers coming down? Stay still? Get out of the way? Wave our axes around madly?
     
  11. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Haha, just make sure they know you are there, though they should have a heightened sense of awareness anyway, its normal to scope a line before hitting it. Sound carries, most people should know whats going on. Maybe a woot woot as they blast past?
     
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  12. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Probably more a question of access, some areas are quick and easy to get to, some its a journey to get there.
     
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  13. Melb_child

    Melb_child First Runs

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    Right. I'm guessing places like club/blue lake are busier as they are closer. We are going to do some snow camping so we will try and get out further into the range. I've seen talk about Watsons Crags. Would this be a good area for climbing?
     
  14. skifree

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

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    Are a serious hike to get to in Winter.

    I would consider Watsons Crags as sketchy for what you want to do. And they are good hike to get to, not a day trip.
     
  15. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Location:
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    Watson’s Crags are excellent but can sometimes be icy and sketchy with high risk consequences if you fall.
    You just need to scope your line of adventure and know the snow or ice conditions
     
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  16. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sentinel would be awesome, and make for some great photos, just make a nice neat boot pack thanks!

    Id just head in from Guthega, plenty of places to play. Are you skiing, split, or shoes?
     
  17. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Watson could be daunting . Set up a good anchor. Rappel the line and ascend using 2 Micro Traxion devices. A Jumar ascender will suffice. You need to set up the ascenders using loops/ tethers so that you dont have to keep sliding them up by hand. Learnig good rope and belaying skills is advisable before you get to an adverse/ difficult situation.
     
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  18. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive boot packed up Stag once, Fk me it was one of the sketchier moments in my life, cresting out, but didn't want to go back down either by then. High five and woop rush at the top.

    Would have been a doddle with gear.
     
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  19. Melb_child

    Melb_child First Runs

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    Either skiing or snowshoes. My skiing isn't good enough for serious backcountry descents so it will depend on conditions etc.

    This sounds fun, maybe something for the end of the season. Might want to have someone more experienced take me out for this.
     
  20. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Maybe start off with the Club Lake area for snow climbing. There is also some easy slopes at Etheridge.
     
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  21. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    yeah they can be really dangerous in steep areas as they tomahawk past

     
  22. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've boot packed out to the Sentinel with an ice axe and some snowstakes as additional help. Were roped and pretty much swapped over lead with each rope length. Would also fit snow stakes every few metres. Was more technique training than serious climbing and wasn't on ice.
     
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  23. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Pleeeeease don't climb up the elevator - there are so many quieter, more sensible places to practice in the immediate vicinity.
     
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  24. Chaeron

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

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    Feathertop on your way through from Melbourne.
     
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  25. Arne

    Arne One of Us

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    South Ramshead for easy access from Dead Horse Gap.
     
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  26. Melb_child

    Melb_child First Runs

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    Thanks all for the useful information!
     
  27. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    agree, back of hotham or loch is very accessible too, less of a slog in if you pay the $50
     
  28. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    And of course there is buller west ridge which is entertaining
     
  29. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    kind of basically this - half the MR seems to be bulletproof ice most times I go out anyway!
     
  30. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Haha or rain-rime stalacmites
     
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  31. Chookfooter

    Chookfooter One of Us

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    Zalis after the snowboarders have got to it.
     
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  32. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    yeah geez the 2 times i skiied it it was polished concrete
     
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  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis Not your average unconventional eccentric. Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    There are chutes on Mt. Bogong for white season Mountaineering skill training. Ditto for Mt. Feathertop .Some other places such as the Eastern Chutes of The Cross Cut saw are a bit of a mission to get to .
    Avalanche risks need to be weighed up.
    If the slope is steeper than 25- 30 degrees then a slab avalanche can occur.
    Ice axe training can be done near the Big Dipper on The Razorback not far from The Great Alpine Road. I have taken people up above the tree line on the Eskdale spur in winter and done some self arrest drills with ice axes.
    Little Feathertop also offer some slopes to rehearse this skill .Plus you can camp near Federation hut.
     
  34. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    South East of Perisher yesterday. It's started