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Question Blair’s Hut to Tawonga Huts

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Total Whiteout, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Planning two nights out with my Dad and a mate in the area between Hotham and Falls.

    Anyone have any tips or advice on walking from Blair’s Hut up to Weston’s and then on to Tawonga Huts?

    Looks pretty steep but doable.

    Has anyone walked this section?
    Is the track easy to find?
     
  2. Chaeron

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

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    Did it 2 seasons back. Track’s very easy to find. Lovely walk. Westons is in mint condition. Pole track between Westons up to Pole 333 and then on to Tawonga huts.

    You could car loop - one car at The West Kiewa horse yards, another at Turnback Creek on the FC road or more easily at Pretty Valley.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Boodwah

    Boodwah A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Track is not very well kept and overgrown down low. There’s only one direction really though, and that’s UP.
    Still, you’re probably better adding a couple of km and going up the well kept and more scenic track up Basalt Temple, there’ll be less swearing involved. Blair’s hut is pretty run down, but westons almost new.
     
  4. Boodwah

    Boodwah A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mine was more like 4 years back so @Chaeron more recent
     
  5. Chaeron

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

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    +1

    Basalt Temple route is definitely more scenic, plus one can pop in at Dibbins which is a treat...

    Westons is lovely though - a nice destination out of FC on snow.
     
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  6. Chaeron

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

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    The track may have received a bit of recent attention but @Boodwah ’s comment on up only, and limited views compared to Basalt route still hold imo.

    Spectacular Feathertop views even better from Basalt track than compared to Westons.

    If coming up from there one would overnight at Towonga huts which is generally very busy this time of year.

    Westons will be quiet - you’re likely to have it to yourselves.
     
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  7. Chaeron

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

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  8. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Dad is writing a book on Bill Spargo so we’re gonna spend a bit of time poking around Red Robin and One Alone mines.

    I’m thinking the following route:

    Day 1: Loch Car Park to Red Robin then down to Blair’s, up to Weston‘s and potentially on to Tawonga Huts

    Day 2: Tawonga Huts down past Mt Jim and down to Young’s Hut

    Day 3: Young’s Hut then back to Basalt Temple then back to Loch Car Park via Dibbin’s.
     
  9. Chaeron

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

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    Nice. Then you might consider Paling Spur & up to Hotham via Spargo’s hut and then Derricks hut from Youngs. Paling Spur has recently been cleared somewhat...finding the top of Paling Spur is not too difficult if one is careful.
     
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  10. Boodwah

    Boodwah A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perfect.
    Have to say Young’s is my favorite hut on BHPs, so cute and isolated, there’s also a few ancient snow gums in that area that are always an epiphany for me.
     
  11. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Steep is all relative to how fit you are, how much you carry and how fast you want to be. I like the climb up from Blairs to Westons but you may encounter the odd horse group. Westons does not have much of an area for tents but there is water. Tawonga Huts will cost you about 45 min (could be an hour for some) from pole 333 and about the same from Cobungra Gap track to Youngs. All worthwhile if you have the time and don't mind the extra climb back up but Tawonga Huts will have more people. Seems like lots of horse groups using Youngs now also and they have been tying up at the tree just near the hut. That makes for flies and a bit of stink. The hut is still in good nick (there recently). Horses are prohibited on the Cobungra Gap track. Paling spur doesn't need markers once on it but can be tricky to find the start as mentioned. It is a nice alternative but you should only go if you have good nav skills as there are no markers to it either. Certainly fewer people there and the campsite at the Cobungra is very good. You can head up Swindlers Creek from there also which is difficult for the first half km or so because of the big grass tufts (the track on the side of the hill is not much better) then you get onto a good single track that follows above the creek. A marker tree is down at one point where you come off the track and onto the creek flat near a big bend in the creek. The track goes straight ahead, across the creek and up. You can divert to Dibbins but you lose all the altitude you gained. Spargos hut sounds like another good alternative and certainly in keeping with the gold mining theme. I would suspect it may be on the itinerary already as a day walk.

    If you walking companions are older gentlemen who are not so agile and fit then you may want to cut back on each day but your plan has those options built in as your route has many good spots to stop. Blairs is a great place to camp (outside) if you run out of time to do the climb and you may even see Platypus in the river. You will still have some climbing to do once past Westons to get to pole 333 but it does get easier. Come back with a bit info regarding experience and fitness and we can be of more help.
     
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  12. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Thanks everyone,

    Good advice. Plenty of different fall back options built into this plan.

    Have been to Spargo’s Hut many, many times (Dad had it put on the historic buildings register in ‘88) and have also been to Blair’s before (via Diamantina Spur).

    We’ll see how we go!
     
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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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    I walked the whole Dibbins hut/ Basalt Temple / Pole 267/Pole 333/ Weston's hut/ Blair's hut / Dibbin's hut loop as a day walk in summer 2018-19. I was camping at Dibbin's hut. The track from Pole 333 down to Weston's hut was basically clear and had been slashed back and fallen logs had been cut too. The track down to Blair's hut was not too bad in terms of overgrown scrub. The track down to Blair's hut is steep but it is tougher going up it .There is good water at Blair's hut and at Weston's hut. There is no pit loo at Weston's hut.
    I was walking the whole Paling spur/ Pole 267/ Dibbin's hut route in summer 2018-19. I went out to Young's hut in Dec. 2019 amidst much bushfire smoke which was ominous .Ask me anything BHP related . I will try to answer as best as I can.

    I still plan to walk from Mt. Hotham Airport down to the Cobungra River/up to Charlie McNamara's hut and over Young's top to Young's SEC hut.
     
  14. it123

    it123 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Apparently Bill had the hots for my Grandma back in the day. She was born in a tent at Sunnyside. Her family ran a general store in Sunnyside, moved to Tallangatta, then had to relocate when they flooded it.
     
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  15. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Who was your grandma?

    We ended up only making it to Weston's Hut on the first night and then went to Tawonga Huts for lunch as a side trip on Day 2 before heading over to Young's.

    Had a good hour of rain and hail before we got to Young's and then it rained very heavily most of the night after a brief break in the weather - just enough time to source and cut a bit of wood for the wood pile!
     
  16. it123

    it123 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Elsie McKenzie, Not sure of her parents name, had a brother Alfred.
     
  17. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Was she in this picture? Taken 1904.


     
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  18. neilmny

    neilmny One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Crikey I hope that is a school group xplora :eek:
     
  19. it123

    it123 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry Xplora, got the story wrong. She was born in Sunnyside in 1901, so not in the photo. Moved to Tallangatta around 1910. Was friends will Bill though, as my dad remembers him visiting them in Preston many years later. He remembers Bill had a hole in his head. Not sure what dad meant by that, and his memory is going now.
     
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  20. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    We are reading a book just now about all the Victorian ghost towns but I found that pic online. Sunnyside had 3 cordial factories and probably because there were so many kids. The cemetery at Glen Wills is a sad read with many more children dying on the gold field than miners. Your Grandmother would have been a tough one. It was a hard place to live in winter. She would have been at the school at some stage and I would say there must be more photos around of later years. I will keep an eye out.
     
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  21. it123

    it123 Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    I remember her talking about shaping skis, in the chimney, and nail last years boots to them, to travel in winter. Yes, goldfield cemeteries can be a hard read. Blackwood Vic. has a grave stone for "Little Dot" Aged 8 that is it.
     
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  22. Chaeron

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

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    Saw your woodpile in the hut and annotation in the logbook. We had snow overnight on Friday. Somewhat chilly overnight.
     
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