Bogong Access and related reports....

Ubiquitous Steve

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Team Bears got up to Michelle Hut via Eskdale....
Road to Camp Ck is in good condition...there has been road clearing/tree felling by side of this road ..most boulders are gone surface a bit slippery in spots but saw two wheel drive sedan in CCGap carpark...

The Team cut a few small logs of the track to Michelle and there are no logs to clamber over or squeeze under..

The point of operation was to cut some wood for the hut....now wood supply is very good.
we left candles,firelighters.dunny roll and matches in hut..

Thanks to couple coming back from CCHut for their help on sunday morning..

The track from Michelle Hut to Granite Flat spur(track around contour) has been recently cut by Parks so the numerous cut trees are not part of our operations...nearly all wood was sourced from fallen trees...also Parks have been wippersnipping around Michelle Hut

Hut has one small hatchet and two 21inch blade hand saws...
please take new baldes up there that is 21inch/ 533mm bush blades
an axe would be useful up there two split blocks up more easily
all wood is small enough to fit in wood stove(Necter)
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Well that is most gentlemanly of you!
that's cool...was nice up there T.Bears did a sleep over and were basking in the warmth of Nectre(wood stove)
water still available from water tank was good too....
must be temp inversions going on as sunday morning was very pleasant as we strolled around finding suitable fire wood for our saw to cut up...
left big log to sit on in front of stove and some blocks for seats too....

take care up there.... hope our contribution is useful for parties that are cold and physically spent....

tried to keep our footprint as low as possible visually..most wood from dead fallen over trees or those recently cut by Parks...

Nice views from Michelle Hut of Bogong Massive above but not much snow up there at all....:p
 

2nd_String_QB

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Has anyone experience with driving to Camp creek Gap in a 2WD after a snowfall? I've been in spring and it was easy on a dry road, but wonder if it's better to walk up from Mountain Creek Camp if the road is covered in snow, or after a few days of rain.
FWIW i'm heading up on or around the 29/30th if anyone is going to be there.
 

AndrewA

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Chains...

It can get pretty muddy and slippery.

I probs wouldn't try after a heavy snow fall. Years ago on the old track we only got about 1/2 way from Trappers Gap to CCG before we had to bail due to snow. Anything's better than the Staircase though!

A
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Road surface...more like a road now than a track....most boulders gone and surface well consolidated...will get greasy after snow and use of vehicles...with chains 2wd should be easy..many 4x4s about so if you got traction problems wont be to long before a 4x4 will give you a pull should conditions get dire..its very well packed down this forest road now...no longer any very steep pinches all even moderate grade....only after blizzard and snow to low altitude will this be a problem..many trees have been cut all along road so I suppose less chance of tree fall now blocking roadway....

do take chains always with 2wd vehicles....if forecast is for heavy snow during your stay then consider parking on last bit of road before it drops into low saddle there are plenty of wide sections now that you could leave your vehicle ...easier to force down hill thro snow than try to climb uphill in it..so maybe park on highest contour of road well to outside.and place note to say that you have chosen to leave vehicle right where you are so authorities know wos happening...:cool:
 

2nd_String_QB

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Great. Thanks for the info fellas.
Let's hope the next week or so brings some snow and all plans fall into place. Will post some pics if i do get up there.
 

Ziggy

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When used as a dirt traction aid chains trash the track.
Good way to get up ParksVic nose.
That happens often enough and the track will be gated for the winter.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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this access route has become very well used and is important for users of Bogong and the Alpine National Park

money should be spent to give this forest road lots of gravel and get it into the best usable condition...

Vic Tourism/DSE/Parks Vic/and Vic Roads need to work together to deliver on this....its only say 7km of forest rd and needs to be serviced better....most of work has been done already and good work too but I am sure this road should be kept in good condition given that it has tree/rock falls and snow from time to time...

there must be forum members with roading expertise that can say a few words on what could be achieved further here...

Parks Vic good at taking the easy options of closing tracks sometimes but this is not the solution for the year 2015!!!!!

This is not a road at an altitude that needs frequent snow clearing and should remain open and serviced by what ever agencies get the responsibility...
Further more T.Bears would like to see CCGap Carpark widened and improved for parking and some decent hard material put down there...not like Lake Mt but perhaps along lines of Mt St Gwinear.Carpark...:p
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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anybody heading up there please take a couple of 21inch bush blades along for this hut....or just bring another bigger saw as the 21in is only pretty small really...thanks:p
 

AndrewA

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Was thinking of taking a block splitter to leave at Michell's when I eventually get up there ( as if it's not enough carrying skis, snowshoes, crampons, shovel etc!). I've never found an axe particularly handy, esp as the edge is always as dull as dogshit. What are the thoughts?

As to the road, I agree that with the increased use it would be great if it was gravelled. There's a slightly steeper section a bit before CCG which gets very slippery after heavy rain ( really the only slightly tenuous section). I know that chains can chop up a road, Ziggy, but you don't put them on for fun. And, if the road isn't dealing with the traffic that goes through, then maybe Parks Vic might need to deal with it. I'm not so fussed about the CCG parking area. It's been more than adequate when I've been there. Maybe a coffee and donut stall up there that's open until midnight on Fridays would be good though....

Now just hoping for some decent snow, as I'd like a weekend up there during the school hols with daughter #3.

A
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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there is a small hatchet up at Mitchell Hut for splitting small blocks..we agree axe not much good for cutting but good for splitting....perhaps a small splitter would be useful...T Bears had their big axe for splitting but also as back up to hammer in plastic wedges when cutting larger trees across the trail on way up..we only carried sleeping bag and chocolate and something to boil cup of tea on wood stove so our load was minimal to allow for saw/petrol/oil etc..:love:

small echo chainsaw is very effective and does work in minutes not days...but now parties can have good fire and then could fossick outside with hand saws to cut a little more..
we were surprised that rainwater tank was running does it freeze in middle of winter or has it got insulation around it..certainly easy to obtain water this way rather than melting snow???
 

AndrewA

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Not aware of rain tank having insulation. Nor have I ever found it frozen - well at least not down to the tap!! (Maybe if they resigned it so the tap came out of the top....?!)

A
 

skifree

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It does not take much energy to keep rain water tanks free running if they have a lid.

It is usually the water in the tap and tap pipe that freezes to block the flow. A bit of warm / hot water poured over sometimes addresses this.

Smaller volumes like 44 gallon drums can freeze solid more readily.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Michelle Hut pretty good really ...those poor people from Nepal would think it was top class shelter
warmth,water.good light and even quality dunny...get the Parks to put some prayer wheels up there....
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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T.Bears did trip to Bivouc Hut on Staircase and with the help of a couple lads that were camped outside on their first trip
sorted out the wood supply..:p
there is one 30in hand saw but old axe has gone from up here...T.Bears cut a few seats from log outside and also used our axe to split some blocks..

please bring spare blades up here that is 30inch /762mm.. and a hatchet or little splitter would go down well too...
left some candles,firelighters ,dunny roll and matches..

ground very cold up there we think that winter will kick off soon with large snow falls...
water available from rainwater tank is good and it is still not frozen...

Nectre is your companion up there the sister to the one in Michelle Hut...and it puts out a fearsome amount of heat////

Track up has been well maintained by Parks Vic and is clear of all obstacles if carrying skiis vertically...vegetation has been cut well back from track by Parks too..

Weather over weekend was excellant but overnight temps plummeted probably to minus 5 approx...

thigh muscles stuffed after trip got big cramps on way home in front muscles of thigh and just above knees!! .car heater could not make much heat in the Ovens Valley/Kiewa Valley as we drove home cos air temp was freezing.

enjoy your stay and please bring up a new bush blade 30in/762mm...:thumbs:
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Recent trip on... weekend to Michells Hut

forest rd in from Trappers Gap free of all obstacles..Bears removed a problem log on side of roadway that was a nuisance after a dump of snow when you need lots of roadway...
there have been 3 recent tree falls over walking track: two are simple to negotiate but the one that occurred over this weekend is more of an issue with little branches and limbs giving grief..all of these obstacles are between Camp Ck and the little creek that is crossed after the contouring part of the track..
when time permits Team Bears will free up the more serious of these blockages and then concentrate on removing the fallen trees over the track as well..too windy and snowy to wave any chainsaw on sunday arvo...

so the 3 major problems all located about a 15min walk in from carpark....

forest road in very slippery and suggest winter tyres essential with 4x4s now;)
 

AndrewA

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Walked up Eskdale Friday night with daughter #3. Left block splitter outside Michell's on the way through ( apologies for any confusion for whoever was in the hut Fri night who found a block splitter on the verandah the next morning!). Water tank tap at Michell's was frozen when we went passed at 10pm. Miserable blowy night up at the junction with Granite Flat, waking to rain, cloud and wind on Saturday. Friday night's frozen crust had turned to wet deep porridge, so we bailed by early arvo. Water tap was fine on the way down.

Met Ubiquitous Steve on the way down, after he'd removed an irritating tangle of fallen gum from the track. Thank you Steve ( and also for the firewood stash you organised in Michell's).

Was thinking that a block of packing foam might easily be cut to fit over the tank tap, and reduce the chance of it freezing? It would also be great if anyone could leave matches/lighter etc at hut ( somehow my new lighter died, fortunately on the way down).

Looking fwd to actually skiing on next trip up there in a few wks!

A
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Team Bears came along on Saturday arvo and commenced work on obstacles in the first km of the walking track up to the end of the contour section with the creek crossing the track.

We gathered the weather was horrid up top from conversations with two couples coming down from Michell's Hut....

Spent night at Michell's Hut and tested AA's wood splitter...really good.. split up some big blocks so they fit into Nectre..did some more work on way back out..

Saw half dozen folk coming back from Cleve Cole Hut and they acknowledged that conditions were not good and snow condition had deteriorated...

A couple of guys were heading back to truck at Hollow Way(end of Granite Flat Spur) following the contour pathway from Eskdale Spur at Michelle Hut onto Lower Granite Flat Track so forest road obviously ok out to there from Camp Ck off shoot..:p
 

ladycamper

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Walked up Eskdale Friday night with daughter #3. Left block splitter outside Michell's on the way through ( apologies for any confusion for whoever was in the hut Fri night who found a block splitter on the verandah the next morning!). Water tank tap at Michell's was frozen when we went passed at 10pm. Miserable blowy night up at the junction with Granite Flat, waking to rain, cloud and wind on Saturday. Friday night's frozen crust had turned to wet deep porridge, so we bailed by early arvo. Water tap was fine on the way down.

Met Ubiquitous Steve on the way down, after he'd removed an irritating tangle of fallen gum from the track. Thank you Steve ( and also for the firewood stash you organised in Michell's).

Was thinking that a block of packing foam might easily be cut to fit over the tank tap, and reduce the chance of it freezing? It would also be great if anyone could leave matches/lighter etc at hut ( somehow my new lighter died, fortunately on the way down).

Looking fwd to actually skiing on next trip up there in a few wks!

A

When visiting a hut I'll look around at what's there and if there's not a working lighter or matches, leave one there, same with dunny roll though sometimes an old newspaper may be provided depending on availability, and candles. Old newspapers Ill usually leave too, and a small amount of fire starter block. Other times it's been tuna cans, pack of pasta but only if there's a cabinet that can withstand wildlife.

If there's a shellite bottle and I have extra fuel on the way out I may add some to it, helps those who are snowed in for days.

The huts on the mountain provide cosy shelter and redundancy in case of tent failure, bad weather, or tired travellers like me who usually hike alone where marginal weather increases the risk because-camping alone in a winter alpine location.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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some less than bright spark put plastic chair and candles/all matches/newspapers in toilet cubicle..and wrote on chair "leave no trace"....so I put all stuff back into the hut and wrote an entry in log book threatening them with grievous bodily harm!!

so there were no matches in hut but plenty in toilet..:(.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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any way Team Bears did have a good time and were happy to do a little track work on a weekend that was not great for skiing/boarding etc...
 
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AndrewA

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There is a certain irony to "leave no trace" within a mountain hut!!

Wish I'd thought to look in the toilet for some matches - we could have had a cup of tea/coffee for lunch. Bugger.

A
 
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some less than bright spark put plastic chair and candles/all matches/newspapers in toilet cubicle..and wrote on chair "leave no trace"....so I put all stuff back into the hut and wrote an entry in log book threatening them with grievous bodily harm!!

so there were no matches in hut but plenty in toilet..:(.

Please refrain from inflicting the pain of right wing eco religious beliefs on other parties...
hut was left tidy and had basics to enable some hypothermic sole to recover and to enjoy their stay...
Team Bears were just gob smacked by this persons actions...:mad:
Refrain from using huts but don't interfere with basic stuff just because it suits your ideology...
Sorry about this outburst but removing matches from this hut was such a bloody stupid idea....only a silly prick could fathom...:blb:

Long time lurker - new time poster. Sorry - I've been to Mich Hut lately and it was the messiest hut I've ever seen - no need for plastic chairs, paper, matches, melted wax every where. Most high country souls should know where to look for this stuff in a hut in an emergency. Good job I say! Seems more left (eco greeny rad action) than right to me.
 
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AndrewA

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The worst thing about Michell's is all the bloody graffiti on the walls, especially from the friggin Cottrell family. I can't understand why anyone feels the need to write all over a hut like that.

I'd visit it 3-4 times a year, and it's always been tidy, although I think people need to minimise food left behind, to keep our little furry friends outside in the cold.

A
 

ladycamper

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The worst thing about Michell's is all the bloody graffiti on the walls, especially from the friggin Cottrell family. I can't understand why anyone feels the need to write all over a hut like that.

I'd visit it 3-4 times a year, and it's always been tidy, although I think people need to minimise food left behind, to keep our little furry friends outside in the cold.

A

I can't feckin stand graffiti in huts.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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yea sure some of folk are very resourceful and don't need huts at all...

but I would hope that any new comer does not come across some of this right wing conso element on their first trip up there
cos truthfully they will probably think some mountaineers are a waste of space...

basic provisions are there for a safety measure...when somebody breaks/twists a leg up there and people are running around trying to provide assistance and recovery is not the time to be working out where matches are hidden or candles stashed...
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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LOLonce is saw one as I struggled on first day of trip past Grey Hill Café Hut...heavy pack soft snow middle of no where it was nice to see that somebody had left a trace.... a beautiful snow man outside of old hut..i felt really pleased and happy that somebody had been this way ...leave no trace is so much bullshit and some people need to grow out of this childish dogma.

but suppose likes of Sidetrack would have attacked it with his ice axe perhaps.....
 

AndrewA

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Great rant, Steve. Had me in involuntary hysterics!

PS if there'd been a rake at Michell's, we would have smoothed over our foot prints to leave the area without trace..oh.....except that there's this fucking hut there! And, given that that natural tangle of wood over the Eskdale track had been removed from the track by the time we made our way down, it would have been appreciated if you could also have removed the sawdust as well. Just saying....

A
 

surveyorcam

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Personally I was annoyed when they made the new road in there. All it has done is increase the number of people using the hut and the amount of graffiti by the look of it. It's been a while since I was there but I can't believe how much graffiti there is in that photo. It wasn't so long ago that the inside of that hut was almost spotless.
 

AndrewA

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I presume that the new road was put in to facilitate logging the area, given that all the areas along the side of the road are marked CC or TG1/2/3 etc. The old road was fun in it's own right.

Also noticed last weekend that someone had intelligently annotated the CCG log book with "penis" recurrently, for the party's name, destination, car rego etc, which presumably was the person in the Camry who had parked on the west side of CCG ( the other log entries matched the cars there, who had parked more intelligently on the normal east side of CCG) and really defines some of the coits who now access the area. So if "penis" had broken it's leg, S&R would have had nothing much to go on. Darwin's theory of evolution - perfect.
A
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Great rant, Steve. Had me in involuntary hysterics!

PS if there'd been a rake at Michell's, we would have smoothed over our foot prints to leave the area without trace..oh.....except that there's this ****ing hut there! And, given that that natural tangle of wood over the Eskdale track had been removed from the track by the time we made our way down, it would have been appreciated if you could also have removed the sawdust as well. Just saying....

A
yeah I am annoyed and dismayed that u guys missed a cup of tea

yes the graffiti is really horrible...when I put candles(tea lights ) back just below ceiling I found some charcoal that had been used for this graffiti and I removed them..

I wondering if any school groups are responsible for this and what careers were doing???

and also the reason I like wood cut up is that some parties shove huge bits of wood in Nectre and stuff up inside of fire bricks...

but I think new road is good and would like to see carpark get a descent gravel surface..

there are many that come and enjoy and use Michelle Hut and new comers should be encourgaged...
and they should be able to enjoy their stay..

well there is tank water there so maybe some could bring some sugar soap up and some rags....

yes the graffiti on my photos of the hut inside is disturbing and a sad reflection on our youths attitudes and values..those caught should be made to do track maintenance for fortnight over summer...:p
 
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ladycamper

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Hypothermic souls need to start a fire rapidly for recovery, and access a limited supply of basic provision if they are alone at the hut, and the combination of time left and the weather is that they are better off staying and leaving in the morning.

Hence the need for very limited non-perishable foods, matches/lighter, candles, fire lighter cube supply, dry kindling and wood, and a few newspapers or junk mail catalogs. And a small dunny roll I leave behind when going home.

Also that's captured in hut etiquette the unwritten rule that even if it's not overly wet, if you're able (eg not sick or getting in at nightfall) and conditions are not dangerous, you should add to the wood collection at the hut if using the wood stashed before you by others.

I do walks, snowshoeing and ski touring and most of its done alone.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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yes LC Team Bears are in total agreement,but unfortunately not everybody appreciates this view point..

some self sufficient smart asse will do them selves an injury and who ever that is on hand will go out to help putting their lives on the line and it will always be useful if as LC says you can utilize a hut and its warmth quickly...

helicoptors may not come....Mt Beauty cops will take maybe 2hours to get to Michelle Hut or more to make Cleve Cole...
 
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Kletterer

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I agree with your Hut ethics Steve but I think your reaction to Sidetrack was a little harsh. Im certain Sidetrack was not condoning the actions of said hut users and just pointing out a fact that all folks venturing out must be prepared . Take ample for your own needs and leave surplus. As for the chair. Not exactly rustic is it ? Forgetting about the modern era is an important part of the experience for some
 

ladycamper

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There are always under prepared and inexperienced campers. Like in a late March on the overland track, the Pom I met who was wearing running shoes. And the German guy with no stove who put cans of food in the hut stove each night.
 
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Wow Ubiquitous Steve - your response is what is way out of line. .... I for one do not want to see plastic chairs/petrochemical reminders of the world I am getting away from when I go BC, happy to sit on floor, benches or rustic hand made wooden seats like at CC. I always hike self sufficiently and don't rely on huts, matches or paper. These things are there if needed for emergency or a little luxury and the basics to save someone in trouble should always be neatly stashed somewhere in the hut. Most huts I have seen in the Viu HC have a little box or cupboard. No food available for rodents should be left, a few cans of basics do the trick. Get off your high horse and accept that not everyone has to think like you do.
 
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