Crosscut Saw

Discussion in 'Backcountry Trip Reports' started by chokenchickin, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    Had a quick trip to the Crosscut Saw via Lake Cobbler. Started walking a 430am, got to the end of the Speculation road by 830am and quickly set up camp. Organized the day pack, then headed on my way.

    View to Bogong/Hotham from Speculation.

    The way ahead along the Crosscut.

    Cobbler, Koonika, and Speculation.


    Crosscut and Howitt West Peak.


    Looking towards Speculation.

    About 30 years ago I saw a poster of the Crosscut Saw in a National Parks building. The poster displayed a fantastic looking gully. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to get out here in winter.



    Crosscut looking South.

    The final climb back up to Speculation nearly destroyed me, but I got a nice sunset out of it.

    After the sunset I ripped the skins off my skis for what I thought would be the last time of the day. Put my headlamp on and got some nice turns down Speculation towards camp. At this stage I was completely tired and stupid. In the morning I deliberately set the tent up on the Speculation Road so that I could easily find it if I got back after dark. I thought that I had over-skied the road, so I got out the gps. The waypoint I marked for the camp had an elevation higher that what I currently was. So the climbing skins went back on. Ten more minutes later of walking around in circles I realized that perhaps the waypoint height was not correct. This ended up being the case, so I continued down hill and hit my camp site on the road. Crawled into my tent and enjoyed my few nips of Vodka. The only other unnecessary item I brought along was the camera. At that stage I would have had no problem swapping that for a cold beer.

    The wind was forecast to pick up, so the following morning I made my way back to Lake Cobbler to hopefully drive out before any tree falls.


    It would have been much nicer to do this trip over several nights instead of just one, but unfortunately any time I have allocated time off to do this trip the weather or amount of snow has been no good.
     
    Zeroz, teletubby, telecrag and 45 others like this.
  2. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    951
  3. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    53,564
    Likes Received:
    19,016
    Awesome
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  4. Timmossy

    Timmossy Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    212
    Legend.
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  5. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    19,347
    Likes Received:
    10,413
    bloody good effort that. I struggled to make buggery on foot after driving to specuation.
     
    Majikthise and chokenchickin like this.
  6. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    15,351
    Likes Received:
    6,019
    Awesome! I remember that poster too.....and i havent made in winter either
     
    whether and chokenchickin like this.
  7. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    13,263
    Likes Received:
    17,781
    Most excellent.
    You idiot, single malt, not vodka.
    Otherwise perfect stupidity.
     
    Ziggy, piolet, NewTurns and 3 others like this.
  8. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    The Settlers Tavern in Tawonga South still have one on their wall. Its been doing my head in for years...
     
  9. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    Cannot argue with that.
     
  10. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    Only having a day pack on for half the day really helped. Believe it or not, the north side of Buggery still had a complete cover of snow to skin up.
     
  11. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    843
    I understand now why you ski on your own mostly. Have done the Crosscut in winter from the other end. It is pretty awesome country. Not much snow on Spec road? If any there then it will be gone shortly.
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  12. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,694
    Likes Received:
    4,653
    Bloody good effort!
    Spectacular country, hard work.
    I still have that poster somewhere too
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  13. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
    Moderator Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1970
    Messages:
    28,698
    Likes Received:
    10,708
    That poster has a lot to answer for..
     
  14. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    168
    Skied to Crosscut Saw about 30 yrs ago from the Bluff and back , 5 days ,camped on Howitt , pre skins using Karhu XCD GT skis , hardest trip I have ever done for the distance covered.
    Last summer went by mtbike to Cobbler + base of Speculation , that would be a long walk, 4hrs well done.
    Great minds think alike =I was inspired by that poster which I have framed somewhere.
    There was an article in Wild magazine about that time about skiing one of the east facing gullys Michael Hampton + someone else?
     
    chokenchickin, mattyv and Bogong like this.
  15. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2000
    Messages:
    13,296
    Likes Received:
    424
    Is this on your own ?
     
  16. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    168
    No went with a friend. I went several trips when I was young by myself including to ski Tombstone gully at Bogong in perfect weather = must have been mad.
    wouldnt do it these days even with plbs [personal locator beacon ]and mobile phones .
    BTW an elderly woman last Friday at Charlotte's who went touring by herself would have died if she wasnt found by using her plb, was in one of the old concrete pillboxes near restaurant left from the chairlift.
     
    NewTurns and Chaeron like this.
  17. mattyv

    mattyv Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    157
    I remember the Wild article, it looked amazing and also very inspiring.
     
    NewTurns and chokenchickin like this.
  18. mattyv

    mattyv Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    157
    Big ups to you chokenchickin, looks like you've enjoyed a great season to date :emoji_clap:
    Let me know if you want company for something a bit less arduous.
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  19. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,137
    Likes Received:
    2,512
  20. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,589
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Brilliant. I remember that poster too, powerful and clearly inspiring image.
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  21. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    If we are lucky enough to have another season as good as this one, it would be great to spend some time around Howitt. I remember you mentioning there is good skiing off the Howitt West Peak. So much country to explore....
     
  22. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    I enjoyed our Feathertop trip a couple of springs back. This spring looks like it might even go a bit longer.
     
  23. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    Awesome work for a day trip, that ski will be etched into your memory for eternity. Brilliant stuff.

    My memory of skiing that same Gully 25odd years ago is right up there as my best ever day on skis.
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  24. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    the terrain, the solitude, love it. Great photos @chokenchickin thanks for posting
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  25. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    168
    Yep I remember good skiing off Howitt , Mt Lovick and of course easy stuff off the back of the Bluff area.
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  26. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    You Sir are a total legend!!! :).Thanks for the report and the adventure shared by way of photos.
     
    chokenchickin and snowgum like this.
  27. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    2,667
    Likes Received:
    564
    Great shots CC - very jealous. Great weather too.

    Was the snow on the CCW gullies nice to ski on? It certainly looks on the pics!!
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  28. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    The snow ended up being nice to ski on, and still really firm in the shade. I was a bit concerned earlier on in the day that it would warm up too much and produce some wet slides. It looked as though there had been lots of rollerballing action and wet slides on previous days. Climbing out of the gully was fairly easy with crampons on, as i was able to walk straight up a frozen up slide path.
     
  29. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us
    Ski Pass - 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    3,168
    You crazy mang. Get some time off and get back out there. Lots of terrain, could set up shop for a while.

    Still think cobbler was the best way in? Much chance of covering any of that distance on a mtb? If I wait a couple weeks might be snow in the gullies still, but could ride in via snowy plains.
     
  30. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us
    Ski Pass - 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    3,168
    LOL
     
  31. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    I am considering going up to Mac. Springs next white season in 2019 but coming in from the Snowy Plains and towing a sled while on skis with snow shoes and micro spikes as back up.. I left a food drop near the Bluff hut in June 2018 but I did not manage to make it up there this white season.
    I would be happy just to drive into Lake Cobbler from Whitfield and maybe do a L O N G day trip to Mt. Spec. and back in the snow. If the snow has dumped down low then one could ski up to Mt. Spec. from or above Lake Cobbler. That would have to be quicker than walking !
     
  32. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    23,140
    Likes Received:
    15,910
    Wild applaus from my couch
     
    hongomania and chokenchickin like this.
  33. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    70,663
    Likes Received:
    30,331
    I rode a mate's eMTB a week or so ago, could be an epic tool for long approaches.
     
    hongomania likes this.
  34. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    Agree that would be the way to go. Get out there for a good block of time, relax, and take it all in.
    I had 6 days off in early August dedicated to doing this, but we got a huge blizzard at this time. I headed to Bogong instead for some safer tree skiing. @CarveMan , the eMTB would be great in spring maybe. I encountered snow after about 4km on my approach via Lake Cobbler. So the eMTB would not have helped too much on this trip. I noticed a trail bike had got around the gate and ripped up the snow for a couple of km's.
     
    hongomania and CarveMan like this.
  35. chokenchickin

    chokenchickin One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    647
    A well worthwhile trip. The view from Speculation is incredible. There is some nice easy skiing back down to the Speculation Rd, or some steeper stuff to the South.
     
  36. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    168
    Agree the drive into Cobbler via Rose river is easy .
    Cobbler isnt that high about 1100 m then trip to Speculation would be good .
     
    chokenchickin likes this.
  37. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    843
    I've gone in from the North and South a number of times, mostly summer but a couple in winter. The northern access to Spec is much quicker in winter. Coming in from the south will take a day and a half for some to get to Mac Springs at least. Came across one bloke in spring who took an MTB and ended up walking with it mostly along Spec road but that was before the road had been done up. With good snow you could head up to Koonika and then across to Spec, thus cutting off a chunck of the Spec road.
     
    hongomania and chokenchickin like this.
  38. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    Choken Chicken , this white season you have been skiing at Mt. Wills, Long Spur /T Spur /Mt.Bogong and The Cross Cut Saw. You are kicking goals comrade!
     
    chokenchickin and Bogong like this.
  39. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes Received:
    423
    If he's looking for more non standard ski areas with fairly reliable snow, there's still Long Plain - Mt Reynard, Mt Pinnibar and maybe even Mt Skene.

    But I'm full of admiration for anyone who has skied The Saw, the nearest I've got to there in the snow is Mac Springs and Mt Howitt. Well done choking chook-footer!
     
  40. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    I will scout out Mt. Reynard and Kelly's hut this summer. Mt. Skene also looks interesting. How far in can you get the jalopy in winter from Jamieson?. I will drive that route this summer from Jamieson to Licola and scout that out too.
    I am hoping to just make it to Mt. Speculation or Mac. Springs/ Mt. Howitt in the next white season. I don't have the skiing skills, Alpine touring ski kit or the gonads to try Skiing the Cross Cut Saw !!. Even in snow shoes with an ice axe in good weather I would be very cautious trying to get out on the Cross Cut Saw in white season.
     
  41. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    Jamieson - Licola rd over Mt Skene requires a permit for winter access;

    https://4wdvictoria.org.au/index./resources/track-permits/25-mt-skene-seasonal-road
     
  42. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    Hi, Yes I know but the gate is locked how far from Mt. Skene on the Jamieson side? Jamieson Ski Club had a hut up there until it was toasted in a bush fire. In good snow cover you could set up a snow tent and just cruise about making fresh tracks. It would be very peaceful, fun and serene.
     
  43. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    I’m not sure where the gates are, I haven’t been there since the permit system and gates were introduced.
     
  44. Ziggy

    Ziggy Renormed
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    8,323
    Likes Received:
    2,678
    My will instructs my executor to scatter my ashes on Speculation.
     
  45. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes Received:
    423
    Be careful which way the wind is blowing when they are scattered. If the ashes blew over to The Devils Staircase or towards Hells Window, it might be seen as a bad omen about your afterlife. Sadly Heavenly Valley is just too far away for the ashes to blow there. :angel:
     
  46. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    70,663
    Likes Received:
    30,331
    What about Buggery? :out:
     
    teletubby, piolet, skifree and 2 others like this.
  47. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    Definitely don’t want them settling on Mt Despair
     
    Ziggy and Tanuki like this.
  48. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes Received:
    423
    Now I'm no expert on theology, but It's my understanding that some rather conservative Christian sects believe that committing Buggery in this life will have you descending The Devils Staircase in the after life?

    When I first visited that area as a teenager, I was convinced that that whoever the first explorer of the area was, he must have been having a rotten day when he named Mt Despair, Mt Thorn, Mt Buggery, Hellfire Creek, Horrible Gap, The Devils Staircase, Hells Window, The Terrible Hollow, etc. Indeed, the rather ambivalent sounding Mt Speculation is almost upbeat by comparison.

    But it turns out these landmarks were named by different people, decades apart. It's just a coincidence that they're all so amusingly negative.
     
    Boodwah, piolet, mr and 3 others like this.
  49. Ian

    Ian Hard Yards
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    200
    Wouldn't have believed that to be possible...
     
  50. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us
    Ski Pass - 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    3,168
    @chokenchickin do you think there will be enough snow left from the 21st - 28th september to make a trip worthwhile?