Trip Report Eagle Peaks & Mt.McDonald(AAWT).Day Hikes.14-16/12/20

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Your correspondent in the field has just come back from bushwalking in The Buller/ Howitt map area.
Ms. Carola & I walked up The Eagle Peaks(1445 M.) from 8 Mile gap on Monday afternoon, after the long drive from Melbourne.( 14/12/20).It was very scenic indeed. However that was HOT and steep slippery work what with starting at 1320 . The hottest time of the day. :-0.
The March flies were horrendous :-(.
I should have worn long pants. My legs really copped it from those insects, bushes and all that pollen.
Bushwalking Vic. need to clear that track.


Day 2. 15th Dec. 2020. We started walking at 0705 up, up , up , up , up the evil NOBS TRACK, having parked the Tee mobile at the very bottom of the nearly vertical 2 km grind up to meet the AAWT. We hit the AAWT and headed up , up , up towards the summit of Mt. McDonald.
We got about 885 m. short of the true summit of Mt. McDonald( according to the GPS) before we said " Far canal !, F**k it, it is too hot and we might run out of water on the return trip " (when walking back down to the car in the Clear Creek/ Upper Jamieson valley) .
We sat down in the shade at approximately 11 am and ate lunch , enjoyed the grand stand views of Mt . Buller, The Bluff, The Eagle Peaks and Mt . Clear and then headed back. The descent down the Nobs 4 WD track was hideously steep and slippery. It was not fun :-(
. I think it may have traumatized Ms. C. who thought car camping and day hikes with day packs was going to be relaxing.
We did not see anyone else all day on 15/12/20.


I will probably give it another go in Late October next year when the heat and insects are not so vexing.
The route out of the overgrown scrub and into the scree, snow gums,
rocks and so on is not 100 % obvious and somewhat slow going but it is marked with AAWT yellow arrows here and there and with cairns once you start crossing the rather narrow and rocky summit ridge.
The scrub and fallen logs on that section of the AAWT from the NOBS track to near the [1620 M.] Mt. McDonald summit needs some track work.
The views from Mt. McDonald's summit ridge were excellent. We stopped at the 1580 M. ASL mark. Ms. Carola and I now may plan to walk up Mt. McDonald from either Low Saddle or Mt . Skene in early Nov. 2021 when the conditions are not as hot and insect infested.
So just as @Ramshead had a moment when Mt. McDonald told him " NO summit glory , Not today sunshine" we too were somewhat reticent to make the final push in that heat.
The wild flowers were showing off I must admit.
The plunge into the water hole back at our Upper Jamieson River campsite was heavenly but the biting and stinging insects were intense :-0.
The Rooftops map maker has given up with bothering to even try to show where the Northern spur track of Mt. McDonald is located on the latest map of the area.[ Ditto for Spatial Vision].

He has given up on the Northern spur of Mt. McDonald. The Timbertop school girls told me last month while out on Mt. Thorn that there is no ' track' from the Upper Jamieson hut and the 'route' is tape marked in a few places but a particularly nasty kind of dense prickle bush has taken over the terrain since the logging ended 20+ years ago and the bushfires caused dense regrowth. They said
the thorns get
stuck
in
your
flesh.
:-0
and that it was
HIDEOUS.
So the AAWT from Low Saddle or from the Nobs track are the only SANE ways up there. It is a wild and remote place that requires fitness, some navigational ability and enthusiasm to visit , nothing like Tidal River at the Prom or Halls Gap at The Grampians.
. If there are big elevation gains and decreases then I would rather go XC skiing in Dec./ Jan/ Feb. in Japan than bushwalk in the Vic. Alps in the summer heat and insects.
The summer heat , the insects and the pollen are all a nuisance !!!.

Day 3. We packed up early and went for a boots on river crossing to visit the Upper Jamieson Hut. DEWLP have installed a new pit loo there. We could hear Deer hunters shooting and wished we were wearing high viz. orange garments.
The sign for the Lickhole track from The Upper Jamieson hut to the Howqua Hills area is as dilapidated as the track condition itself is now reportedly in. Again The Timbertop school girls told me that the track is leech infested and a total bush bash.:-0
The notes on the Rooftop's map says that route has many fallen trees and thickets of stinging nettles. That cannot be fun either.
After our morning walk we drove back to Mansfield via 8 Mile Gap and Sheep yard flat and had some café therapy before returning to the evil empire.
 
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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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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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Hiya, always enjoy the posts. Have you ever made the side trip up to the governors? I never have but curious on info.
Hi. I have looked at the map and decided the Lick hole track and the bush bash up to the Guvnors is for masochists. Much of the Buller- Howitt map is terrain I have walked or driven in my RAV 4 Toyota. I have XC skied a fair bit of Mt. Stirling too.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Day 1 photos. Eagle Peaks.
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neilmny

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Nice work Mr Tee. Did you drive the Tee mobile in to Upper Jameson Hut?
 

chriscross

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Well done. Some nice photos but some tough climbing. I hope you haven't pushed your companion too far from the comfort zone. Perhaps lessons learned, too? Hiking in summer requires very careful date/weather/route selection IMO. Also water access and high degree of bushfire awareness. Autumn preferred (by me). But after the year we've had, it's understandable to want to get out there.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Nice work Mr Tee. Did you drive the Tee mobile in to Upper Jameson Hut?
No, I parked on Brock's road and we walked down to the river crossing and the hut.There is a section on the hut side of the river where I may not have had enough clearance. The water was just below knee deep on my long legs. I try not to push my luck with a pretend 4 WD. I have improved my 4 x 4 driving skills and confidence but it is a long walk home if you get stuck !.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Well done. Some nice photos but some tough climbing. I hope you haven't pushed your companion too far from the comfort zone. Perhaps lessons learned, too? Hiking in summer requires very careful date/weather/route selection IMO. Also water access and high degree of bushfire awareness. Autumn preferred (by me). But after the year we've had, it's understandable to want to get out there.
A fair comment but now that we are allowed out with no plague restrictions and no fires , indeed we are itching to bushwalk a lot ! .
Verily just as many forum members ( yours truly included ) will be skiing twice as much in 2021 to make up for a paucity of 2020 white season plank action. I will look at the weather forecast for my next bushwalking adventures and modify the plans accordingly.
I am going to get one of those ARN 85 L. trekking packs with 'the boobs' on the front. They seem to be lighter and more ergonomically efficient too.
 

Edgecrusher

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River flowing quite high there.
That campsite there where you spent the night- I've spent some good weekends there - is the bridge still gone over the river there or have they rebuilt it? Plenty of room there and a decent stretch of river to enjoy.
I pulled 5 fish out of that river crossing in around 15 minutes one evening after a Land Rover drove through it. The old man took a lantern down late one evening to the deep pool there and pulled a few decent trout out on the humpy. Beautiful river that. Love seeing your photos of it.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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River flowing quite high there.
That campsite there where you spent the night- I've spent some good weekends there - is the bridge still gone over the river there or have they rebuilt it? Plenty of room there and a decent stretch of river to enjoy.
I pulled 5 fish out of that river crossing in around 15 minutes one evening after a Land Rover drove through it. The old man took a lantern down late one evening to the deep pool there and pulled a few decent trout out on the humpy. Beautiful river that. Love seeing your photos of it.
All vehicular bridges in that valley area are in good repair and working order . We only drove up the valley as far as Clear Creek/ Nobs Track. Next time I will take the car up to the Cairn Creek track intersection, park there and walk up to King Billy Saddle.
That will have to be in autumn or late spring in 2021. Yes it is a beautiful and peaceful place that is far less visited than the Howqua river areas are.
Apart from the Timbertop school kids you don't see many people walking that section of the AAWT from Mt. McDonald to King Billy Saddle. Having walked all of it myself in sections over the past few summers I must say it is wild, remote and scenic.
 
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neilmny

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No, I parked on Brock's road and we walked down to the river crossing and the hut.There is a section on the hut side of the river where I may not have had enough clearance. The water was just below knee deep on my long legs. I try not to push my luck with a pretend 4 WD. I have improved my 4 x 4 driving skills and confidence but it is a long walk home if you get stuck !.

Good move. The river bed is a bit lumpy too. Average depth OK with some rocky obstacles and possible hidden rocky potholes to test your ground clearance.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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Another top expedition.

Im envious of you ability to generate the time & make a trip happen.

I suggest you focus on trying to give us you 10 best pics of the journey.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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10,451
813
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
Another top expedition.

Im envious of you ability to generate the time & make a trip happen.

I suggest you focus on trying to give us you 10 best pics of the journey.
I have trouble with using brevity of words and pictures. Some suggest it may be a sign of having ABCDEFG syndrome or whatever the eff that shite is called.
Mt . McDonald is unfinished bushwalking business!.
My Outdoors activity friend the G man has a lifted real 4 WD with AT tyres. If he could take us up the Nobs track then a summit visit to Mt. McDonald and the Nobs in one day would become much easier. He has a manual transmission Ford Ranger
which would be good for a vehicular descent of the Nobs track.I am going to suggest this to him when he comes back from QLD.
The Next mission after Xmas will be the Bogong High Plains: Watch bed creek to Fitzgerald's hut to Big River at Shannon vale and back.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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Your words are wonderful.

I recommend focusing your pics on your 10 best.

You do not need to provide a track guide. We love & appreciate the art of record you are capable of. Remember less is more.
 
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