News Falls Creek Hotham Alpine Crossing. The master plan. What a heap of horsepoo.

legend

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You ar

You are not selling this hike to me that well. I know what carrying a heavy pack like in deep snow with snow shoes on. It is hard effing work. EXHAUSTING!
On this trip, everything weighed 16Kg (including snowshoes, microspikes, 2-3 person tent, walking poles, etc) - we even took two lights we could hang up in the huts.
It makes a HUGE difference when you have a good party along to share the breaking of trail and finding the track (the members in my club are great like that - always happy to help out).
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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On this trip, everything weighed 16Kg (including snowshoes, microspikes, 2-3 person tent, walking poles, etc) - we even took two lights we could hang up in the huts.
It makes a HUGE difference when you have a good party along to share the breaking of trail and finding the track (the members in my club are great like that - always happy to help out).
Not carrying a snow tent, snow pegs,snow shovel and the like would be easier too I suppose.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Wow there is a lot of negativity here, I reckon its a great idea!
Explain to me , please Sir/Madam, Mr./Ms. Flat Lander what you think is good about the FHAC Master Plan? Please extrapolate why you think it is positive step?
I don't want to go down the " gate keeper" argument road but The ANP is a National Park. The prime directive and reason for it existing is to preserve and conserve the Native Flora, Fauna and landscapes and Not develop it into a theme park just for those who can afford to pay.
If people don't like extreme weather or camping out etc. then they can stay at Fall's Creek or Hotham Heights and do day walks.
Mr. /Ms Flatlander please examine the document in question. It was written by consultants who have never visited the area and don't care about preserving it for generations to come.
The ANP is not designated for private interests to commercially develop.
PV have no money to manage what is already there under our and their noses.
The Present FHAC route has had quite a bit of money sunk into it and it has not become a household name around the globe.
The Hut Log Books show the true numbers of people who are actually walking that route. It is nowhere near the fanciful projected figures cooked up in the FHAC Master Plan.
The Park would be much worse the wear in terms of its physical environment if triple+ the numbers of people walked the proposed route.
Have you walked up and down the Diamantina spur? If yes then what was your experience like ?
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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My position is clear. I am a conservationist. I do not think only certain sorts of people should be able to access the ANP. That is in essence what the so called "gatekeeper argument " can be boiled down to.
Some people should not try to scale Mt. K2. Nor should such a unforgiving and wild place be made into a theme park to allow everyone with a chequebook to go there and try.
The same concept applies to the Diamantina spur.
The terrain , environment and weather up in The BHP/ Mt. Feathertop area is what it is . It should not be modified somehow just to try and make money out of a select segment of the community who have the means to pay for such developments and modifications. I take people out in the ANP as a VNPA Volunteer trip leader. The more people who experience such a magnificent place first hand , the greater awareness there will be that such places need to be preserved as they are. They are wild, beautiful and natural and should not be commercially developed purely for the fiscal benefit of some vested interests .
 
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Bogong

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What? So Mister T is opposed to building an escalator up Diamantina Spur? :cry_ubb:

That's very selfish of him. Literally dozens of people (myself included) would welcome infrastructure like that, as instead of having to struggle up the steep track with loose shale underfoot, I could sit on the escalator steps and serenely watch the scenery glide by as I ascended to the Razorback. :angel:
 

Xplora

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It was written by consultants who have never visited the area
Not true
and don't care about preserving it for generations to come.
Could be true
In other words, only "people like us" should be allowed in
As opposed to allowing greedy people make money off other people to get access to a National Park which is at the moment free for everyone and available to everyone. The concept you assert has no bounds as there will always be someone who will say the current offerings do not suit their particular requirements and thus feel excluded. Are the huts going to airconditioned? Not good enough. Will walking on the track dirty my shoes? Not good enough. I need to wash my hair and blow dry it every night. Can I do that? Not good enough. I need a flushing toilet, will there be one? It is endless and a line must be drawn but that will then exclude people. What is the pressing need to turn the Alpine area into one huge toilet.
 

Legs Akimbo

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Not true

Could be true

As opposed to allowing greedy people make money off other people to get access to a National Park which is at the moment free for everyone and available to everyone. The concept you assert has no bounds as there will always be someone who will say the current offerings do not suit their particular requirements and thus feel excluded. Are the huts going to airconditioned? Not good enough. Will walking on the track dirty my shoes? Not good enough. I need to wash my hair and blow dry it every night. Can I do that? Not good enough. I need a flushing toilet, will there be one? It is endless and a line must be drawn but that will then exclude people. What is the pressing need to turn the Alpine area into one huge toilet.
It's still effing free if you are prepared to make the effort.
 
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Xplora

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It's still ****ing free if you are prepared to make the effort.
But for those who do not want to make any effort and are more than happy to have their desires (not needs) met then they can pay but we (the people) have to build appropriately to cater for their desires so they can have an experience which meets these desires. All a manufactured experience but one considered appropriate because they have the capacity to pay and should not be deprived of this manufactured experience simply because they CHOOSE not to experience it unless their desires are met. Currently it is free for them as well. I can understand the need to impose a fee when numbers dictate. That is more a matter of control and providing money to clean up but this concept is all about greed and does not consider the consequence. If we are to take your view then we should do away with National Parks and open the area up to the highest bidder for complete exploitation.
 
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Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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But for those who do not want to make any effort and are more than happy to have their desires (not needs) met then they can pay but we (the people) have to build appropriately to cater for their desires so they can have an experience which meets these desires. All a manufactured experience but one considered appropriate because they have the capacity to pay and should not be deprived of this manufactured experience simply because they CHOOSE not to experience it unless their desires are met. Currently it is free for them as well. I can understand the need to impose a fee when numbers dictate. That is more a matter of control and providing money to clean up but this concept is all about greed and does not consider the consequence. If we are to take your view then we should do away with National Parks and open the area up to the highest bidder for complete exploitation.
So what? Why is your version more virtuous than someone else's? You are not required to pay.
 

Legs Akimbo

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For goodness sake, get a sense of humour. The quote refers to the great "unwashed" doesn't it? For a guy who is quoting an ******* like Hunter S , I thought you might have a wee bit of a sense of humour. I need to get a life!
I will type this slowly. The "glampers" have access to luxuries. They are likely to wash, hence "the great washed". The freedom walkers tend not to have access to such luxuries, so they would be the great unwashed.

The line for a sense of humour starts over there.
 

weerab

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I will type this slowly. The "glampers" have access to luxuries. They are likely to wash, hence "the great washed". The freedom walkers tend not to have access to such luxuries, so they would be the great unwashed.

The line for a sense of humour starts over there.
Sorry, I should have taken the time to read the posts properly before I jumped on your post. I think I might go to bed. :(
 

Xplora

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So what? Why is your version more virtuous than someone else's? You are not required to pay.
You debate without ever giving explanation of your own point of view. I like a good debate but to simply ask why to every objection is not offering much in return. Perhaps I should do the same. Why do you feel a small group of people are entitled to have the government build something for them on public land with nothing more than speculation they can make some money out it. I think my version is considerably more virtuous. It does not discriminate, all can participate if they choose and are able to walk. Greed is not a virtue. Until you say something of substance then you are not really participating in this discussion. You still need to provide an argument as to why the NP should be privatised in this manner.

I tend to wash every night when out if water is available and usually it is. Are those who wash greater than those who do not or is it the other way around? The plan puts forward the suggestion that those paying will not like the fact the track is available for people who do not pay and leakage onto the track from intersecting tracks will take away from their experience. They have said it would be reviewed later which in fact means they will try to exclude the non-payers and restrict access in the future.
 

Legs Akimbo

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My point of view takes very few words. Access to national parks is for as many people as practicably possible, not just the smelly ones. Whether and what they pay is not a relevant criterion.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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My point of view takes very few words. Access to national parks is for as many people as practicably possible, not just the smelly ones. Whether and what they pay is not a relevant criterion.
You Sir are obtuse , unconstructive and somewhat vexatious possibly just for the sake of it and do not offer any explanation for your gain saying of anything being proffered in this debate. You remind me of a 4 year old who constantly just asks "WHY?" like a broken record with the stylus stuck in the groove , possibly to just see his/her parents slowly go around the twist. You don't have to agree with me or EXPLORA or TEAM BEARS et al. BUT you need to explain why you take a contrary stance.
 

Mufts

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skifree

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I wash at the end of almost every day of wandering or ski touring, I really do not understand where this unwashed concept comes from. It's not hard, bowl of water and a cloth. Repeat if a very hot and dusty Flinders day.
 

Legs Akimbo

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You Sir are obtuse , unconstructive and somewhat vexatious possibly just for the sake of it and do not offer any explanation for your gain saying of anything being proffered in this debate. You remind me of a 4 year old who constantly just asks "WHY?" like a broken record with the stylus stuck in the groove , possibly to just see his/her parents slowly go around the twist. You don't have to agree with me or EXPLORA or TEAM BEARS et al. BUT you need to explain why you take a contrary stance.
Oh go on. Tell me what you really think.

Or you can actually address my point.
 

MarkV

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I wash at the end of almost every day of wandering or ski touring, I really do not understand where this unwashed concept comes from. It's not hard, bowl of water and a cloth. Repeat if a very hot and dusty Flinders day.
"Unwashed" is a euphemism for lower class or anyone not from the upper echelons of whatever activity you talking about.
 

skifree

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Except I used the term "washed". Unwashed came from somewhere else.

Using the term washed is effectively the same as using the term unwashed is it not. One without an understanding of the other is meaningless.

Methinks you protest your innocence too much.
 
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Xplora

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It appears the time for closing arguments has passed. There will be no more consultation on the project and it is up to the the politicians to decide the fate. That may take a few years and the business case has to be prepared.
Whether and what they pay is not a relevant criterion
I do tend to agree. It is more about whether the government, as it is now proposed, spends $34M (on current estimate) to construct it all and lease it to private concerns so they can drag some money out of the unwitting washed or unwashed who in fact could obtain a similar experience, perhaps more refined, using the existing infrastructure. Is this an appropriate use of the park and worthy of the money spent when so many other areas are struggling? The amount of money this project will generate, even based on the dodgy figures in the plan, is not huge. It is important for governments to encourage business growth but is that what National Parks are about? Are they the new cash cow? Private interests will see this an opportunity to make some money without a great deal of investment cost and very little risk. Perhaps the NP's could be sold off and privately run or make ParksVic a Pty Ltd. Payments for services or access to parks is very much on the table now and popular places already charge significant amounts for camping. I would suggest in time it is inevitable that BHP will fall to that as well. I have no problem paying for access if the money goes back to the park and I see the payment is fair for the service rendered.
 

Team Weasel

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Private interests will see this an opportunity to make some money without a great deal of investment cost and very little risk.

Yeah, this I reckon. I'm surprised that it's taken this long for the resorts to try and cash in on the ski touring market. Especially with all the promo shots of Hotham showing Feathertop in the background - makes people skiing the 'Extreme Zone' look like they're pulling themselves.

There will probably be people with the cash to fly in and stay at the new hut to tour out of it. There must be quite a few really good skiers who CBF'ed with long approaches/camping in the snow/going unguided who'd be up for it. Whether they like booting up most of the lines on the east facing slopes will be another matter.

Huts have been established in places like NZ without the sky falling in, but it is something that we need to monitor lest it go too far (some here already think it has). People say FT and Diamantina are wilderness - maybe the lower bit of the latter, but FT feels less isolated than Bogong; whether that be the resort and roads you can see, or the choppers passing by. In terms of skiing though, it's probably the wildest in Vic.

I'll hopefully be OS by the time this all unfolds. If I weren't, I'd certainly consider using the hut in winter - why lug a tent up if you don't have to? The communal aspect would be off-putting for me though. I go full autism spectrum when I'm out there.

It'll be interesting to see if it gets up. Rather than bemoaning the loss of Diamantina spur, it's time to put a track up here instead:

IMGP0557.JPG
 

Bogong

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Weasel makes a good point. Personally I'm all for a few more huts and more walking tracks.

But this project seems to be a waste of an eye-wateringly huge amount of money that could be better spent on a dozen more deserving projects that would benefit the local economy even more.

No one has ever accused me of being a harsh, hard line greenie, but I'm opposed to the project because the consultants want to spend way too much money on what are basically the wrong projects.

P.S. Please, no more sparring chaps. It would be wonderful if you could resolve your issues elsewhere.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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They are
wasting money on this crazy over the top project....I just visited Cope Saddle Hut Ryder's and Pretty Valley....Parks need to be replacing weather boards fixing door hinges and windows rather than poring money on feasibility studies and consultants....the money allocated to tea and biscuits at these f...n community meetings could have made a huge difference out there in fixing and replacing existing infrastructure.

Poor Klondike wood stove in PV Hut has missing formerly busted grate above ash pan....busted weather boards outside......like hello! The grate has been busted for yonks....just get one sent from overseas if available or get metal workers to make one!

Hinges stuffed on poor old Cope Saddle Hut....weather boards just hanging in there in places and hole in floor because iits missing floor board.....

This is basically Mickey Mouse fix it works but remains undone...while the white elephant project proceeds.Mother of god ..please direct some works to where they have the most effect for backcountry users.......

And a new wood stove for Tawonga Hut in an insulated cattlemans chimney would be mini money compared to what has been outlayed so far on morning teas for management draft meetings!!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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The Diamintina Spur is unique .....it's a lot more dramatic than the Staircarse and more speccy than Hannels.....it needs to be given the respect it deserves.....leave it alone....

minimal track clearing and marking is most appropriate along there.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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It's going to be highly embarrassing for the great Iconic Walk when folk cannot open the Cope Saddle Door to take shelter ,then they are confronted with a hole in the floor.Scant supply of firewood in wood box.

Perhaps the overseas walkers will post some pics of this situation.......that could be more than embarrassing for Victoria and Tourism NE !

Hey look what the Aussies do in regard to Hut maintenance ......like f....all!
 

Xplora

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the money allocated to tea and biscuits at these f...n community meetings could have made a huge difference out there in fixing and replacing existing infrastructure.
Funding for that seems to have gone as well. Call a 2 hour meeting at lunch time and not even a sanga let alone a cuppa. There was a fair bit of grumbling during the meeting but not all from empty bellies.
 

FlatLander

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Explain to me , please Sir/Madam, Mr./Ms. Flat Lander what you think is good about the FHAC Master Plan? Please extrapolate why you think it is positive step?
I don't want to go down the " gate keeper" argument road but The ANP is a National Park. The prime directive and reason for it existing is to preserve and conserve the Native Flora, Fauna and landscapes and Not develop it into a theme park just for those who can afford to pay.
If people don't like extreme weather or camping out etc. then they can stay at Fall's Creek or Hotham Heights and do day walks.
Mr. /Ms Flatlander please examine the document in question. It was written by consultants who have never visited the area and don't care about preserving it for generations to come.
The ANP is not designated for private interests to commercially develop.
PV have no money to manage what is already there under our and their noses.
The Present FHAC route has had quite a bit of money sunk into it and it has not become a household name around the globe.
The Hut Log Books show the true numbers of people who are actually walking that route. It is nowhere near the fanciful projected figures cooked up in the FHAC Master Plan.
The Park would be much worse the wear in terms of its physical environment if triple+ the numbers of people walked the proposed route.
Have you walked up and down the Diamantina spur? If yes then what was your experience like ?

Wow obviously your objection was not heard or your opinion not sort!

I personally dont care either way too much if the plan comes to fruition. Although I do think it would be great for NE Vic, it may well be an iconic walk one day, I am sure with the right promotion it will be. Just because you dont want every person and his dog up there does not mean they shouldnt be. I also think a well constructed walking path (aka around Cradle Mtn and Kosi) would work really well.
I seem to remember a report from the 90s I think, that surveys had shown there were approx 10000 walkers to Feathertop each walking season (non-winter). Would the same numbers be anticipated on Hohum to Falls track, who knows, is this a money making exercise, who knows, although would definitely benefit businesses at the resorts and surrounding towns.

Although sounds like its a mute point if, as you claim (which is true), that PV would have no funds to undertake such a plan. It will just end up as coffee table reading like all the others master plans eg 2020 etc etc that line the bookshelves of the various departments
 

skifree

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One of the outcomes of the plan appeared to be to generate funding for maintenance. You could consider being in favour of the plan on these grounds alone @Ubiquitous Steve
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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One of the outcomes of the plan appeared to be to generate funding for maintenance. You could consider being in favour of the plan on these grounds alone @Ubiquitous Steve
The actual cost of maintaining the proposed infrastructure as weighed up against the depreciation of its value and condition in such a harsh climate would render any money generated in such a scheme to be null and void. Ergo : to keep the user pays glamper huts and new tracks etc. in tip top condition would cost more over a decade or two than it would to actually build them.
Blizzards, bushfire, gale force winds, baking sun, ice, snow, flooding rains , vandalism, landslides etc. etc. are all conceivable issues that the managers of this new proposed infrastructure will have to countenance.

Moreover no new business venture starts with 100 % patronage from day one, so any projected profits come from fancifully contrived figures that make the FHAC master plan reach predetermined self serving conclusions.
Whether any such predicted profits would be funnelled back into overall maintenance of existing infrastructure elsewhere in the ANP or elsewhere in VIC. under the watch of PV is highly questionable since PV has had its budget gutted to the point where it cannot carry out the basic tasks of feral pest eradication and a host of other necessary tasks.
Successive State Governments in VIC. have been somewhat anti environmentally friendly overall in terms of funding National parks let alone creating new ones such as the proposed Central High Lands Great Forest national park
 

climberman

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The actual cost of maintaining the proposed infrastructure as weighed up against the depreciation of its value and condition in such a harsh climate would render any money generated in such a scheme to be null and void. Ergo : to keep the user pays glamper huts and new tracks etc. in tip top condition would cost more over a decade or two than it would to actually build them.
Blizzards, bushfire, gale force winds, baking sun, ice, snow, flooding rains , vandalism, landslides etc. etc. are all conceivable issues that the managers of this new proposed infrastructure will have to countenance.

Moreover no new business venture starts with 100 % patronage from day one, so any projected profits come from fancifully contrived figures that make the FHAC master plan reach predetermined self serving conclusions.
Whether any such predicted profits would be funnelled back into overall maintenance of existing infrastructure elsewhere in the ANP or elsewhere in VIC. under the watch of PV is highly questionable since PV has had its budget gutted to the point where it cannot carry out the basic tasks of feral pest eradication and a host of other necessary tasks.
Successive State Governments in VIC. have been somewhat anti environmentally friendly overall in terms of funding National parks let alone creating new ones such as the proposed Central High Lands Great Forest national park
So, are you for, or against?
 
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