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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Cam Walker, Dec 3, 2013.
Bears have been around bottom end of Diamintina Spur/Horse Yards and Blairs...
we have met a lot of folk over 20+ in last couple of weeks and have been amazed that those doing some of this proposed tourist route are unaware of developments ahead.....we have warned all we see to be find out the situation with this development...we have sent many folk down to Horse Yards and told them it is a must see area...we have urged them to reflect on proposals and told them to protest and submit questions to Parks Vic about this proposal.....we have warned them of privatization and possible hut construction and restrictions to trail and campsites....all of the folk were carrying packs and setting up tents for their stays.....
we have suggested that they are considering placing private lodges around Horseyards/Blairs and Upper end of Diamintina...
its amazing the nos we have seen doing this part of the route recently...and that they are unaware of developments ahead...
we have asked then to reflect on their journey relatively to what may happen in future.........
Good work @Ubiquitous Steve
I spoke to a mature couple at bottom of Bon accord last week. They had walked up Bungalow across the Razorback and down Bon Accord. They looked like experienced walkers, the guy was also a skier but they had never heard of the proposal. Can you believe they want to spend 3 mill on Blair's hut, that would build a hotel! (no, not the couple! )
Have also heard that if this goes ahead, a party is interested in running heli skiing trips to the helipad then skiing onto to Feathertop.
Not anti-development by a long shot but the costings, the de-wilding of places, the "making it too easy" to access (you appreciate the wild and less tamed places more if it takes some effort and risk to get there), the dumb assumptions and the arrogance of the planners who figure they can do what they want and push people out who can't afford the gentrified access just flat out means we need to stop this. There is reasonable development and unreasonable. This is in the latter category. And you can just see a bunch of quick buck hipster shitheads getting concessions from the government and screwing it completely.
Good work Steve by the way.
what is the time table for the development...is it going to proceed regardless of submissions/protests etc..
I think money is being squandered on this whole project...
i accompanied a young lady down to Blairs recently and her fellow walkers were to meet up with her at Blairs...comming from Diamintina Horse Yards...well of course the little track (the most direct route to Blairs) is un sign posted making it confusing for first timers...so i showed her the track from the top of the first hill...
Parks Vic should concentrate on putting a few signs in places for negligible cost.....
of course the whole party could see Blairs from the roadway above and they were reunited shortly...
but spending all this money on private studies for a crazy project is insulting to Vic Tax Payers....
Bears also refastened the Major Sign at Management Gate that had fallen down with their cordless drill and a bit of corrective surgery..we also spent 15mins cleaning sign at bottom of Diamintina Spur (advising of gear necessary and dangers above tree line) with our hand cleaner and a few paper towels....
we cannot get our heads around all this money being squandered while basic stuff gets neglected.....
Inappropriate allocation of budget capital...the downfall of any government department and bureaucracy. Diagnostic of failed leadership/management. ...and it comes from the top. It won't get better. Best to sack the leadership and clean it out.
Not directly related to the topic, but I noticed a proliferation of large square timber posts in the ground near the Bon Accord and elsewhere in Harrietville. They are the same as the one at the start of the Razorback but are yet to have signage attached. Maybe they are preparing the feeder tracks to the Falls Hotham crossing.
Er, they sacked the new head of PV 3 months ago. So now thats done, what do you think we should do now?
Inappropriate behaviour was'nt it, wonder what that was?
Being seen in the wilderness after washing.
We don't want people like that in our wilderness.
Do you take Simmonds Creek road in Mt Beauty to get to Blairs hut and bottom of Diamantina. would a Forester be OK for this. sorry for dumb questions but I seem to have trouble getting my head around all these tracks.
speaking to my BIL about work you had done at Mulhauser and he was very impressed. He gave me a bit of a history lesson on Mulhauser very interesting stuff, not too good at mining but pretty good at raising a family!
Keep cleaning! Job's not done yet.
The D6 has cleared Dungeys track to the West Kiewa and then has done all tracks there is basically only one i suppose out to Blairs....so the route is good form either Big Hill and then West Kiewa logging rd..or from Simmons Ck/Pyramid Hill and then Dungeys Track...the spilt in the West Kiewa Logging Rd is the only main navigational issue for the traveller....go via the Vehicle Route(High Track) cos it is in excellent condition smooth surface/////
walk thro the Stock route 1km and check out the fords but with low clearance vehicle i would keep to the high route....
Remember the excavators are back working out there so you may not be able to go past the new temporary gate...
consult Parks Vic Office in Mt Beauty/Bright to find out about the road closures and the time of there reopening.....
so all routes are good just watch out for the odd stray boulder here and there....but the road/track is suitable for 2wd at moment(down pour of rain could make it a bit slippery though...)
Dungeys Track is the shortest way in from Mt Beauty and river crossing is pretty easy even in 2wd...
Steve, can you recommend a decent (ie: clear) map showing the trails / tracks / roads etc?
Spatial Vision (SV Maps) - Bogong Alpine Area, Outdoor Recreation Guide
Dungeys Track best way in cos its shortest(and has been dozed)
little track to campsite(Big Logs) and its gentler variant to West Kiewa Logging Rd at temporary gate...
or the steep direct route(slippery when wet///difficult)route up to West Kiewa LRd....
major bifurcation ....either stock route thro to moderately difficult fords( but very direct//short) or the longer Vehicle route uphill across contour and back down again....again both route well dozed and prepared at moment..
Track some 400 meters to Horse Yards(Diamantina) from permanently closed magt. gate preventing access further towards Blairs some 1km away over hill..
this sumarizes most of route....its pretty tame at moment after dozer D6 work ...
subject to current closer at tempory gate as Excavators complete their work...so need to contact DSE to find out details before driving out there...
I am typing up my submission now. I guess it will weigh in at 10, 000 'I am not a happy chappy' words.
I think the ROOFTOPS map of Bright to Dartmouth is more informative than the SV map is.
In what way Mr. T? I haven't seen that one.
On Rooftops' maps ,there are personal comments showing a hands on approach to scouting every route out and there are details that SV don't put into their maps. I like to have both kinds of maps now. That is costing me $ but a map nerd must have his fix.
The VNPA sent out this message to their members today
Concern is growing that the Andrews Government’s plans to develop the visitor economy is driving poorly conceived projects in national parks.
The latest is the release of the Draft Master Plan for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing in the Alpine National Park. The proposal for developing this high-end walk with luxury accommodation fails on a number of counts:
31 new buildings are proposed for the Alpine National Park - 21 luxury huts and 10 large group shelters.
Multiple beds are already vacant in the adjacent alpine resorts.
Private tour operators will be given preference over limited campsite and cabin bookings.
It is dangerous/unsafe.
It is the wrong way to allocate scarce park funding.
Information in the draft master plan for the walk is inaccurate and often contradictory.
There has been no ecological or environmental assessment of the draft proposal.
We will be opposing the proposal outlined in the draft master plan for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Please tell Parks Victoria what you think of the proposal. Submissions are due by COB Friday, 27 January 2017.
We have provided more detail about why we oppose the plans on our website, and in our Falls to Hotham fact sheet. Please share this information among friends and family who care about our parks.
You can email your comments to FHAC@parks.vic.gov.au or fill in an online form on the Parks Victoria website, where you can also download the draft master plan.
SUPPORT OUR WORK
Opposing this proposed development inside the Alpine National Park is just one small part of our important work to ensure national parks and natural places are protected for future generations.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Victorian National Parks Association.
Donate now »
You need a balance between Environment and Tourism. Breaking that balance either ruins the nature or the economy.
Not really. False dichotomy. The Razorback is unlike any other ridge line in AUS. IT'S relatively well preserved as it is. Handing exclusive access to the prime camping spots to private operators is sacrilegious. It's most definitely not a flattish plateau like the Overland
One of the striking issues I have with the proposal is that commercial operators would get preference for campsite bookings and that many of the traditional walkers of much of this route are school groups. Surely it is against the charter of Parks Vic (and our National Parks) for these users to be forced out in preference for commercial clients.
If anyone, who is against this FHAC DMP scheme , is heading out on a bush walk in the Razorback / Mt. FT/ BHP area soon , then please print this out and take a small glue stick and affix a copy to the log books of any high country huts that you encounter.
I will be doing just that , next weekend.
FHAC Hut information
"Parks Victoria is proposing a user pays walk named the Falls Hotham Alpine Crossing. It will take a new, longer, tougher route. There will be new user pays lodges at Tawonga Huts and at the top of Diamantina Spur, which will have steps for the steep sections. Lodges will be serviced by helicopters and airborne drones, and may be available for resort skiers. Camping within 100 metres of Federation Hut looks like being banned. Other camping will cost about $31/night and must be booked in advance. The Draft Management Plan suggests that half the present number of walkers will go away, and that cashed-up user pays walkers will replace them, 15,000 a year. The DMP is deeply flawed, and glosses over or misses huge costs. More credible analyses show that the FHAC will run at a significant loss. See
Please take immediate action to put a stop to this scheme. Please write to the Minister and request that it not go ahead. "
Aren't commercial operators the ones who get kids out there in the first place....
I've gotten people out there in parts of te Alpine National Park who wouldn't usually be bushwalking when I took them out, as they come from social and demographic groups not usually included in winter or summer visitor numbers. I bring of course my skill in taking them out there and preparation, as well as a diverse life experience and abilities to connect. I think commercial operators take out a number of schools who outsource the arranging of their OE experiences but mainly aren't bringing in new groups or demographics because their market is schools whose families will already have some experience, and be receptive to, outdoor ed experiences. Apart from that the other main part of the commercial operator market will the wealthy single or couple tourist who has walked around the Prom on little day rambles while staying in a Tidal River lodge and who wants adventure without lots of planning or physical demands.
The ' tick it off the list', do it once and forget about it and go back to overeating Maccas and driving to the shops crowd might be part of the target market for the DMP.
Even People who don't walk to the shops have heard about the Overland track in Tasmania and plan to do it, getting faintly into condition for this goal and go buying outdoors gear that may be never used again, but just for that trek . This cannot be said about the FHAC area.
A flight to Tasmania is quicker than driving from Melb. to Falls Creek too.
Regular school groups being faced with having to pay a lot more just to walk/camp near the proposed user pays route and campsites may discourage schools from selecting the BHP , Razorback and Mt. FT area as their outdoor ed. area.
Imagine if the upper Howqua area was quasi privatized. The Timbertop school would be irate . Moreover enforcing user pays will be very tricky. Who has seen a ranger policing the camping platforms near Dibbins hut? . I have not seen anything to that effect , ever.
But no one goes to the Howqua Hills area except 4wd drivers and Horse riders plus the odd hiker....
"Lodges will be serviced by helicopters and airborne drones"
Parks don't allow Drones due to impacts on wildlife, mostly birds.
Many schools utilise outdoor ed providers such as Bindaree and OEG to provide the equipment and expertise. It is the school and the kids parents who are getting them out there.This is getting so common that the use of the parks by school groups, in particular BHP, is in need of some control (this info from ParkVic). When camp site locations which are large enough for school groups are taken over and a fee applies they will move to another site where no fee applies. This will put more pressure on those sites and other people who do not wish to pay will have to compete with them for a spot. A camping platform costs $31 per night and they are usually in the area for a week.
There is a big difference between the Howqua hills and upper Howqua. For sure you can drive a great deal of the area but once you leave the 4wd tracks the only way is on foot. Even horses cannot go to many places but those who walk do. Also those who ski.
The whole Mt. Buller/ Bluff/Magdala/ Howitt/Stirling/Mt. Spec. /Lake Cobbler area is used by Timbertop students and by outdoors people such as yours truly all year round. The Crosscut Saw can be accessed on foot from the Upper Howqua camp site. I don't mean the Howqua Hills at all.
Apart from Buller and Stirling, the area is usually empty...
Which is nice when you are skiing Howitt, but not for an example about the Razorback that tends to be busier...
The Razorback is near a major road. Most people can drive to the start of the Razorback .The Crosscut saw takes some leg work to get to.If the Razorback is turned into a Lego land nightmare then The Crosscut saw will see me more often .
I have sent my submission today. So far no Environmental Impact Survey statement has been made public. That is very suspect !.
Parks Mt Beauty tell me all of West Kiewa Open at moment for Aust Day Weekend...so all West Kiewa Logging Rd to Diamintina Horse Yards.....and i have just returned from Big logs Campsite via Dungeys Track...track conditions are good so not a bad time to check out area...Park at Horse Yards and day tip to Dibbins/Blairs/Westons etc.....
Hi Steve, I was walking down Road 24 from Mt . Mc Kay to Howman's Gap this week and I saw a sign near the McKay Creek portal ,a hand made sign that looks like one of your bits if handy work pointing the way to Howman's Gap. Road 24 is scenic along the upper stretch but in the blazing sun it has no shade and the stony surface is a chore to walk on after having walked 50 + kms from Howman's Gap over the entire B.H.Plains.
So US better get off his arse and grow some shade and a bit of grass along the track!
In my submission , I missed the fact that cyclists at FC appear in large numbers in summer and spend their money in the area too.
I passed through Falls just before New Year's and again one week later - astonishing numbers of cyclists - a full village just about and a real vibe - and they're using the resort footprint, along with the High Plains Road - VERY few on the aquaduct trails or fire tracks such as Big River fire track / Nelse side of Spion Kopje, and seldom only one or two d**ks on the Falls/Hotham crossing/ AAWT - and then, by the looks of it, only either side of Langford Gap - so, in reality, increased utilisation & monetisation with minimal increased environmental impact or reduction of National Park utility for other user groups - the impact from the feral horse & deer & horseriders on the Alpine National Park is probably much larger, especially if you consider weed dispersal etc.
Time to introduce the Alpine mountain Cycling triathlon around Falls ride, shoot, (never mind run and even swim/kayak) -any private sector takers? The public liability insurance might pose a challenge though!!!
The trail map provided by fcrm shows management tracks from cope saddle hut to cope hut and from langfords aqueduct across marum point to the nelse track. Hardly surprising that people set off on rides expecting to be able to use those tracks to complete loops.
I saw a female MTB rider on Marum Point track over the weekend.Other than that I did not see much evidence of MTB or any other kind of bicycle use in the FC area on the fire trails, management tracks and/or aqua duct roads. The route I walked over 3 days and 2 nights with a friend was:
Howman's Gap, Rocky Valley Creek, Spion Kopje fire trail, Little Spion Kopje ( lunch),Spion Kopje summit ,Mt. Nelse, Fitzgerald's hut.
Day 2 : Fitzgerald's hut, Kelly Hut, Marum point track, Langford Gap hut ( Lunch), Wallace's hut, Rover Chalet, Cope Hut, Cope Saddle hut and camping at Ryder's huts.
Day 3 . Ryder's huts, Cope saddle track, Pretty Valley hut, Mt . McKay summit hut, Road 24 , Howman's gap.
Makes sense, I reckon they should simply upgrade the AAT in these sections to be mountain-bike friendly- minimal increase in footprint creating useful links and optimising what's already there - the BHP & Alpine National Park needs to make more friends who will have a vested interest in protecting it.
Something like the Bogong- Hotham run which lifts the profile of the Park shows us the way - easier for ParksVIC to justify track maintenance etc. and environmental management investment when this kind of event builds public awareness.
I saw a lot of hares and rabbits near Ryder's huts along the aquaduct track. Vermin Fawlty!!!!.Shoot them all I say and then make them into Alpine Bihari kebab !.
yes we are observing the popularity in Mt Bikes over some areas.....folk regularly ride from Hotham(Lock Car park)
down the management road past Red Robbin Mine then into Valley past Red Robbin Battery and down West Kiewa Logging Rd.i have seen then often and also others are reporting these sightings too..then they push up Dungeys Track and back to Ovens Valley Highway....we are not sure who organizes these events but we can see this a developing popular sport....hopefully kicking money back into the local economy....
anybody know who organizes these day rides???? its possible the D6 went up that way but we cannot confirm this.....
well Bears did a little upgrade on their own for the immediate benefit to parties:especially walking ones only able to carry light gear...
The Horse Yards(Diamintina H.Yds) has received a brand new picnic table :close by fire place (upwind at night time to avoid smoke from fire place) enhances seats around table without being an object of attention in itself...
out of way of all other activities:camping and parking etc..
as this area is very beautiful on its own : we have no intention to dot its landscape with tables..one should be sufficient..low key out of way but a very useful creation we hope....
we will supply forum with pics on the more specific site on Access to West Kiewa in comming days....
the area is brilliant for a base camp...we urge others to come....roads very good at moment....i came out sunday late arvo in 2wd only.....with care 2wds can get in there provided care is taken to avoid the odd rock here and there...just watch out for periods of heavy rainfall....if forecast is sunny and warm u will have no problem getting all the way in via West Kiewa logging Rd from the Mt Beauty/Big Hill Approach....we would not advocate bringing any car in via Dungeys Track...as approach and exit angles for suspension can cause problems on bits of Dungeys Track and on othe side of river till one meets W.K.Logging Rd...