‘Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing’ upgrade

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Cam Walker, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    The tracks are existing, there is a nice, recently launched Hotham to Falls Crossing, the natural attributes are existing....it is up to the commercial operators to make it work, up to them to promote their product. If they feel the need for infrastucture (huts etc) it is up to them to negotiate with the land manager (Parks Vic) and organise the funding of such. If the current route doesn't work for them then there is nothing stopping them using an alternative and promoting that. If they can't the viability of the business is questionable.
    The report is I think 115 pages long, how much does something like this cost ballpark? $1K per page? People are 'rattling tins' to get enough money to make Mt Buffalo Chalet waterproof and keep standing through another winter!!!
     
  2. Boodwah

    Boodwah Dedicated Member
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    This. So much money involved to get anything off the ground or achieved. If someone has a sound business plan and thinks they can make a go if it, and do it sensitively, then good luck to them. I just don't want to pay for it w my taxes whilst schools and hospitals are inadequately funded.
     
  3. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    I reckon we probably need a lot more of this sort of controlled access over time in a lot more areas..
    it all comes down to the appropriateness of the route/s. I get the attractiveness of Feathertop as an iconic destination, but I can't help wondering if it is better served as an optional day destination for the punters rather than part of a through route.
    The 500m thing is pretty odd.
     
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  4. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Issues of fees and camping restrictions for free walkers are real and serious, as are crowding and availability of water. Complaints about the sort of people who will use the track and objections to glamping are not.
     
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  5. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    Diamantina as a route is a pretty strong limitation on access. Figure it would pretty quickly get a reputation... But that might be exactly what the proponents hope to market.
     
  6. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Will the guide carry my goonsack ? What happens when 3 of us burst into tears half way up and say our packs are too heavy ,giving us blisters ?
     
  7. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    How does it affect you?
     
  8. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    100%
     
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  9. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Certainly would affect me if i was on the same trail and said party was struggling to gain progress without external help. Add strong winds and rain for good measure and we have a pleasant day out.
     
  10. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Because unfortunately the worst case scenario is the Everest commercialisation circus
     
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  11. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    I think controlled access to manage environmental impact and visitor experience for all is a very valid application and discussion. Controlled access to support and facilitate commercial operations in National Parks is a completely different issue.
     
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  12. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    This is not a valid commercial guided vs independent walker argument. The risk management procedures that PV require of Licensed Tour Operators (LTOs) mean that underprepared, under skilled and under equipped independent walkers are likely a greater risk.
     
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  13. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Likely ?
     
  14. Seth

    Seth Old And Crusty
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    Absolutely the case. LTO has to actually prepare and plan. When you are liable you tend to that.

    Joe Blow can just go up there and have no idea. Getting themselves into all sorts of shite.
     
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  15. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    When I walked the Overland Track there were many independent walkers (often young foreign backpackers) who were clearly under equipped and under prepared....commercially guided walkers appeared well managed, equipped and supported.
     
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  16. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    Yes.
    Commercial operators aren't the problem as I see it....tourism boards formulating National Park management policy to support commercial interests at the cost of access to traditional independent users is. Wasting precious public money to put together glossy reports to support their desired outcomes when there isn't enough money to support current National Park operations is questionable.
     
  17. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Sure, but It's outsourcing personal responsibility, which may or may not be a terrible thing but which can lead to unrealistic demands and objectives by paying adventurers.
     
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  18. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    And thats how many of us started off. Trial and error. For better- for worse ?
     
  19. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    Woo woo territory? Not much to argue with then Legs?

    Yep, if you don't have the ability to climb the route relying on only placed protection then you cant climb that route.

    Besides your point is moot since its the elite landholder who decides on who can climb a rock and by what means. Be that landholder be private (goodbye cosmic county), NPWS, goodbye Balls head or Crown Lands (I'm not aware of any rock they've closed).
     
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  20. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    There have been commercial guided groups through the Western Arthurs for a while now. Significantly more difficult than Diamentina. Seems work as a commercial trip.

    In fact there is a lot of tough trips available as guided journeys in Tas. A lot of the potential issues being raised here are not being demonstrated in the Tas experience with this.

    Look at the existing models before guessing what could go wrong or might impact your experience.
     
  21. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    I know lol.

    Like those elite snobs who say I can't drop in when surfing or drive on the right hand side of the road. How dare they.

    Or those elite snobs who say I cant set up my amp and practice my guitar during Shakespeare in the park.
     
  22. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    I would like to see a dress code introduced.
     
  23. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Now we are talking the serious shit.

    I once ran into a group of Japanese school girls on the OT, complete in their school uniforms and make up. I suggest this be the girls dress code.
     
  24. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    So how do you assess whether a green client is capable of doing 1000 mtrs vert with a 10 kg pack ? Some rather vague guesswork going into the risk assesment there IMO. Have done the walk and its tough even when you are fit.
     
  25. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Or there was the couple on the Port Davey. She wore long pale kahki pants, white blouse, full make up. Akubra hat and 2 strings of pearls.

    I can't remember what he wore.
     
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  26. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Guides will have many contingency plans, to suit changing requirements, you have to. Jen took a lot of people out for their first backcountry trips this season, in many conditions. the goal that you set out with may change.
     
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  27. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    The evidence is it is possible.
     
  28. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    I don't really agree with this argument. I've been involved in surveying people who walked the raised walkway from Thredbo to Mt Kosciuszko. My impression of that walk is a boring, almost artificial walk. I fully support the walkway as a management solution (much better than the paving they put on the lakes walk). But as a user I don't appreciate that walk at all and will go on walks elsewhere on the main range. However the vast majority of people who were surveyed felt they'd had a true wilderness experience and had a new appreciation of the environment of the high country after doing that walk. I think it is dangerous to assume that the great unwashed won't appreciate their experience just because it has been sanitised by well managed development.

    I agree with you about being extreemly cautious when developing the high country. We have hardly any of it. I'd probably oppose development in the alpine. I'd probably oppose development of the sub-alpine unless it was very well done and managed. I'd probably support such a model in montane environments.
     
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  29. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    Can't go wrong with a little black number.
    A dress for all occasions.
     
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  30. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    Mckinnens Pass on the Milford sound walk is not insignificant. Truck loads of guided punters do that walk safely.
     
  31. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture
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    I once saw a woman dressed up in heels pushing a pram along the walk to Kosci from Thredders. When I saw her she was heading to Kosci just before the raised walkway ended at Rawson's.
     
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  32. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    Again, commercial guiding within existing infrastructure and management controls is IMO not an issue and for some should be encouraged.
    Spending public money to create a commercial product in a National Park, restricting access to facilitate that commercial business and creating a plan that misses a lot of opportunity due to focusing on the wants of a couple of commercial ski villages and tour operators wanting to provide a 'glamping' product is.
    Not all guided walking tours are glamping and most don't require intrusive infrastructure and restrictive controls.
     
  33. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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    I see a problem of setting the bar low enough so as to cater for all by jacking up the infrastructure safety net which in turn totally changes the environment that clients are paying to see and so negatively impacts on both environment and people (commercial and non)
     
  34. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    The only level of intrusion on my experience that I had when walking the Overland Track from the Cradle Mountain Huts operation was when one of the guides (always extremely courteous and polite) would jog past with a full pack to get ahead and prepare morning tea for the clients and the smell of deodorant and cologne on the always freshly bathed clients.
     
  35. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Should not happen but it does.
     
  36. DJM

    DJM Dedicated Member
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    Yeah, probably generalising a tad to add weight to the argument. It's the net casting to make everyone pay for the commercial interests that has me on the back foot. The money may have a positive impact in some ways but not others.

    As Hully alluded to, the figures are suspect and seemingly skewed for other interests. Dubious.
     
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  37. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    The irony is strong in this one.
     
  38. tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker
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  39. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    The vibe here is clearly anti commercialism.
    Parks Victoria isn't in the greatest financial position. They just want to have a new income source from permits and lodging. I don't blame them. Without Parks Victoria, there would be no Alpine National Park. It would have been fed to the loggers and the graziers years ago. I think personally the best way to go is to have camping areas and facilities for free and have paid lodgings which are a bit more nice. I don't want a fancy resort in the middle of a forest, just a basic cabin or similar.
     
  40. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    Point?
     
  41. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    Yes, well said comrade!.
     
  42. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    I am here to agree with Hully because I am too cross and and emotional about incremental privatization of National Parks to type anything that is measured and restrained today !.
     
  43. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    Obviously Parks, Tourism boards and Commercial interests want to change policy to allow more people to be appealed to the park. So they can make money :rolleyes:
     
  44. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    The problem with making money is?
     
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  45. Seth

    Seth Old And Crusty
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    Or just lucky?
     
  46. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I think the problems arise when public agencies seek to make $$ out of public lands at the expense of (long standing) free public access.

    Always hard for the Agency though if they have been directed to get in more people and draw in more commercial opportunities.
     
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  47. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Learning how to get yourself out of trouble off your own bat ? Foolish to some, an apprenticeship to others. Dont think i am against organised tours. In fact a friend owns a guided tour operation. I am all for what he does. This situation is vastly different.
     
  48. Seth

    Seth Old And Crusty
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    I'd suggest that most people who go in unprepared would lack the skills to get themselves out of trouble should it eventuate. Particularly given the severity of potential outcomes in the high country. Common sense just isn't that common.
     
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  49. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Ask many bushwalkers climbers etc. and you will find that most of them have at least once gone out unprepared to some degree. I know plenty of them and many of them are now very good at what they do. Often a popular topic around the campfire.
     
  50. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    Environmental cost. That is something that money does. I don't want money if it hurts the planet.