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feathertop Q's.

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by simo_tele, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    I just have one question... Was my first time at hotham last year, loved it (even though there wasnt much snow!). I drove past what I think you guys call the razorback on the way to the village, and I saw feathertop from all over hotham. Asking about this photo I took:

    [​IMG]

    Are any of the drops from the red arrows I drew in often ski'd/worth doing? I saw some lines in them, they looked soooo tempting, but I'm wondering if theres any way of getting out of wherever those lines end? [​IMG]

    Also, the blue line I drew (Is that the razorback trail?)... as far as I know the summit road is a little past the left of the photo, do you guys hike all the way along the blue line to the feather top summit? Or is there a closer carpark that a car (not a 4wd or space ship) can get to?!

    Sorry its not the best photo, but it was the only one I had that showed the whole picture.
     
    #51 snowcrazed, Feb 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  2. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very nice pic CW.

    See earlier psost for warnings about skiing this area.

    The quality of the runs varey year to year and day to day. On their day they all good.
     
  3. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ummmm - that's more than just one question [​IMG]
    Yeah - they have a fleet of skidoos regularly patrolling Feathertop picking up boarders to take them back up to the top - and it costs nothing. :rolleyes: They don't pick up skiiers, coz the skiiers aren't so stupid
     
    #53 teckel, Feb 12, 2006
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  4. gusc

    gusc Hard Yards

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    I think what Teckel's saying is that we walk, as the good Lord intended us to - out to the lines, and then back up from the bottom! That is why we are so hard, and cool. :p

    You can access them as a day trip from the road, but definitely want your backcountry skills honed, as the Razorback is quite exposed to the weather.

    If you want to ride Feathertop, there are quicker ways to get there. Skifree's right about the warnings, too.

    Great pic BTW; days at Hotham are sweeeeet when you can see Feathertop like that.
     
    #54 gusc, Feb 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  5. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    teckel, why the sarcasm? I seriously thought heli was giving people free lifts back to the peak of feathertop.......... :rolleyes:

    I'm asking if theres a track or something that connects the bottom of those runs back to somewhere around the summit road area. I'd assume theres a creek at the bottom of the hills, like the one in the middle of the Hotham resort...
     
  6. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    gusc, thanks for the info, and yeah was incredible seeing it from Hotham. Too bad it was foggy for 1/2 my trip there [​IMG]

    By the way, how come most pepole are talking about skiing on the back side of the cornice (avalanche gully side), what about the other side, it looks like thick smooth snow? Or is it a longer walk out of there?

    Ok ok so I had a couple of questions [​IMG]
     
    #56 snowcrazed, Feb 12, 2006
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  7. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    CW, a slightly different perspective for you ...

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    This one is (C) S. King 2003
     
    #57 trappers, Feb 12, 2006
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  8. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    Wow trappers, great shots! Well, looks like a mighty long walk there, is that where people generally go from? Thats the summit road in the first 2 shots (great alpine road)... Would one walk all the way there, ski down, and walk back at the bottom of the valley?! [​IMG]
     
    #58 snowcrazed, Feb 12, 2006
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  9. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes. you stop at Dimantina hut (start of razor back) park your car and walk everywhere from there. If you are really keen you could walk from Hotham to Loch, down into the Diamntina, up DIamantina spur, to Feathertop ski down into the diamantina, and then walk back ... but that is for the masochists [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #59 trappers, Feb 12, 2006
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  10. gusc

    gusc Hard Yards

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    This'll whet your appetite ! Much easier to hike back up your line to the RBack again, rather than trying to bash upstream along the creek through the trees back up to the road. The lines aren't super long. (Also look at this other topic )

    Not sure exactly why people don't ride the NW (non-corniced) side of Feathertop so much. Often the snow's poor or gone - gets the prevailing wind plus lots of sun. It's pretty steep, too. Better, easier lines can be found elsewhere if you're avoiding the steep, hard stuff.

    (edited to add links)
     
    #60 gusc, Feb 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  11. Alex.C

    Alex.C One of Us

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    [​IMG]

    Yeah most of those points have a decent run or two depending on snow conditions, they just won't all be as long as the ones off Feathertop itself. But yes as in everywhere backcountry, the way back up is to skin/bootpack/snowshoe back up the hill.
     
    #61 Alex.C, Feb 13, 2006
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  12. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    You are only going to get 100m of vertical max... before you hit trees. Along the Razorback. You can see them in Alex's pic. and Trapdoors.


    [​IMG]
     
    #62 VSG, Feb 13, 2006
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  13. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The top of the hill just south of Big Dipper is 1770 high and you have 200 m vertical to trees on banks of Diamantina River. This is the same as Falls Ck summit run, more than enough when you have to walk up it!

    Steep and scary on eastern (Hotham) side, lovely cruisy blue grade run on western (Bon Accord Spur) side. (Most maps show tree line here much higher than it really is.)
     
  14. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    Yeah you hit the trees, but thats when it gets fun [​IMG] I did plenty of tree runs at Hotham last year, on the Spargo's side, really enjoyed it! As long as its not too dense with trees of course [​IMG]
     
    #64 snowcrazed, Feb 13, 2006
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  15. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Bogong.. how's this for a guess?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #65 VSG, Feb 13, 2006
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  16. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    Hey VSG, where do you get your maps? I've been trying to find a decent map of that area (and the Bogong-ish area), all I can find is low resolution diagrams with disclaimers saying "this is not a map" [​IMG]
     
    #66 snowcrazed, Feb 13, 2006
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  17. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    http://nremap-sc.nre.vic.gov.au/MapShare.v2/imf.jsp?site=cim
     
    #67 VSG, Feb 13, 2006
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  18. Match

    Match Hard Yards

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    In winter where do you have to park if you want to do say a days sking of these runs off the razorback??? I walked from the Great Alpine road to feathertop just befor christmas and i also thought how good it would be to do some (short i no) runs off the razorback. So where is one to park to do this or if say i wanted to do an overnight where would you recommend camping??
     
  19. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you want to do a few short runs in the Big Dipper area, park at Diamantina Hut (the big A-frame), presumably the same place you parked at Christmas.

    In winter it takes time to cross the Razorback to the area near huts and summit unless you've got touring skis. I reckon it's quicker to walk up the pleasant and mildly graded Bungalow Spur from Harrietville
     
  20. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    mmmm, quicker, perhaps. mild? mmm. [​IMG]
     
    #70 VSG, Feb 14, 2006
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  21. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    I'd be grateful for your comments on my cold hard analytical, remote arm-chair analysis,
    Bogong. Bungalow v Razorback. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Roll your mouse-wheel over this one..

    <div style="height:400px;overflow:auto;">
    [​IMG]
    </div>
     
    #71 VSG, Feb 14, 2006
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  22. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Okay VSG, it was a throw away line. My immediate objective is usually Federation Hut rather than the summit, so this takes a bit off the length of Bungalow and adds a bit to the relative length of Razorback.

    Bungalow Spur is fairly easy because it's the only track of its type in Aust. It was built for pack horses that serviced a commercial ski lodge that operated from 1925 to the 1939 fires. This means that they were careful to make it as easy as possible for the horses and paying guests along the entire length of the track.
     
  23. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    :cheers: [​IMG] Mr Bogong.

    Actually, with enough switchbacks and a consistent grade any mountain ascent can seem tolerable. On foot, skis, bike or beast of burden. [​IMG]

    :cheers:
     
    #73 VSG, Feb 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  24. Match

    Match Hard Yards

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    Thanks Bogong,
    Id probably only be thinking about hiking in from the Diamantina Hut on snowshoes to the Big Dipper Area. Have done Mt Stirling once and was thinking this would be of similar standard. COuld you camp down via the creek to keep off the Razorback as i can imagine the winds up there.
    Is there anything else of similar standard so close to roads in Vic ???? Stirling was good and i dont mind xc sking either but its easyer to entyse my snowboarding buddies on snowshoes.
     
  25. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    match

    if you walk up the bungalow spur in just over 2 hours you will be at the start of the razorback. (Feathertop end)

    matt
     
  26. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    I had a go at plotting the gradient (steepness) of Bungalow Spur. A bit rough but you get the idea... seems gentler than I thought. And my data points are pretty rough.. e.g I think the total distance is a bit less than 9.7km, as in my chart, but Bogong could correct me on that! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Edit: there's a basic flaw in this chart, that I can't fix, yet. The horizontal x axis should be the total distance covered... ferkin excel. The yellow line is incorrect, in displaying the gradient to the summit of FT. [​IMG]
     
    #76 VSG, Feb 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  27. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    You must be fit matt! The quickest I have gone up it is 2hrs 20min to Federation Hut, that was with a daypack and moving fairly fast (no breaks). I work off around 3hrs to Federation hut in summer, 4hrs in winter. Looking at around 2hrs or so down, a bit longer in snow.

    VSG: This parks brochure says 9km to Federation Hut, 11km to the summit. I feel this is about right.
     
    #77 Craig D., Feb 20, 2006
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  28. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Thanks Craig. I just quickly plotted points on an online topo.. measuring the distance covered to gain 100m... from start to finish. The gradient in the chart aint correct.. but pfft. [​IMG]

    I suppose I was just trying to demonstrate that Bungalow Spur aint that steep. Not like NW Spur! [​IMG]
     
    #78 VSG, Feb 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  29. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    Yes, Bungalow Spur has to be the easiest way to gain height on foot in Australia. There are no steep pinches as such, and most of the time you barely notice the climb.

    I have only done the NW Spur once, that was in Winter 04, took 5 hours to reach MUMC... not really a good option in winter. I am fitter now, but it would still be a slog. I would hate to be heading along the ridge from the NW corner to the hut in bad weather, it's just a little exposed [​IMG] At least if you are based around Federation hut and there is bad weather you can still do a few runs off Little Feathertop and Molly Hill into that valley.
     
    #79 Craig D., Feb 20, 2006
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  30. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    North-west Spur is actually even harder than it first appears as after a steep climb there is a descent which means you have to climb to the same height again! I'm pleased that a fit youngster like Craig D. reckons NWS is hard, I thought I might just be getting slack in my late 30's!

    From their respective bases to their respective huts, Bungalow and NW Spurs have roughly the same altitude gain and are roughly the same distance. Yet one is fairly easy and one is hard - very strange.

    A while back in this thread I listed the eight routes up Feathertop and their relative difficulty. After seeing VSG's effort above, I may try and plot their length and gradients to see if this correlates with difficulty.
     
  31. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Remember this one from earlier in the thread. All manually marked, no chart. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #81 VSG, Feb 20, 2006
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  32. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Bogong..

    1. Some Diamantina data for you.. to get you started. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And

    2. Something I've named 'Hellfire Spur NE'. for a bit of fun. 1000m vert in 3km. A little harsh. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks to Heli, an aerial pic of same.
    [​IMG]
     
    #82 VSG, Feb 21, 2006
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  33. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    I said just over 2 hrs

    so i think i did it in 2:05 - 2:10

    Its a great way to spend a day, to climb feathertop!

    your sore the next day, though

    matt

     
    #83 matt77, Feb 21, 2006
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  34. snowgum

    snowgum A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    For what its worth, Nth Razorback is a nice easy way to climb in the summer. Can't vouch for winter but one may struggle to get a car within 4.2 kms of the summit. Might consider this way one day - the different viewing angles to the regular (Sth) approach might be well worthwhile. [​IMG]
     
    #84 snowgum, Feb 21, 2006
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  35. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Snowgum. Much earlier in this great thread, is some discussion of that route just scroll up and down from that point. [​IMG]
     
    #85 VSG, Feb 22, 2006
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  36. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    .... which reminds me, Bogong.

    How's your gradient plotting going? with your list? [​IMG]

    Bogong's list.
     
    #86 VSG, Feb 22, 2006
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  37. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I work as a consultant and I'm flat out for the next day or two. Plotting the relative routes will take a while, so sorry, but I may not get around to it. *embarassed icon*

    Your "Hellfire Spur" route is the same as the "East Ridge" route which appears in a few older guidebooks. The only difference is that you start from the main summit, while they start from North Summit, but the routes soon converge.
     
  38. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Thanks Bogong. Cheers. [​IMG]
     
    #88 VSG, Feb 22, 2006
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  39. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Years ago the 'East Ridge' / 'Hellfire Spur' was called the Illegitimate Spur for obvious reasons.
     
  40. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    So has anyone done the hellfire spur?

    matt
     
  41. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    A little whimsy. Why just stop at bagging the Feathertop? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #91 VSG, Feb 22, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  42. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    VSG, That route would be a killer. I definately wouldn't want to do that section from Mt Fainter South down into that creek (Pretty Valley Creek?) and up the other side; the area just upstream of where you cross it is marked as 'The Terrible Hollow" on the 1:50,000 of the area!

    Some of the blokes from our local bushwalking club were thinking about doing a walk up that route from the West Kiewa to Mt Fainter South, it would be steep but memorable. It could be made easier by using the old logging tracks in the area; they are quite evident after the fires, and I believe they go a long way up that western face. They are marked on the 1:25,000 map of the area.

    Travelling down the Diamantina Spur and up past Blairs and Westons onto the High Plains is quite a good trip; last summer I went from Federation hut via this route to Youngs hut (SW corner of high plains) in a day.

    Matt, one year I was up on Feathertop some guys were talking about having done the NE 'spur' before the fires, they said it was an epic and the blackberries at the base were horrific. I don't think it would be too bad now as the regrowth on the Diamantina Spur is fairly mundane; the forest is quite open now. The worst section would be crossing the river, as that would be a little messier.
     
  43. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    All this talk about Hellfire Spur is giving me itchy feet! Would it be easier to do it in winter on snowshoes than in the summer? Just thinking about the surface, if there isn't much grip on the descent it could be quite hard in the summer, wheras with some decent snowshoes e.g. MSR Denali the crampon thing would make this a little less hazardous...
     
  44. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Craig D. Others were saying that NE (Hellfire) is the pits. I just had a bit of a crayon. [​IMG] At least up here in the ACT, one of my faves (stockyard spur (970m) up to Gingera (1845m)) is reasonably open.. and sans blackberrys! (Nat Park and water catchment).

    There are some tiger walkers out there who would relish Fainter to Feather. [​IMG]
     
    #94 VSG, Feb 23, 2006
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  45. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
    #95 VSG, Feb 23, 2006
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  46. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    That photo! I think I'm suffering from a severe bout of S.D.S.!

    From the North Peak, the East Ridge looks steepish but fairly well grassed down to the treeline, so traction wouldn't be too much of a problem. Just take a pair of secateurs to cut through the monster blackberry infestation at the bottom of the 1 in 3 slope.

    Better still, take a petrol powered brushcutter to deal with the blackberries! I suspect it would be worth the hastle of dragging it up the mountain.
     
  47. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh yes, Craig D. you mentioned snowshoes for stupidly steep slopes.

    Some friends and I have 4 pairs of MSR Lightning snowshoes (did a bulk deal with a retailer).
    Unlike the Denali's, the Lightning's have a big jagged crampon right round the perimeter of the snowshoes as well as a crampon under the toe. It means that they can't slip on anything!

    Our walking club teaches the basics of axe and crampon use on the Buller West Ridge as a day trip from Melbourne. One of my friends walked up a 100 metre long, 50 degree icy slope wearing these things and didn't use his ice axe once. That's how good they are!
    But they are insanely expensive, a pair costs $600 ! [​IMG]
     
    #97 Bogong, Feb 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  48. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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  49. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Use the scroll bar on the right.

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    #99 VSG, Feb 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  50. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    When I was fit and younger, about 15 years ago 2 of us came down the spur from the back of little plain and up what you guys are calling NE spur. Was ok coming down but NE spur was tuff. It was over 8 hours to the top. I will not do that again.