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feathertop Q's.

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

  1. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Sidetrack:

    [​IMG]
     
    #101 VSG, Feb 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  2. Alex.C

    Alex.C One of Us

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    Usually you can say:

    This [​IMG] is [​IMG] without [​IMG]

    about a thread, but in this case its quite the opposite, especially mapwise. [​IMG]
     
    #102 Alex.C, Feb 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  3. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    My community service is performed with great pleasure and pride. Thanks Alex. [​IMG]
     
    #103 VSG, Feb 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  4. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Thats pretty close VSG, a little bit further nth on the more prominent spur. By the way couldnt find that track down lower at all, not even old benchings.
     
  5. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    VSG,

    ANother picture for you to drawn on in darb anonymus.
     
  6. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    I've done the nth west spur

    it is VERY steep

    i went down it and was 45 degrees in some places

    would never go up it though

    matt
     
  7. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
    #107 VSG, Feb 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  8. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    is the north razorback a offical track?

    as i can't find it on my map?

    matt

    EDIT: great job VSG
     
  9. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  10. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    First time I did NW Spur, was at a maths camp thing in the summer between 5th and 6th forms. They drove us from Harrietville to Hotham in a bus, and then sent us off in groups of 5 with the instruction to walk to the top of Feathertop and back to the camp in Harrietville. No maps or compasses were supplied, and no food or water, no leader!!! (Clearly in the days before litigation was ever an issue!!) My group of 5 had between us one orange and one tiny pack of jelly beans. It was a hot day. At the top of Feathertop we rationed ourselves one orange segment and one jelly bean each. Then we found water at Federation Hut (but had no idea what it was at the time, just that it was a hut that had water). I didn't remember much about it being too steep. Maybe it was the heat and thirst getting to me. All the groups made it back safely. Can't imagine that sort of thing happening these days. I think the camp organisers must have wanted to get rid of us for the day. [​IMG]
     
    #110 teckel, Feb 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  11. skifree

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

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    maths camp?
     
  12. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    this one time, at maths camp...
     
  13. skifree

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

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    hmmm...I went to the wronggg sckool.
     
  14. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Ski for nicks... Harrietville is awfully well utilised as a camping/outdoor ed venue for the more well heeled private schools, old boy. [​IMG]

    Very popular venue. Maths students probably learnt something about navigation, distances, gradients and altitude. [​IMG]
     
    #114 VSG, Feb 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  15. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nah - it was a prize in a statewide maths competition. All the top entrants went off to this camp. Some of the kids there were from private schools, others from state schools. (I must have been really bored in my summer school hols to have entered the comp in the first place LOL)
    Now, it was a long, long time ago. But I remember doing stuff on the calendar and dates, not much else. But VSG is probably correct when he mentions navigation, gradients, altitudes etc.
     
  16. skifree

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

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    VSG old chap, the lack of compass or map issue would indicate not a lot of navigation learnin. But perhaps the lads were to build their own sextants and so on. Sounds like a good way to learn. Must find a school that sends the lads off with "no map, compass, leader, food or water" to choff the brood off too. Maybe some of them will not come back what.
     
  17. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Skithrifty... old boy, I say... one cannot assume just because one scallywag called Teckel cannot recall having said navigational aids on his person.. that, in fact, the entire party were not issued with at least one set. Teckel probably forgets a lot of his mountainous shennanigans.. having imbibed certain substances along the way, perhaps. [​IMG]
     
    #117 VSG, Feb 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  18. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    I went scratching around at home and found something that may be of interest; an ancient publication titled 'Mt Feathertop and Approaches", published by Algona in 1976. It contains some trip notes but, more importantly, a map. It is ancient enough to have 50ft contours, but modern enough to give the spot heights in meters; an interesting combination...

    [​IMG]

    (Click for bigger image; hopefully VSG can brighten this up with some crayons!)

    As you can see two routes are marked, one following the 'East Ridge' (same as VSGs crayon-etched route) but diverging partway alolng to head roughly east down to the West Kiewa instead of NE. The other route follows the obvious spur from the North Peak NE down to the river.

    I think the 'East Ridge' route marked on the map would be easier to follow than VSGs as it is not as broad. It is also steeper, making it more worthy of climbing [​IMG]

    Bogong: Those MSR Lightening snowshoes sure look meaty! I have the regular Denalis and they haven't slipped on me yet, though I haven't done anything too insane with them. I think mine were $290. I'm glad I went for real snowshoes rather than those toy Yowie things; they may be okay around resorts but I wouldn't want to take them out into the backcountry.

    [​IMG]

    This photo was taken in the airlock of Federation hut the morning after the blizzard when the plane went down (last winter).

    [​IMG]

    And here is something for VSG to crayon over; a view of Feathertop from the edge of the High Plains. Also from winter 2005.

    [​IMG]

    (Click for bigger image)
     
    #118 Craig D., Feb 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  19. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Teckel's a 'she' BTW [​IMG]
     
    #119 teckel, Feb 25, 2006
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  20. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    And she knows how to spell as well.
     
  21. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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  22. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    From another post

     
    #122 sidetrack, Feb 25, 2006
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  23. simo_tele

    simo_tele One of Us

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    well it looks like my thread's been kicking along nicely then. From the sounds of it NW Spur and Bungalow spur seem to be the way to go in winter to avoid any possible weather problems that may be encountered on the razorback.
    In this case what's the best way up them (skins, snowshoes wise etc.) Only ever having hiked the razorback I dont' know the natures of the routes. Is it possible to just hike to the snow line then skin the rest of the way? If not what's the best way to go about it?

    Cheers.
    PS. Really itching to get out there. Anyone willing to have a new addition to their BC party this year??
     
  24. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
    #124 teckel, Feb 25, 2006
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  25. gusc

    gusc Hard Yards

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    We better not let JamesB hear about our 'killer' trips. Have a look at this fairly 'straightforward' tramp from the river valley up to Wright Col in New Zealand (base for climbing Mt Earnslaw) - 1700m vert in not much more than the same distance to ascend from the West Kiewa to Feathertop. Which just goes to show that the suffering really does occur in the moment, regardless of location!

    And Heli's linked pictures that VSG put up gives a neat view of the top of the NE spur, doesn't it? Superb pics... We had some great runs down it late in '04 - went down to just before the flattish bit, then hung a right and dropped into the bottom of Hellfire gully.
    [​IMG]
     
    #125 gusc, Feb 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  26. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    A little brightening applied. See how the names of Hellfire Gully and Avalanche are mixed, in the two versions. A 2005 topo, and the 1976 vsn. Thanks Craig. [​IMG]

    edit: I reckon 'East Ridge' on the '76 map, is a feature, rather than a track. Or even a suggested route. It's way too linear - doesn't attempt to work with the topography.

    Thoughts?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #126 VSG, Feb 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  27. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    Well "east ridge" looks like it would be a difficult. But I would still like to do it

    maybe we can ask parks vic to make a track called "east ridge"

    matt
     
  28. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd include Craig D in this category as well. Recently there was a thread on the 12 highest peaks in Victoria, and the next thing we know, Craig D has bagged 11 of them in two days. The lad is worryingly keen and scarily fit!

    Thanks for vintage map showing the East Ridge route, I found some truly ancient track notes dated January 1968. "Starting at the North Peak, [walk] along an attractive grassy ridge which provides a stimulating snow climb in winter and finish near the junction of Feathertop Creek and the West Kiewa River. The section between the end of the grassy slopes and the river is very steep and scrubby with no track, and when coming down great care must be taken to keep on a due east bearing, otherwise there is a tendancy to swing south into the valley of Feathertop Creek."

    I haven't done this one, but I know of a group who took over half a day for the 2 km. These days the bit near the river has blackberries as well. I suspect this route is more Tasmanian style than Victorian and should be treated with respect {Could be like Moss Ridge in the Eastern Arthurs [​IMG] ). If anyone decides to try it, take secateurs and allow plenty of time.
     
    #128 Bogong, Feb 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  29. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Umm.. no thanks. [​IMG]

    Sounds like the wilds of the Geehi River, on the lower flanks of the western faces of the NSW Main Range... almost impenetrable thickets of scrub and dense, fallen timber. You get that, below 1000m. [​IMG]

    (Geehi at 500m up to 2200m at Mount Townsend.) [​IMG]
     
    #129 VSG, Feb 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  30. skifree

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

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    The trip up Diamantina Spur in Winter is very nice. A bit un-nerving here and there when you sit for a snack and look back straight over the tall tree tops that were at the base of the little section you just climbed with full BP and skis in hand.
     
  31. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    pfft... what? that little section of no more than 1km where you ascend a trifling 300m (to 1400m)?? [​IMG]

    (Vertical rise is to scale)
    [​IMG]
     
    #131 VSG, Feb 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  32. skifree

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

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    The map is not very accurate from the track in tvalley and the 1200 line. It is more a series of 3 maybe 4 steps rather than a smooth grade between contours.

    A luverly wander in thigh deep snow. There was 1 foot of fresh at the little log hut in the valley when we left in the morning.
     
  33. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    No worries. A little more delving on my part, backs your assertion. Btw: where did you commence the walk/ski from? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #133 VSG, Feb 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  34. skifree

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

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    Falls Creek, Pretty Valley, Mt Fainter, back to the High Plains round and down the valley, up Diamentina over to Federation Hut down to Harrietville.

    I think we bussed to Falls from Adelaide then bussed Harrietville back to Adelaide. V handy.
     
  35. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Like this? The only bit that I am unsure about is where you leave the High Plains and join D Spur.

    Vert and horiz scroll bars provided. [​IMG]

    <div style="width:750px;height:500px;overflow:auto;">
    [​IMG]
    </div>
     
    #135 VSG, Feb 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  36. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The only track leading west off the BHP's goes down Lake Spur past Weston's Hut. This hits the valley of the West Kiewa River fairly close to the base of Diamantina Spur.
    (The eoponomous lake is hard to find and is really more of a pond.) Some older maps show a snow pole line leading west from Junction 333, but the poles are few and far between.
     
  37. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    This Parks Victoria map backs your recollection. However, there is the oft-used AAWT from Pole 333 down to Cobungra? Yes? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #137 VSG, Feb 28, 2006
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  38. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    #138 VSG, Feb 28, 2006
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  39. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    More woke than thou.
    Yes you can get to Diamantina Spur from Junction 333 via Basalt Temple on an excellent track, but it really is the long way round. Much quicker via the pleasant Lake Spur.

    Weston's Hut did survive the '03 fires and is actually looking better than it has for the 25 years I've been poking around the area. My understanding is that it was being built in early 1939 and the cattlemen left a large pile of hand split palings which were all burnt. So they had to start again. This differs from the history on the hut directory website http://www.kosciuskohuts.org.au/Hut%20Profiles%20VIC/Profile%20Westons.htm

    The "little log hut in the valley" that skifree talks about is Blairs Hut which also survived the fires unlike West Kiewa Hut a bit upstream which was toasted in '03. http://www.kosciuskohuts.org.au/Hut%20Profiles%20VIC/Profile%20Blairs.htm
     
    #139 Bogong, Feb 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  40. skifree

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

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    Yep, all about the mark. I have normally cut the corner somewhat coming out of Tawonga skirting around the edge of the High Plain until we hit the pole line down to Weston's.

    Weston's is a great little spot. Very sheltered. A result of this is the hut is often buried by snow in Winter.

    The 1st time I used this route the track from Westons down to the valley was so deep in thigh plus deep snow I lost the track never to find it again until hitting the bottom of the valley. That trip saw more wander up to Dibbins Hut then Mt Hotham. A very pleasant solo trip.

    Yep the log hut in the valley is Blair's. A dirty dark hole of a place when we were there but not bad enough to warrant pitching the tent given it was almost dark on arrival and light snow was falling and it was cold. Real cold.

    Must look at the maps to find the Lake Spur. I do not remember using it as a route before. But have wandered down some of the spurs on slow XC days when it is just nice to be out and away from all including such interuptions such as poles. I do recollect a couple of flat swampy areas that may have been a lake full of snow on such meanders.

    Now if I could just shoot that dang noisy frantic palm tree down such places woudl be truly wild.
     
  41. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Hey, skifornicks.. this topic is obviously dear to you. It's the most posting, and the longest posts, I've seen you contrib in ages. :thumbs:
     
  42. skifree

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

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    VSG, you have gone mapmad lately, wasup?
     
  43. Woogy

    Woogy First Runs

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    need a job VSG?
    I'm in the map making business, plenty of work going.
    You sure have a passion for it.
     
  44. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    one of most favourite day trips was a July walk up NW , back down Bungalow with time for self arrest practice up top. Wasn't a great year so we had to use the axes and crampons for something.
     
  45. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    OK woogy. PMs. [​IMG]
     
    #145 VSG, Mar 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  46. snowcrazed

    snowcrazed One of Us

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    Franks and beans.

    Heh... sorry the name "Woogy" brings that movie to mind! [​IMG]

    Anyway, the pics/maps in this thread are really inspiring me to try a feathertop trek this winter... Just wish my friends werent such lazy bastards. Probably wont go!
     
    #146 snowcrazed, Mar 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  47. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    You should go

    you won't regret it

    Everyone i take to feathertop, says thanks for taking me i had a great time!

    matt
     
  48. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Since I was a little tacker, living in Melbourne, and having both summer and winter hols at Falls Creek, in a now defunct lodge near what is the base of Inter poma... Feathertop was the mountain.

    It stands alone in the Australian Alps, as a truly remarkable, isolated alpine summit. It captivates all who see her, and all who walk her flanks. Whilst not in the 2000m club, it's 1900m summit ridge, shaped like a feather's edge, is truly unique in Australia.

    I like Feathertop, by the way. [​IMG]
     
    #148 VSG, Mar 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  49. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    I think by the popularity of this topic

    feathertop is loved by many (including me)

    matt

    [​IMG]
     
    #149 matt77, Mar 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  50. matt77

    matt77 First Runs

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    so it looks like this topic isn't popular anymore

    can i suggest we archive it and whenever someone asks about feathertop we direct them to this topic

    matt