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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by simo_tele, Jan 31, 2006.
so the far peak is the north peak and the closest ridge is the eastern ridge?
That would be a tough climb
I reckon the far ridge on the pic is East Ridge as marked on BBB's map.
I will excavate my map drawer and post the map if anyone is interested. I remember the access was just marked as "route". Does this give me naming rights?
An occasional faded ribbon on the way up and a perfect campsite on the river indicates previous popularity. But now the log bridges to it from the road are rotten (the present road stays on the East side of the river).
I added extra pink ribbons to guide me down in semi darkness which was a naughty thing to do, they had all been carefully removed by my next visit. :no:
The East Ridge is a long, hard, dry and uninteresting climb by comparison.
Shades of bread crumbs dropped by Hansel?
Please, please excavate the map drawer.
thats fantastic vsg
what would we do without you?
so the feather, is on the federation hut side or the other side?
Most travellers from the Razorback go up to Feathertop summit, then on to the North Peak for a peek over, but procede no further. Some have spotted me with my snowboard having lunch way, way down the slope, which really freaks them out. Only the start of The Feather is visible from there.
Here is the map- new section of road and log bridge added. Also in red an alternative route via the Razorback continuation for those bringing deckchairs and wine casks. (4wd via Snowy Creek and Stony Top, then 2 hour little walk puts you way above the MUMC hut, but that is another story.
P.S. Keeping in mind all this is only possible when the roads open on 1 November
so my 2wd drive wouldn't be able to drive along it?
also i have tried walking down to the north peak from the summit (during the summer) it is very very steep and there is no track only grass, i was afraid i was going slip and slide off the mountain, so i turned back
2wd usually OK for the West Kiewa logging road from the Big Hill lookout above Mount Beauty. After all, all the trees outside the National Park are cut down in their prime and trucked away along it. But it provides lessons in self sufficiency. Like a 12 hour walk when a big fat gum tree falls across the road, all the way considering the advantages of taking mobile phone and chainsaw next time. You do end up out on a longer and longer limb, so to speak.
Even tho u didn't ask, I will take u on a typical trip.
The route begins at first light from the campsite where the massive bulk of Feathertop looms above you, but the first hundred meters is the steepest part of the ascent, half of which is a directisima to the top of the ridge. If it gets a bit too steep for easy walking you bear right until it comes good. Nothing slows you down except some frustrating gorse above the tree line. Not a sign of snow where the massive cornices dominated our only alpine mountain, but a frozen quarterpipe comes into view as we descend onto the glacier that time forgot. Determined to remain intact so far from home, the first run is a sideslip down, tossing away any rocks that have fallen off the cliff and not yet sunken below the frozen snow, planning the amount of float that can be safely included with our carve, and finding where holes and snow bridges will end the ecstacy. Kick a set of stairs for a 20 minute climb and the job is done.
Bell of Baw.. is that a narrative of the trip Feather? As shown in your image afore? (with red dots). ?
O No! I describe the true trackless trip, worthy of the best bush bashers with a resting heart rate of 40, not the trot along the worn pathway to the detour shown in red. That red run is for wooses! You drive to 4000 feet! It ends in a carpark for 2 4wds only. Them that take that easy access on a weekend have a very good chance of meeting a decending wagon, and having to reverse down for 20 minutes with a good chance of sliding off the track while being blinded by the sweat running into their eyes. Serves them right for trying to do Feathertop the easy way.
so all the red lines are the paths you have walked?
On that route every single step is upwards, so carrying Red Bull instead of 4 litres of water will not surfice. What would Raury do in the face of such divided attention from a neophyte and a skywriter who proposes roads where even a 4wd wombat would lose traction? Press on with cheerful deign, no doubt. Forever optimistic, as a windsurfer whose van is at present imobilised by cobwebs, I can even relate the Big Gum Tree incident without a moan.
To protect the reputation of all concerned, the following recount should be considered as pure fantasy.
A day late, and somewhat dirty and battered from a final shortcut which uprooted saplings while plunging down the power line clearing above Mount Beauty, I called at the copshop to be confronted with a notice to the effect that all enquiries should be made at Wodonga. A local SES member was of limited help as he could muster neither a vehicle nor chainsaw. Wodonga plod finally arrived to rescue the numerous cars trapped at Feathertop (story by then had been embellished to guarantee a response) and we broke into the local plodplace to get a chainsaw which turned out to be very blunt when confronted with the obstacle. Using it like an axe eventually saw a cut completed after which an attempt to push it off the road ended up with the police 4wd stuck on top of the trunk. But alls well that ends well.
And so to bed..
BelBawBaw.. you continue to surprise. Skywriter am I? My roads are pure fantasy, as is your tale of break, enter and rescue, no?
Well I supose if we ask bawbaw for a story at 2 am in the morning we get what we deserve. Very funny. Not outlandish enough to be true however.
Cross my heart and hope..no way, living is very important to an atheist. Believe me, to take a bearing on the Telstra phone tower every hour reinforces the perceived advantages of even a medium-tech connection. But where are the new horizons when a Spanish team sets off across the Antartctic via the Pole Of Inaccessability (Vostok) in a kite powered tent? http://www.tierraspolares.es/noticia_ing.php?id=00000000000000000078
*squawk* Houston, we have lost Apollo 666 (aka the BawBawBel). *squawk*
It was in close Earth orbit, but has now tangented off into inner space... *squawk*
our calculations imply an inaccessible South Pole landing in about 34 months.*squawk*
Houston, out. *squawk*
"This is Houston"
"You have a problem?"
Back on topic
bawbawbel can you crayon which route you took?
Ireckon its not on this pic. On the far right of the pic is North Peak and a snow remnant in Hellfire Gully. BBB is talking about the next valley out of pic to right, and ascending the ridge beyond that, if I understand the maps above correctly.
Yes, Graeme is right. But I wouldn't recommend the route for Matt as it is exactly that (a route and not a track). In other words, one progresses by keeping on the least vegetated areas, usually on the north side of ridges. It is easy to end up wandering into steep ascents on the way up unless one checks a compass now and then.
Seeing The Feather from the High Plains near the Falls/Omeo road, I was determined to get there for day trip skiing. The most futile attempt was to try the creek with a machette and grappling hook. (It looked most inviting from the bottom- har bldy har.)
Three years (November tries) later, on mountaineering skis for half the trip, managed a glimpse down through the fog at my goal before retreating. Curving down forever behind a strange cliff which I have been advised is NOT the result of a meteorite, it both fascinated and repelled (just a fraction too steep for lazy backcountry turns)
Bel of Baws.. back from an interstellar inquiry? Antarctica sent you back to warmer climes?
Your attempts on the Feather seem must rambunctious... and your preference for land that faces Sol to the north does make for easier progress, through eucalypt, ti tree and Rubus fruticosus aggregate - that's bushy Blackberry of the organic, non-phone type.
Machette not big enough?
Some feathery resources..
From last winter (2005).
Looking down towards fed hut returning after a great day!
hey, that's a fantastic shot!
yep, love the shot
Cheers Guys - a couple more:
Down the gully to the south of the south summit
Off the knoll behind fed hut
Stallie, brilliant shots!
stallie Brilliant photo man!
Hmm maybe we should have a backcountry forum photo competition....
mmm.. almost photobarnes quality...
Alex we at least could re-start the ever-popular 'where am i?' thread. Nice shots stallie.
top effort stallie
i didn't realise the feather was so low
that pic is taken from fainter?
already had one generous offer to tag along on a feathertop trip this season. Anyone else willing to hook up and spend a weekend or so skiing?
I'm also yet to get a response to my question:
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?
Also, what's the deal with parking down the mountain and hiking up NW and bungalow?
Simo_tele. I'm in the same boat as you - done some backcountry day trips just outside Hotham resort and also OS. No Multiday trips though
Weekend before last I walked up Bungalow and then across to Dimatina Hut. I have to ski that mountain. I'll hook up with you.
Walking up Bungalow until the snowline and then skinning looks very possible. Hiking up there with skiis on back and wearing touring boots looks like it would suck. You couldn't skin across from Dimatina - too up and and down and fiddly but certainly an option on snowshoes I'm in AT gear so the slog up from Harrietville would be interesting.
Do Bungalow spur - just walk up in your ski boots with your skis on your pack, put skins on and ski when the snow is good enough. It really is the easiest way - I do it every time in Garmont Synergies and my Scotty Bobs. If you don't have skins, just walk - someone else will have broken the trail for you. The trail is well marked, even gradient (as discussed a few pages back) and relatively clear of overhanging trees catching on skis. In an average season you can ski down to the old hut site, further if it's a good season. Parking is at the trail head - free.
NW spur is steep, real steep in spots, but still do-able. I have walked it at least a dozen times in winter throughout the 90's starting at midnight on a Friday night taking between 3-5 hours to MUMC hut. (Come to think of it - I've never been up it in summer!). Not an easy ski down, tight and treed.
The Razorback from Diamantina Hut is quite doable skinning - my girlfriend and I did it last year - with her on AT gear. We actually walked up Bon Accord spur from Harrietville. To save time, you sometimes ski down knolls with skins on (better with glue skins, not horrid voile snake skins) but all in all it's a fantastic skitour, and here's a photo to prove it! I am standing almost exactly at the signpost at the top of Diamantina Spur, and yes, she's on AT gear).
Having said all that, it is still an alpine environment, and it does not tread the inexperienced kindly. Make sure you have the right gear, if in doubt ask.
Gosh, we had this discussion about 8 pages back, but who cares if the discussion repeats when the photos just get better!
we had a similar discussion but my questions never really got answered. I don't mind the thread running off into a general feathertop discussion as it help everyone but i just wanted to clarify a few things in my own thread.
thanks for the info so far, can't wait for this season!
Stallies pics are so beautiful that I can taste the snow. And lucky to have a gf competent enough to decend the tight trail back down on skis without a request to "Carry me!"
Yes, Matt, VSG has the location of the Feather plotted at the right height. The apparent size of it is distorted by the fact that we are looking at a pretty big hill.
Here are ancient pics from Bel's Bash (have taken up naming rights)
Beware of falling Rocks on the West Kiewa Logging Road.
Lots of trees to lean on while sucking your camelback
Only a vestige of the cornice on South Summit ridge (this is the continuation of the Razorback)
But down the hill is one big December icecream.
Bel of Baws... what is the red stick on the skier's right of this chute of late season slush? Am I looking skywards?
In a assumed pristine, nay, virgin environment?
looks like a ski stuck in the snow to me..
bel of baws thanks for all your answers
are the above pics taken from the west kiewa logging road? If So its possible to see the summit from the road?
simo tele i have never done it in winter, but have done the bungalow spur in the summer when it was snowing (during a summer blizzard) it was easy to walk in hiking boots to federation hut once u got past the hut it proved difficult. Bungalow spur is the way to go, easy grade well defined track. n-w spur is very very steep
Skinning from Diamentina is quite practical - have done it a few times and I love the trip. If snow cover is low there is walking in places especially the lower middle section. I only take the skins off if dumping the pack to have a ski off the side (hard to do this on Bungalow spur). Latest thing I have done is to make skinny (about 30mm) skins from an old 50mm set - should be good for this trip in 2006, but still carrying wider skins for on the mountain. In bad weather I would choose Bungalow spur. On one trip I skinned in from the Razorback but went down Bungalow due to bad visibilty; needed to hitch back up to dig out the car at Diamentina.
what is the idea with the skinnier skins ? easier to slide down the moderate downhills of razorback with skinny skins left on ?
Couldn't you have pitched a tent at Federation hut when the weather was nasty after coming across the razorback ?