Firewood and access reports NE Vicco

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Ubiquitous Steve, May 17, 2018.

  1. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Moondog has reported in that P.Valley Hut has no firewood.....Team Bears hope to remedy the situation......it would appear many squirrels have been to busy talking without taking action in storing some acorns for the coming cold months!!

    But let's skip the geopolitics and concentrate activities .

    Also Chokenchicken has reported a large tree blocking access to Granite Flat Spur Track near the seasons gate.

    Bears have recently stocked firewood in Blairs and at Mt Wills Huts.
    Anybody else that needs attention drawn to fallen debri,landslips etc feel free to share your knowledge to the benefit of others.
    Also Toms Hut got much attention ...it's weather tight and stocked with dry firewood....

    The recent cold snap obviously brought down many trees.
    QBW is coming up soon then expect barriers locked into many areas.....

    Mr T reported that rd from Mt Margaret to Keppels Hut was open but the high winds of the weekend could have changed the status.??

    Anybody got reliable reports on Mt Ck Rd /Trappers Gap into Camp Ck Saddle or Holloway etc....those routes would appear to be of most interest to the forum .

    Forum members can refrain from quoting Hut codes and banging on about backcountry ethics in this thread from now on.Just put in some detail to help others of any relevant observations that may hinder other Park users....

    We also noted that Vic Rds had some issues on the BHP Rd prior to Falls Ck with minor landslips.

    We would appreciate it if the moderator deleted any posts from buffoons trying to exercise their giant egos.by posting in this site...yes we totally support such intervention.
     
  2. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Remember no numb nuts to coin a Glen Wills expression....do some work!
    Them fires don't go without de firewood......
     
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  3. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I am going up to Keppel's hut this weekend to do a food drop and scope out the access to the Lake Mtn. ski trails from the hut. I suspect there will be quite a bit of timber down across the track. I may have to clear the road to get access to the hut. Yes I know about tension and compression in logs that are lying suspended across a declivity on a bench cut 4 x 4 track.
     
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  4. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Is that duplicity or declivity....
    no apologies....you are correct...Team Bears are getting confused with another topic!
    Bears will see some declivity tonight on their trip to Kittens!
     
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  5. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    So you reckon I should take up the block splitter then Steve?
    Headed up again on Wednesday to set-up some stuff etc before the next snowfall and the road closure for the season.
    Not having the ute and therefore not being able to tow my trailer has proven to be a right royal PITA
     
  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Alas I may have left my run too late for a Pretty valley supply drop for the 2018 White Season. I will have to carry all my food up Road 24 to near Moondog's camp site in August. I will be sure to make a supply drop for the 2019 ski season in April 2019.

    On another front The access to Keppel's hut in the Lake Mountain area from Upper Lady Talbot drive onwards is 4 WD only now and even that is sketchy.

    The carriageway is full of deep slippery muddy ruts, pools of brown water of unknown depths, shattered tree trunks of considerable size and the surface is being churned up this weekend by a veritable convoy of monster tonka toys.
    These 4 WD enthusiasts are having their last hoorah en masse for high country access by way of off road vehicles before the gates are locked next month. Yanks' Folly track is already locked and gated.
    The foot track from Keppel's hut to The Boundary hut ruins ski trail has some huge logs down across it which require squirming and wriggling to get through them. Some other timber is at least 50 cm.s in diameter if not much larger but it can be scrambled over.
    You would need two people with some proper training armed with 24 inch bar chain saws and giant crow bars to get anywhere with those obstacles. Some of them are suspended and perched on a slope.
    There are safety issues at play should the authorities find the time , money and human resources to cut and clear this path. It was freshly cut two years ago or so and has grown back a lot.
    The foot track is slippery and wet but I have experienced worse in terms of timber down and blocking easy access on foot tracks in the Vic. Alps.
    We the people who enjoy this area need to start nagging DELWP and PV to clear the huge logs and get in there with a brush cutter and clear the heath that is swallowing up that track.
    It was cold and damp up there but very peaceful as always, once you walk up the track away from the road and hut.
     
    #6 Mister Tee on XC Skis, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  7. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The firewood supply at Keppel's hut is OK. The influx of 4 WD people between now and June 13th ( gate closure date) may change this.
    PV in Mansfield say the road to the Bluff Hut is open until June13th but take care and possibly walk the last 2 kms if you don't have low range gears &/ or a locking differential.
    If you are doing a food drop up at The Bluff hut in readiness for BC XC skiing the Bluff summit area or the more sheltered route to Lovick's hut then keep this matter in mind , namely of being able to get in and out in your vehicle.
    Should I head up there before the gates are closed then I will go back down to Sheep yard flat the same day.
    T.
     
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  8. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    Means walking from Bluff Link Road.
     
  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The Ranger told me on the phone that some work has been done on the Bluff track from The Bluff link road.
    I will report back should one venture up there. Plus a chance to walk out to the Eagles peak from 8 Mile Gap may present itself if the weather permits.
     
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  10. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Team Bears managed to get a load into Pretty Valley ....road open,
    only a little snow at highest point....two wheel drive no chains!
    Pretty Valley is missing some weather boards on outer wall in front of door.

    Ryder's visited and ample wood supply exists for its open fireplace.
    Door on Ryder's needs cord to operate latch...temporary fix undertaken!
    A couple of busted seats...but overall good.



    Cope Hut in very good condition and has well stocked wood shelter...no need to do anything there....well done Hut caretaker!:thumbs:

    Cope Saddle Hut ...minimal wood and briquettes in wood box ...floor board missing one foot by five inches roughly.Dangerous if you fall in this hole!Door hinge is a little fragile too.Couple small holes in weather boards ..wood stove needs new ash pan..
     
  11. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Steve I was there and left the blocksplitter and another white shovel and some freeloading assholds seem to have taken a heap of the firewood already to use in the open fireplace up at the horseyards.
    I may have to buy myself a small cheap chainsaw for this winter, so many dead snowgums in dangerous condition around the area and if the horse riders can cut dead gums for burning I don't see why I can't, even if I have to pay for a permit to do so. Looks like this season I will be buying a lot of Ecologs from Bunnings
     
  12. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    MrTee the road is open still; will be until QB W/E I reckon unless we get some Antarctic air really soon
     
  13. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I doubt I will find time to do a supply drop at Pretty valley before June 13th 2018. I will come on foot up Road 24 and camp with you MOONDOG , in early August but alas I will have to cart all my food in. There must be a Sherpa service somewhere!.
    I bought my chainsaw, a Makita 16 inch bar jobbie from my local Mower shop. They assembled it and tested it for me. Bunnings do not do this for you if you buy a chainsaw from them. Get the safety gear if you buy a chain saw. The goggles, gloves, ear muffs and proper leg protecting chaps. I know Ubi Steve does n't wear this stuff but when I did my chainsaw handling and maintenance course we had to wear it so it must be for a reason. So I always wear the safety gear when cutting wood with a chainsaw.
     
  14. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Another load of firewood into Pretty Valley Hut Saturday.
    Fixed damaged and missing weather boards.We picked up a 4.8m w/b from Bunnings Wang.
    Got over to Weston's Sunday....several trees of small to moderate diameter were barring the way Just short of Weston's Hut..They are no longer a problem ....Track now clear of all fallen debri from above...we expect some trees blocking path as you come up from Blairs though.

    Cut all the meger supply of wood in shelter up and placed out of weather.Found dead fallen tree behind Hut and cut it up too.
    Now nectre still has damaged hinge...so you have to lift door as you close it to lock it!This has been damaged for 12mths.
    Hut very good....tap running outside so this gives you an idea of Ground and air temps over past period.Good bow Saw on wall with spare new blade available...no hatchet or axe that we could see?
     
  15. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Looks like snow comming last three days of May....all past snow has totally disappeared !BOM forecast ...
     
  16. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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  17. Moondog55

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    What do people think of the new sawdust EkoLog stuff being made in Seymour?
    They come in 20 kilo packs from the factory for $13:75 each pack [ 10 logs] and slightly cheaper by the pallet, apparently they are drier and denser than Redgum logs and each "log" will burn for about 3 hours. $6 a day for heating the tipi doesn't sound too bad, buy them from Bunnings and they are $3.99 each log
     
  18. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    What about a shite load of briquettes?
     
  19. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Sure. If you want to carry them in, I'll use whatever works out cheapest
    I've been know to drop a few bags of briquettes behind the hut in previous years but compressed sawdust logs are eco friendly and brown coal isn't really
     
  20. Ubiquitous Steve

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    There is a reasonable supply of wood cut into blocks the size required for pot belly but they need to be split...ash splits so easily however...

    If some imbecile swipes Moondogs block splitter then problems could arise..so Team Bears suggest that parties may bring in a cheap hatchet and leave it there...thus making it probable that blocks can be cut up mid winter!
    Team Bears still have further work part this weekend scheduled fir the high plains...we cannot visit all Huts but are picking the ones essential to a smooth(warm)running winter for travellers.....Huts on the AWT are pretty essential projects....

    Anybody going thro especially Dibbins ...please pull some wood into that hut...cos we expect it has a scanty supply....Derecks is normally well looked after by that Hut group!!
    Team Bears cannot do more than we are doing....!
    Looks like snow is comming soon....
     
  21. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Scanning across the other posts....
    We see that BHP rd is most probably still open after this three day system.......

    "Could have been a bit more snow on top this morning when the clouds cleared than first thought. It came pretty low (900m but did not settle there) with the BHP road nice and white but not closed. Still do not think it would be enough to provide any good runs on Bogong."...lifted from Xploras post from yesterday.:thumbs:
     
  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    It must be an approx. a 10 km hike from Shannonvale to Fitzgerald's hut up Kelly's track / The Lanes if you leave your car at the bottom of the hill. I am looking at that route possibly for a white season trip with skis strapped to my pack. Driving in would be a long way , possibly Melb . to Bairnsdale and then up the Omeo / Mitta Road with a night halt/car camp at Big River bridge campsite.
     
  23. Ubiquitous Steve

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    I think Barrier may have been relocated down closer to main road.. Xplora may be able to give a reliable update if required..Or come straight over Hotham ..Harrietville to Omeo...Camp perhaps down at Alps Lookout a little above Omeo(first steep sustained climb)and on waking early continue quickly along Omeo Highway...
    All agree....well most agree...that the approaches from the eastern side whether from Trapyard Gap or from Kelly's Track are the most rewarding in that it's a quiet experience without the activities of the ski resort and their car parks......it's also pretty cost effective with a couple of folk to share petrol/diesel .No entrance charge to National Park...no Resort Management Fees for through traffic over Hotham.....best of all no windy corner or blizzard over dam wall factor !
     
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  24. Ubiquitous Steve

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    And we read chokenchickens post of late May revealing the obstruction has been delt with on the start of four wheel drive track up to Granite Flat.

    "The big fallen tree blocking the Granite Flat Spur track has been cleared thanks to a couple of kind gentlemen. Apparently they had a chain saw with a 30 inch bar. Well done, I appreciated their handy work on a nice day trip up Bogong today."
     
  25. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    You'd need a 30 inch bar to clear some of the logs on the foot track from Keppel's hut to the Boundary Hut Ski Trails on Lake Mtn.I am heading up to the Bluff Hut on Monday. I will report back. If anyone fancies coming with me for a Bluff hut weekend BC XC ski trip once the white season kicks in then please PM me .My 2nd hand diamond pattern snow chains fit. I tested them this morning on my new All Terrain tyres.
    In fact thanks to forum member LEGEND who sold me the 2nd hand diamond pattern wheel chains for a very nice price.
     
    #25 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Jun 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  26. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    You'd need a bulldozer to clear a tree that has fallen on Boundary Track not far above LT Drive :whistle:
     
  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Yes, I saw that. It has shattered enough at the top to get my RAV 4 past it but it is a big job waiting to be done.I doubt DEWLP will do anything about it until they survey the blockages along those roads when the end of October comes around, prior to the gates being reopened in November.
     
  28. neilmny

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    There is the advantage of the smaller RAV4 Mr. Tee. My son in laws Landcruiser squeezed past by less than 10cm (by my eye).
    I had to guide him through with lots of small steering adjustments. That tree on the very left edge right at the worst spot didn't help. We moved a lot of loose obstacles that tended to tilt us towards the log and considered winching the log away. We assessed that because we couldn't get an ideal attachment to the log that there was a high risk the log would roll or spin closing the way even more so left it alone. It was too big for our chainsaw. We did remove some fallen trees from Boundary Track West later in the day.
     
  29. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The tracks up there are very muddy and rough . It requires some driving skill and nerve to get up to Keppel's hut now. In Summer when it is dry the unsealed carriageway conditions are like another place altogether.
     
  30. neilmny

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    The tracks were quite good it was the plethora of trees just waiting to come down that had us a bit nervous.
    With your new mud tyres just go with a little momentum (not 4wd yobbo style) and use your ground clearance wisely and all should be fine.
     
  31. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Yes, just put it in low gear and keep it rolling. PV told me that the road up the Bluff Hut has had some road works done to it. I shall find out tomorrow what that looks like. I too was nervous about more trees coming down onto the road when I went up to Keppel's hut late last month. It made me change my plans and drive home the same day while I could still get out at all.
     
  32. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Yesterday I returned from a mission to the Bluff Hut. A trip report can be found in BC trip reports on this website.
    If you are going to do a pre BC XC ski trip briquette and tinned food drop up there or to Lovick's hut before the gates are locked ,then take a big chain saw and make sure you can get in AND OUT. A proper 4 x 4 vehicle with suitable tyres and low range gears would be best. The tracks up there are wet and very rough and falling timber is an ongoing issue.
     
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  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The Tee mobile on the Bluff Link Track. We had to stop and see if we could drive through a chicane created by a fallen log and the shattered crown of the said fallen tree. Having a smaller car allowed us to squeeze through and not have to start cutting anything.
    I am aware that cutting things can make things worse if the log rolls the wrong way , moreover it uses up valuable daylight and time.
    More to the point of this thread: There is no firewood at the Bluff Hut. Not a twig.
    Even if Team Bears took a trailer load up there, bogans in Tonka Toys would burn it all or take some of it home. I didn't see a bow saw in the hut either. Forum members should take such a tool for white season activities up there this season.
     
  34. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Thanks for report Mister T....the small vehicles have that advantage squeezing through...

    And yes it is distressing when others burn all the wood and don't leave any to replace it.But Team Bears have grown accustomed to this year after year....

    We must say that we were taken back by the nearly full wood shelter at Cope Hut...The hut carer has done such good maintenance out there and needs to be congratulated and recognised by this forum......
     
  35. CaptainC

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    Vic High Country Huts Association did a huge amount of work on Cope Hut so maybe they left the firewood? The pictures on their facebook page were amazing.
     
  36. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Oh they did some very good work....and they need that praise and recognition in this forum.
    Windows ...insulation (tar paper I think ) etc etc...it was good going diwn there one night with absolutely nothing to do......
     
  37. Ubiquitous Steve

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    A quick sorte up Eskdale Track this arvo.

    Road in is free of all debri...surface is good considering its winter.
    No snow on the road in.....only needed two wheel drive with maxxi winter treads.
    Not much work for Team Bears on foot Track ...ran into snow line half way to creek..

    Note** Drain has been decommissioned by Parks and a new track created to the left of it.....oh so much better now....inspected and cut some minor obstacles till about 200meters above Creek.

    two parties of two came past on their way down....looked like walkers...
    They said it's very icy up top and they gave summit the miss!
    Hardly any major timber has fallen this winter across the track....

    The returning parties said it's pretty good all the way to Michelle Hut.
    Not much water on track as the snow is not melting because the ground is very cold....

    So easy walk till the creek....second half of it is thro snow..Track very good.
    Reports from others say Track good all the way till Michelle.
    From personal observations the new routed track to the left of drain (creek side) is a real winner...
     
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  38. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Snowing for a couple of hours in Vicco....

    Perhaps two inches have fallen and the rabble are running around like their butts are on .

    Now I don’t think there will be any access problem resulting from this small event.

    This ain’t no major event....but I suppose when the rabble havenot experienced a decent fall they tend to get excited over anything at all.

    Overseas when it snows they measure the event in meters no mm!

    But let’s tow the party line...not say anything out of place,...

    Yes a grand fall of powder....of about two inches so far.
     
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  39. Ubiquitous Steve

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    So it’s approx 3am EST.and there is such an amazing stash of fresh powder!..

    And look at the monumental increase since 11pm last evening.

    Yes the rabble were just so correct.....we’ll just look at the shear volume of fallen snow on the cedarwood table..

    Perhaos it’s time to place the stubbie measuring stick
    out now,Well there must be enough to half cover the bottle.

    Yes we can well understand all the hype in the forum from this truley remarkable weathrr system..

    The haymaker has delivered such “goodness”.
    ;)

    But let’s stay on the topic of access.

    Has Hotham Rd been closed yet ?
    Well that’s normally the result of a major dump?
    Is the Barrier diwn at Harrietville ?
    R we fitting chains below the Meg?

    Team Bears seem to recall the “Vortex”dumped more snow in two hours than the five days of this multiple frontal system?:thumbs:

    Perhaps we need to be patient as the forum rabble keep saying.....couple more days and you could hide a football on that table with these amazing rates of accumulation.
     
    #39 Ubiquitous Steve, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  40. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The Team leader has not been seen on the planks lately. Any FRESH snow that makes XC skiing more enjoyable is worth being chirpy about and to that effect ,the same goes for the downhill ski caper.
    However last season did have some truly huge late season dumps of snow that buried all the cars in the car parks etc. , here at most VIC. skiing locations.
     
  41. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Yes a small dusting of white stuff and the bunnies are all running around in a manic state!

    But wait....next the rabble will be hyperventilating about having to fit chains on treachous roads.
    And the forum will be subjected to accident snaps when they manage to get the wheels spinning!

    The snow clearer’s based at Mt Blowhard must peruse the forum for a laugh while having smoko...
    Twenty cents worth ....the new slang for a couple of inches....couple of runs and the boys are back having lunch.in the Mt Blowhard Entertainment Complex ...then there is the spectacle of driver collisions to keep the boys entertained and cactus diesels.

    An forum members that detest train wrecks but get joy from posting collisions on the roads to the snow!Just another snow season....perhaps much the same as the previous one!
     
  42. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Treacherous winter driving conditions :emoji_snowflake::emoji_boom::emoji_dash: favour those who know what they are doing on the roads. The Resort of Hot Ham sandwich want people with full pockets and bulging wallets to arrive alive and Ka Ching :emoji_atm: spend their cash at the resort:emoji_department_store::redwine::emoji_cocktail: , not be towed out:emoji_fire_engine::emoji_helicopter: or going :emoji_helicopter: to Wang. or Albury hospital :emoji_ambulance:after a more serious:emoji_face_palm: mishap:emoji_anger_right:.
     
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  43. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Good report!

    With excellent graphics even some with dubious mental processes snow forum will get the message!:thumbs:

    And a train on the tracks!:emoji_factory: w/o derailment and possibility of a crash:emoji_canoe:!
    Yes excellent post!

    Anybody saying “rain”will be ostracised and beaten up the manic majority!
    We expect the party line”wonderful powder is continuing to fall”to be observed.And any rain event should be ignored by the party faithful....:emoji_monkey_face::emoji_speak_no_evil::emoji_see_no_evil:

    Now...let’s see...should any body wish to report any access glitches be they landslips or bus catastrophies.
     
  44. Yohans

    Yohans Hard Yards

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    Federation hut on the w/e 4/5 August just gone had no dry firewood. The parties previous to Saturday had left a bunch of wet wood in the middle of the floor of the hut so a good deal of cleaning up had to be done. Didn't see any axe or log splitter. There are a couple of saws. The bow saw blades are no longer sharp.

    Bungalow spur track is overgrown with those head high, face slapping saplings that try to force you off the track. So you either get a face full of snow or completely drenched from brushing past them. Not so nice. There are also a number of trees down across the track too high to clamber over and too low to limbo under, so its a crawl. A number at ~ 450mm diameter, one significantly larger and quite a few smaller ones.
    There a couple of places where you have to watch your footing carefully as there are little slips along the track just where the saplings are concentrated.
     
  45. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Bears may take a wander up there soon.Cannot do much with the snow clad bushes...we will leave these to Parks Vic.and their Volunteers.
    we might be able to organize a cut and stroll weekendend soon.
    and we might be able to get some firewood organized in Federation Hut.
    Anybody else heading up may want to take some blades up....anybody remember the size of bushblades.
    Its the parties comming long distance that we concern ourselves with....nice to be able to light a fire if you have been struggling thro fresh snow all day...
    ..
    Team Bears 310es Echo has a few problems but after its tune up should deal with most problems if we can get up there.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  46. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

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    Steve, even typing the R word i.e R**N:eek: is bad luck for us skiers!! :p.You have typed it twice already. Are you trying to get a wash out at Lake Mtn.?. Teckel and I will come and haunt you !
     
  47. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Teckel deals with reality...hopefully the season is good for her!:thumbs:
     
  48. Yohans

    Yohans Hard Yards

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    I remember passing you as I was heading into Federation hut 2 years ago to the month. You were on your way down with the chainsaw and a can of fuel. Same night Mr T, then still on snowshoes regaled the folk in the hut with sweet melodies accompanied by his travelling guitar.
     
  49. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Federation can get busy....but it serves its purpose and keeps folk out of trouble ....many would be cactus without it...then when they return they are better equiped.

    Team Bears normally sweep thro Bungelow cutting the smaller obstacles that make life a misery for loaded up travellers who need to perform gymnastic stunts to get through ....and the sloping trees are greasy and dangerous when getting over them with a load on.We are set to go soon.
    If we don’t make Federation on the first sweep we will attempt to get up to old ruin before turning back.Comming down we spend more time on those bigger diameter trees.
    It’s a pity when no dry firewood exists in Federation and saws are blunt.
    But we expect parties to supply new blades or take up a Saw.

    We will get into work mode soon....

    Eskdale Spur seems to be ok....from obs a few weeks ago.The drain section having been bypassed by Parks Summer Works.Well done Parks Vic!
    Team Bears have no idea about Staircase ...but we presume there is numerous fallen small poles here and there.
     
  50. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Any word on the road from Mountain Creek to Camp Gap?

    I'm assuming closed given the huge amount of snow we've had these last few days.

    Also any word on the Eskdale Spur? How is it between Michell and CCH?

    Was planning to head up Friday but having second thoughts.