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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Ubiquitous Steve, May 17, 2018.
I would go...but go prepared.Assume there is snow and chains may be needed.Assume there are some trees over road way....
Also assume other 4x4s will be trying to access Camp Ck so you won’t be on your own.
Those at CC would have to come out sooner or later ....and may be clearing road on their way out.
On Team Bears last clearing op.the walking track up to the creek was good....has been cleared over summer.by Parks Vicco (again good work from Parks Staff)Drain is removed....Track rerouted.to left as you come over creek.
Descending parties said track was free of obstacles at that time all way to MIchelle.
Take shovel,chains,chainsaw in vehicle.
Hopefully other forum members can give you uptodate info.....
Perhaps give Parks Vic Mt Beauty a call first.
Team Bears didnot get to Michelle Hut last trip....so God only knows how much firewood is there !
Take a chainsaw, shovel , chains and a huge crow bar for levering logs cut and uncut out of the way.
Is anyone considering going up Snowy Ck. Rd. and Mulhauser track/spur to CC hut ?. The Camp Creek valley would be very nice to ski on at present. Friday will be a clear weather window but VERY WINDY so take care out there comrades. Those naughty trees will be falling down.
Cope Hut does really look very good - all credit to the restoring team from the Vic huts association -
I was at Cope hut last weekend and the weekend before. Lovely to sit out of the 50 km/h wind and have lunch.
Still some wood there too - seems to have been replenished as well. By the looks of the ParksVic visitors book in the hut its very intensively used, though less so in snow season.
Wallace’s Hut is also in comparatively good nick, though the lack of an adequate latch on the door results in a windblown drift of snow inside - over time that’s going to accelerate the deterioration of the hut.
In general terms it seems reasonably well looked after by the Scouts though, all credit to them too.
Well we will have to get info from Xplora ....about Omeo Highway,Mt.Wills Track and Snowy Log Rd.
There must be skiable snow from Mulhauser (Long Spur) to Cleve Cole...Perhaps all the way out to Big River Roadway...
But access will be a problem ....I doubt you would get too far up Mulhauser Track at moment from its Turnoff.But I have no current knowledge of tree fall or snow depth!
So we will have to rely on forum members to fill in the info gaps?
I’m thinking of heading up early Saturday,... definitely some terrain specific avalanche concerns.... besides trees over the road.
There is an avalanche alert. I am playing it safe and sticking with the Lower mtn. at Mt. Stirling this weekend.
You might want to PM Xplora and mention the latch issue to him...he talks regularly to Mt Beauty Staff and can drawcit to their attention ...and I am sure a result will come over time.Yes really good to see the work at Cope Hut...it’s nice to hide out in there when that wind is howling!
Cf. Comment on closing of Stanley Bowl...
I would advise you to contact Chaeron and head up in convoy...when he goes up on Saturday Morning.....I would keep out of there in the dark.
Also....how is Moondog going...is he set up in Pretty Valley.....Team Bears just curious as to how he is going in this heavy duty wind scenario
...hopefully his tents are with standing all the semi blizzard stuff being thrown thro there??
@Thomas WHiteside - sounds like a good call - the voice of experience...
Have sent you a PM.
Oh it’s too dangerous at night....also consider some tree heads may be loaded with snow.....if winds are heavy ...not the place to be trying to cut obstacles off the roadway!
Just for those interested....
Team Bears have too much to do ....but some folk may be interested in this add??
Had a good chat to Rob from the Mt Bogong club, we're gonna head up after all. We're gonna start Friday morning, then two nights a CCH and back down on Sunday.
If anyone comes into Michelle hut via the Hollow way and Granite Flat spur then please report back.
Check out chockenchickens report in BC chatter thread for more details of access.It appears all of Long Spur is skiable if I am reading correctly.
Also Hongomanias report in BC chatter thread from an earlier date.
Sorry not quite what you're after, but I drove from the Mt Beauty side to granite flat trailhead on friday morning. Quite a bit of snow, but drivable in a decent 4WD as the tracks cut right through to the dirt/gravel. I believe this next system is quite cold so that may put more snow down this low.
Great little trip. Going over the top on Friday not as bad as we'd expected. Winds were apparently very high in the morning, but they'd quietened down around lunchtime when we left Michell's.
Road in is good, though very muddy in one small section. Two trees down but recently cut so access is no issue. Didn't need to fit chains.
Eskdale is looking good, solid snow from the creek crossing up.
Sunday morning was glorious, but weather set in about 11.30, high winds and increasingly bad vis. Made it over and down ok, though we did move a little slower than we'd hoped.
CCH very full over the weekend.
Well done. Did you miss "The Drain"?. The new route up from the creek along the Eskdale spur is something I have not investigated yet.Next season in August we should give Mulhauser spur up to CC Hut a go. I am happier if I have some company in the back country , even just for the sake of safety.
Sure, I'd be keen. Any excuse.
Good work.The roading work up to CampCk Gap has been performed well.The surface is pretty good even over winter....well drained and compacted.They appear to have taken out many trees that were likely to fall over this road during winter...those smaller ones are generally easily handled by winter parties.
Great to meet you Sunday at Mitchell’s hut @Thomas WHiteside - thanks for the access info. Wednesday night. Road still good Monday p.m. - encountered about 6 people heading up today - 10 cars at Camp Creek Gap. As we were pulling out a Suzuki Swift was driving in - that says everything about the current state of the road.
Great to meet you too. Sounded like you got some nice runs in. Will see you again I'm sure!
Anyone else thinking of going this weekend?
If my legs comes good then I will snow camp near JB Hut . The forecast is for a vast amount of snow to fall on Saturday.
Too much mad schussing Mr T ....you have burnout and the seasons just started!
Only death will stop me XC skiing
right through August. After that I need to slow down and get ready and fit for
trekking in N. India's Himalaya.
I am seeing the G.P. today and the Physiotherapist tomorrow morning. I am not keen on missing out on these excellent snow conditions!!.I am used to being active and fit all year round. I am still limping a tiny bit .
Just ease back a little....perhaps a trip to Ryder’s Hut ....camp for a few days and read a book or two.....restricting non essential travel....even foregoing a trip to Mt Cope....big fire ...kicking back and relaxing for three days solid .....
Team Bears prescribing a few slack trips to restore your physicality...
The physiotherapist said today my hamstring strain injury is not too severe. I got the green light for swimming ,cycling and walking. He said I should be O.K. to XC ski on 25/8/18.
Team Bears on a mission...bit rainy in Ovens Valley...update later on track clearing op.
Mission complete....track clearing sorte on Bungelow Spur....the aim was to clear up to the Ruin in the arvo....but Team Bears were about one km short of reaching target....all fallen timber clear till point in snow about one kilometre short of the Ruin.We started to get into the hard section covered in snow on the the Sth Face of the slope but at 5.30 we knocked off.The last three trees over track in this difficult section were well worth removing. ..they were at chest height and about eight inches in diameter.
We counted about seven vehicles in the Carpark when we returned with torch around 7.30pm.
No snow till,the ridge proper ...
More work to do up here on another day soon.
We had a nice weather window with no rain 1pm till 5pm..approx.
Bit of light rain on the way down and on drive back to Myrtleford .
Great work Steve. I know you will take care around the ruin of the Feathertop Bungalow and won't disturb what little remains of the old hotel. You may know I wrote a history of it and I'm still very interested in the subject. So if you find any artefacts, a photo of them would be hugely appreciated. Thanks.
I will keep an eye out for stuff..when I return and cut the last bit.
I was cutting this fallen tree off track and noticed some fat Tele skis hidden under an old previously cut log...!!.where we finished work.
Team Bears were grovelling in snow....but when we return some of this snow will be melted off track..I don’t think we got to little creek over track but the snow was covering things.Those horses sure look good....Team Bears could have done with some of those!
They used a combination of pack horses and oversnow tractors to deliver food, linen and other supplies to the Feathertop Bungalow. These horses couldn't quite make it, they are being unloaded just before that little muddy creek you mentioned.
Yeah the going gets tuff without snow shoes ...I was wondering how the horses went through there....and you can easily sink a foot (leg)in very deeply ...which would have been dangerous for horses .
Team Bears were skidding all over the place as we got a good footing to initiate some cuts ....
Nice picture Bogong ......we like the working dogs looking on during the procedure !
I don't know how many any of you readers have tried walking up & down these hills with a chainsaw in one hand and fuel can in the other hand. It is actually much tougher than you might imagine. Your arms and shoulders start to burn with the effort and balancing on uneven terrain is also interesting when you have no hands or arms free.Hats off to Team Bears .
Oh we are very unfit....got cramps in hands and wrists after getting back down...this time stashed saw up there fir future work soon....Team Bears bit knocked around but we are very unfit...next time will be a bit easier on the body....so trip back down was pretty easy with nothing much in pack...tried to bend down for drink at creek on first section of track but started to get cramps in legs so had to lie prone with straight legs to get a drink!But we are very unfit....we need to build back up again physically fir this work.That bench seat at Picnic Point is one of the best seats in Victoria!!Have had lots of magnesium pills overnight!
Do a spot of XC skiing while the snow lasts. That will improve your fitness for your much appreciated track clearing trips.
Eric Johnston used homemade snow shoes on his horses when going up the Bon Accord Spur to Hotham. I'm not sure if the same happened up the Bungalow Spur
After the loss of the Bungalow, Johnson got a job to repair and renovate the old Feathertop Hut (1912 - 1980) which was only 200-ish metres from the site of the Bungalow. Later, at the same time as he was doing the Bon Accord to Hotham run he also used his snow shoe shod horses to carry supplies up to Feathertop Hut in winter.
By that time the road up the spur wasn't as well maintained, it had degenerated into the track we still use today, so they couldn't use the oversnow tractors towing sleds like they did in the days of the Bungalow.
Tell us about Champion spur. It is the only route I have yet to walk up in the area.
Champion Spur? I don't know it very well so others may be better than me on its current condition.
But basically it is highly variable from year to year. It had a mining track on it in the 1800s, a 4WD fire access track was dozed straight up it to within a few km of the Razorback in about the 1960s? A footpad has developed from the end of the rough 4WD road to where the track on the Razorback goes east-west for a short distance.
About once a decade they run a dozer over the old fire track and it becomes a steep, but not too hard, walk. During the 2006? fires they even built a metre wide walking track from the top of the 4WD road to join up with the Razorback. But if the road hasn't been dozed for many years, it can get overgrown or eroded making it slightly heavy going.
But the top and bottom are the tricky bits. If you want to go down Champion Spur, you have to know where the footpad diverts from the Razorback track, but once you're on it, staying on the route until it joins the top of the fire track isn't terribly hard. At the bottom the old fire track stays near the Ovens River but on the east bank and it's usually pretty over grown, so many people take the Bon Accord track out of Harrietville for a few km and ford the river at the base of Champion Spur and then use the route up the fire track to climb the spur.
But as I said, conditions vary and I'm not up to date, so listen to someone who has been there in the last couple of years.
I am thinking there is more to be gained re Tourism dollar with short walks with one or two nights camping
Team Bears are thinking much would have been gained by rebuilding Bon Accord,fixing the bridge ..putting in a new hut near the Ruin on Bungelow Spur and by recutting NW Spur Track and Champion Spur Track....all of which would be small bikkies compared to what’s be spent on FHAW already and what’s yet to be swandered!
The Feathertop Razorback Walk is still popular ....and winter still pulls folk to Feathertop regularly!
Spending money here with intelligent works would have been much more productive for all concerned.
A few new routes:NWSpur and Champion Spur @and Bon Accord would diffuse the numbers of walkers encountering each other.
The Diamantina spur and the Northern Razorback walking routes could be given a tidy up but not turned into a bleeding Lego Land.
You're too late, there is already one very close.
Legoland and Hotham are both owned by Merlin Entertainments, so it may not be a surprise that there is a proper "Legoland Discovery Centre" about 12 km from Feathertop at the Hotham. According to a Hotham brochure, you can even "meet Bertie the minifigure mascot" there.
NPWS have the right idea. They manage the ski resorts in NSW in the KNP. As far as I know the NPWS have not allowed such a thing as LEGO LAND within the national parks that they manage. I know in VIC. the ski resorts are excised from the Nat. parks but such horrific innovations (sic) are incongruous at best when encountered after spending time bushwalking, camping and/or ski touring etc. in the VIC. Nat. Parks.
Mister Tee, as much as I admire the way you do things, I have to disagree with you there. While I know you don't use the ski resort facilities (except for their access roads), they do have their place for the masses who like downhill skiing and on mountain accommodation. So if we're going to have a ski resort, they will inevitably have child care places. Some of those child care joints at other resorts have mascots like a bloke in a possum suit at Buller or "Pete the snow dragon" at Falls, while all of them have toys for the kids. I don't think having a child care centre that includes a small Legoland and a mascot at Hotham is all that different, it's just a spot of cross promotion by the lift company.
As to having ski resorts inside parks like Tassie and NSW or outside parks in Victoria. Is there any effective difference in how the resorts are run apart from which bureaucracy administers them? Actually if you think (as I do) that parks should be reserved for discreet and unobtrusive recreation in nature, then noisy ski resorts that alter the landscape should not be in parks. So I prefer the Victorian system, it's less hypocritical than NSW and Tasmania.
That is a fair comment and I am always willing to consider such points of view.