Firewood and access reports NE Vicco

Ubiquitous Steve

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Feb 29, 2008
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^^^^^
If You can find Your way up Paling Spur, what makes You think that the rest of Us need a roll of pink tape spread along the route?
Stansi just take up your brush cutter and do a little work party and you can remove as much fluoro tape as you can stuff in your pockets!

And since the fire season is all on our minds....we strongly suggest that the relevant land manager despatch a D4 and clear Brandy Fire Trail of fallen debri ....no firefighting vehicles can access this route without major delays due to uncleared fallen timber.
At the moment it’s good for walkers and horses but not for fire management!

Fire protection not being taken too seriously by some it would seem!:whistle::whistle::whistle::whistle::whistle:
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Personally, I prefer at least three different colour flagging tapes, left over poo rolls adorning dead sticks & confusing cairns at varying distances....
And Tom Dick and Harry can blunder around in there in summer...it’s a bit different when it’s middle of winter and the weather is comming down.You don’t want to be buggering around up there .....it’s Access not a jungle free for all!!
 

Rabid K9

A Local
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Jul 15, 2008
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And Tom Dick and Harry can blunder around in there in summer...it’s a bit different when it’s middle of winter and the weather is comming down.You don’t want to be buggering around up there .....it’s Access not a jungle free for all!!

Have no problems navigating in tracked or trackless terrain, regardless of season. Find adhoc trail markers can distract from actually navigating, particularly in off track areas, but paper map & compass not such a common tool.

But good on you for all the volunteer work.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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It’s interesting when it’s all covered in snow...bush bashing is dangerous with slippery logs to negotiate carrying skis and pack..its hostile off the cleared track....good way to kill yourself in a hurry!

You cannot progress through this area...but I assume you are aware of the terrain and heavy vegetation.
 

Bogong

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More woke than thou.
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Last time I was near Paling Spur (admittedly a few years ago) it was a nearly impenetrable mass of pointy sticks and thorny scrub with no discernible route. So if Steve and his bears, (as well as the unknown other people) have thinned out the scrub and marked the footpad, then I think hikers like us should be very grateful to them.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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It’s possible Parks Vicco have organised the top cut of Paling Spur .Who ever was responsible did a mighty effort ...we just did a log or two.And placed a few more markers along the bushy route.

It’s an important track as it provides an alternative to coming over high plains so one can exit out from a less hostile environment which can be the case with the AWT as it comes out in the wind swept Loch Carpark and environs.We estimate that there may only be about a kilometre that needs a good brush cut to. bring it up to an acceptable level.We May have some time over summer to put more effort in here.

We are interested to see how the track is from the bottom of Paling Spur to Dibbins....I have done it many years ago and remember roughly how it goes.... but how it is today ??

Team Bears weekend walk suggestion is:-

A nice weekend walk maybe down Brandy Ck Firetrail then up Paling Spur to Young’s Hut...camp night there then off to Mt Jim and return to Dibbins Hut then back to Paling Spur near where the two rivers meet and return up B.Ck F/T.
 
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Chaeron

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The Granite Flat Spur Road to 2.5km below the summit of mt Bogong off the Hollow Way is open and in good nick, and the road between the Hollow Way and Camp Creek Gap is in exceptional condition.

The Camp Creek road between the Gap and Mountain Creek campsite past the bottom of the Staircase is 4X4 driveable but rough. Trapper’s Gap Road the better option - 2WD accessible.

Access from Lightning Creek campsite on Mitta Mitta onto the Hollow Way via the Rootsey Spur Track also currently very good but 4X4. The Hollow Way is also very good at the moment.

Granite Flat walking track up to Eskdale Ridge and Michell hut is in very good condition, with one or two small trees down. Michell hut logbook is full, with hut in good condition - not much firewood though which is expected this time of year. Looks like ParksVic have been clearing the Eskdale Spur path.

The Great Alpine way between Omeo and Ensay has been upgraded, and is very driveable, but is very slick in the wet with some oil on the road - caution is advised.

East Gippsland is very dry - it’s going to be a challenging fire season.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Excellent report!

Anybody know of West Kiewa Access by Dungeys Track or from West Kiewa Logging Rd.
Team Bears have not got in there yet....with rainfall forecast later this week and into weekend we may put it off this weekend too!!

Certainly seems a lot of walkers(perhaos school groups ) are using the Bogong Highplains every which way.Feathertop must be getting much visitation judging by the number of vehicles seen at the Diamintina Hut end.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Team Bears did a little work on the Highplains then went over to Toms...at 1.30 am Sunday we were 50m.from Toms and a place to camp when we ran into this beast!
Fortunately we could drive around it.....but it kept us busy all morning trying to cut the mother up and to clear the track..Little shower at first light then some clouds have set in over the higher parts with gentle rain.....We got some pics of the picnic tables at Tawonga ...very impressive slab of timber...they look so good!

We are done fir the weekend ...tired ...having little micro sleeps and all.Stooped Tawonga store for coffee and a pie.Raining now at Tawonga General store as we head back to Melb!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Big River Saddle was given a haircut this morning....nice sunny warm day ahead.Picnic Tables all good up here....
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Team Bears drove to the end of Longspur 4x4 Track....we spent about an hour cutting shrub on a half kilometre of overgrown track.No logs down..track surface is good....4x4. necessary for the several steep pinches.Lunch up here then we will give this campsite a haircut too!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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A couple of trees to dodge on Big River Road But all are negotiable with ease.A no.of vehicles seem to head down Kangaroo Track so I assume it must be passable.
Team Bears now in Windy Corner having arvo tea....on way home now.
Ubi has to work Monday!!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Well the heat is upon the NE...
Team Bears now urging vigilance when having campfires....
Obviously things are going to run hard if they escape from your campfire...so please be careful.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Well we expect DSE will be having “Kittens” if this weather continues...but everybody needs to do their best to keep silly ignitions to zero!

Happy New Year....

.hopefully we won’t lose to many hectares of Public Land over early 2019
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Very hot up in NE and humid.....we managed to trim up this Log ...it was cut by another party originally but Team Bears cut more of it off the roadway ...bbq for the Bears shortly !camping in Big River Saddle...pics later when telstra reception improves ...
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Very mild morning for seven am ish ....off to cut more of this log from road...which is about 200m from campsite.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Most of this well out of way now....Team Bears left their crow bars at home .light shower of rain falling ..time for morning tea!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Weapon of mass destruction has been readied for 4x4 track clearingTemperature has climbed steadily in the last two hours!
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Oh it works ok!Team Bears having lunch at the end of the track...we have done some work with brushcutter on way in.4x4 track clear of debri.

Little rain storms keep occurring for a few mins every so often....
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Summary for Longspur Access via Big River Saddle...

........
1/Big River Road is in excellent condition..hard smooth surface with no obstacles to negotiate ....all the way to Kangaroo Track and further to Long Spur Turnoff.

2/Big River Saddle has been whipper snipped and provides good camping safe from any falling trees or branches .....also fire place is pretty safe as considerable clearing around it.
Closest major creek is about 300meters before campsite...water is flowing freely.
3/Longspur 4x4 Track is clear of all fallen timber...surface is dry ..not too many rocks or holes to worry about.Much overhanging scrub has been delt with....only a few bushes to brush past.
4/Longspur Campsite situated approx half kilometer east of Mt Mulhauser is in good shape and has a picnic table in situ.Bring water....extinguish all fires on leaving ..Excellent views on valleys below ...all the way to Dartmouth’s Firetower!
5/Keep wheels in tyre ruts at all time as brush cutting has been done to both sides of track.Serval steep sections that will need low range first comming in....

Happy New Year from Team Bears..watch out for those electrical storms!!
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Refrigerator Gap track is now clear for the whole route. Someone has gone through very recently indeed and cut all the fallen logs incl. one or two huge widow makers that were blocking the road..
The Bluff Track is wet and very rocky between The King Billy Tree/ Picture point and Lovick's hut.
The Bluff Link Track should trouble low clearance vehicles. It is in poor condition between 8 Mile Gap and the junction with the Refrigerator Gap, and it has some large uneven slabs of bed rock protruding at unhelpful angles. It is no longer suitable for 2 WD with street tyres IMO.
The road up to the Bluff Hut is still a PITA but the RAV 4 ( Tee Mobile) handled it OK.
Brock's road has turned to shite since the heavy rain , hail and electrical storms. Low slung 2wd should avoid it past 8 Mile gap until it dries out and settles down.
I had the chainsaw handy but was lucky not to be required to use it. I got an flat All Terrain tyre thanks to Brock's Road in the Upper Jamieson valley area.
I was running them at 35 PSI , a bit lower than normal for more traction .
I am grounded until I can fix the issue and get a functioning spare for my trip to MacNamara's hut coming in from Callaghan's road near Omeo.
A full trip report of my Xmas/New year Mt. Clear/ King Billies/ Hell's Window/ Mt. Lovick / The Bluff / Upper Jamieson River trekking / bushwalking trip ,with photos, is coming soon.
 

Chaeron

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I’ve been around some of the Hotham and Bogong High Plains huts recently. I’m mostly struck by their intensive visitation and reasonably good condition - they’re mostly well respected and appropriately maintained.

https://hutsvictoria.org.au/the-huts/maintenance-regions-officers/

It’s amazing how many school groups come through - wonderful that so many young people are being exposed to the outdoors.

Looking at the logbooks it’s astonishing how low the winter visitation is for Edmondsons, Cope Saddle, Westons, Dibbins, Spargos, and Youngs, especially given that they’re not really far out.

Mind you, not all visitors record their stay - I’ve been in huts multiple times last winter without logging in.

Stating the obvious- Michells, Cleve Cole and Pretty Valley, Derrick and Cope huts have the highest winter visitation.

Where a hut is associated with a particular organization that has taken responsibility for its care and maintenance and has the adequate manpower and resources then it all works out.

It’s clear the huts mostly now need specialist heritage maintenance which is in keeping with their special character - the Huts Association and ParksVic are clearly mostly on top of this.

Many of the logbooks include a cleanup visit from @Ubiquitous Steve - Westons, Young’s, Cope Saddle, Dibbins...

Also good to read the entries from @Mister Tee on XC Skis in Dibbins and Young’s hut logs - always entertaining reading.

Westons, Young’s and Cope huts are looking fantastic, with a lot of effort gone into looking after them.

Wallaces needs some work by heritage specialists- the Rovers have oversight of it.

Edmondsons, Tawonga huts and Michells are also in very good shape.

I haven’t recently been at Blairs, Ropers, Kellys, Fitzgeralds, Johnsons, Langfords, or Pretty Valley huts so can’t comment on them.

People are mostly adhering to the policy of not overnighting in the huts and bringing tents/bivvies, though Michells, Cope and Edmondsons in the snow season does see people dossing down in the huts from time to time.

Young’s Hut in very good condition - all credit to Border Bushwalking Club who maintain it.

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Cope Saddle hut is also mainly in good nick.

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Dibbins hut will need some heritage maintenance from authorised ParksVic/ Huts Association volunteers at some point soon.

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Derrick Hut very well maintained - all credit to Wangaratta ski club.

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Spargo’s hut also reasonably good - will need some internal maintenance at some point by heritage specialists.

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Chaeron

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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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I’ve been around some of the Hotham and Bogong High Plains huts recently. I’m mostly struck by their intensive visitation and reasonably good condition - they’re mostly well respected and appropriately maintained.

https://hutsvictoria.org.au/the-huts/maintenance-regions-officers/

It’s amazing how many school groups come through - wonderful that so many young people are being exposed to the outdoors.

Looking at the logbooks it’s astonishing how low the winter visitation is for Edmondsons, Cope Saddle, Westons, Dibbins, Spargos, and Youngs, especially given that they’re not really far out.

Mind you, not all visitors record their stay - I’ve been in huts multiple times last winter without logging in.

Stating the obvious- Michells, Cleve Cole and Pretty Valley, Derrick and Cope huts have the highest winter visitation.

Where a hut is associated with a particular organization that has taken responsibility for its care and maintenance and has the adequate manpower and resources then it all works out.

It’s clear the huts mostly now need specialist heritage maintenance which is in keeping with their special character - the Huts Association and ParksVic are clearly mostly on top of this.

Many of the logbooks include a cleanup visit from @Ubiquitous Steve - Westons, Young’s, Cope Saddle, Dibbins...

Also good to read the entries from @Mister Tee on XC Skis in Dibbins and Young’s hut logs - always entertaining reading.

Westons, Young’s and Cope huts are looking fantastic, with a lot of effort gone into looking after them.

Wallaces needs some work by heritage specialists- the Rovers have oversight of it.

Edmondsons, Tawonga huts and Michells are also in very good shape.

I haven’t recently been at Blairs, Ropers, Kellys, Fitzgeralds, Johnsons, Langfords, or Pretty Valley huts so can’t comment on them.

People are mostly adhering to the policy of not overnighting in the huts and bringing tents/bivvies, though Michells, Cope and Edmondsons in the snow season does see people dossing down in the huts from time to time.

Young’s Hut in very good condition - all credit to Border Bushwalking Club who maintain it.

F407FB3B-CBCE-4C4A-8C40-43B018F3A8FD.jpeg


Cope Saddle hut is also mainly in good nick.

FF1BF740-CF82-4152-B23F-B5C57D966E97.jpeg


Dibbins hut will need some heritage maintenance from authorised ParksVic/ Huts Association volunteers at some point soon.

3B0FC2E4-5C33-4831-9392-8FBD989FA642.jpeg


Derrick Hut very well maintained - all credit to Wangaratta ski club.

92606B99-7804-42CF-B8FE-EC10D984923D.jpeg


Spargo’s hut also reasonably good - will need some internal maintenance at some point by heritage specialists.

9621A0AB-0A2C-4DDD-A240-E28A7E58B6F5.jpeg
The photos of Derrick hut and Spargo's hut look a lot like my photos from 2017-18 Green season walking in the area.
I will be visiting Young's Hut and McNamara's Hut at the real Dinner Plain next weekend and possibly do a day trip to Mt. Jim before slogging it back to the car . I am still tossing up whether to come in from Brandy Mine Creek track or from The Omeo side by the dirt roads. That route from the Great Alpine Road looks good for white season BC XC ski access to Young's hut.
 

Chaeron

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It’s possible Parks Vicco have organised the top cut of Paling Spur .Who ever was responsible did a mighty effort ...we just did a log or two.And placed a few more markers along the bushy route.

It’s an important track as it provides an alternative to coming over high plains so one can exit out from a less hostile environment which can be the case with the AWT as it comes out in the wind swept Loch Carpark and environs.We estimate that there may only be about a kilometre that needs a good brush cut to. bring it up to an acceptable level.We May have some time over summer to put more effort in here.

We are interested to see how the track is from the bottom of Paling Spur to Dibbins....I have done it many years ago and remember roughly how it goes.... but how it is today ??

Team Bears weekend walk suggestion is:-

A nice weekend walk maybe down Brandy Ck Firetrail then up Paling Spur to Young’s Hut...camp night there then off to Mt Jim and return to Dibbins Hut then back to Paling Spur near where the two rivers meet and return up B.Ck F/T.
@Ubiquitous Steve - had not read this post BUT did the following last weekend: From Brandy Creek Mine along Cobungra Ditch, up Golden Spur past Spargo’s, joined AAWT and past Derrick hut, Dibbins, up Cobungra Gap, to Young’s hut, down Paling Spur, along river, up Fire track back to Brand Creek mine - 20km D1, 10km D2. Great hike

! It is a really great hike, but easier to find Paling Spur from the bottom....

The horse riders I encountered at Swindlers Creek had come through from Blairs along Dungeys track so it’s probably easy enough nowadays.
 

Chaeron

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The photos of Derrick hut and Spargo's hut look a lot like my photos from 2017-18 Green season walking in the area.
I will be visiting Young's Hut and McNamara's Hut at the real Dinner Plain next weekend and possibly do a day trip to Mt. Jim before slogging it back to the car . I am still tossing up whether to come in from Brandy Mine Creek track or from The Omeo side by the dirt roads. That route from the Great Alpine Road looks good for white season BC XC ski access to Young's hut.

Steep up and down on the Fire Trail and Paling Spur... would not want to do it with a heavy pack.

It would be a very easy ski down the fire trail, but possibly a bit of a struggle up Paling Spur in snow.

Also, keep in mind it’s inside the resort footprint, so you’d have to pay for Hotham parking unless you came across from JB plain.
 

Chaeron

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Stansi just take up your brush cutter and do a little work party and you can remove as much fluoro tape as you can stuff in your pockets!

And since the fire season is all on our minds....we strongly suggest that the relevant land manager despatch a D4 and clear Brandy Fire Trail of fallen debri ....no firefighting vehicles can access this route without major delays due to uncleared fallen timber.
At the moment it’s good for walkers and horses but not for fire management!

Fire protection not being taken too seriously by some it would seem!:whistle::whistle::whistle::whistle::whistle:
Brandy Creek Fire Trail is clear - fallen trees have been cut.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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@Ubiquitous Steve - had not read this post BUT did the following last weekend: From Brandy Creek Mine along Cobungra Ditch, up Golden Spur past Spargo’s, joined AAWT and past Derrick hut, Dibbins, up Cobungra Gap, to Young’s hut, down Paling Spur, along river, up Fire track back to Brand Creek mine - 20km D1, 10km D2. Great hike

! It is a really great hike, but easier to find Paling Spur from the bottom....

The horse riders I encountered at Swindlers Creek had come through from Blairs along Dungeys track so it’s probably easy enough nowadays.
I really like that route but also want to include Mac Namara's hut at Dinner Plain , along Young's Top walking track. That could mean a side trip of 10-13 kms each way adding another night to the route. I am fine with steep up and down with a heavy pack. It could not be worse than coming down off the Bluff summit with a small family sedan strapped to one's torso. I am inclined to ascend Paling spur on the way in. I 'd be inclined to come over from JB Plain on foot to reach Young's hut in white season. Once set up at Young's hut , then day touring on BC XC skis out to pole 333 and back would be easy , weather permitting.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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@Ubiquitous Steve - had not read this post BUT did the following last weekend: From Brandy Creek Mine along Cobungra Ditch, up Golden Spur past Spargo’s, joined AAWT and past Derrick hut, Dibbins, up Cobungra Gap, to Young’s hut, down Paling Spur, along river, up Fire track back to Brand Creek mine - 20km D1, 10km D2. Great hike

! It is a really great hike, but easier to find Paling Spur from the bottom....

The horse riders I encountered at Swindlers Creek had come through from Blairs along Dungeys track so it’s probably easy enough nowadays.
Yes ...once you have walked out from Paling Spur onto the plain above it easy to tie in the landmarks...big group of snow gums on the plain....cairn to the right of track....Team Bears only pruned a couple of snow gum branches(dead) on minor trees at start of track to give a little indication of recent manmade activity......but first visit in snow would be hardwork......there is an animal skull at the top of track too near its bush edge on plain.It is a very nice walk as you are not likely to see too many people.....once you are on snow plain I don’t think it would take long to walk to Young’s Hut...perhaps half an hour.Knowing where Young’s Hut is in relation to snow pole line and general topography is most helpful though.
 

Chaeron

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Yes ...once you have walked out from Paling Spur onto the plain above it easy to tie in the landmarks...big group of snow gums on the plain....cairn to the right of track....Team Bears only pruned a couple of snow gum branches(dead) on minor trees at start of track to give a little indication of recent manmade activity......but first visit in snow would be hardwork......there is an animal skull at the top of track too near its bush edge on plain.It is a very nice walk as you are not likely to see too many people.....once you are on snow plain I don’t think it would take long to walk to Young’s Hut...perhaps half an hour.Knowing where Young’s Hut is in relation to snow pole line and general topography is most helpful though.
Yup - once you have a sense of the terrain it’s all good.

I navigated by GPS to find the path coming the other way, and now have some waypoints to work with.

Loveliest part of the BHP imo.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Team Bears been on working weekend in West Kiewa.
Pics for the moment and description later when I have some miles done towards Melb.All Picnic Tables visited and undergrowth cut down...extensive grass clearing done at Diamintina Horse Yards.
Eleven tables allAok. and little Campsites ckeaned up at littke
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skifree

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Middle Oz
Team Bears been on working weekend in West Kiewa.
Pics for the moment and description later when I have some miles done towards Melb.All Picnic Tables visited and undergrowth cut down...extensive grass clearing done at Diamintina Horse Yards.
Eleven tables allAok. and little Campsites ckeaned up at littke
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Is that very green for this time of year?
 

CaptainC

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Jun 15, 2005
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I really like that route but also want to include Mac Namara's hut at Dinner Plain , along Young's Top walking track. That could mean a side trip of 10-13 kms each way adding another night to the route. I am fine with steep up and down with a heavy pack. It could not be worse than coming down off the Bluff summit with a small family sedan strapped to one's torso. I am inclined to ascend Paling spur on the way in. I 'd be inclined to come over from JB Plain on foot to reach Young's hut in white season. Once set up at Young's hut , then day touring on BC XC skis out to pole 333 and back would be easy , weather permitting.
Coming in from JB Plain to Young's Hut in White season could quite likely mean crossing the Cobungra River with snow on each side. I know a couple of people who did it and they said never again.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Feb 29, 2008
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Yes...forest fuel not at acute moisture level yet....there was some rain on Saturday late arvo....rodeo was doing some wheel spinning over steep section of ‘“high track”...the recent roading activity didnot help either!
But West Kiewa is normally pretty green.A couple of 40C.days strung together will bring NE up to dangerous level.

Artisans of Oxley!

Much work has been done on the West Kiewa Logging Road....from Dungeys Turnoff to Blair’s Management Gate.Mr T would find it a breeze but after rain it gets a bit slippery....the surface is greatly improved...many rocks have been removed or covered over..no obstacles were encounted from Dungeys /West K Rd Intersection to the Horseyards....
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skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
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Middle Oz
Coming in from JB Plain to Young's Hut in White season could quite likely mean crossing the Cobungra River with snow on each side. I know a couple of people who did it and they said never again.
Can’t imagine why.;)
 
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