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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Ubiquitous Steve, May 17, 2018.
Bears don’t do bridges!
I am off to scout out that route/river crossing next weekend. I shall report back.
Fellow bushwalker Ms. A. reports that PV have been cutting back scrub on the foot track above Bivouac hut on the Staircase spur on Mt. Bogong.
What type of “weapons”were those amateurs using!
Did they have “we love National Parks”T Shirts on!
Two stroke or “Aldi 4 Stroke” units!!
We wonder what’s in it for
those Park Volunteers!
Further to the brief coverage yesterday....
The West Kiewa Logging Road is in good shape...just go on a dry day!
Not many rocks or holes...Rd surface heaps better right to Management Gate.
We drove the “high”track ...it’s in good shape.
We inspected the two harder fords.....machinery has been deployed to move some problem boulders and the approach to the upstream ford is a whole lot better...with care it should be possible for 4x4 with average clearance to go through without problems.Team Bears crossed the lower two fords in the rodeo without issue .
Dungeys Track though the most direct passage in still remains a bit of a rough bounce....we suggest that the longer Big Hill West Kiewa Rd is easiest....just give yourself sufficient time.....
Team Bears encountered rain on Saturday arvo....whipper snipping in the rain ain’t no fun!
But Sunday came out sunny and warm to hot.
Diamantina Horseyards has had a good cut over..and all little tracks(Dunny and Creek) have been done.
So it’s the place to come camping....it’s a hot spot.
On a really hot day the camp between the two fords is the most shady with lots of Wattles blocking out the hot sunshine.
We stopped on way out on Dungeys to cut but not remove altogether a fallen tree..at least first attack dozer can give it a shove if deployed in a hurry without requiring any effort.
So sunny /warm to mf.hot January is the time to come see the West Kiewa.
Kids can play “spot the picnic table”!
Oh a further note....hardly anybody in there....but as you hit the Ovens close to Highway every man and his/her dog is gathered under canvas and in caravans etc etc,
Ms.A. reports that PV staff wearing PV shirts were carrying out the track maintenance.
Team Bears spent most of Sunday doing a bit more work on Long Spur 4x4 Track.Big River reported as being in good condition previously is even better now as road crews have done more work...wider,smoother..very fast now all the way till AWT turn off.
Saw party of two males about Sunday Lunchtime comming from Cleve Cole ...spending tonight at Mt Wills.
Bloody hot day up there....still bloody hot on way back to Myrtleford then Melb.
Saw snake at Big River Saddle Helipad
Thought that Mr T would have reported in by now....maybe he is chilling out in the river at the bottom of
Paling Spur..or has been unable to give up the comforts of the new Maccas( Macnamarras Hut)!
No doubt we can expect an informative report with snow gum pics shortly!
A full report will be posted tonight with photos. It was an adventure and a bit of an ordeal esp. in the heat through the trackless wilderness that is found at the top of Paling spur , all the way to Young's Spur pole line that leads to pole 267.Thankfully I can use a map and compass and nobody went home in a chopper or in a box.;-P
Yup, top of Paling Spur is a challenge- including some footpads that go in various directions and fade into nothing.
I tried for the Paling Spur path down to Cobungra from Young’s hut - compass got me in the right direction and I only got onto the path through thick bush via GPS dead-reckoning.
The Golden Rule of Victorian bush navigation - head for/ stick to the ridge-line...
Bit more work done on Longspur 4x4 Track. Bloody hot again this weekend.
We encountered a solo walker “Cam”coming thro Big River Saddle Saturday lunch time.Act via AWT ....heading for Maddison’s Ruin or Ropers for Saturday night.Advised him to catch up with Fire Reports as he enters populated BHP. Gave Cam two oranges after he declined a beer.
So Longspur Access via Big R Rd and Longspur 4x4 Track is good ...as good as it’s ganna get unless DSE walk dozer through it....condition of track is pretty good....mostly all scrub has been chopped from side of track...surface is pretty good...needs 4x4 for several steep pinches coming in but two wheel drive only for exiting.
Bears also brush cut gulley 300meters from Big River Saddle so it’s easier to get water....water quality here is A Ok atm.
Creek just after Snowy Log Rd Junction coming in Big River Rd is flowing well and would provide excellant water!
Use drainage from Rd to get into bottom of creek.We will excavate some more on our next trip.
Popular trees in Mitta Mitta are providing us with lovely shade opposite the hotel...
Well we got a bit further down the road I suppose!And you gotta take those heat warnings seriously for the NE!
Now that’s a whole lot better!
There was a great deal of smoke haze out to our east on Saturday evening probably fire near Vic NSW border near Snowy River.
It was breezy all Saturday night...only a little dew formed on roof of rodeo overnight.Wind dropped at dawn on Sunday morning.Those sunrise pics were from picnic table where I slept o/n.One could see Main Range Kosy first thing on Sunday.....but smoke had settled further out to the east in the valleys.No fires in or around Mitta Mt Wills,Dartmouth Eskdale,Bogong etc.
All fly/wasp traps filling up in just seven days!
Black snake took a dislike to chainsaw noise and came full steam in Ubis direction ....throwing hands up in panic caused snake to thro a u turn fortunately .
No European wasps sited yet?
For that matter no bees seen much either.
Kookaburras seem to know the rodeo and like to chorus around Big River Saddle Helipad.
Hopefully fly trap catches no bees.
It’s really drying up now in NE.
Sun has been cooking the terrain lately.
Some minor debri still on Omeo Highway...Vic Rds must have other priorities at the moment.I fact Team Bears have trimmed back quite a few things lately expecting Vic Rds to totally remove stuff by next weekend....but it ain’t happening??
Temps forecast to reach 40deg for the next seven days with stuff all rain till next Sunday 27th...fire danger winding up now.....it better rain before we get any more fires!!
Mild day on Sunday...Team Bears into Diamintina Horse Yards via Dungey Track from Ovens Valley Highway.Cut up some firewood.....camped overnight.Came out just now via West Kiewa Logging Road ....both approaches are excellent....Warming up today Monday.....saw Little Tiger Snake a bit to closely as Ubi ckeaned some debri off West K LRd.
Very busy on BHP Rd upto Falls Ck.Hardly Anybody in West Kiewa at the moment.
Off to Macnamarras via Bundarra Valley,McCoys Track. Grey Hills Track.
McCoys track not much fun!Have 4G Just before Parks Seasonal Gate...
Done recce...... on old track out towards the Dinner
plain Aerodrome Access Track...got out about 2 km to wear it over looks the Cobungra and where from the little bluff you can see the aerodrome in the distance .Some tape markings for tricky bit about 300meters from Hut.Its a bit over grown but has old/recent chainsaw cut on fallen logs.Easy to stay on ....confusing comming the other way...only marked some there with paper roll!I needed it to find track on return as first 100m is confusing .Obviously horsemen use Track over to the Aerodrome this way.More explanation later ...I have to drive back out now!4G signal from close to Hut where track to Aerodrome does it’s confusing thing!
The Team leader has done very well.
I am even more intrigued and motivated to visit and explore this area. I need to get the battery / starter motor checked out on the T mobile. That area is not a place to conk out and not be able to restart the car .I had that problem this morning in Myrtleford.
McCoys track seemed a bit off putting for me as a dirt road driver. I am glad the Team Leader also found it to be a bit testing.
It is easier to get up Longspur 4x4 Track at the moment.Very warm in NE....on way back to Melb now.I am pleased all pilots escaped without injury when their Ericsson Sky Crane crashed at Jericho.Just catching up on some news this arvo!
Team Bears put brush cutter down drain into a good creek gulley which is just on Big River Saddle Helipad Campsite side of the Track Junction. with Snowy Log Rd...approx 500 meters from AWT/Campsite .Its steep in there but water is very good and running very well.A better source of water for anybody camping down in this saddle.
Team Bears targeted Camp Mulhe this weekend..
Access is brilliant as a dozer has been all the way to the camp itself....
We did a little whippersnipping of campsite on Saturday .
Cooked our sausages late Saturday night but fire was extinguished by midnight ..
A new Logging coupe is active at about 9km mark on roadway ....take care passing thro there.
The little loop just before the last steep slope has been extensively cleared by dozer making for easy parking.
That's excellent news and for once the maintenance of our track infrastructure wasn't done by Steve, but rather by an actual bureaucracy!
It's a case of "Your taxes (occasionally) at work".
If I make it to the Bogong Club's working Bee in April then I might take the Mulhauser spur route now that the track has been cleared by a bulldozer.
Oh it’s good that it’s been done....particularly this fire season.
Fire Tankers can easily and quickly use this track if the need arises.
The Alpine Ash wood resource is rated higher than the need to protect National Park Estate .
Team Bears hope that Parks and DSE can fix up the Macnamarras approach.We appreciate that at the present time DSE is all tied up fighting fires in Gippsland ......
Dozer driver did a Stirling job...did not do burn outs in the Camp itself!!!....All picnic tables here and the one down at concrete bridge are A Ok.
Never trust them trees....some are born bad!Perhaps we need a code of ethics for trees??Please don’t yell “Climate Change”....them trees are just naughty sometimes as Mr T has quoted!
I agree Steve, it is bothersome when trees attack.
Here's a shot of a mountain ash contemplating another kamikaze attack on a road sign.
My Fainters Falls friend says hello.
A homegrown solution to our ferals problem...
Fainter Falls looking good.
Looking at those unfriendly beady little eyes, it seems casting your shadow??? over him got his attention.
The photo has weakened interest in a trip to the Falls!
On the walking track there is a section where there is a shelf at about shoulder height. The couple of times I've walked the track in warm weather have invoked a high alert state of mind. A facefull of angry Tiger snake (or any other kind for that matter) has no appeal at all.
Team Bears have been active on another secret mission....but photos and details will be provided in due course .Wildlife have been warming to the bark of the little Echo lately.Large logs have been given the choppo!Stay patient .....things take time....our better projects can sometimes take several weekends!
What Team Bears fear most are ants!Nasty bitey black jumpers and the bigger red bull ants!
Not snakes...well we rarely see them !And those big spiders don’t go quietly when their habitat trees are under chainsaw attack!
And yes those nasty ants seem to be very active lately....perhaps they are signaling some kind of approaching weather phenomena!But they certainly spell out that no ground cooling event is evident atm!
He didn’t like me, even from 3m away, and wasn’t budging.
I took the long way round.
There’s a tiger snake that makes a living in the ditch near the start of the Fainters waterfall walk, but it’s relatively shy.
The one I photographed is 3km away in the thick bush upriver.
It’s a wonder that Parks Vicco have not got signage in Chinese to alert the visitors of the “Menace”lurking up those bush tracks....they seem to have signs warning of all manner of things....
Do the Chinese have any idea of our venomous critters?
Notechis scutatus....with a name like that ....Team Bears will scootus very quickly!
If I recall correctly not in Chinese but they have in English. I was hoping they were just being overly cautious
I went to Keppel's hut today. DELWP have done nothing to fix the foot track up to Lake Mtn. even though I have contacted them in Marysville .
They have fixed the 4 x 4 vehicle track to the hut by filling in the horrendously deep mud holes and wheel ruts with large gravel beds..So driving up there in the Tee mobile was not too bad.
Lake Mtn. was closed today because of bushfires in the broader area . I cut some poles with my chainsaw that were blocking the foot track and I ran the hedge trimmer over some of the lower track scrub until the battery pack expired.I put a few choice small logs in the hut for the next people who might want a small fire inside the hut. The stream by the hut is still flowing. I saw NOBODY out there. Lady Talbot drive is open the whole way but a sign says 4 x 4 only for the section from the Upper Taggerty track junction through to Marysville. I came in and went out via Buxton.There is huge tree down on the Mt. Margaret road but it has fallen and shattered parallel with the road so I didn't have to cut it in order to proceed in the Tee mobile.
I will go back sometime and do some more work on the Track from the hut up to Lake Mtn. . A proper brush cutter that runs on 2 stroke fuel would be better.
It was quite smoky near Healesville. There is a fire burning near Mt. DB.
I didn't get the bar jammed or pinched at all. I am improving in log cutting with a chainsaw .
Nice work Mr T.
They are splendid pics.
Team Bears like that pic with the reflections from the water on the micro dam...
Just use those plastic wedges if you have any doubt of jamming the bar as logs close upon cutting ...
We are wondering if any/many mt huts have been lost over the fire season....we are hoping the situation improves as we go further into March....
Nice pictures Mr Tee and well done on having a crack at tidying up.
The creek looks as good as it did just after the gates opened.
There's a lot of big grey ghosts just waiting to fall in that area. Fairly spooky on a windy (even breezy) day.
I am still contemplating an overnight bike ride up to there from Hurstbridge train station sometime - maybe around Easter/Anzac day or similar.
Loving the posts here. They are more interesting now that Falls & Hotham are Epic in 2019. It might be time to do some exploring around the Victorian Alps, so one question if I may to get started: Can you drive the road from Mitta Mitta up to Falls Creek during ski season or should we stick to exploring from the other side (ie: Mt Beauty side)?
You can get as far as Trap yard gap coming from the Big River/Mitta Mitta side of the BHP road in ski season. There has been a trip report posted during 2018 ski season about a week long XC ski trip starting from Trap yard gap ,at the gate where the road is seasonally closed.
This is a trip I plan to do either this coming 2019 season or in the 2020 ski season.
If you know the area then you will know that it is well within the tree line and Faithful's hut &/or Buckety Plain McNamara's hut are the two nearest places with man made shelter coming in from Trap Yard gap.
Mitta gundi outdoor education group use the Buckety Plain McNamara's hut for their winter programme.
So Faithful's hut would be my pick. Doing a food/supply drop there over Easter could be a wise move as well as hiding some bags of pre cut firewood or briquettes.It can be easily accessed on foot from the BHP road and you could use Faithful's hut as a ski touring base and eat in style with a decent fire inside the hut.
You can hike up from Shannonvale up to Kelly's and Fitzgerald's hut. I might do that over Easter in order to scout out the route . I am sure it is tougher and harder to navigate in snow and fog and more of a slog with a heavy winter pack with XC BC skis strapped to the pack .There is the option to return to the Omeo hwy . via Track 107.
I stopped my car to talk with two cyclists on a multi night tour who were looking ready for a rest while slogging it up the Mt. Margaret road. They were heading for Mt. Torbreck. It was 1530 and they had a long way to go. I suggested that Keppel's hut is a better place to make a night halt before heading for Mt. Stirling/ Craig's hut the next day.
I think If The team leader and I joined forces for a day in May we could clear the Keppel's hut track almost to the satisfaction of all and sundry who would like to get down to the hut from Lake Mtn. this Ski season on skis , or slog it up from the hut in soft snow on snow shoes or skins. You could not ski down that path at the moment and some climbing over huge fallen widow makers , avoiding suspended and hung up shattered trunks and limbo dancer like contortions are involved to go from the ski trail to the hut or vice versa.
If Mister Tee is putting a posse together, I'll happily volunteer my unskilled labour for a day or two.
All I ask in return is that someone spends an hour or two with a brush cutter clearing ferns off the top kilometre of the Cement Creek Track (the bit under the woollybutts) between Mt Boobyalla and Donna. It's one of my favourite walks, but the last bit is so obscured by low scrub that in places it's quite hard to follow the track. The majority of the track in beech and mountain ash forest is still in okay condition.
We need Xplora on the job coordinating Parks Vicco there must be a myriad of forms to process ....could take six months or so
Team Bears May be required to wear hard hats and fit out with steel caps and high vis wear?
We will give the idea consideration though...maybe others may be interested too.
We do still have some projects to complete atm however!
Teckel is close by ...she may have some ideas?
Team Bears expected some cooperation from DSE as it is very much a necessary fire access trail.
At the moment ...well you just cannot seem to have enough fire access trails in Vicco to go around?
Perhaps the DSE will reconsider when this fireseason becomes less frenetic??
Bogong, The Team Leader and I could get the job along the Keppel's hut foot track done bar the 2 or 3 humongous logs that require crab crawling over. I am not confident at plunge cutting with a chainsaw, but I do recall doing it when I did my chain saw course. Steps could be cut into and over these obstacles using plunge cuts with a chain saw. A whipper snipper , two chain saws, one with a long bar and a hedge trimmer would do it.
One day in early May would be ideal.
I was half joking as I didn't think anyone would even briefly consider doing the Cement Creek track.
But I guess I was only thinking of making it "trafficable" rather than fully restoring it. The lowest few hundred metres were a bit overgrown, but someone has cut that back a bit. Once the creek is crossed the steepish bit up the former cable haulage is in reasonable nick, a few small logs, but not that much trouble, it's only the 60 cm high jungle of ferns and scrub in the highest section in the open Woollybutt woodland that makes things awkward and that really only requires a bit of work with a brush cutter thingy.
The 'humongous logs' have been there for decades, even when PV was maintaining the track they didn't bother to try and remove them, they just directed the track under them or around them. Here's a fairly recent pic of a typical section of track in mountain ash and beech forest, nothing too bad about that, although in a perfect world it might be cleaned up a bit and the logs across the track cut through.
That log would be easy to cut through with my 16 inch bar chain saw. Just start cutting it from underneath not above. I have not walked the Cement creek track. The Humongous logs I was referring to are situated on the Keppel's hut foot track that goes up to Lake Mtn.. I have walked uphill on a bushwalking track with a fully fuelled up chainsaw and accessories before. It is quite a work out.
Is this the walk you are referring to ? see the weblink <<https://www.trailhiking.com.au/mt-donna-buang-via-cement-creek-and-mt-victoria/>>