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Firewood and access reports NE Vicco

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

  1. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perhaps first cut on lower part of hill....finish cut from top side of hill ..so gravity keeps it falling/rolling away from you.You can cut up from underneath log or use plastic wedges ....you need axe to belt them in and to belt them out sometimes.Sometimes more than one cut may be required at Bit further along to get the section free and out of there.....supporting log underneath with other logs is useful to stop it from weighing down and jamming bars. I would have a couple of plastic wedges,axe on site and a crow bar in truck should you need it.
    Looks like lovely forest in that picture...even though it’s most probably been logged earlier ...
     
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  2. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I carry two plastic wedges, a tomahawk and a crow bar when using the chain saw. There is a trick which I am sure the Team leader knows about which is to make two closely parallel cuts 80-90 % of the way through the log from underneath and then just touch the top of the log with the chainsaw or simply belt it with the tomahawk. The tension across the top of the log will give way and the log will drop , having cut most of the way through the compression side. Thus the bar and chain remains free.
    Yes standing on the uphill side of the cutting area so that the log will fall down hill with gravity , with a clear escape route for the power tool user , is the way to operate.
     
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  3. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    The real trick is to know which side of the log is in tension or compression
    Not always easy to tell if the log is spanning a track
     
  4. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Team Bears had a bit of spare time on Sunday so we went for a chainsaw walk up to Lake Mt from Keppels Hut.

    Now the track was hard to find ...the start of...Mr T can explain this better.But some doggers set us off on the correct path .

    We did a little chainsawing and got a number of obstacles under control.
    We added to the good work of Mr T.

    We will let Mr T follow up here with detailed reports etc.

    A fine Sunday for Team Bears who worked all arvo up that hill.
     
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  5. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    A bit more time spent by Team Bears on the two massive logs across the Keppels Hut to Lake Mt walking track.....took all arvo to cut through ...no more of this slippery clambering crap!
    One log rotten but one near road was pretty solid.
    Pics of one near road..... Stihl gets heavier and heavier and heavier after a few hours.
    Echo and Stihl combing with some technical work and much sweat from the little bears!
    A nice dry day ....almost got warm!
    Actually saw a solo bushwalkers coming along track ....Snowy Carpark round trip!.
     
  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    What an Outstanding effort from the Bears!.:thumbs: PV and DELWP have done nothing about this track for two years. It takes Forum members to get a result.:) All we really need to do now is to whipper snip the lower section of the track. The Snow Gum area on the upper track is not too bad in terms of scrub. However in white season the lower section would be a PITA with snow, ice and damp all over the overgrown vegetation. I will go and give it all another haircut before the end of May. It is becoming more enticing and feasible to carry skis on a day pack up the track from the hut or even as far as from the winter gate on Mt . Margaret road or even ski most of the way down from Lake Mtn. to the hut . BUT more work needs to be done to make it a top to bottom skiable/skin-able route.
     
    #306 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  7. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some more clearing done this arvo...brush cut to second major fallen tree..not an easy job working brush cutter...probably done about 400meters!Well start of track is pretty good now at least!

    Team Bears saw man on his horse with two pack horses also heading for Keppels Hut coming along road .
     
  8. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Great going Steve.

    Makes me wonder whether there’s anything listed in the PV / DELWP service charter about ‘ Minimum frequency of maintenance’ or min level of track quality? Much like our other public services??

    As it is, we have the all care & no or v little responsibility philosophy.

    And sorry it only feeds the ‘parks locked up’ conspiracy theorists!

    Surely theres work for dole volunteers who love the bysh who could assist. Or Ranger trainees? Or ?? Abbotts Army? Do they even exist?
     
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  9. neilmny

    neilmny Addicted

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    From memory Keppels Hut is on the Bicentenial National Trail (BNT) a horse riders trail from Donnelly's Weir near Healesville to Cooktown FNQ.
     
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  10. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am not sure if guy on horse was going up that track tomorrow but I told him he should be able to get horses through there....but those massive logs only have narrow slit at the moment so that might be an issue....I am happy if trail bikes cannot get past these logs and get up on to Lake Mt tracks though.

    When it’s wet the overgrown tracks are not pleasant.....but this track is a little better now.It has orange markers so I gather DSE put these in some time ago.
    Does the horse trail go up to boundary trail or does it stay on the Jeep Track runnning past the hut.

    It certainly needs more brush cutter action.....I doubt that Team Bears can do it all before winter.Hopefully others can help Mr T with this project too!
     
  11. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    We managed to get one more day in today with brush cutter.Team Bears have cut past the second massive fallen tree to the little depression /wet gulley .

    We have seen several bushwalkers with packs today coming down this trail from Panorama Trail on Lake Mt.

    It was a perfect warm sunny day....Team Bears pretty tired now...Black Spur manic with drivers !

    We have done our bit on this trail to assist Mr T.
     
  12. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Amazing work @Ubiquitous Steve :thumbs:
    Great to finally meet you when I spotted your vehicle at the Black Spur Roadhouse this evening! :)
     
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  13. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cheers..Teckel..
    Likewise nice to say hello!

    We both must get Mr T back on his Keppels Hut Track project ...so he can complete the good work he started.He probably needs some R&R at Keppels Hut after tackling Hannels Spur.

    Team Bears reckon Hannels Spur was just a warm up for him befiore he gets back to Keppels Hut Project!
     
  14. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    In Team Bears travels we saw this sign on Lady Talbot Drive Just before Mt Margaret Rd as we exited from the area.I would make enquirers if any party are thinking of driving to Keppels Hut as it is possible that Lady Talbot Drive is also involved in this car rally on the 4th/May a Saturday .The best way in during summer (Autumn) is via Buxton Mt Margaret Rd.....very direct and Mt M Rd is like a Freeway..wide reasonable surface nicely surveyed .Hot take away coffee from Buxton is still warm on reaching Keppels Hut!
    The area is extremely dry but the little creek at back of hut is flowing nicely...
     
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  15. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup. The BNT goes up Keppel Hut Track and continues along McFadyen Track - it doesn't go up Lake Mountain. Keppel Hut is an option for an overnight stop on the BNT.
     
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  16. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    That’s what Mr T needs....pack horses !
     
  17. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Team Bears shot up to Keppels again on the fine public holiday....
    Brush cutting is now out to the second depression ......the track steepens there after.

    It was very thick foliage over the track today ...the brush cutter blade slowly lost its edges (a few rock hits)and Team Bears got tired .So it’s a bit ordinary by our standards ......but it’s a whole lot better.

    We saw a solo walker coming down track then returning back towards Lake Mt.

    Hopefully Mr T will return soon to finish this project .

    The continuing dry weather has been a great help so far.
     
  18. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Team Bears were quite taken by this sign!
    Buxton seems like the most intelligent way to access Keppels Hut from the Mt Margaret Rd.
     
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  19. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow on ground today around Keppels Hut and Track.
    Team Bears just making first pass up steep hill with brush cutter till it cracked it’s tubular pipe!
    Well we got some work done at least !

    Team Bears turned attention to firewood gathering after brushcutter f.up.
    It was a cool day but without rain.

    Snow on track was interesting feature.

    Many day trippers/Hunters etc up around hut today !
     
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  20. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I thought The Bicentennial track goes up the Main Jeep road. It was my impression that it does NOT follow the track up to Lake Mtn. from Keppel's hut. I will go back during May and give the track up to Lake Mtn. another haircut so that it is easy to access on foot with XC skis in the snow.
     
  21. neilmny

    neilmny Addicted

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    The info I have is from OSM and the magenta highlight shows the BNT on this snapshot.
    Shhh don't let anyone know you know...knowledge of the BNT is top secret users pays only.

     
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  22. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Keppels Track open and clear .....greasy now.Access via Mt Margaret Rd is best....absolutely clear in from Mt Margaret Gap......from Marysville there are numerous obstacles to negotiate ....less preferred access.:whistle:
     
  23. beefa skiing

    beefa skiing Hard Yards

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    Big Tick for Ubiquitous Steve and Mister T's efforts on clearing this track. I'm eying off a 2 day fee free LM ski trip camping overnight at Keppel Hut during this season. Might even go in the night before to camp two nights and then get at least 1 1/2 full days skiing.

    These days a good amount of track clearing is done by parks friends groups and BTAC (of Bushwalking Victoria). Might find out if this track is on BTAC's radar at all.
     
  24. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am going up there tomorrow to do some track work on the same route from Keppel's hut to the Lake Mtn. ski runs near the Boundary hut ruins loop and drop by and see @teckel in Narbethong. I shall report back with photos.
     
  25. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup. Expecting you. Gear is ready, well in the car, at least.
     
  26. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Today I brush cut up to where the vegetation thins out near the snow gums today on the Keppel's hut track . That seems to be where the job concludes for now. Team Bears have completed 3/4 of the job so well done . I think the whole route is now in working order for winter access from Keppel's hut to Lake Mtn. , and if it gets 25 cms of snow it should be skiable/skin-able . Photos are coming soon.
     
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  27. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    Copes new windows look the goods. Zero firewood
     
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  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    The road up to Keppel's hut via Mt. Margaret rd. was basically clear although I had to cut a log that was partially blocking the carriageway at the junction of Lady Talbot drive and the Upper Taggerty Track. I then used a crow bar to move the rotten trunk off the track.
    The HUGE log across the road was seen on McFadyen's track about 500 M. past Keppel's hut. It seems DEWLP don't even pretend to bother fixing the 4 x 4 track once you go past the hut. The 4 x 4 track up to Keppel's hut has deteriorated since I was there in March 2019. I kept the Tee Mobile in Low gear and just crawled up and down that 4 x 4 track . I did not dent the flux capacitor at all ;-P.
    The Stihl brush cutter with a metal blade that @teckel loaned me was very efficient but it caused debris to fly up at every angle at great force. My safety goggles were one thing but a face shield would have been better. I got splinter in the chin and a few wood chips in the face too. Ouch , that stings, pow there goes another one, ooooh , it's bleeding :-0 !
    I just had to buckle up and get the job done. It was quite sunny and mild up there so it was a good day to be out the back of Lake Mtn.. I did not see anyone else while I was up there.
     
    #328 Mister Tee on XC Skis, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  29. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    You can see the Team Leader has toiled long and hard to clear the track of large logs and annoying dense scrub. I started the job and I seem to have finished it up to the point where the vegetation changes to open snow grass and open snow gum woodland . From thenceforth up to the Boundary Hut ruins trail intersection I did not see the need to micro manage the scrub height with power tools.I declare the route potentially skiable.I hope I cut the saplings on the track low enough to the ground. Under 25 cm.s of snow I think it should be OK.
     
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  30. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Keppel's hut . May 6th 2019. I got to use the brush cutter on the foot track to Lake Mtn. , and the chainsaw on Lady Talbot Drive. My arms are fatigued now.
    I was sweaty and covered from head to toe in shredded whipper snipped vegetation once I had made it back to the car. I was shagged!.
     
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  31. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I measured the distance from the winter gate at Mt. Margaret Gap to the hut. It is nearly 7 kms according to my trip o meter in my car. That would be an easy hike even with XC skis and XC ski boots strapped to pack in today's weather , but if it becomes wet, muddy or there is 30-40 cms of uncompacted snow on the 4 x 4 track to the hut , then the going will become slower. Allow enough time from leaving your car near the winter gate , with chains already fitted just in case , to reach the hut well before dark in order to get set up.
     
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  32. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did warn you about that blade! Probably not the ideal one for your task, but it works brilliantly for the stuff I use it for. But yeah, you get covered in shredded material.
     
  33. beefa skiing

    beefa skiing Hard Yards

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    I am quite happy to walk in the dark on a Friday night. I do night rogaining frequently, so doing a walk in from The Margaret Gap gate along Lady Talbot Forest Dr in the dark would be fine I would think.

    Definitely think that snow chains are a required item for a 2wd at Margaret Gap. 1100m is high enough for a dump to make things interesting!
     
  34. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Where is this, U Steve @Ubiquitous Steve ? like, within a 50km radius. Not exact. :)

    Edit. I think I worked it out. More Eastern Vic, not North. ;) https://www.trailhiking.com.au/lake-mountain-keppel-hut-overnight-hiking-kids/

     
  35. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Keppel's hut is situated NW of the Lake Mtn. resort village. It is situated at approximately 1300 M. ASL. within the State Forest. The track that the Team Leader and I have been working on clearing, in readiness for the BC XC ski season climbs up to 1450 M ASL over the course of some 3-4 km. . The upper half of the route in the snow gums is under Parks Vic. control, the lower half in the scrub is on DEWLP land. Between those two organizations and the Lake Mt. resort they could not pull their collective fingers out and clear the track so that at very least ski patrol can get to the hut easily on skis in the ski season.
    Of course bushwalkers will also enjoy the work that has been carried out . Then there is the white season BC XC potential i.e. hike in from the winter gate , snow camp , skin up/ trudge up and ski for free :) .
     
  36. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Chain sawing your way up to Mt. Margaret Gap in the dark in winter in foul weather is a real possibility. Those naughty trees keep falling down all along that whole access route. I would allow time for such delays and carry all the necessary gear to cut your way in and out all the way up to the winter gate. Ensure you are proficient at such power tool usage.
     
  37. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It is popular up there...sat night was wet and miserable but two groups...2+5 made it up there leaving cars further back diwn access route and walked the rest of the way.
    They were not too interested in the new trail as the weather was not to crash hot ...and it’s not an obvious trail to the newbie....Some of the folk had never been before!
     
  38. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    From late June until as late as early October the area near the Boundary hut ruins may have skiable snow when the rest of LM is rock hopper city. So from that perspective it is best to keep this route to this forum and to secret handshakes ;-P.
     
  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    October 2017. Mr.Tee at Lake Mtn. Boundary hut ruins. I went up there with a friend as a day hike from the winter gate and Keppel's hut and discovered I could have XC skied it in my rock hoppers!
     
  40. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    Does anyone know when circuit road Mt Stirling gets closed? Is it set by date or conditions?
     
  41. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not the best photo I've taken of Boundary Hut, but certainly the most interesting because it poses the question...

    Why is everyone crowding into the hut while almost no one is outside?

    [​IMG]
     
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  42. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    For the vast majority of mountain roads, the closure dates are the day after Queens Birthday Weekend until the day before Cup Weekend, although adverse conditions (especially early and late snow, heavy rain, lots of trees down) may mean that road closures can be extended.

    BUT because the Stirling Circuit Road is inside resort boundaries, different rules may apply. Phone Mt Buller RMB and they should be able to tell you.
     
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  43. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    'cause it's about to start raining?
     
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  44. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    More disturbing is the tell tale lack of :skis: XC skis:skier: on or off the feet of the people anywhere in the photo ;-P . Even if a hut has no roof ,people still seem to gravitate towards them . Go figure! .
     
  45. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    You are not to mention the R word on this forum. It is inauspicious.
     
  46. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you are planning a supply drop near Mt. No.3 Refuge Hut then it is best to come in from Mt. Stirling via TBJ and King Saddle. That means before the resort opens on June 11th.The road after the hut as it descends to Carter's road is shite, just rubbish , so it is quicker to come back via TBJ.
     
  47. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    Was actually hoping to drive the Howqua Gap track to the summit and camp at ggs hut, but seen on the Stirling website that the track closed on the 29/4, bummer, would be a fun track in the snow to crawl up :cool:
     
  48. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    You can tow a sled with a pack on it out to the Howqua Gap hut from TBJ with kicker skins and snow camp at the HG hut. Then you can skin up the HG track to ski some terrain higher up or just fang it along the Circuit road with a day pack. In August the snow coverage along there is quite good. Last Year it was A M A Z I N G.
     
  49. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    Yeah we frequent Stanley bowl in winter, probably still mountain bike conditions this weekend
     
  50. beefa skiing

    beefa skiing Hard Yards

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    Begs the question to the forum as a whole: How often are high grade gravel 2wd forest roads monitored by Vicroads/councils/PV/DELWP to keep them clear of fallen trees and other obstacles. I know the answer is likely to be it depends on which road, etc. But a rough rule....

    For instance, I would have thought the road through to St Gwinear would be generally at least daily. What would it be for Mt Margaret/Blue Range Rd - roads that are kept open throughout winter?