Question GGS v Bluff Spur Huts

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Thomas WHiteside, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Hey everyone,

    Planning an overnight trip for 23rd and 24th June. Need to know which one to use as a base.

    I know the two huts well, having done many many day trips up Stirling.

    However, in terms of actually spending the night in the huts, which is warmer / more weather proof?

    I've heard GGS is a bit drafty, but then it also has two fire places and is in a better location.

    Also realise need to make sure GGS aren't using the hut for the weekend, and they don't appear to be using it that weekend.

    What do people think? I prefer location of GGS.
     
  2. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I always snow camp near the Bluff Spur hut. There are more camp sites there. That Hut is warm in winter and the students from Timbertop never go there. King Spur hut would be my next choice. It is rather good indeed but a bit further down the hill from the summit area ski trails.
     
  3. luke1234

    luke1234 Addicted

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    Personally I'm a big fan of King Spur hut (or is it King Saddle?)
     
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  4. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    I'm guessing King Spur as King Saddle is down on Circuit Road and is more of a shelter than a hut (no door).
     
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  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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  6. GS

    GS A Local
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    I’ve always preferred GGS. In my early days I would sleep in the hut and whilst it was pretty chilly I found it ok as it was out of the wind....back then the door went straight outside. Not a fan of sleeping in huts like Bluff Spur, I find them way too warm for a winter weight sleeping bag, great for drying gear and relaxing though.

    Pretty much always camp in the vicinity of GGS these days, atmosphere and views are much better....and don’t hear the noise from Buller on a still night.

    But to answer your question, Bluff Spur is much warmer and weatherproof, but you’ll be fine in GGS with a half reasonable bag and mat imo.
     
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  7. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    Pretty sure the loft section from bluff spur hut is gorn, maybe last 3 or 4 years. Its just got the bastards-incorporated benches around the edge now. Its so well insulated/ sealed now i nearly asphixiated one of my kids in there a few years ago while i was setting up the tent. Make sure the window is open a bit with the fire on
     
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  8. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The Bluff Spur hut is a bleeding sauna once the fire /burner is going and you have a couple of humans in there. The loft is gone. I have slept in there on one of the bunks on a week night. It was cosy as can be.
    King Spur hut is lower down but it is not located at King Saddle. It is also known as Hut 36 or some such. It has good snow camping sites, it is spacious with a wood burner and a dunny nearby. It is down the hill from GGS hut.

    Snow camping spots on the upper River Spur are excellent and you will not see anyone out there. If you can hack it without a warm hut to hang out in then try that. On Weekends Bluff Spur hut is busy in ski season. Weekdays are best up there.
    The GGS hut has a open fire and a pot belly stove.
    If you can ski or snow shoe out there after a good dump of snow you can set up at Craig's hut. It is a film set replica not a survival hut so it is colder than Tony Abbott's conscience.
    .It does now have a pot belly stove.
    The slog back up to GGS hut from Craig's hut in deep ungroomed snow is exhausting.
     
    #8 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Incidentally have you considered giving Mt. Buffalo a go?. The public shelter hut and a pit loo is kept open at Lake Catani all during the XC ski season. If there is a good dump of snow at Mt. Buffalo then it is a magical place for a xc ski weekend.
     
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  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I might have to go and see if I can find that hut this ski season. It would be a quick ski out to the vicinity along the upper Howqua Gap track.
     
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  11. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Since there appears to be some interest in Keep Dry Hut, here's a few details. When I first found out about Stirling's most elusive hut in c.2003, it was bloody hard to find. All I had to go on were a few vague reports that there was an old hut on Stirling and a brief look at a rough map scrawled on a scrap of paper (which turned out to be inaccurate).

    After I made sure people weren't confusing it with Hernes's Clear Hills Hut (burnt circa 1978), there were a couple of hikes up the mountain to look for it without success as we were initially looking for it near the treeline to the west of the 4WD track between Bluff Spur Hut and Howqua Gap / Woollybutt Saddle. No one had visited it in years, so there was no footpad in the grass leading to it. I subsequently discovered that it was built in a weekend in c.1966 by a few local blokes who were "langlaufers". I haven't been up Stirling for ages, so I'm not sure if it is still standing.

    Oh, one last bit of info... it's very small, not much bigger than a 4 person tent.
     
  12. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    It looks like this these days (this taken 2012 and falling down) and doubtful it would keep anything dry. From Bluff Spur Hut just follow the lower trail south (Stonefly trail?) for about 300 to 400 metres and it's about 20 or so metres above the trail on the left.

    Photo is taken from the Stonefly Trail.

     
  13. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Yeh, I'm still leaning towards GGS, though Catherine (my partner) may have other ideas.

    Keen to check out King Spur Hut too. Does anyone have any photos?

    Crossing my fingers there's snow in a fortnight! Either way though, love being up there.
     
  14. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    It's a beauty Thomas and in a lovely spot surrounded by snowgums.
    Mt. Stirling is a great place to walk and no doubt a great place for an XC Ski too.
    I haven't actually skied there yet the lifts elsewhere were too big a temptation. But not anymore....the lift queues and ridiculous cost of the lift tickets......bleh!

     
  15. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The King Spur hut is a modern XC ski hut in a great spot with a decent wood burner and plenty of room for a large entourage to sit and cook indoors . Skiing or snow shoe trekking up to the summit area from King Spur hut is good for your fitness. The aspect /location of King Spur means that it is more sheltered and skiing /walking/ snow shoe trekking in the snow gums there is great. Plus if you are just learning the very basics of XC skiing then the terrain between King Spur Hut and the Cricket pitch is ideal. It is not too steep and being lower down at about 1500 M ASL it doesn't become too icy in white season.
    You can get the edges of your skis to cooperate in such conditions.
    Here is a photo of King Spur hut from 2015.
     
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  16. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I think I will do a snow camp / ski trip at King Spur hut this season. Just a sneaky Sunday to Tuesday trip would be ideal and not too busy up there.

    Camping lower down at Howqua Gap Hut could work for some people if the snow is really good lower down. When the Circuit road is groomed for skating then you can get around there easily from TBJ on skis , set up a camp and possibly slog it up the Howqua Gap track to the summit area if you feel energetic.
    Here is a 2016 King Spur hut photo. I have been taking people up there on snow shoes for at least three seasons.
     
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  17. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The summit tree in August 2017. I am ready for Mt. Stirling in 2018!!!
     
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  18. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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  19. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  20. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  21. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    You'd sink Mr tee unless you have really wide skis but you'd have a lot of fun.
    It sure looks inviting.

    By the way Mt. tee it's time you became Mr. tee on skis or snowshoes :thumbs:
     
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  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I think my MADSHUSH EPOCH skis are wide enough and long enough(185 cms long) to cope with most ungroomed BC conditions. I don't think you can change your forum name. Even if you could I am a vegetable at computers.
     
  23. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    Fresh snow on an untrodden bush track (boundary trail) with no base is a different proposition to some settled or packed snow. You could find yourself in up to your shins and it's hard work. Get out there and give them a crack you'll soon find out how they go. They look a nice ski too but you didn't have to shout. LOL

    I think the mods will make a name change on a lot of forums....if you ask nicely :whistle:
     
  24. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I rented the ski set up that I decided to buy when I was spring skiing at Charlotte Pass in October 2017. The surface was very soft spring corn.
     
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  25. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  26. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I wonder if a trip to Mt.Stirling :skier: on Monday might be warranted. I wait and watch this space. If they get enough snow:emoji_snowflake: over the weekend then they might drag a skidoo groomer over the upper trails.:ski:
     
  28. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us
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    Snow to TBJ on the cams now so definitely skiable from there. Might be hard work with no grooming and no base. Do you really want to scratch those new skis? Can see it's tempting. If only I wasn't committed to being in the city this week. Mmmm.
     
  29. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  30. Ubiquitous Steve

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    This first major dump will settle after a week......

    I think Mr T could get ready for a trip into Pretty Valley out to Ryder's Hut for lunch(big fire ....warm up ) then back via Cope Hut....Rover Lodge for a hot chocolate ,off aqueduct thro Wallaces and grind on back to windy corner .....just a warm up for his visit and overnighter at Weston's Hut!
     
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  31. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I am coming to Pretty Valley via Road 24 on the first weekend of August. I will ski tour to some of those huts while base camping near MOONDOG's winter camp out there.
     
  32. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    http://www.mtstirling.com.au/trail_report.php

    Jane Bunn predicts no R**N but just a 3 cm dusting of snow between tomorrow and next weekend at Mt. Stirling. The night temperatures will be below zero with some day time sun during the week to create spring like freeze/ thaw conditions. I think the base will hold in there. If there is 40 CM at the Bluff Spur Hut then that should last for another week at least. So Thomas Whiteside you may well get your ski trip timed well.
     
  34. GS

    GS A Local
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  35. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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  36. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    I emailed Craig Jones from Stirling Experience this morning.

    He's confident everything will be open and groomed by the weekend.
     
  37. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I would only trust the upper trails on Mt. Stirling to be still good for skiing by this Friday.
     
  38. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Even with new skis, Given no rain you'd be able to ski from within a km or so of TBJ this weekend.

    Early ams will be pretty icy - give that grip (pattern?) a work out. Be good to have kicker skins handy. JIC.

    Summit might be iffy/patchy by the sounds. But hey it's mid June matey - it's a great result -it's skiable probably a month earlier than average.

    Just enjoy. If in doubt (depth/scratches), take it easy heading back down the hill, so you can be ready to stop or miss the odd rock or bare spot lower down.

    I might have to wait for a week or two to head up - so please have a slide fo me!
     
  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Thomas, give us a report about Mt. Stirling . It is indeed a rare event to be skiing at Mt. Stirling in June. Praise be to the great Skiing kebab holder in the sky!. I am going to XC ski at Falls Creek next Monday. I can feel a plan forming!.
    I have found that Kahtoola micro spikes come in handy for the Bluff Spur trail at Mt. Stirling when the lower terrain has become sheets of ice and hoar frost.
     
  40. GS

    GS A Local
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  41. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    No , it is not I , but Kaahsh( Persian/ Urdu language for "how I wish / If only that were the case etc…. !"). It looks magnificent. Forum members can spot my snow/hiking tent. It is a greenish 4 seasons dome tent made by W.E.
     
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  42. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Nice one! We'll be up Saturday lunch time.
     
  43. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Is there any wood publicly available at GGS Hut? (I know there's a locked off wood pile for GGS students).

    Or are the only public wood piles at BSH and KSH?
     
  44. GS

    GS A Local
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    Not normally.
     
  45. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The wood pile at GGS hut is locked in a private cage. The wood piles at King Spur Hut and Bluff Spur Huts are stocked up and maintained all white season.
     
  46. Snowplowqueen

    Snowplowqueen Hard Yards

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    Actually ... whilst the wood pile inside the hut is locked for GGS use, but there is a public stash in the shed at back of hut - around the RHS of the hut and was very full when i was up there a few weeks ago :D
     
  47. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Yes that is true, but when I was there last winter that door was snowed in and I did n't feel like digging it open.
     
  48. Snowplowqueen

    Snowplowqueen Hard Yards

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    :D Just the choice whether to carry wood in or do some digging!

    I did have to laugh a few weeks ago, despite their best efforts of stripping bark off and carefully setting up the pot belly,the boys were struggling to get the fire started. A capful of metho cured the wet wood problem!
     
  49. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I always carry fire lighters in my pack .Jacques Cousteau could have started a fire under water with some of those. Dorritos /Corn chips/Corn crisps work just as well too ! Light a few of those and boom , it is alight!
     
  50. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    I have fond memories of getting a fire going after torrential rain on Stony Tops / North Razorback.

    Carefully arrange the wet wood in the correct manner. Carefully sprinkle a very modest amount of shellite on it.

    Stand 2 metres away and lob a lit match at the wood, making sure that you are running away before the match reaches the wood.
    Voila. Instant bonfire. :cheers: