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Hannels

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by AndrewA, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    I’m planning a trip with daughter #2 in April. How many hours to the top? I have walked it about 20yrs ago, and we camped half way up. I’m hoping we can get up one day, back the next. Am I dreaming??! (We have limited time, so are aiming for a manic weekend)....from Melbourne...

    A
     
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  2. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is already a thread covering this, but IF you and your daughter are strong and have a lot of stamina AND the track is in reasonably good condition, then it is certainly doable.
     
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  3. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    Hey Andrew,

    Its completely doable in a day. Checking my pics from last year I started walking from the Geehi flats campground at 7 am and was at Byatts camp by 11:30am. Now that the section above Moiras flat is cut it should definitely help speed things up.

    Here is my report from my trip in April 2018 - http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=27627

    I can share my GPX with you if you want it but it isn't necessary at all.
     
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  4. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    Thanks Bogong, I have read the various threads, but was interested in how long it took. Zapruda, I’ll re-read your trip report. I suspect I won’t need GPS info, esp if the track is OK.

    A
     
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  5. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  6. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    As long as you find the start and go light up and down overnight is very feasible. Did it last Easter and its VERY quick now from Moira’s
     
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  7. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    A lightweight trip is easy.

    What’s the track like down on the Geehi/Swampy flats? I read Zapruda’s notes, and it seemed about as messy as it was 20/25 yrs ago. Is there a signpost for the track start, or just a “follow your nose” start?

    A
     
  8. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    There’s a distinct start (trad wooden green track marker) and pink tape all the way up. The start isn’t difficult to find, but make VERY sure you find it. No change from when you last did it AFAIK.

    If you lose the pink tape markets stick to the ridgeline and you’ll find it again.

    If you end up in the thick bush backtrack to the ridgeline.

    GPS REALLY valuable in this context.

    I didn’t find the start, decided to wing it and spent hours and hours in thick bush - entirely avoidable - but I suppose I had fun.
     
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  9. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most GPS maps of the area show the old Hannels track - and it hasn’t changed. So even if you don’t have waypoints you should be right - follows the ridgeline.
     
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  10. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    So, what sort of fun did you have?......

    We’ve found a free weekend on 26/4, so I’ll have to sort out how my GPS works, and how I can import waypoints into it. Erk.

    Thinking back, my last trip up was probably in 1988 ish - the start was a bit random, but was basically a choice of grassy more open areas, or blackberries.

    After that, I have little recollection until it opened up above the tree line. Amazing how “unpleasant” trips can be deleted from a brain!

    A
     
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  11. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nothing like taking an hour to travel 300m through thick bush in the dark - going up a steep gully so you can intersect the path you hope will be there - travelling solely on GPS dead reckoning (not the first, or the last time either, and I’ve managed to do the same thing for years without even needing a GPS)

    It would have been easier To find the proper start, but old habits die hard.

    Noone else would be this stupid though. I don’t particularly mind being lost in the dark myself, but that’s just me.

    Map, compass and ridgeline will be just dandy, old timer like you who’s been up there befoe needn’t worry too much about GPS - pink tape is your friend.
     
  12. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    Noted. We won’t start walking at night!

    Seems like we’ll have a 4 day trip from Melb, if I omit my 4 daughter’s “formal” on the Friday night. If we aim to start Friday am, we could even have 2 nights at Moira’s camp, with a day trip to top in between.

    Given that I’m taking daughter 2 and 3 away for a trip, I think that’s ok to firego the formal!
     
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  13. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Any excuse to avoid a ‘formal’ - invent a contagious disease if you must!
     
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  14. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do a ‘Bogong’ - travel through, avoiding Melb rush hour, and get in some distance early and then rest up...
     
  15. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    Keep in mind that Moiras flat isn't very flat and not necessarily the most comfortable campsite. The area around Byatts camp is much better. Its flat, protected and there is water nearby. The views are stunning and the area is fantastic to explore.
     
  16. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    Thanks, good point. Most of my ducks seem to be aligned so far for this trip!
     
  17. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  18. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    Thanks for posting that. It is wonderful standing up the top there, isn’t it? Haven’t been there for at least 20yrs, but looking forward to it, especially now the track appears clear, and everyone will have been up and down the weekend before we go!

    A
     
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  19. malas1

    malas1 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Anyone heading to Geehi flats the road via Cabramurra is closed.
     
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  20. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    They knew you were on your way. :D


    Quote from Wild Magazine online


    CLEARING WORKS COMPLETED ON HANNELS SPUR WALKING TRAIL

    The challenging Hannels Spur walking track in the NSW Snowy Mountains is now cleared from the base to the top of the spur, opening its full length to adventurous hikers and experienced trail runners. The lower 5.5 kilometres of the trail was cleared by a group of volunteers working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in March, linking up with work on the upper section of the track completed by the group in 2018.

    The 15.5km track, which leads to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko from near Geehi Flat on the Alpine Way, is unique in offering the greatest elevation gain (1800m) of any single walk in Australia. It takes in the entire western fall of the Snowy Mountains, climbing through the full range of vegetation from heavily-forested slopes above the Geehi and Swampy Plain Rivers to sub-alpine and alpine tracts on the top of the Main Range.

    The trail is also historic in following the spur ascended by Polish explorer Paul Strzelecki, James McArthur and two Aboriginal guides when Strzelecki became the first European to ascend, and to name, Mt Kosciuszko in 1840.

     
  21. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Their comment about biggest vertical on a single walk on the AU mainland is correct. I always thought an ascent from Mt Beauty to Bogong would rival it, say via West Peak... but still a few hundred metres shorts of Hannels. About 1500m.
     
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  22. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    The timing is perfect ! This daughter wants to walk uphill, not fluff around in blackberries for hours trying to find a track. Getting excited.

    A
     
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  23. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Taking the boys (12 & 17) up over the Easter weekend.. easier than last Easter!
     
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  24. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    Brief trip report would be appreciated.
     
  25. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Will do.
     
  26. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The start of the old and existing route - essentially the same.
     
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  27. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25373

    Good description of access from Geehi Flat to start of Hannels at Dr Forbes Hut.

    “I locked the car and departed Geehi at about 6:15am (ish) and headed across the road (Alpine Way) and though the gap next to the gate leading southeast across the flat, open plain. As I passed through between the gate/fence I immediately turned a hard right, 90degrees and followed a faint 4WD track that briefly leads along the inside of the fence before turning SSE across the open plain. The 4WD track quickly becomes more defined. This was much easier than following the footpads heading SE inside the gate that become very tussocky and rough. Note ^this^ route and particularly the Geehi river crossing I found much easier than crossing the Swampy Plains River at Dr. Forbes hut - both routes which i'd previously scouted in Dec. 2016. The 4WD track ^above^ is not on the SV map - it is a closed track for NPWS vehicles only.

    I followed the 4WD track for about ~600m SSE veering to the right when I came to junction in track - continuing on through a glade of ferns until reaching the ford at Geehi River. This is just a little upstream from the junction of the Swampy Plains River. I forded the river in my 'junk' socks and shoes - the water was quite pleasant - almost warm! Out the other side I followed the NPWS 4WD track briefly - before it veers to the right up to Doctor Forbes Hut - I veered left and continued southeast across the open flats for several hundred more metres, passing 3 or 4 very old lichen covered trail posts that mark the 'trail' to the start of the spur. The Hannels Spur sign can be seen at the bottom of the ridge to the left at the very base of the spur.” Stew63. (2017 trip)
     
  28. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    @AndrewA: here’s an update on access to the bottom of Hannels.

    The dirt track (as marked) to Dr Forbes hut is about 1.2 km from the Swampy Plains bridge, and is the FIRST dirt track to the left. There is a second dirt track further along - that is going too far.

    The dirt track is very short, and is as shown on the map below. There is enough space to park 3 vehicles just off the turning circle.

    The hut across the stream is visible from the track. Cross the Swampy Plains stream to Dr Forbes hut. The stream crossing is at a point where another creek flows into it

    Over the stream there is a clear short track from Dr Forbes hut which forms a T with the track coming from Geehi Flat. This is the track that crosses the Geehi river.*

    Turning right to face the mountain one can follow the clear track for 400 metres up to the sign-posted start of Hannel’s Spur. There are a few old poles (about 3) , with their top marked orange which mark the way.



    * If one wants to start the walk from the Geehi Flat camping area, one enters the gate across the road from the camping area entrance, and then follows the vehicle service track which heads across the plain.

    This track is initially on the EASTERN side of the river - NOT as shown on the map above. One heads along the track for about 400 metres until one enters a bushy area.

    As this track is about to head up a steep incline, there is a track turning off to the right. THIS turning point is now clearly marked by pink tape, so one cannot miss it.

    The track turning to the right soon crosses the Geehi river, and then joins up with the track passing Dr Forbes hut.

    Walking at a comfortable pace with an overnight pack one can reach Moira Flat in 4 hours, and Byatt’s campsite in another 90 minutes. All told allowing 6 hours for a descent would be adequate.

    Runners do it from the bottom in about three hours.

    The track is now well-cleared and easily followed, with only a few more recent falls as always to be navigated. The water 100m above Moira’s is clearly marked and is a good flow.

    Improved fitness and keeping one’s pack weight down would be my only concern. The Spur does seem to be getting increased visitation.

    The map in the previous post which is off the NPNSW website is correct - it accurately shows the Centennial Trail running alongside the road on the Western side of the Swampy Plains river, and shows the vehicle access track across from the campsite which crosses over the Geehi river and then veering towards Dr Forbes hut.
     
  30. AndrewA

    AndrewA One of Us

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    I think we’ve now got it nicely sorted, thanks. . Heading up from Melb Thursday, for walking Fri - Sun, aiming at Muellers area Fri night, then up to Watson’s and back Sat, and maybe down to Moira’s for the night, then back to Geehi Sunday, and back to Melb...
     
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  31. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have a great time! Overnighting at Byatt’s is also an option, although Moira’s has water. The camping below Mueller’s Pass at Wilkinsons is awesome!
     
  32. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I did it!. I will provide a detailed trip report soon. There is water some 500 M. further along the clearly cut /cairned/ poled track past Byatt's camp. Moira's flat is not flat :-( but it is somewhere to collapse in a heap in the dark after the brutal ,sweaty and relentless ascent from Geehi Flats. The water flowing at/near Both Moira's and Byatt's camp is good.
     
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