Trip Report Keppel's hut and Lake Mtn. Boundary Hut ruins.4/10/17

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Today my friend and I went off to scout out the sneaky way to Lake Mountain from Buxton. We drove up to Buxton early and the countryside was shrouded in fog.
I didn't take skis, snowshoes or microspikes , a decision that was later to prove to be foolish!.
We left the car at the locked gate at the junction of Mt. Margaret Road and Lady Talbot Drive. We took day packs and walked along Lady Talbot road. It was littered with fallen timber . No way could you drive in there even if the gate was open. Even with a chainsaw you'd be there all day trying to clear the road.On the way we saw a dead deer on the road side with its antlers missing. It didn't half pen and ink!
Eventually we slogged it up to Keppel's hut.
There were patches of snow near the dunny and the hut. Facilities have been improved since I was last there a few summers ago.The hut is in good order and there is now a firewood shed that was stocked by DSE Rangers. There is a horse yard for horse riders with three separate corrals.
There is also an outdoor fireplace and the stream next to the hut was flowing well if one required water.
So it was about 11.45 am when we sat down at the Picnic Table at the Hut ( it is not one of Steve's bits of handy work ) and ate lunch, looked at the map and then headed up the track to Lake Mountain.
The main point of this fact finding mission was to work out how long it would take to walk to the hut from the locked gate in deep snow with a full winter pack in order to set up a base snow tent camp at the hut so one could do two day trips with skis and avoid the exorbitant gate fee at Lake Mtn.
It took us 90 minutes in clear sunny weather with just day packs. My estimation is that with an overnight winter pack with snow shoes, skis, ski boots , food , tent etc. it would take an hour longer esp. in poo weather and deep snow and mud.
So we slogged it up the track to the Boundary hut loop track intersection on th e Lake Mountain Plateau.
Lower down the track was quite over grown and there was a lot of fallen timber that required doing some crawling over and under the logs and taking off our day packs. With skis and/or snow shoes attached to the pack in deep snow it would be very slow going and a P.I.T.A. .
I suggest Team Bears get up there give the whole track a haircut with a chainsaw.
To my surprise the upper section of the Keppel hut track had deep complete snow cover. It was soft and icy but I could have skied up( herringbone style) or snow shoed up there but we were reduced to kicking steps in boots.
While it was melting rapidly it was not as I expected for October at Lake Mountain's highest section.
Once we hit the Boundary hut ruins loop it was very skiable with just a few breaks in cover. Oh man , I was caught without snow shoes, microspikes or XC skis.
The scenery with the blues skies, warm sunshine, clear visibility and late season snow pack was divine and we saw NOBODY out there all day.
Once we completed the Hut loop on foot we headed back to Keppel's hut and onwards towards the car. It was quite a long walk up and back in one day.We must have reached my car at just after 5 pm.
It was a great day trip and I am so totally going up there to ski without paying and using the hut as a base camp in the 2018 white season at LM.
I used a digital camera so I am posting a visual record of a fine day out with some surprise snow cover up at Lake Mtn.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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Heavy logs over Lady Talbot Drive on the way in and out on foot.
DSCN2301.JPG
 
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Tanuki

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Thanks MrT. That fire 2008 damage is so severe, I shudder to think about the Old Growth Rainforest that used to be in the valley along L.T.D.; mustve been burnt to a crisp
 

Tanuki

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BTW, great to see Mega Pixels in your photos, much quicker turn around
 

Tanuki

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I think about 1/3 of the beech forest survived. As did the better kept secret along the Acheron Way.
Great news, I'll take a squiz next time on the Acheron Way.
 

snowgum

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Great report Mr T - I wish I still had your level of energy and to a degree, time. (8 year old anyone? Kidding!!)

Great to see so much snow for elev just <1500m!! I can't say I've seen (skied) snow on the Lake since the mid 00s (I skied the after the GF one year!). It just shows the difference ~ 150/160 m extra height makes when compared to the car park base area.

As for the K Hut approach - while it saves $50-$55(?) fleecing by LMAR - I'm not sure I'd be in a hurry to bush bash up through the saplings on a precious (rare) xc ski day when I could be sliding on the groomed stuff. Summer - with no snow to waste be a different matter - for me.

It's interesting that In signposting the KH track, adding decent loos at hut, PV have gone to quite a bit of trouble. But they've (or DELWP) have seemingly let the track 'go' - which won't encourage your average family to use this route. This result seems to be increasingly common through the bush. I'm no lover of logging - but hey if Govt agencies want us to use these tracks they need to ensure they're navigable by slashing one and then? Surely? Couldn't they use their fire prevention slush fund?

Anyway, well done Mr T, thanks for the pics and the stories - you've inspired me to get out of town more
This summer.

Oh as a by the way, after KH, you'd probably enjoy Torbek - for walking not skiing. You may also find Mt Bullfight interesting (bit of work climbing through an old revegetating coupe from the north). It's a bit like a smaller Lake Mtn plateau but with just mini plains and no obvious tarns. Very secluded for ~ 5 kms from the ski trails. Not a place to do an ankle - no track so unlikely to see other walkers. But has potential to link with Torbrek and LMtn for a decent 2-3 day overnight hike - if DELWP/PV could find some funds, cut a trail - maybe add a hut, loo & firepit of near Torbrek. (Sigh!)
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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Great report Mr T - I wish I still had your level of energy and to a degree, time. (8 year old anyone? Kidding!!)

Great to see so much snow for elev just <1500m!! I can't say I've seen (skied) snow on the Lake since the mid 00s (I skied the after the GF one year!). It just shows the difference ~ 150/160 m extra height makes when compared to the car park base area.

As for the K Hut approach - while it saves $50-$55(?) fleecing by LMAR - I'm not sure I'd be in a hurry to bush bash up through the saplings on a precious (rare) xc ski day when I could be sliding on the groomed stuff. Summer - with no snow to waste be a different matter - for me.

It's interesting that In signposting the KH track, adding decent loos at hut, PV have gone to quite a bit of trouble. But they've (or DELWP) have seemingly let the track 'go' - which won't encourage your average family to use this route. This result seems to be increasingly common through the bush. I'm no lover of logging - but hey if Govt agencies want us to use these tracks they need to ensure they're navigable by slashing one and then? Surely? Couldn't they use their fire prevention slush fund?

Anyway, well done Mr T, thanks for the pics and the stories - you've inspired me to get out of town more
This summer.

Oh as a by the way, after KH, you'd probably enjoy Torbek - for walking not skiing. You may also find Mt Bullfight interesting (bit of work climbing through an old revegetating coupe from the north). It's a bit like a smaller Lake Mtn plateau but with just mini plains and no obvious tarns. Very secluded for ~ 5 kms from the ski trails. Not a place to do an ankle - no track so unlikely to see other walkers. But has potential to link with Torbrek and LMtn for a decent 2-3 day overnight hike - if DELWP/PV could find some funds, cut a trail - maybe add a hut, loo & firepit of near Torbrek. (Sigh!)
I have trekked up Mt.Torbreck in summer and in winter. In winter it was semi technical because it is steep and microspikes and a whippet pole were handy for the descent.I know it quite well. I might give Mt. Bullfight a fact finding mission this green season.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Just bought a 4 stroke el.cheapo brush cutter from Aldi...about 180 dollars ...that track from Keppels towards Boundary Hut looks like it needs some attention with such an implement.

I have skied down from above some years ago and returned the same way.Then some iodiot burned down Boundary Hut....was an interesting Hut in its days.

Perhaps Mr T can practice with his new chainsaw shortly....do a bit of a walk along this trail.Bears are like Sargent Shultz ....."I know nothing"
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Keppels Hut looks nice....DSE have done well with design of both toilet and Hut.....

I think Mr T is encouraging folk to get out and about every time he posts.
Bears say this type of development is money well spent....must be good on a wet day to sit around that fireplace.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
Just bought a 4 stroke el.cheapo brush cutter from Aldi...about 180 dollars ...that track from Keppels towards Boundary Hut looks like it needs some attention with such an implement.

I have skied down from above some years ago and returned the same way.Then some iodiot burned down Boundary Hut....was an interesting Hut in its days.

Perhaps Mr T can practice with his new chainsaw shortly....do a bit of a walk along this trail.Bears are like Sargent Shultz ....."I know nothing"
If I am going to slog it up there next winter with skis and snow shoes then an Autumn track clearing mission when the gates are open will be necessary. In my RAV 4 I will be able to drive up to the hut !.
 

SuskiQ

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Sounds like a great outing @Mister Tee on snow shoes

Facilities have been improved since I was last there a few summers ago.The hut is in good order and there is now a firewood shed that was stocked by DSE Rangers.

Just need to give credit where it’s due re Keppel’s Hut. The firewood was cut & stacked by Melbourne Jeep Owners Club and some members of the Victorian High Country Huts Ass’n in June when they had a working bee to tidy up before the ski season. (Cut firewood helps stop the morons putting big logs in fireplaces and burning down Huts.) :thumbs::)
 

teckel

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Sounds like a great outing @Mister Tee on snow shoes



Just need to give credit where it’s due re Keppel’s Hut. The firewood was cut & stacked by Melbourne Jeep Owners Club and some members of the Victorian High Country Huts Ass’n in June when they had a working bee to tidy up before the ski season. (Cut firewood helps stop the morons putting big logs in fireplaces and burning down Huts.) :thumbs::)
That explains why my sales of axes are down :( ;)
 
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