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Latest addition to summit of Bogong

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Craig D., Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Going up Staircase or Eskdale in winter mostly means walking. If you've done it in summer and have a bit of determination, you can probably do it in winter, weather permiting.

    You often don't need any special gear except for a pair of really waterproof boots, gaiters and overpants. If the snow is fresh or deep, it helps to have a few people on snowshoes at the front to stamp it down a bit and if it's icy then an axe and crampons are useful on the steep bits near the top around Castor and Pollux (Staircase) or uphill from Michell Hut (Eskdale).

    That's it. If you carry your gear up to a campsite at Gorge Gap (Staircase) or Michell Hut (Eskdale), you don't even need to take a heavy pack to the summit unless you want to go across to Cole Hut. I've got spare pairs of crampons and snowshoes if anyone needs them and I can probably scrounge an extra ice axe [​IMG]
     
    #151 Bogong, Jan 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  2. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    Bogong's advice would need a caveat?

    Weather conditions can be extreme in winter, thus all the proper clothing, food, water, emergency supplies should always be carried. And if venturing to the summit without your pack, take a minimum of the essentials with you.

    Hypothermia creeps up on you.
     
  3. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    I'd never do winter on my own, no way in hell.
     
  4. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well done FW! [​IMG]
     
    #154 trappers, Jan 24, 2007
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  5. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    #155 Fangin'Wolvy, Jan 24, 2007
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  6. andyR

    andyR First Runs

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    Last year I walked up and down via Eskdale with full camping kit, food for three days, hauling kit, ice axes, crampons, etc for rescue training...in AT boots!!! Think the pack weight about was about 35kgs..Never again, man those mothers suck to walk in. In August I did the trip again, this time in 5.10 approach shoes with the boots clipped into my bindings, which was way more comfortable, if a bit soggy. Then we almost got blown away and fried by lightning overnight on the Hooker Plateau! One day's half decent skiing, then all the snow melted in the storm (but that's another story) On this second trip we didn't put skis on till we reached where the Eskdale pole line meets the summit poles north of Hell Gap. I'm losing the AT gear this year though, tele all the way for me on this mountain. The gulleys on the northern side and around West Peak are pretty inspiring to ski too. This year my aim is to get the winter touring pack's weight way down... may post for lightweight ideas on this forum but am always open to suggestions for getting that pack's weight down...20 - 22 kilos is just so much more manageable and enjoyable to lugging up 35kgs ...
     
  7. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    35kgs is sheer nutso.

    Have food pre-made at home. Put in lock tight bags. Do without stove. Dig a hole into the snow as an windproof firepit, light a mini fire n reheat using a mini bowl-like colapsable pan. Use same pan to drink out of, using snow to wash/wipe/clean. Once finished with firepit, cover to extinguish.
    This alone will save you a few kgs.

    Dunno if it works though?

    Also, lose the tent. Build an iglo or dig into side of mountain, preferably the non windy side?

    Dunno if that works either but worth a try if others have their gear that you could rely on should it not work?

    [​IMG]
     
    #157 Fangin'Wolvy, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rover's Chalet not count?
     
    #158 Ziggy, Jan 25, 2007
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  9. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wolvy, I tend to agree. Andy R. must be very strong. I once carried a 30 kg pack for half a day and it nearly killed me. But I think a tent and stove are essential for safety.
    I can easily do a 4 day snow trip with a 20 kg pack including lots of warm clothes, stove, food, snow-tent, sleeping bag, crampons, axe and snowshoes.

    Ziggy. My feeling is that a club "field" has to have a bit more than one lodge and one tow like Mt Wills or Rover Chalet on the B.H.P's. Even Mt St Bernard with 1 lodge and 2 tows doesn't quite fit my idea of a club field. But there a lots of them in N.Z. and one in Tassie at Mt Mawson. (I'd classify Ben Lomond as a proper ski resort.)
     
  10. Graeme

    Graeme First Runs Endless Winter

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    yep - you have to be able to lighten that a lot! 20kg plus skis and boots should be plenty for that length trip. things like steel crampons and a heavy duty axe might add to that but lightweight versions do for my purposes.
    I wouldn't listen to Wolvy about losing the stove and the tent though!

    ...and dumb question - what's the hauling kit and how much does it weigh?
     
    #160 Graeme, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  11. andyR

    andyR First Runs

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    Cheeers, hauling kit is exactly that: ropes, prussiks, screw gates, etc for hauling practice. z drags, tandem prussiks, etc. Part of what we're there for in rescue practice. Some good suggestions there, I won't be losing the stove or tent though. BTW not sure on the legalities of actually lighting a fire in alpine regions, you might get away with it if discovered if it was an energency, but I would see a stove as essential safety kit in the alpine, esp. somewhere like Bogong. Good to know you seem to think I can significantly lighten my load though, and I'll be giving this, and all of your suggestions, much thought over the next few months. BTW I am keen on having a go at dehydrating my food at home, I think that idea's a real winner Wolvy. Any tips on a good dehydrator?
     
  12. Shrek

    Shrek Old n' Crusty

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    35 kgs is do-able. ive carried 33 kgs for 5 days. as my pack started to empty kind people started offloading gear to me so I would not feel too light.

    I've seen someone try and to what wolvey suggests. its quite amusing to watch. Make no mistake, if you want to live, take a stove.
     
  13. AlanD

    AlanD Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I agree Shrek. :clap:

    I've had at least one solo pack that was up in that region and I remember the guides on one of the Overland track were saying that after food drops the male guides were carrying 45 kg & the females 35 kg. I think the army guys are well above these weight ranges, if you include rifles & amo.
     
    #163 AlanD, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  14. andyR

    andyR First Runs

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    Hate to think what weights the sherpas used to pack in..it is pretty amazing what your body can actually do. I'm not super strong but have been carrying packs regularly for many years, both in my work and my rec time. You build up to it gradually. Not saying I like it though, hence the thread. There's a few extras I can lose but the end weight will depend on the nature of the trip. Down is good.
     
  15. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    i'm surprised telemarx hasn't been in here evangelically espousing the wonders of the titanium spork.
     
  16. Shrek

    Shrek Old n' Crusty

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    hes busy, so as requested...
    [​IMG]
     
    #166 Shrek, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  17. Shrek

    Shrek Old n' Crusty

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    [​IMG]
     
    #167 Shrek, Jan 25, 2007
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  18. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    Do away with the spoon, don't need it. Drink it otherwise.

    Do away with the knife, if need be use the swiss army knife, the duality is amazing.

    Do away with packaging n hook.

    As for the first pic, Shrek, that utensil is almost priceless, in weight and practicality.
     
  19. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    As for you andyR, there was a thread on BC food ideas...lemme see if it's in archives...
    one tic.
     
  20. Graeme

    Graeme First Runs Endless Winter

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    I used to take a knife that general shape until I realised that I'd carried it for a weeklong section without having a use for it
     
  21. teckel

    teckel Not a Loser Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup, Sunbeam [​IMG] (only coz I stock em)
     
    #171 teckel, Jan 25, 2007
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  22. AlanD

    AlanD Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    These days I just take a spoon & a small swiss army knife. No bowls or plates, just two smallish billies.
     
  23. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    Nope can't seem to find it...I know I have a print out of it somewhere, might take me a few days to find it though. It's in the garage...
    [​IMG]
     
    #173 Fangin'Wolvy, Jan 25, 2007
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  24. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've used the following cooking gear for hundreds of nights on pack carrying walks. I never vary it now that I've got it right for my needs [​IMG]

    - A 2 litre billy with a lid that doubles as frying pan and plate. It can be aluminium or stainless, but Majik and Shrek would approve of mine, it's titanium [​IMG]

    - A small-medium spoon. It can be stainless steel or tough Lexan plastic. A spork is an alternative.

    - A small, light, single blade pocket knife.

    - MSR "pocket rocket" or Kovea "Titanium" gas stove. Weighs 80 grams + fuel. Quick & easy to light.

    - Plastic mug. Make sure it's the type that doesn't give a plasticy taste to tea and coffee.

    - Water bottle. Old soft drink bottles are light, free and can stand up to staggering abuse. They never leak

    Total weight: 200 grams + 200 grams for a gas cannister.

    I often do long rants about the stupid risks light weight freaks take with inadequate gear. Personally I use a heavy canvas pack and my snow tent weighs 4 kg. But I still don't see why anyone should carry a pack over 20 kg unless they are on a 10 day trip or they're carrying some of a small persons load. Weekend trip packs should be under 16 kg for the boys and 12-14 kg for girls. This includes fresh food and safety gear like a good first aid kit. There's no need to carry more!
     
    #174 Bogong, Jan 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  25. andyR

    andyR First Runs

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    Bogong thanks for that, you've obviously put a lot of thought into what you pack and I appreciate your sharing it here, cool. I find when guiding I have to carry more than i would normally, but my back is starting to protest! A friend recommends not packing anything that doesn't have at least 2 uses, which i like also as an idea, for its functionality and practicality. You have all really got me thinking, and it's good to hear your confidence in 20kg being an upper limit...obviously mnore if you pack in axes and crampons, etc. but your point is well made...you confirm my suspicion that I can significantly lighten my load. I'd be really interested in any other suggestions, links, threads you can come up with, suggest, etc. and will post my intended kit for this year's ski touring adventures here to be picked apart, which is new for me, as the season draws closer. One area I I can lighten is my first aid kit! Dehydrating should also lighten weight and retain quality.
     
  26. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh, I occasionally carry up to 25 kg if i'm going out for 12+ days in S.W. Tasmania, food (and a few treats) weigh a lot and I really notice the difference. Ouch!

    But essentially I'm a lazy sod, so I don't carry stuff that isn't important for safety or I won't use. As an example I don't carry a book unless I'm expecting to be tent-bound due to extreme weather, nor do I carry a gas latern unless I'm staying in huts most nights. All these little things add up to quite a few kg.

    But as I said, I'm not an unsafe lightweight freak either. I love fresh food and a glass of plonk when I'm camping somewhere remote [​IMG] After a few days, dehydrated food has a certain blandness to it. Give me bangers and fresh vegies instead!
     
    #176 Bogong, Jan 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  27. Azz

    Azz One of Us

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    Yeah thanks Bogong, after my first BC trip last winter it is good to hear what weights others carry / aim for. Time to have a look what I have in my pack.
     
  28. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    35kg is Ok.... As long as it is full mounatineering kit and about 5 days food. If you are carying axes crampons shovel probe transciever ropes screws stakes harness karabiners ski's etc etc. I can't see how you could do it much lighter.

    I think the standard sherpa load used to be about 100 pounds. I'm not sure w hat apound is but I think it is around 40kg.
     
  29. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    With respect, Surveyorcam - that's rubbish! I can't even lift 35 kg for a minute, yet I've managed to do all the hardest walks and ski tours in Australia with a 15 kg pack on short bushwalks up to 25 kg for the 12 day walks or 7 day snow trips. And no, I don't use unsafe lightweight gear or skimp on safety stuff and I carry a snowtent and eat very well!

    I think the reason I don't take useless stuff or unnecesariy heavy gear (a friend of mine carries a pair of heavy cast steel billies that weigh 500 grams each!), is a combination of physique - (I have a fairly normal body and only modest muscles), and laziness - If I want to do something, I think it's better to spend an hour pondering the best way to do it than to stagger up a snow-clad mountain or through button-grass bogs with a stupidly heavy pack.

    The only circumstance I can think of where I'd ever carry a pack over 25 kg, is if I was carrying 2 weeks food and full climbing kit. But there's no mountaineering in Australia that requires you to go out with more than 6 days food.
     
  30. AlanD

    AlanD Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bongong ...45kg on walks into caving areas, carry equipment for beginner trips wheren they were arriving the next day. Once your carrying hardware the weights become ridiculas.
     
  31. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow, that's way too macho for me! Does anyone want to put in a higher bid? :rolleyes:
     
  32. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator

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    [​IMG] Not me. I take a max of 15 kilos on multi-day bushwalks. (no clinging to mountain-sides on ropes for me!).
     
    #182 VSG, Jan 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  33. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    Bogong I'm mot syaing I would take all that stuff anywhere in Australia, but I would love you to describe to me how you can make a pack with technical mountaineering gear weigh less than 20kg. That would be a miracle.
    I totally support doing more with less especially in Australia. The hardest ski tours and walks in Australia require about half of what I describe in my earlier post.
     
  34. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    Half of which by the is 17.5 kg. Which sounds alarmingly similar to numbers that you are quoting.
     
  35. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I didn't want to have to do this, but here is my typical gear list:
    - Canvas pack, 70 to 80 lites
    - Snow tent (I carry half the weight)
    - Sleeping bag, -10 degrees
    - 200 grams of cooking and eating gear inc. water bottle (explained at end of page 7)
    - Small stuff. Compass, map, phone, candle, pencil & scrap paper, credit card. Optional GPS, EPIRB
    - Karimat (upmarket closed cell sleeping mat) or if I'm feeling soft, a Thermarest
    - Goretex raincoat, optional overpants
    - Clothes. Shirts, pants, thermal top, fleece top, down jacket, socks, hat
    - Toilet paper, moist towlettes (from KFC/Red Rooster), toothbrush & paste, sunburn cream, first aid
    - 900 grams of food a day, including fresh stuff, freeze dried, biscuits, lollies, beef jerky, chocolate, etc

    I just don't see how people can make this weigh more than than about 14 kg for a 2 day walk!

    You don't need an expensive 500 gram water bottle when 50 gram soft drink bottles are both free and indestructable. I only ever carry 4 sets of clothes. On long trips I just wash my clothes every 4 days!

    For snow trips I add some or all of the following:
    - Adjustable poles 500 grams
    - Snowshoes 1.5 kg for my Lightning Ascents, but others like Yowie's and Denali's are lighter.
    - Ice Axe 700 grams
    - Crampons 900 grams for 12 points, 400 g for insteps
    - Snow shovel 500 grams
    - Clothes include an extra wool or pile jumper, extra sleeping mat, goggles, pile pants, gaiters, 2 x gloves, sun hat, woolly hat. So a bit over 1 kg of extra clothes

    I don't do seriously technical climbing that requires lots of gear anymore (I got scared once too often), but very occasionally I might be seen with a harness, ice screws and a light climbing rope.

    I will admit that adding XC, or especially AT skis and boots blows out the weight, so I plan my trips carefully to avoid carrying them for long.
     
  36. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    I think we are saying the same thing are we not????
    For non technical walking or skiing trips in Australia packs should be less than 20kg.
    For more technical mounataineering or climbing then you can add on 10-15kg for the neccessary hardware.
    Or in my case you can add about 10kg for camera and tripod... well maybe not 10 but it seems like it sometimes.
     
  37. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Possibly Cam, but I'm a (relative) weakling and can't carry more than 26 kg and I prefer to carry 15 kg. What you choose to carry is up to you. Still, I reckon that it you had a good, hard look at the stuff you take, you could knock at least 20% of the weight without missing anything. (Do you use everything you take?) But if you're strong enough and masochistic enough, stick with carring twice the weight I do.
     
  38. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    I never really mentioned what weights I carry. I was purely saying what I thought was normal.
    If I took out the camera gear I'd be surprised if they were bigger numbers than yours. I thought your gear list was pretty much bang on the money.
    If I walk with my significant other I am usually a nice guy and carry all of the tent and stove and fuel. So I might end up with more weight that way.
    I've done several 30K+ day trips on ski out of Falls Creek with about a 3 kg bum bag. But that might have been erring on the side of recklessness.
     
  39. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought I was the overly conservative one who took too much stuff on day trips! But if you are experienced, know the area and have the right gear then I suppose a large bum bag would be fine.

    I don't have the patience to do the full SLR and tripod thing and I suspect I don't have a good enough eye for shots to make it worthwhile. I usually just carry a "point and shoot" camera, but I didn't even take that on a daywalk yesterday and I took a terrific photo of a dragon (lizard) on my telephone! But that was mostly good luck.

    Perhaps we should have a backcountry "Summer SIC" so we can all meet each other on a bushwalk. (Possibly on Mt Bogong or the B.H.P's.) There would be enough of us who are experienced to give a hand to the relative newbies (if they need it). There's certainly stacks of Victorian contributors to the backcountry forum.
     
  40. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    I never used to bother with a camera either but once you start it is hard to stop. And then one day you wake up and think oh my god I can't carry all this cr@p. I am just thinking of down sizing to something more modern and light weight.
     
  41. Unknown

    Unknown First Runs

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    I don't see a pack weight above 30kgs as anything to extreme. I'll admit that it's not preferable, if your a hike leader then your should be able to carry that weight.

    Having to carry water 8 or more litres of water is becoming more common.

    As a novelty item I once secretly carried an entire watermelon weighing (8kgs) on top of everything else in my pack. I only carried the watermelon for one half day. To the surprise of the group I produced the water melon for desert.

    P.S. I have heard of the "Backcountry Sic" but what does the "Sic" part actually mean??
     
  42. Graeme

    Graeme First Runs Endless Winter

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    carrying extra water for a dry camp is sometimes needed - but if your pack with normal water for the day is already 30+kg, how are you going to go when you do need to load up with 8l? you may be OK, Unknown, but its not for me.
     
  43. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    You were just showing off that you were strong enough to carry it. :thumbs: Nothing wrong with that, but there's no way I could do it [​IMG]

    SIC stands for Snow Info Conference ("Snow Info" was the former name of ski.com.au). Despite the name, it's just an annual p155 up for the people on this forum. Held at a different resort each year. Last year a big "backcountry" SIC was planned for the Main Range, but it fizzled due to almost no snow. Maybe a Victorian SIC could do better this year?
     
    #193 Bogong, Feb 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  44. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Isn't there a recommended max weight that males/females should carry without proper training? I recall something like 1/4 body weight (which for me means max 17.5kg) [​IMG]

    I draw the line at 25kgs (unless carrying components to erect timber cross [​IMG] [​IMG] ). Anymore than that I start throwing things out or changing where I go. As I slowly replace gear I have noticed the pack getting lighter, rarely above 20kgs during summer for up to 5-6 days. Bit heavier in winter I guess. But I only ever bushwalk or ski tour, no climbing gear etc.
     
    #194 GS, Feb 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  45. Craig D.

    Craig D. Hard Yards

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    Ideally it should be 1/4 of your body weight, with a maximum of 1/3. The most I have carried was half my body weight (18 days food) and that was ridiculous. The actual weight wasn't so bad as the pack harness distributes it quite well, the main problem is the changed centre of gravity. I lost my balance a lot more than usual, and as the pack was so heavy I had to take it off to get back up again. Hence a lot of wasted time!

    I think that Bogong's idea of a bushwalking SIC is fantastic! I'm up for it [​IMG] The mighty mount that bears his name would be a great place for it, as beginners could stroll up Eskdale whilst the more experienced could try something more challenging, like an ascent of Little Bogong!

    We could all meet up at Cleve Cole and talk crap, whilst eating gourmet food and drinking copious amounts of port :cheers:
     
    #195 Craig D., Feb 2, 2007
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  46. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    Whose going to carry up the scales so we can weigh every one's packs. coinsidently I was at Cleve Cole hut the night of new year 2000 and one guy produced a watermelon that he had carried up the staircase. That was a really good night. Some one else carried up a guitar and we had some sing sing.
    The water melon carrier later on that year cycled the whole bicentennial trail. If that's the one that goes from Gippsland to QLD.
     
  47. surveyorcam

    surveyorcam Hard Yards

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    My spellign is cr@p
     
  48. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Okay, that's at least three takers. But I'm not going UP Little Bogong [​IMG] I like The Staircase, it has the best scenery, but I'm happy to escort the novices up Eskdale Spur too. Anyone care to suggest possible dates? (Preferably not long weekends.)
     
    #198 Bogong, Feb 2, 2007
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  49. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow this thread has changed, and looks like its changing some more...... I think my most outrageous pack was 29 kgs for the 10 day stewart island walk in NZ, but 4 kgs was water. Still too heavy for 8-10 hour days bashing through mud. These days with better gear and a smarter head (and less novels) i'd do it with 18kgs too.
     
  50. Fangin'Wolvy

    Fangin'Wolvy First Runs

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    I'm taking Granite. Stuff any other route. Second time round, I'd like it to be enjoyable somewhat..
    *cough smoke cough*
    Esky was torture.
    My knee's recovered, so I say another week or so n I'm in...
    I'm trying to do at least 2 treks to Bogong per month, thus far.