Trip Report Mt.Baw Baw to Whitelaw Hut ruins. AAWT bushwalking.22 & 23/12/21

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
Your correspondent in the field was making the most of clear sunny but not very hot December weather and was the utilizing freedom to do what is fun and healthy after the long lockdown No. 6 ended.
So I went off to walk another bit of the AAWT over the Baw Baw plateau in the Baw Baw Nat. park.
I drove up from Melbourne on Wednesday before Xmas and arrived to find the clouds and showers on the way up had all cleared by the time I arrived at Baw Baw Village at around 1300.
It is such a pleasant place , more so than somewhere such as Mt. Buller village.
Initially I had planned to walk further NW but my camp site at the Mt. Whitelaw Hut ruins was as far as I went .
It was about 10 kms one way. The track North of Phillack saddle needs a haircut and a chainsaw.

It took me about 4 hours to walk from Baw Baw Village to the Hut ruins. I got there at about 1730 .
I went to locate water, pump up some water with my water filter into some containers and set up camp.
It was a mild , clear moonlit windless night. Two other AAWT walkers were unobtrusively camping nearby and I had quick chat with one of them. They were also just walking the Baw Baw area for future reference regarding a bigger planned AAWT mission.
There were a lot of mosquitoes around the area.
Being the longest day / shortest night/Summer solstice the forces of Mother nature were at their apex for the annual cycle. I ate some pasta and relaxed . I went off to sleep just at about 2130.
The Birdies were up and singing before dawn which would have been before 0500. I got up at 0530 and was packed up and walking by 0730.
I was planning to go further NW along the AAWT but I just didn't feel like it. The other walkers said it was slow going for the next 2 kms with fallen logs and head high scrub so I was content to amble back to my car.
I found some sunglasses on the track on the way back.
. As a XC ski route I would not be that keen to take it on but some side stepping down the tricky bits could work. It would need 40- 50 cms to be XC skiable IMHO. There are some steep rocky drop offs with descending bends with no spaces for ski turns or run outs because of the trees that restrict the turning options on skis.
The same can be said for the Tanjil track which connects The Baw Baw Village XC ski trails with Phillack Saddle.

I ate lunch at the Mueller's picnic tables site on the Village XC ski track . After returning to my car I stopped at O Shea's mill to look at the AAWT camp site. There was no one there. It was tempting to car camp there and just chilax but I moved on and visited Walhalla on the way home. I had not been there or to the Thompson River camp sites for ten years.
DEWLP have put in pit loos and a picnic shelter with picnic tables where there was once a rudimentary drop loo. I am not sure I like the formal infrastructure. Turning the car around is harder now that campsites are set apart with boulders, which are esp. hard to see from the driver's seat of my SUV RAV 4 .
Anyway I will be back in the near future to walk some more of the AAWT from Stronach's camp to Mt. Whitelaw Hut ruins and back, coming in from the Thompson Valley road.
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
Day one. Sunny and clear at Baw Baw village.
I was XC skiing here on 30 cms of snow on 16/11/21 !.
The wildflowers and sub alpine heath were all blooming.
The snow gum forest is enchanting. It was all too beautiful!. Better than Itchy coo park .

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
Day 2. Walking back the Baw Baw Ski village on a pleasant cool , crisp and sunny summer's morning. I must say that Baw Baw Village is a ghost town most of the year.

So much for getting mountain bikers and bushwalkers up there in green season.
The FHAC redevelopment will not make money. The ski resorts basically shut down for 8-9 months of the year. There is no concerted effort made to utilize the present resources at these places which are next door to some of our best National Parks in the Australian Alps.

The lovely young woman with dark brown eyes :) at the visitor centre was not interested in doing any work .When I asked her about green season accommodation. She simply said all the information you need is on the Mt. Baw Baw website.

In other words " Don't bother me , just look it up yourself!".
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