Trip Report Mt.Feathertop.The NW spur/Summit/Bungalow spur.6 & 7 April 2019

Discussion in 'Backcountry Trip Reports' started by Mister Tee on XC Skis, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    In order to get some hiking fitness back up to speed for climbing up steep hills, I went and did battle with the evil NW spur of Mt. Feathertop.
    It was torture.
    The track is overgrown with post bushfire regrowth. I was attacked by leeches, scratched by blackberry bushes and I failed to turn perspiration into inspiration as I grovelled up the near vertical ascent. I was moving at approximately 1 km per hour until I finally reached the MUMC hut. I was a spent force and I had run out of water a kilometre or so back before reaching the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club Hut.
    I went down this route some 4-5 years ago.
    The trauma and pain had become superimposed by more recent trials and challenges so off I went up the track on what turned out to be quite a pleasant weekend in terms of weather for walking .
    I stayed at my friend's house in Myrtleford the night before. I awoke at dawn on 6/4/19 to see fork lightning , with thunder and heavy rain. Oh no .
    However it cleared up but it left the vegetation by Stoney Creek wet and leech friendly.
    I left my car at the Trout farm. I set off at about 10 am, I think.
    Floods and fires have rendered the initial route along the creek quite different to way I remember it.
    I arrived at the MUMC hut after 4pm. MUMC members were carrying out maintenance work on the hut.
    I didn't get many photos of the ascent until a view of The Fainters appeared not far from the MUMC hut.
    I found a spot to put up my tent and cooked some dinner while the sun began to sink over Mt. Buffalo.
    I went off to bed at about 8pm while the MUMC had a big cook up and all slept in the hut. Some of them had come up the Diamantina spur. They too had suffered.
    The sky at night was clear and without a moon one could see the whole cosmos .

    Day two. I was up a day break. I packed up and after breakfast and a visit to the commode , I headed off to visit the summit. The water at the spring along the Tom Kneen track was flowing well. I filled up there with drinking water for the day . I dropped my pack and went to the summit . Magnificent!. It was very sunny and clear but cool and breezy at the top.
    I returned via Federation hut. I had an early lunch there and then proceeded to slog it down the Bungalow spur.
    What a surprise .
    PV have completed the work of 100 Ubi Steves/Team Bears cloned x 10 and slashed and cut the whole track as well as chain sawing logs. It is the best I have ever seen it. I was back at the bottom in about 3.5 hours. Many people were coming up the track.
    It was quite a contrast to the ascent of the N.W. spur.
    At the bottom I was feeling sore in my feet but still had approximately 7 kms to walk to reach my car back at the trout farm.
    It took two hours to walk the last leg. On returning to my car I was relieved to have finished a 20 km + day . I found that the metal tip of one of my hiking poles had snapped off. I will have to get that fixed soon.
    My legs are still sore!.
     
    #1 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  2. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I was badly bitten by a couple of leeches along the route that follows the creek up to the foot of actual spur. I used a gas lighter to burn the suckers off me, but I kept bleeding up much of the way up that hill. It is very much the Bloody N.W.Spur !
    I did not see a soul on the entire ascent. That was nice but slow going, just relentlessly steep.
     
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  3. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I ate lunch somewhere en route up the endless straight up the bloody hill slog to the MUMC hut. I was cramping up a bit in my legs due to fatigue and I went through some sachets of ORS/ Gastrolyte in my 3 L. drinking bladder. I think a brush cutter would be useful for giving the whole route a haircut. I did not take many photos until I was near the hut. I was busy huffing and puffing and swearing! .
    There was not much to photograph. Just head high scrub and a near vertical footpad.
    I had a chat with the club member who put red arrows on tree trunks along the actual spur route. That was handy for following the right way.
     
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  4. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    On arrival an MUMC club member offered me drinking water and a deck chair in the mild sunshine to collapse into !.
    The MUMC hut has better views than Federation hut does.
     
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  5. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Day 1.Sunset.
     
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  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Day break . Day 2.
     
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  7. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  8. weerab

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    Thanks for report, looked like a real struggle. Have only been to MUMC via Bungalow and that was a long time ago!
     
  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Your correspondent in the field went to the Mt. Feathertop summit and enjoyed the views. There was no one else up there. I have now been up and down every major hiking route along The Razorback and Mt. Feathertop.
     
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  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    These small white metal signs are often buried out of sight in snow season.
     
    #10 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  11. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The recent track clearing along the Bungalow spur will make winter access less laborious.
     
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  13. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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  14. VSG

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    Great photos.

    I am sure you practised safe hiking, including letting others know of your plans.
     
  15. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Yes...nice pics as usual!

    Now if only we could get the Parks to get their volunteers onto the NW Spur.

    Have MUMC put their stove back in there?

    It’s pleasing that Bungalow Spur has had some love and attention .
    It’s one of the busiest(consistently busy)tracks on the mainland and well deserving of the work.

    Perhaps Parks Vicco hear our mutterings about the state of tracks generally and are rising to the challenge to coordinate working parties!

    Maybe one day.....another hut gets erected near the Ruin to take pressure off Federation Hut.But some attitudes need to change....we need to move on ...consolidating and rebuilding ...giving thought to what gets done and where?
     
  16. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Now if only we could get the Parks to get their volunteers onto the NW Spur.

    The MUMC are talking with PV about doing some track work on the NW spur. Someone has gone through this green season with a chain saw , but not a brush cutter.

    Have MUMC put their stove back in there?
    There is no heater/stove/burner of any sort inside the MUMC hut. There are mutterings about a briquette burner being installed.

    I am sure you practised safe hiking, including letting others know of your plans.
    I always leave a detailed handwritten set of trip notes and intentions with my aged Ma. The Oz ALPS could be the moon as far she knows them or is concerned , but ultimately the notes are for her to hand to the Police if the worst comes to the worst. I always fill out the intentions books at trail heads , carry a PLB and a Mob. ph. .Sometimes I will call into the Mansfield cop shop and fill out a trip intentions form there too , if that is the area I am moving in.
     
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  17. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Those Uni students may have to go on secret missions with brush cutters etc.

    Never mind their formal suit and tie functions....I presume they still have one every year.

    Oxo needs to hire out brush cutters from its club rooms....

    And this creek crossing at the bottom....how does that work in winter...I mean do they have a bridge ?

    There must be a ridgeline scattered with dead snow gums waiting for a wood stove finish!
     
  18. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    There is a creek crossing that has no bridge. I found it very easy to cross with boots on , just rock hopping. Hiking poles assisted me with my balance. It could be more interesting when the water level is high and flowing quickly .

    After that the next two bridges are still intact and remain just at the very foot of the near vertical ascent of the actual NW spur. There are so many old dried out dead tree trunks on the upper NW spur that just a fraction of them could be cut up with a chainsaw and used for a wood burner .
     
  19. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Not sure why MUMC would contemplate a briquette burner!
    When so must Fuel abounds up there?

    Good...thanks for informative report.
    Has that dated geo dome thingee got some insulation in its roof?
     
  20. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    The insulation inside the dome is rotten and the people there were stripping it/ removing it with the aim of replacing it . The Hut needs quite a bit of work to keep it serviceable in such an exposed location. That work is being done. I spoke to MUMC member Jack Mc. who was doing some of the work . I suggested to him coming in with replacement materials in fair weather from the old Helipad along the Northern Razorback. He had never been up that way.
     
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  21. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Perhaps they need clearance to drop stuff in by helicopter.

    But ....that may involve many days of paper work with Parks Vicco!
     
  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Jack carried a solar panel in from the Diamantina hut car parking area. He strapped it to his pack !
     
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  23. Ubiquitous Steve

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    MUMC need donkeys to pull in the loads.....donkeys on steroids to get stuff up NW Spur!

    Parks have to get refuse from Feathertop Dunny some times....it’s a wonder that when copter comes in ....that it cannot drop gear for MUMC Hut??
     
  24. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Young Jack( MUMC wallah) suggested that PV could use a helicopter drop to a 2 stroke brush cutter and a chain saw with extra bar oil and 2 stroke fuel so that the task of clearing the track could be made easier, by walking down the steep NW spur and carrying the tools and using them on the descent .There is no way any sane or deranged person would willingly carry a fully fuelled chain saw or 2 stroke whipper snipper up the NW spur.
     
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