Trip Report Mt St Gwinear - Victoria

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Strongly suggest you take bb bel up on his generous offer. I understand he is a ski instructor (with some unconventional ideas about technique, but that's ok with me) who could give valuable advice. WC instructors are also good (some are Olympic athletes) but you have to get to FC, then ski up to the bowl. Mount BB is much closer with moderate terrain and here is an expert offering to guide you. Go with it!
There is a chance that this could happen on 9/10/19 as well as in 2020. It looks like there will be enough snow falling on 8/10/19
http://www.janebunn.net/mt-baw-baw
to warrant a rock hopper ski day on 9/10/19 after the resort at BB shuts its white season operations.@bawbawbel has shown some interest in such an excursion, a last hurrah for 2019 on planks.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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*UPDATE 2020 SEASON*
Mt.St.Gw.
Parks Vic have been working hard on plans for winter 2020. What we know so far and subject to change.
-We are open
-Toboggan runs open (snow dependant)
-Toilet open
-Food van open
-Parks Vic in attendance when conditions dictate
-Social distancing encouraged
-Please download Covidsafe app

-Capacity capped (numbers to be confirmed)
-Warm room is CLOSED
-Parks will NOT be hiring toboggans

What this means.....
-Plan your visit for during the week as numbers are lower
-Get in early as you may have to wait for someone to leave or you may be turned around
-Bring a change of clothes as you will not be able to access the warm room.
-Bring your tap and go card as St G Foodvan will be encouraging no contact transactions for hot food and drinks.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Are Dans extended restrictions going to affect snow related things here or at Lake Mt?Now the kids are being told not to go on holidays from or to the most affected Covid-19 areas....:cry:
 

Goski

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Capped numbers will be largely consumed by snow players. It would be good if they would let in x number of people who intend to ski as one cap and everybody else under another cap. Not hard to determine who has xc skis with them and who does not. Be a shame if the few xc skiers who use Gwinear per day on weekends were unable to get on the trail (and be very physically distant from the snowplayers) because the local snowplayers took up all the visitor cap which would reduce their ability to keep a physical distance.
 

Goski

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Are Dans extended restrictions going to affect snow related things here or at Lake Mt?Now the kids are being told not to go on holidays from or to the most affected Covid-19 areas....:cry:
Stay tuned is all we can do. With cases in Vic rising and our state having most of the new cases in the last week we could see a further rollback to a higher level of restrictions soon.
 

MHzMe

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Be a shame if the few xc skiers who use Gwinear per day on weekends were unable to get on the trail
A bit off topic, but what is access and trail like via Mt Erica? Thinking of having the heavy BC touring gear handy and thinking of alternatives if access to Gwinear is blocked due to a visitor cap.
 

Goski

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A bit off topic, but what is access and trail like via Mt Erica? Thinking of having the heavy BC touring gear handy and thinking of alternatives if access to Gwinear is blocked due to a visitor cap.
I've skied from Mushroom Rocks to Erica once only. It needs good depth of cover - I forget how much we had when we did it early Septemberbut it was more than usual for that time of year - and last time I tried it a few years ago the shrubs and trees were all bent over and were blocking the walking track from the Mt Erica carpark up to Mushroom Rocks. It is a walk maybe requiring you to climb over and under branches and saplings up to the rocks then you can start to ski maybe half a km after the rocks. It took a few hours from memory to ski to the St Gwinear carpark and you need to be able to navigate the open terrain. We did it before getting GPS tech i.e. using a compass and map. With the time taken to do the car shuffle we did in the morning to leave a car at the St G carpark, it was getting dark when we got to the Mt St g carpark. We were the last car to leave. It was a lovely adventure but you need to be pretty efficient and self-sufficient and yes, take heavy touring gear.
 

snowgum

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A bit off topic, but what is access and trail like via Mt Erica? Thinking of having the heavy BC touring gear handy and thinking of alternatives if access to Gwinear is blocked due to a visitor cap.

Not a bad plan. If you don’t mind some snow or ice under your wheels?

Have only used this route in summer ~ 3 times (lovely spot). I reckon even in reasonable snow there would be a fair bit of walking until Mushroom Rocks are reached.

Would need heavy gear, shortish skis and be good at jump parallels and hockey stops.

perhaps a Q for the ‘T Man’? ;)
 

Goski

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Heavy touring gear and wider skis are good for the main trail too. It is infrequently groomed and usually has lots of bootprints and ruts and holes from falling skiers to contend with. Hoping to get a couple of days there with my wife and two teens this season after an aborted attempt last year when we were denied entry because of tree fall nervousness by the Parks staff up there on the day. They told us to wait until they finished clearing the road and one hour later they then decided that the cars waiting could not drive up. We got up the next time. There are usually maybe only up to 20 xc skiers so I hope we don't get prevented from having a full day out for xc skiing by lots of families being up for a couple of hours of snow-play.
 

snowgum

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Heavy touring gear and wider skis are good for the main trail too. It is infrequently groomed and usually has lots of bootprints and ruts and holes from falling skiers to contend with. Hoping to get a couple of days there with my wife and two teens this season after an aborted attempt last year when we were denied entry because of tree fall nervousness by the Parks staff up there on the day. They told us to wait until they finished clearing the road and one hour later they then decided that the cars waiting could not drive up. We got up the next time. There are usually maybe only up to 20 xc skiers so I hope we don't get prevented from having a full day out for xc skiing by lots of families being up for a couple of hours of snow-play.

That’s what happens when State accountants make snow ploughing policy. :confused::mad:
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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A bit off topic, but what is access and trail like via Mt Erica? Thinking of having the heavy BC touring gear handy and thinking of alternatives if access to Gwinear is blocked due to a visitor cap.
I have gone up there in heavy snow in August and in green season. In green season it is an easy and scenic bushwalk. I went up there in snow shoes in white season. I have a trip report for Mt. Erica on this website for both trips. The track up to Mt. Erica is not 100 % obvious in heavy snow and fog. You will need skins, wide BC XC skis and/ or snow shoes. The road up there does see some trees coming down and sago and snow on the road. So carry a chainsaw, wheel chains and a snow shovel.
Last year Parks Vic. closed both the Mt. Erica road and the MSG rd. after some proper snow fell.

Micro spikes could be handy for first section below Mushroom rocks. It is often muddy and very slippery. It would seem that Friends Of Baw Baw have done a little bit of track work along there.
The terrain after Mt. Talbot is tricky for Nordic skiing, much harder one would think than Mt. St Phillack is, with sharp narrow rocky descents with trees and no escape routes/run outs and nowhere to throw in turns to slow down or miss rocky bits .There is a lower section below the snow gum line which could be a muddy walk until you climb up back into the snow gums and head towards the rock shelter and pole line to MSG and BB. That section of the AAWT is relatively even and would be good to XC ski.
This season true BC locations where snow play people do not go at all will be the ticket. There is a thread dedicated to such locations in state forests and adjoining the Nat. Parks etc. and the like. Seek and ye shall find.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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be good at jump parallels and hockey stops.
Yes, dead right. It would be fiendish and dangerous to descend from Mt. Talbot without these vital skills. I am not such a skier ( but I want to learn these skills this season if possible) but being a member of the Friends of Baw Baw I am very fond of the area all year round. It is beautiful. Navigation would be far from obvious in fog and snow once you leave the Talbot hut ruins vicinity. A map , compass and GPS would not be optional at all.
Next Green season maybe the Team Leader @Ubiquitous Steve and I might do some work to reopen access to Jan's Hut a.k.a Stagg hut from the locked Hut track MVO route and the route up from that hut to Mustering Flat. It could become a useful 4 th option to the Baw Baw area for ski touring.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Camping the night before at East Tyers campground in the BB NP can mean being first on the hill at BB or MSG which is always a plus. The camp site is easily accessible for 2 WD. It has a pit loo , a stream for water, a picnic table and a fireplace. BYO fire wood etc. and be sure your camping gear can handle the cold .Worst case scenario in the event of proper snow falling and not being allowed up to Mt. Erica or MSG is maybe camp another night , book a day pass online for BB the next day and do some AAWT bushwalking.
Take a chain saw for the said campsite. Trees do fall on that track and on the surrounding carriageways.
You can hike up to Mt. Erica on the AAWT from the East Tyers campsite. That would be a multi day adventure ascending 1300 M. elevation !!, a right work out esp. with ski gear strapped to your pack :-0.
I was part of a working bee that helped cut some scrub and chain sawed some gnarly logs off that track in Jan. 2020.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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We need BBB;) to coordinate a Baw Baw Team with weapons of mass destruction to open the small foot pad into the hut and out to the knoll on Mustering Flat.A few discrete trail :thumbs:markers approved by National Parks would be an advantage!

Team Bears have enough to do without more tracks to monitor!:whistle:
We suggest a couple of larger logs are left in situ to foil attempts of Trail Bikes to access the area.
 

chriscross

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Watch out for log trucks on Thompson Valley road. They are scary, think they own the road.
Access to Stagg's hut could be really useful, although I suspect it might be somewhat the worse for wear/neglect. But it could be a handy base camp. I believe that forum member and ski area researcher @Bogong could have valuable information in this regard.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Keep an eye on this thread Mr Tee: http://www.bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8729 - recent photos and map location, GPS coordinates apparently on the way.

(None of it my work BTW.)
The BTAC working bee to clear Stronarch's camp up to Mt. Whitelaw and over to St .Phillack saddle was cancelled/ postponed due the plague. When it is finally done it will offer another XC ski access route to the BB area for some free skiing in the Nat. Park.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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That would be excellent, it looks on the map like a much gentler access than via Mushroom Rocks / Mt Erica.
I had better make sure I am formally a member of Scout Bushwalkers so I could assist BTAC.

Keep an eye on their BTAC/Bushwalking Victoria web site. When normal broadcasting resumes in Green season after this plague and the white season , then I am sure there will be some working bees that would welcome new volunteers. The more people who help with these things, the better the result. You don't have to use power tools if you are not comfortable or experienced with using them. The organizers such as Mr. Peter Maffei prefer people to have their "Chainsaw ticket" if they are planning to use a chainsaw on one of these working bees.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Hearing that it could be some time before access to Mt St Gwinear is restored after the recent storms. The access road is currently closed at South Face Rd turnoff.
Oh no. At least Mt.S.G. does not usually have skiable cover until later in July. It is true that at present you won't need a negative CV19 test result just to BC XC ski in state forests and National Parks a.k.a The back country.
 
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chriscross

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Thanks for the info, bs. Hoping to get to msg soon. But Mr T, your last comment is OTT and you should restrain yourself from such rhetoric. Or your opinions will be (even more) devalued. imo.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Thanks for the info, bs. Hoping to get to msg soon. But Mr T, your last comment is OTT and you should restrain yourself from such rhetoric. Or your opinions will be (even more) devalued. imo.
I am frustrated with life in lockdown-i-stan , no doubt others are too. At least I can go surfing on Monday :) .
 

Goski

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How it will get cleared soon. I try to get my crew up there twice a year at least for a quiet bush ski experience. The kids are big enough and experienced enough now to get up to Mt St Phillack this year.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Current closure estimate is 25th June. Hopefully not too much longer. Hopefully good snow by then - I understand none at the moment.
I would have thought the team leader @Ubiquitous Steve would be up there now chain sawing his way through those logs on the MSG road, now that his Bears are permitted to go bush.
 
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