Trip Report Mt Stirling - Victoria

frazels

One of Us
Jul 9, 2005
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Up here for another night. Skiers right of Stanley's was the pick today. I'll post some photos when we get home

Expecting icy conditions tomorrow. Got pretty wet this arvo with the sun on it all day.

Also managed to smoke out the GGS so bad that the smoke alarm went off in the locked room.
 
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snowgum

A Local
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May 4, 1999
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Hi Strider,
Sorry have never posted pics here (should study guides)
A great day overall - quite winy
Snow is deep up top with around 1.5, 20 cm at TBJ is sufficient for now but may get a marginal in sun in a day or two?
Snow quality was very good up high in trees a bit variable above the trees - much of it firm but not sheet ice.

Not many skiers on top- so lots of space. Enjoy!
 

john_k

Hard Yards
Jul 21, 2008
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Melbourne
hi guys - in terms of getting to Stirling - I have a 4WD, once I pay at the Gate do I simply drive up to Telephone Box Junction?
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
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May 20, 2004
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hi guys - in terms of getting to Stirling - I have a 4WD, once I pay at the Gate do I simply drive up to Telephone Box Junction?
yep, first left after Buller toll booths.
Road is in good nick, 4WD not required unless lots of snow and you don't want to put chains on in the mud
 

john_k

Hard Yards
Jul 21, 2008
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Melbourne
Great thanks - have not been to Stirling for years - is Bluff Spur the quickest way to skin up to the summit and were are the best downhill runs off the summit area? I have an AT set up and most comfortable in intermediate long terrain including tree areas

p.s. going up Sat night and making an early start Sun morning if anyone else is heading out there Sunday
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
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May 20, 2004
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Bluff Spur is the quickest route up.
Stanley Bowl has the longest runs and with good snow can go quite some distance into trees below. Dugout also good but shorter and easier. SW of Stanley can also be worth looking at. But when snow is good (as in not icy), lines can be found in every direction.
stirlingski_zps60bfd048.jpg
 
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stridercdh

One of Us
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May 15, 2011
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Yep, Garmin Fenix to be exact. Wrist-mounted so I'm not sure how well supported the larger, more detailed maps would be. Thanks for the link.
 

john_k

Hard Yards
Jul 21, 2008
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Melbourne
Not great today - wetish slush - my 4th time out this season and first at Stirling - can see why everyone was having a great time up these a week or so ago though! Needs now some cold weather and another 20-30cm dump - looking good later in the week. Lots of people out as well. Getting thin lower down but can skin up after a few hundred meters from TBJ. Looks like it was ski Patrol training day on Bluff Spur Track as well.

John K.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Jul 29, 2015
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I have been up to Mt Stirling a bit this month( 20th,21st,25th/7.15) since the snow arrived and snowshoe hiked around the upper trails and snow camped. I have had a good time but there was 3 times more snow up there last year .I want get out to Craigs hut and snow camp before the snow cover along the Clear hills trail vanishes.I figure I have August to do it and that is the end of it.

Mt. Stirling when it has snow and no summer 4 WD hoons is excellent!
 
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mr

Part of the Furniture
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Oct 24, 2003
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good on ya mr tee. im keen to get up there soon. definitely mid july to mid to late august is all you can rely on
 

snowgum

A Local
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May 4, 1999
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good on ya mr tee. im keen to get up there soon. definitely mid july to mid to late august is all you can rely on

...but you can rely on 4WD hoons most of the 'open' (summer) season!
(Does the gloss off walking/biking up the summit!)
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I wonder if Mt Striling's People will start to update the trail reports soon?. I am salivating at the chance to Snow camp at the Bluff spur hut and snow shoe it from the Bluff Spur hut
to Craig's hut and back.
Since the snow has come , I am a happy chappy and any chance to drive up there is worth it if the conditions are good.
 

weerab

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Jul 13, 2009
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Camping at bluff spur hut is great but you have to throw away these snow shoes and get some XC skis! I spent a lovely weekend at Buffalo (epic snow conditions) a few years back on snow shoes and had a great time but was itching to get back onto skis by the end of it especially as skiers kept wizzing past as we plodded along.
 

mr

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Oct 24, 2003
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mr t - the reported natural snow depth at buller is a pretty good guide for stirling upper
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I am going to Mt Stirling for two nights of snow camping this Sunday , July 3rd 2016 .
I will give a proper report when I get back because this page and the Mt Stirling people are not reporting the conditions on the ground accurately. If Mt Buller has 42 Cms of natural snow then there will be enough at the Bluff Spur hut to snow camp and snow shoe out to Craig's hut and back.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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I have just returned from Mt Stirling .

I enjoyed my 2 nights solo snow trip at Mt Stirling in snow shoes.

It was raining at Mt Stirling on Sunday when I got there at about 1.30 pm and all the snow that had fallen on Thursday and Friday had become wet .Chains were not required to be fitted to 2 WD cars.

. That rain made the snow wet and soft . The snow was 50 cms deep at the Bluff spur hut.Slogging it up the hill , 4kms from the car park on snow shoes with a big pack , at 1200 M to 1600 M was a real work out .

I snow camped on Sunday night. The snow turned to ice overnight and yesterday once you hit about 1600 M it was very icy and you could hardly see the next pole on the summit pole line so there were no views , more like a whiteout. Just walking out the door of the hut was slippery so I was wearing micro spikes or snow shoes to avoid falling over near the hut/ tent/ water tank/ dunny .

The Snow shoe trek, yesterday from The Bluff Spur hut at Mt Stirling to Craig's hut (10 km return) was tough because of the up /down hill factor and the deep soft snow. 10 kms in snow shoes is like 20 kms in boots in summer.

I did the whole thing at full pace , with no rest stops en route in about 5.5 hours including Lunch at Craig's hut.

In winter the jeep roads are all shut so only skiers , snow shoe hikers and a snow mobile can get out there. The view of Mt. Cobbler was not available because of heavy cloud over the King River valley.

There was almost complete continuous snow cover from GGS hut to Craig’s hut . There were only two or three patches of exposed 4 WD track .

It is not patrolled by the ski patrol or groomed so I was on my own (it is a bit spooky and a bit scary on my own :-0 ) and hiking through some remote snow gum bush and breaking a fresh trail there and back on virgin soft snow.

That is physically taxing. My arms were also pumping with the poles and all. I was rogered by the end of the day.

It was so cold on the way back , as I neared the top of the steep ascent in the proximity of the grammar school hut on the Clear hills trail that my camera froze and refused to operate. I wanted to take some pictures of the ice on the leaves of the snow gum trees.

Coming back over the summit pole line heading for home at the Bluff spur Hut in a near whiteout again , I slipped/tripped over and landed heavily on my right knee .I just bruised badly it on solid ice. I was lucky and I got off lightly.

Skiers break bones on that ice. I thought I need to put some ice on that when I get back. ;-P

Fortunately I had a ready supply ! .I did eat some pain killers and went off to bed early after lighting the fire, putting on dry thermals and eating a huge hot dinner .

I stayed/ slept in the hut with the fire going last night . I was the only one there. It was like my own snowy holiday hut. :)

It was snowing this morning as I was packing up and it kept snowing until I descended to about 1400 M.

Today 5/7/16 The trail on the Upper Bluff spur trail has good cover, a bit icy but solid, but there are hazards opening up here and there , and few bare patches, and lower down once you leave the snow gums it is icy and sketchy and not really much chop.
Evidently my sore knee from Monday's mini tumble was not badly hurt since I snow shoed it down the hill with a full pack on my back so all limbs are hooked on and working and ready for the next trip this month to Mt Stirling .
:)

Mt Stirling is Most excellent .
 

Marc8491927

Hard Yards
Mar 28, 2015
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Victoria
Headed up for a look today, no skiable snow for the first 2.5km but after that it was surprisingly adequate. A couple of fun/short runs then back down to the car. Might head up with the tent next weekend and see if there's any fresh snow left after the big dumps on Tues/We'd
 

timonearth

Hard Yards
Jul 20, 2010
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Melbourne mostly.
Hey people. Will be up at Mt Stirling this coming Tuesday and Wedensday. Only doing day trips from my base in Merrijig but would welcome some company if anyone else is keen to meet me on the mountain. Testing out my pattern based skis. :)
 
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stridercdh

One of Us
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May 15, 2011
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Hey people. Will be up at Mt Stirling this coming Tuesday and Wedensday. Only doing day trips from my base in Merrijig but would welcome some company if anyone else is keen to meet me on the mountain. Testing out my pattern based skis. :)
I'm looking at going up to Stirling on Tuesday and either Stirling or Buller on Wednesday. I'll be snowshoeing with the wife on Tuesday but happy to catch up with you for a ski on Wednesday. PM me if interested.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Hi, I just got back from Mt Stirling. I was leading a VNPA snow camping/ snow shoe trip. The forecast on Thursday and Friday looked like real doom and gloom. The snow cams showed the summit of Mt Stirling was green in July !! :-0 . Most of the snow cover on Buller and Stirling was decimated and obliterated by warm torrential rain and high winds.
We camped at Carter's Mill on Friday night. It rained so much I wished I had brought my scuba gear and a canoe not my snow gear.
Still we persisted and the man at Mirimbah on Sat. July 23rd 2016 said that 26 cms of fresh snow had fallen overnight.
We went up the Mt Stirling road yesterday and by chain bay two it was snowing and by chain bay 3 we had to put the chains on the vehicle.There were trees that had been recently chain sawed to clear the road because of the gale force winds on Friday.
The Snow plough machine was at work too, clearing the road. We were suddenly hopeful whereas before we thought we had picked the worst weekend for the [ lack of ]snow at Mt Stirling.
When we arrived at TBJ it was completely white. We were chuffed. :woohoo:
To quote the ski patroller who I overheard on the phone say :
"Yesterday was doom and gloom, no other way to put it but we are BACK ON today".:thumbs:
It was white all the way up the Bluff spur trail. It was snowing a lot , dry , fluffy, thick powder snow once we hit the half way mark up the trail where the sign says you can kiss your backside goodbye now if the Alpine weather changes for the worse. We had to invent a XC route to get around a fallen tree. The snow off the track was knee deep.
Up at the Bluff spur hut it was powder city and we were elated.:woohoo:
Digging the tent sites showed that there was a lot of dry ,fresh snow.
It kept snowing on and off.
Up at the summit it was extremely windy and cold. I couldn't feel my face or see very far at all .The next pole along the pole line was the furthest I could see. I couldn't hear my companions talk!. It was wild up there. The lone snow gum tree was far from a buried mound but it was still there.
It was very cold last night and it snowed more too. The condensation inside my tent froze and turned to dry ice.
I was wearing 2 fleece tops, thermals and a down vest and my duck down 4 seasons sleeping bag was zipped up , up uppity up!:zzz:
Spin drifts were hard to keep out of the 4 seasons tent despite digging the tent site etc.
Today it began throwing it down, big flakes of powder snow as we descended via the King Spur hut, The Cricket pitch and the shelter at Machinery hut.:thumbs:
Back at TBJ it was hammering down with dry fresh snow. Our cars were covered in about 40 Cm of dry snow.
It kept snowing down to at least chain bay 2.
Do not lose hope about this snow season because after this weekend at Mt Stirling I am a believer!.
It may not have a strong base but they have started grooming the trails today. There are still some exposed sections and some hazards but give it another 2 days of these kind of dry heavy snow falls and it will be back to rated Very good to Excellent along most of the trails.
Next weekend will possibly be sunny with full, deep, dry , groomed cover. Yep , more corduroy than a folk festival .:)
Mt. Stirling has delivered the goods just when we thought all was lost and that we'd picked the wrong weekend to make the trip . Mt .Stirling is Most excellent.
 

mr

Part of the Furniture
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Oct 24, 2003
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ill probably be camping up at bluff hut sat. night with mr 9yo. weather looks a bit ordinary so we will just choof around trails. might see yerz up there
 
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