Trip Report Mt Stirling - Victoria

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Yes go wide -er and metal on Stirling. Long skinny edgeless on trails when crusty is horrifying.

Dare I say it - the upper Mtn is tailor made for big 75mm boots with buckles and a stout cable binding - not just 3 pins. If you fluke some soft snow in the lee of the summit you'll have much more fun too.

Fwiw: I May even try the NTNs up top - only if there's some worthwhile fresh or slush?

Also worth considering Mr T is some kicker skins for your Wider BC skis. They make a big difference on firm, although skeet ice & pie crust will test the best skins. The BD kickers come in a 50 mm waist but I'm sure you could trim if that's too wide.

When waxed up with Globstopper, Kickers provide OK glide if you're not overly worried about speed on undulating terrain and can act too slow your descent too - handy - as long as your edges are not covered!

...something to ponder for another time?.

Thanks for the report by the way - I look forward to my run there in ~ 3 weeks, with my wide, heavy gear.

A tricky season for the smaller resorts and Buller. Too many near misses with rain this season unlike 2018. ( l:-(

I was carrying my BD kicker skins in my goretex jacket pocket today. I was tempted to put them on. I should have taken the wider heavier Madshus Epoch skis and fitted my kicker skins. I went out on my metal edged Fischer Nordic Cruiser skis. They were too fast on the ice.
Slowing my descent , climbing better. Yes, I needed that today .
Now I understand , Master. I will be a better prepared grasshopper on planks next time .I will look at acquiring the Globbstopper for the kicker skins. Doug at EMC will know about that .
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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If it's sheet ice with kickers the skins can move and smear the glue. Crampons are safer.
Metal edges need to be sharp enough to just about cut to work best on ice.
I was walking in Kahtoola Microspikes on some sections. I made little in the way of a foot print and I kept to the side of the tracks. I prefer skiing on fresh snow rather than ice but you take what you find and try to make a day out of it.
 

snowgum

A Local
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I was carrying my BD kicker skins in my goretex jacket pocket today. I was tempted to put them on. I should have taken the wider heavier Madshus Epoch skis and fitted my kicker skins. I went out on my metal edged Fischer Nordic Cruiser skis. They were too fast on the ice.
Slowing my descent , climbing better. Yes, I needed that today .
Now I understand , Master. I will be a better prepared grasshopper on planks next time .I will look at acquiring the Globbstopper for the kicker skins. Doug at EMC will know about that .


Yes Doug will sort you out ok.
It's also handy to have a de-icing spray - I use it more to lube the skin.

More money, a little more weight but these items last a long time.

Re real sheet ice - I think Ziggy is on to something - there's a point where skins start struggling & perhaps that's the time for ski or boots crampons?

Oh reminds me. One off my 'fun-est' ever days on Stirling was climbing the Bluff trail the day after all the ice fell of the trees. But it hadn't melted but rather just refroze into the icy base. Not good.

Gee! It was a pleasure to get above the treeline that day!
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Yes Doug will sort you out ok.
It's also handy to have a de-icing spray - I use it more to lube the skin.

More money, a little more weight but these items last a long time.

Re real sheet ice - I think Ziggy is on to something - there's a point where skins start struggling & perhaps that's the time for ski or boots crampons?

Oh reminds me. One off my 'fun-est' ever days on Stirling was climbing the Bluff trail the day after all the ice fell off the trees. But it hadn't melted but rather just refroze into the icy base. Not good.

Gee! It was a pleasure to get above the treeline that day!
I have some roll on de- icer, roll on glide wax, micro spikes and kicker skins.I still prefer the BHP for XC skiing.However the Circuit road on a powder snow day is great stuff.
I need nerves of steel to ski down icy curving slopes. Can you get that in an aerosol can or a roll on applicator ?
 

snowgum

A Local
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I have some roll on de- icer, roll on glide wax, micro spikes and kicker skins.I still prefer the BHP for XC skiing.However the Circuit road on a powder snow day is great stuff.
I need nerves of steel to ski down icy curving slopes. Can you get that in an aerosol can or a roll on applicator ?

Re Anti-ice for skins: the old ones were a small grey 100mm bottle with just a simple pump on top.

I haven't seen them at Doug's shop for a season or two. The new one I haven't used - it's a Fischer and shaped liked deodorant so I suspect it's got an applicator and relies on hand pressure.

Wait there's more! Not steak knives! I also bought Fischer skin cleaner in similar size. I'll give it a go once I use the things.

Don't forget the re-gluing options too - I lack time now - leave it for now!!

Oh yes Bluff spur has the more consistent slope at Stirling. Stirling trail is inconsistent steep /flat. Most of the way. I'd say the latter is harder & definitely a much longer approach but has more fun spots with yurts & hurts and stuff. If leaving the summit lateish (or maxing summit time) Bluff is usually the way to go.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I have the new Fischer de icer .It is like a deodorant applicator.Stirling is the kind of hill where kicker skins are useful. I will try them on the ascent next time I try that route up the hill on skis.. I will try the Bluff Spur for a descent next time.
 

snowgum

A Local
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I have the new Fischer de icer .It is like a deodorant applicator.Stirling is the kind of hill where kicker skins are useful. I will try them on the ascent next time I try that route up the hill on skis.. I will try the Bluff Spur for a descent next time.

Cool.
Its a nice quick way up to!
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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http://www.janebunn.net/mt-stirling
Major snow falls are predicted at Mt . Stirling.
79 cms by Monday next week !.


The route out to Howqua Gap will be the stuff of Nordic Ski dreams!
The entire Circuit road could become skiable :-0 . If you are that fit and that good at XC skiing then you could smash it out in one day if you start early.
 

snowgum

A Local
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http://www.janebunn.net/mt-stirling
Major snow falls are predicted at Mt . Stirling.
79 cms by Monday next week !.


The route out to Howqua Gap will be the stuff of Nordic Ski dreams!
The entire Circuit road could become skiable :-0 . If you are that fit and that good at XC skiing then you could smash it out in one day if you start early.


Quite possibly Mr T. Could also be a good weekend to hole up in 'new' the improved HG hut for a night. It makes Corn Hill and much of Stirling doable without taking a pack all the way up to Bluff Spur or GGSH.

Just a thought?

But, CH trail & HG trail are v hard work (climbing) on fresh heavy snow if ungroomed. In that case the Circuit is your friend. Enjoy.

Btw I'll be on Buller - turning (so to speak) to the dark side!!
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Jul 29, 2015
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Quite possibly Mr T. Could also be a good weekend to hole up in 'new' the improved HG hut for a night. It makes Corn Hill and much of Stirling doable without taking a pack all the way up to Bluff Spur or GGSH.

Just a thought?

But, CH trail & HG trail are v hard work (climbing) on fresh heavy snow if ungroomed. In that case the Circuit is your friend. Enjoy.

Btw I'll be on Buller - turning (so to speak) to the dark side!!
A day trip to smash out a lunch visit to Howqua Gap hut and back to TBJ is very tempting on Saturday. I will look at the Snow report and snow cam.s at TBJ at 4 pm on Friday and ascertain what is going on. I love skiing the Circuit road in good conditions.I can trust Stirling to run a resort under blizzard conditions with grooming and road ploughing. Lake Mtn. ….. they are not so reliable if some snow actually falls !
 
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neilmny

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If the predictions come true a trip to No. 3 Hut might be a possibility for something different?????
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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If the predictions come true a trip to No. 3 Hut might be a possibility for something different?????
Yes, even as a day trip from the top of Carter's road, one may not have to walk very far. One might be able to skin up the whole of Road No. 3 to the Hut with just a day pack. Although the snow could hang in there for another week or two after this system and could warrant snow camping at No. 3 Hut and some BC XC ski touring down to King Saddle Shelter and back in a day.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I was hoping to get up to Stirling next week but won't bother unless they get some snow in the next few days . It looks pretty grim at the moment!
I am hoping they will get some snow overnight and during tomorrow so I can do a day trip on Saturday. It has to be snowed in on the TBJ camera or it is no go for me.A window of opportunity has opened up for me in the last week of August so that I have 5 days off in a row. I might go up to Island Bend, camp there and XC ski at Perisher ,C.Pass and Horse Camp Hut that week. I get a concession rate for my car entry with the NWPS which makes it cheaper to visit than Falls Creek.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I am sure this question has been asked before but why are there no Mt Stirling Snow Reports on this forum?
The web site has a snow report and has all the information for each trail including grooming status , trail depth , average depth and overall quality . All someone on skis might require to know . Just click on the link.
If only Lake Mtn. had such details on their website.
https://www.mtstirling.com.au/snow-report/
 

AuroraAustralis

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Jul 2, 2014
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So this thread ends up being a little hidden by being in under the 'National Parks' heading. Might be nice to move it out into the main list of snow fields. Stirling still seems to be flying under the radar to an extent. Sunday it was a little busy with school groups, snow-shoers, overnighters, tele-skiers and splitboarders - but there was plenty of space for everyone.
 

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absentskier

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So this thread ends up being a little hidden by being in under the 'National Parks' heading. Might be nice to move it out into the main list of snow fields. Stirling still seems to be flying under the radar to an extent. Sunday it was a little busy with school groups, snow-shoers, overnighters, tele-skiers and splitboarders - but there was plenty of space for everyone.
Beautiful.
 

Skiain

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Sunday at Mt Stirling was a mixed experience. Calm and clear on the lower trails and the Circuit rd, -3C and 10-20cm of fresh, dry snow on a base of 20-30cm on the road to Howqua Gap and Corn Hill.

The cars in TBJ carpark were mainly people who had been up overnight (or longer). I arrived at 8.30am and did not see another skier, nor any tracks until I passed 2 overnighters about 400m from Howqua Gap hut, returning from a night in the storm. I relish the solitude. The trip out to Corn Hill was very heavy going on the skaters, skiing in snow that covered the boots with each skate. Getting glide was hard work and, maintaining momentum was taxing. The road was groomed on Saturday but had 20cm or so overnight. I did not like the idea of the long climb to the quarry near Mt Buller, so returned to the hut for a fire and a snack.

I explored the Circuit rd out past the Alpine resort and waited for the surface to firm before heading back. There was some glide and with a little firming, the return trip was much easier. A quick ski out towards King Saddle on the afternoon grooming was much more satisfying and then a beer in the carpark, change of clothes, and a drive downhill into a magnificent sunset. A few pics.

pristine on the rails
20190811_225611.jpg


Overnight snow on the transport
20190811_225228.jpg


Deep snow on the Circuit rd (roadside post)
20190811_225503.jpg

Last rays filtered through the trees on the drive off the mountain
20190811_224716.jpg


Tracks out, tracks back...hard work in uncooperative, fresh snow!
20190811_225032.jpg

Nature's lacework
20190811_220035.jpg
 

weerab

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I went up Wednesday Arvo and all day Thursday. Already rain affected wet snow but still very enjoyable, nonetheless. One of the Estonian guys at the ski hire asked us how conditions were when we came back and I said they were really good. He replied that his sister had gone out and thought it was wet and slow! I said it was but still good for Mt Stirling.

We skied up to the summit saddle yesterday via Bluff Spur hit but piked out on the summit due to poor vis. Couldn't get over the hordes of school kids mainly on snow shoes. There were about 50 on the way up to the hut and we kept leapfrogging each other on the way up as they kept stopping. There were literally hundreds of school kids over the mountain.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Jul 29, 2015
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I went up Wednesday Arvo and all day Thursday. Already rain affected wet snow but still very enjoyable, nonetheless. One of the Estonian guys at the ski hire asked us how conditions were when we came back and I said they were really good. He replied that his sister had gone out and thought it was wet and slow! I said it was but still good for Mt Stirling.

We skied up to the summit saddle yesterday via Bluff Spur hit but piked out on the summit due to poor vis. Couldn't get over the hordes of school kids mainly on snow shoes. There were about 50 on the way up to the hut and we kept leapfrogging each other on the way up as they kept stopping. There were literally hundreds of school kids over the mountain.

I am looking at skinning up to the Bluff Spur hut on Wed. next week as a day trip. I hope it snows before I go .
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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Sunday at Mt Stirling was a mixed experience. Calm and clear on the lower trails and the Circuit rd, -3C and 10-20cm of fresh, dry snow on a base of 20-30cm on the road to Howqua Gap and Corn Hill.

The cars in TBJ carpark were mainly people who had been up overnight (or longer). I arrived at 8.30am and did not see another skier, nor any tracks until I passed 2 overnighters about 400m from Howqua Gap hut, returning from a night in the storm. I relish the solitude. The trip out to Corn Hill was very heavy going on the skaters, skiing in snow that covered the boots with each skate. Getting glide was hard work and, maintaining momentum was taxing. The road was groomed on Saturday but had 20cm or so overnight. I did not like the idea of the long climb to the quarry near Mt Buller, so returned to the hut for a fire and a snack.

I explored the Circuit rd out past the Alpine resort and waited for the surface to firm before heading back. There was some glide and with a little firming, the return trip was much easier. A quick ski out towards King Saddle on the afternoon grooming was much more satisfying and then a beer in the carpark, change of clothes, and a drive downhill into a magnificent sunset. A few pics.

pristine on the rails
20190811_225611.jpg


Overnight snow on the transport
20190811_225228.jpg


Deep snow on the Circuit rd (roadside post)
20190811_225503.jpg

Last rays filtered through the trees on the drive off the mountain
20190811_224716.jpg


Tracks out, tracks back...hard work in uncooperative, fresh snow!
20190811_225032.jpg

Nature's lacework
20190811_220035.jpg
What was the Circuit road like to ski on out past Howqua Gap?
 

Timmossy

One of Us
Nov 26, 2004
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Sunday at Mt Stirling was a mixed experience. Calm and clear on the lower trails and the Circuit rd, -3C and 10-20cm of fresh, dry snow on a base of 20-30cm on the road to Howqua Gap and Corn Hill.

The cars in TBJ carpark were mainly people who had been up overnight (or longer). I arrived at 8.30am and did not see another skier, nor any tracks until I passed 2 overnighters about 400m from Howqua Gap hut, returning from a night in the storm. I relish the solitude. The trip out to Corn Hill was very heavy going on the skaters, skiing in snow that covered the boots with each skate. Getting glide was hard work and, maintaining momentum was taxing. The road was groomed on Saturday but had 20cm or so overnight. I did not like the idea of the long climb to the quarry near Mt Buller, so returned to the hut for a fire and a snack.

I explored the Circuit rd out past the Alpine resort and waited for the surface to firm before heading back. There was some glide and with a little firming, the return trip was much easier. A quick ski out towards King Saddle on the afternoon grooming was much more satisfying and then a beer in the carpark, change of clothes, and a drive downhill into a magnificent sunset. A few pics.

pristine on the rails
20190811_225611.jpg


Overnight snow on the transport
20190811_225228.jpg


Deep snow on the Circuit rd (roadside post)
20190811_225503.jpg

Last rays filtered through the trees on the drive off the mountain
20190811_224716.jpg


Tracks out, tracks back...hard work in uncooperative, fresh snow!
20190811_225032.jpg

Nature's lacework
20190811_220035.jpg
Frickin' awesome photos. I walked up River Spur Trail from Circuit Road on Saturday on snowshoes. Was quite the mission.……...
IMG_2563.JPG
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Frickin' awesome photos. I walked up River Spur Trail from Circuit Road on Saturday on snowshoes. Was quite the mission.……...
IMG_2563.JPG
That is rather relentless on foot. It was nuking down with snow on Saturday too.Going down the River spur on snow shoes is steep too. I have done that before . I might try skinning up The River Spur on BC skis and skiing down the Bluff Spur track. Then again I might not ;-P .
 

Skiain

One of Us
Sep 5, 2002
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What was the Circuit road like to ski on out past Howqua Gap?

Much the same...soft, fresh cover. Heavy going on skates! Untracked, ungroomed and no sign of snowmobile activity. Mine were the only tracks that day. I only went as far as the Logging rd (another 2+km) before heading back to check out the Quarry rd towards Corn Hill. It was a hard day's work. The return trip was a little better on a firming surface. No bare patches, but water was working beneath the cover in some runoff sections
 

Skiain

One of Us
Sep 5, 2002
177
280
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SE Australia
Arrived early today, to a half-full carpark - overnighters. No wind down low, clear, sunny and temps between 3C-7C. However, wind from the past few days has littered the lower trails with debris which, combined with thinning cover and consequent lack of grooming, made progress frustrating on skating skis. Upper and Lower Baldy were ok, lower Bluff Spur was ok. I headed out the Adventure trail to Razorback hut over a lot of fallen timber and debris. At least, gravity provided the momentum needed to keep glide on the long downhill return to the Circuit rd. Cover varied from dirt/grass to 5cm up to 15-20cm in places. The last grooming pass has been through a freeze cycle and when it first began to soften, was nice to ski on when debris-free! At least the mini igloo is still intact! The drive back via Carters rd and Buttercup rd had nice views to Stirling and Buller, and Torbreck to the SW. I even picked up a hitch-hiker at Bonnie Doon

20190901_104328.jpg
20190901_145258.jpg
20190901_145411.jpg
20190901_153043.jpg
 

tcornall

Hard Yards
Jul 12, 2019
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Melbourne
Did a trip on the weekend to Stirling. Lots of people on the summit and great weather. Snow cover was pretty good, but definitely thinning out in places on the lower trails. Bit slushy in places, bit icy in others (like Stanleys Bowl, unskiably sketchy according to ski-patrol and I believe them) but Dugout bowl was just lovely.
Camped out near the snowpole line below the summit,in a handy clump of trees. Wonderful stars on Saturday night.
On a whim, I left my pack at the track junction near GGS hut and skied down Stirling Trail through the Clear Hills past the Monument and on to Craigs hut. (With adequate survival and navigational gear, of course) Left at noon and hit the hut at 1:15. Trail was slotted but snow was soft enough that it didn't matter. Lots of snow-ploughing and a little bit of parallel turning, going up and down the edges of the snow-lined gully that the trail was in. Looked like huge herd of snow-shoers and hikers had gone down it. Snow lasted until 500m from the hut so a quick jog (in ski-boots!) down to it didn't take long. Great scenery with snow on the Cobblers and Crosscut and looking out to Feathertop and friends but then I realised I had left my camera behind! Aaaargh. Have to do it again now! (So sad...)
Then I really pushed it to get up to GGS hut again so I wouldn't be late and bother the ski-patrollers into coming to look for me (and because skiing in the dark, even with a head torch is a bit too exciting) Amazingly it only took an hour and a half to get back up, not much longer than it took to get down. What's with that? I must have tried too hard because by the time I got back to TBJ I was shattered. Discovered that long downhill stretches in Dynafit boots that force you into that downhill stance are very hard on the quads. I looked forward to the flat bits so I could skate or stride instead.
Then on home to Melb, with the help of a couple of Red Bulls.
Rained just as I hit mansfield, so maybe some snow on the hill. Gloriously vivid rainbow! The photo doesn't do it justice as it had faded some by the time I could stop and take pickies. It was like the sky was on fyah!
IMG_20190901_173825.jpg
IMG_20190831_142059.jpg
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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Did a trip on the weekend to Stirling. Lots of people on the summit and great weather. Snow cover was pretty good, but definitely thinning out in places on the lower trails. Bit slushy in places, bit icy in others (like Stanleys Bowl, unskiably sketchy according to ski-patrol and I believe them) but Dugout bowl was just lovely.
Camped out near the snowpole line below the summit,in a handy clump of trees. Wonderful stars on Saturday night.
On a whim, I left my pack at the track junction near GGS hut and skied down Stirling Trail through the Clear Hills mast teh Monument and on to Craigs hut. (With adequate survival and navigational gear, of course) Left at noon and hit the hut at 1:15. Trail was slotted but snow was soft enough that it didn't matter. Lots of snow-ploughing and a little bit of parallel turning, going up and down the edges of the snow-lined gully that the trail was in. Looked like huge herd of snow-shoers and hikers had gone down it. Snow lasted until 500m from the hut so a quick jog (in ski-boots!) down to it didn't take long. Great scenery and I realised I had left my camera behind! Aaaargh. Have to do it again now! (So sad...)
Then I really pushed it to get up to GGS hut again so I wouldn't be late and bother the ski-patrollers into coming to look for me (and because skiing in the dark, even with a head torch is a bit too exciting) Amazingly it only took an hour and a half to get back up, not much longer than it took to get down. What's with that? I must have tried too hard because by the time I got back to TBJ I was shattered. Discovered that long downhill stretches in Dynafit boots that force you into that downhill stance are very hard on the quads. I looked forward to the flat bits so I could skate or stride instead.
Then on home to Melb, with the help of a couple of Red Bulls.
Rained just as I hit mansfield, so maybe some snow on the hill. Gloriously vivid rainbow!
IMG_20190901_173825.jpg
IMG_20190831_142059.jpg
I met another skier when I was up there on 23/8/19 who went from TBJ to Craig's Hut and back on A/T gear. He skinned back up the whole way to the GGS hut from Craig's Hut and was seen doing parallel turns down the Bluff Spur track back to TBJ. He smashed it and in good weather with complete snow cover too . He did really well and in very good time.
 

tcornall

Hard Yards
Jul 12, 2019
64
78
68
62
Melbourne
I met another skier when I was up there on 23/8/19 who went from TBJ to Craig's Hut and back on A/T gear. He skinned back up the whole way to the GGS hut from Craig's Hut and was seen doing parallel turns down the Bluff Spur track back to TBJ. He smashed it and in good weather with complete snow cover too . He did really well and in very good time.
I was very happy that my Fischer Snowbounds with an aggressive pattern base, with new tech bindings, were able to handle the climb back up from Craigs without skins (I had left them home so it was just as well...) and yes, they were pretty fast to get me back to TBJ from GGS Hut. Must have been only 1/2 hour. I quite like the Marker Alpinist tech bindings both for going up and down as well as across, just not so happy with the Dynafit boots. They are getting better with usage though, I can go about 3 hours now without screaming and wrenching them off. (They can be a right pain to get off too... quite a dreadful experience when you are exhausted and cramping after a hard push)
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
I was very happy that my Fischer Snowbounds with an aggressive pattern base, with new tech bindings, were able to handle the climb back up from Craigs without skins (I had left them home so it was just as well...) and yes, they were pretty fast to get me back to TBJ from GGS Hut. Must have been only 1/2 hour. I quite like the Marker Alpinist tech bindings both for going up and down as well as across, just not so happy with the Dynafit boots. They are getting better with usage though, I can go about 3 hours now without screaming and wrenching them off. (They can be a right pain to get off too... quite a dreadful experience when you are exhausted and cramping after a hard push)

I am 100% converted to kicker skins on top of a pattern base. It saves energy skinning up hills and prevents the odd fall trying to herringbone up steep icy slopes. At Mt. Stirling the BD kicker skins were AMAZING.I am going get another set and cut them to size for my narrower BC XC Fischer skis.
 

tcornall

Hard Yards
Jul 12, 2019
64
78
68
62
Melbourne
I am 100% converted to kicker skins on top of a pattern base. It saves energy skinning up hills and prevents the odd fall trying to herringbone up steep icy slopes. At Mt. Stirling the BD kicker skins were AMAZING.I am going get another set and cut them to size for my narrower BC XC Fischer skis.
Yes, given that it was a lot of uphill coming up from Craigs it was silly of me not to have taken the skins. I might have had to walk! The horror!
The 3G skins I have are good but relatively heavy and chunky (which is why I left them home, plus I knew the pattern base of my Snowbounds was very good for going up). I had a look at the BD kickers you suggested and they look a lot more like what I need as a thing to carry 'just in case'. Cost a lot less too, especially if I don't buy them in Australia... Thanks for the tip!
I might think about ski-crampons too as an alternative. I wonder if they work in steep uphill slush?
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Jul 29, 2015
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Yes, given that it was a lot of uphill coming up from Craigs it was silly of me not to have taken the skins. I might have had to walk! The horror!
The 3G skins I have are good but relatively heavy and chunky (which is why I left them home, plus I knew the pattern base of my Snowbounds was very good for going up). I had a look at the BD kickers you suggested and they look a lot more like what I need as a thing to carry 'just in case'. Cost a lot less too, especially if I don't buy them in Australia... Thanks for the tip!
I might think about ski-crampons too as an alternative. I wonder if they work in steep uphill slush?
I usually carry Kahtoola microspikes in my day pack if the surface looks like it is bullet proof boiler plater ice however the BD kicker skins climb up steep icy slopes like a spider goes up a wall. Plus they come in a wee kit bag that fits into your chest pocket of your shell jacket.
They are quick and easy to put on and take off once you know the drill.
Crampons of any sort work best on solid ice. Slush would be not the ideal terrain to try to obtain traction using ski crampons or boot crampons or micro spikes. The BD kicker skins would be better.
I bought my first set of black diamond kicker skins from Doug at EMC Ski shop here in Melbourne. I support local ski based businesses and they usually look after me too.
In terms of skiing all XC terrain , up to 20 kms a day , I have had zero foot problems with my Fischer NNN BC XC boots. They are the dog's bollocks!. Warm, comfy with great ankle support for turning and using the ski edges with your ankle muscles.
 

tcornall

Hard Yards
Jul 12, 2019
64
78
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Melbourne
I usually carry Kahtoola microspikes ...
I bought my first set of black diamond kicker skins from Doug at EMC Ski shop here in Melbourne. I support local ski based businesses and they usually look after me too.....I have had zero foot problems with my Fischer NNN BC XC boots. They are the dog's bollocks!. Warm, comfy with great ankle support for turning and using the ski edges with your ankle muscles.

All good points, thanks. Unfortunately for me, I had just gotten used to my Scott Excursion boots and then they were stolen. So, given that I'd always wanted to check out AT tech/dynafit style things, I got the Marker Alpinist and the Dynafit boots. Even with thermo-molded liners and a some work on the shells and some spot adjustments on the liners they are too tight on the old tootsies, at around the metatarsals. Give them their due though, on the downhill the control is excellent. And for expeditions, they make the downhills much less 'exciting' than previous attempts to learn how to tele with a pack on.
I suppose I'll just have to keep working at getting the liners to loosen up in the right places without getting too loose at the wrong places. Have had some success doing this myself with small socks full of hot rice, but more needed. Really don't want to have to waste time going back and forth to the shop to get it done.
Actually, I was quite surprised that all the way down to Craigs and back, when I wasn't carrying much weight, the boots felt fine. It wasn't until the trip back to TBJ carrying extra 15kg of pack and sitting in downhill stance for half an hour that they really started playing up. Maybe the weight on the toes exacerbated things.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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All good points, thanks. Unfortunately for me, I had just gotten used to my Scott Excursion boots and then they were stolen. So, given that I'd always wanted to check out AT tech/dynafit style things, I got the Marker Alpinist and the Dynafit boots. Even with thermo-molded liners and a some work on the shells and some spot adjustments on the liners they are too tight on the old tootsies, at around the metatarsals. Give them their due though, on the downhill the control is excellent. And for expeditions, they make the downhills much less 'exciting' than previous attempts to learn how to tele with a pack on.
I suppose I'll just have to keep working at getting the liners to loosen up in the right places without getting too loose at the wrong places. Have had some success doing this myself with small socks full of hot rice, but more needed. Really don't want to have to waste time going back and forth to the shop to get it done.
Actually, I was quite surprised that all the way down to Craigs and back, when I wasn't carrying much weight, the boots felt fine. It wasn't until the trip back to TBJ carrying extra 15kg of pack and sitting in downhill stance for half an hour that they really started playing up. Maybe the weight on the toes exacerbated things.
My toes are so comfy in my NNN BC Fischer BC boots.Be it skinning up, kicking and gliding on the flat , squatting in a semi tuck for descents and wide turns , I have had no foot problems at all , but you stick with your approach and kit comrade.
 

snowgum

A Local
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May 4, 1999
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image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg Had a nice 'little' solo jaunt to Stirling yesterday, 14 Sept in glorious sunny weather - if a little breezy. On the way up Bluff Spur - it Was skiable 500m from TBJ but downhill it was at least a km.

At dusk with a head torch more like a 1.5km walk down with a lot meltwater emerging from beneath the cover on flatter sections as I walked.

Up higher Bluff Spur is mostly fine - say from the start of the Snowgum line ~ 1450m. There's the odd hole
& rock but few problems except for a stream crossing just above the green sign - that bit will soon need ski removal.

Cover at Bluff hut is still very good but above the trail near the treeline (on Bluff side of summit) there's more grass than snow. The trail to the saddle is still ok for now. Without a dump this week I think it could be interesting next weekend (Ie. 21/9)

The East & Sth side of summit is mostly covered - inc the bowls. I tried doing a run in my heavy tele gear down the GGS slope. It was quite late (5pm ish) and the wave crests & skier grooves were refreezing & so a bit disappointing. May have been quite nice with wide gear earlier on?

For those keen for a last ski, I would seriously look at the next week or so. Upper Bluff trail may mostly last two weeks but I think the summit will more drift skiing soo - mind you that's pretty good for lateish Sept.

I think the small tops ups predict over the next 2 weeks might slow the loss but past experience suggests late snowfalls don't last on the lower slopes long and hot Aussie Sept./Oct sun. Kosi /Bogong would be a different matter.

The wooden spoon award goes to 3 men in their 30s post-holing up to about Bluff Hut level before (I understand) being told by patrollers to head down. They didn't seem to like telling them off - I don't care! Selfish Gits are spoiling the ski experience everywhere on almost every weekend these days. FGS - how hard is it to rent a set of snowshoes for one day?? (Now when I rule the world)???

I did have nice chat to Craig Jones in the ski hire - I note that rentals may only last till next weekend but please CALL & check from now on JIC you're disappointed. Skier nos. & snow are diminishing each day now so who could blame him for shutting for the 'summer'.

It's worth noting the road is in good Nic this winter - do cudos to the resort & contractors!!

And that's it for the smaller hills for me now - I'll enjoy a nice 'hora' at Falls GF long weekend (Vic) & take a break. A 3 month effective season isn't bad in Vic - given the post QB washout.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Jul 29, 2015
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Mt.Stirling looks done and dusted for continuous cover. There is another snowfall coming on 21/9/19. That is the day I am driving to the KNP for some 3-4 days of NSW spring touring :) at Thredbo, Guthega and Perisher B.C. .
All resorts need huge signs in many languages at their ski trail entry points saying "Skiers only past this point. Offenders will be fined and ejected". We pay to ski at these places and not to dodge deep frozen foot prints.
 
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String Tales

Hard Yards
May 7, 2019
4
10
53
Melbourne
Mt Stirling Trip report 14/9/19 / Clear Hills track ( to Craigs Hut) trip report 15/9/19

One of the 1st few skier cars up to the TBJ carpark after the staff etc.
Chatted to the Mt Stg. ski patrol while filling in the Trip intention form. Should have a great weekend according to them.
Hired some snow shoes for my son for tomorrow. ($45 for 2 days)

The snow cam at TBJ is a trick :) It looks solid directly in front of the area, but walk 50m to the right & the dirt is there!
As per Snowgums report, yes, a bit of a walk to find the snow.
Once on the Bluff Spur track, cover slowly improved the higher we went.
Being mild last Sat, snow was starting to soften early (9.30am)
Past pole 34, at the start of the switch backs, a large water melt had begum but above that was holding out OK
We went the west summit track. Still good depth, but the melt was happening quickly on the sides
Again, at the NE end of the rise, a large unskiable melt had formed, so it was skis off to cross over just before the Stirling trail junction. The creek crossing there was also a boggy mess but here I managed to cut a high trail thru the trees to keep the skis on. Enjoyed the arvo cutting a few turns up & down from the Summit into the Dugout bowl.

Camped the night near GGS hut.
Awesome near full moon & clear starry sky and mild temps.
Awoke at 5am to the pitter patter of rain. Yeup the BOM prognostic was spot on for 0.1-1mm of rain early on.
After an epic 1hr game of Uno Duo cards while waiting for the rain to ease.
We checked the BOM radar & the rain band had pretty much passed.
Ate a quick breakie and stowed the camp gear & packed the day gear for the trip to CH.

The 1st section of the Clear Hills trail is a steep, narrow & full of about 8 - 9 x 20-30m steep chutes and corners.
Not for the faint hearted or inexperienced.
We worked our way down. My son on his show shoes was fine.
Me on skis was just doing OK, lucky the snow was damp & forgiving due to the 4'C & recent rain on top.
Cover is still deep (0.5-1m) in most parts up high, the surface cover of course being wet but still forgiving enough to ski on.
Once down the switch backs where the gradient eases off & the track opens up, there is the last right hand gully to the north. This had broken cover, due to melt-water wash.
Once on to the lower undulating area, the cover was getting thinner & more breaks appearing in the wet snow
Managed to keep the skis on but did have to walk 2-3 bits.
Went up the 1st rise with good cover & over past the tarne.
Again water drip off the trees & flat water running over ground meant more boot walking to cross the drifts.
Skis back on the long rise up to the gate & the Monument trail junction. But then only 200m past this, the dirt was appearing so we ditched the ski gear for the 1.5km walk down the hill to the saddle before the rise to Craigs Hut.
Lots of wet snow, with some pooling in the old tracks.
Wet snow on the 0.5km rise up after the CH & clearing.
Reached Craigs Hut from GGS hut in just under 2hrs (inc 1 x 10 min stop)

Nice misty view from CH & beyond. The CH visitor log book was full of helicopter visitor notes.
There had been some ski in's a few weeks earlier.

Returned the same way, with more snow melt evident.
Some of the borderline drift crossings on the way in, had already melted further meaning small detours to link drifts of skis off.
The slope up to Mt Stirling was far easier going up, then going down :)
Again, just under 2hrs for the return trip from CH to GGS hut

Re-loaded the camping gear, and then a return ski down Stirling trail, Cricket Pitch shelter, Wombats drop (broken cover at the start), Machinery shed (wet and getting thin due water runoff etc) then down Upper Baldy (holding out surprisingly well)
and Lower Baldy (also still 10-30cms in most parts) back to the practice slop, a snow gap at the end of Lower Baldy and still snow to the junction with the Circuit rd.

A few pics to follow

Beyond now - The Upper snow at Mt Stirling is still skiable . if you don't mind the snow wet.
But the walk to get to it is going to increase.
I too will have to go further north to get a few more turns in this year.
 

String Tales

Hard Yards
May 7, 2019
4
10
53
Melbourne
P1050645.JPG
Mt Stirling Bluff Spur track AM 14/9/19

P1050651.JPG

Mt Stirling West Summit trail looking west 14/9/19
P1050690.JPG

Clear Hills trail - At the gate before the Monument trail junction 15/9/19




P1050700.JPG

P1050700.JPG

Northern / NE aspect View at Craigs Hut 15/9/19
P1050701.JPG
Craigs Hut (& son @ ) - 15/9/19
P1050703.JPG


Snow melt on Clear Hills track to the South of Craig hut 15/9/19
P1050704.JPG

The trarne approx. half way back from Craig's Hut on the Clear Hills track 15/9/19
P1050709.JPG

Stirling trail snow below King Spur Hut 15/9/19 - Wind debris / surface melt evident
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
Ski Pass
Jul 29, 2015
11,896
12,283
813
Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
P1050645.JPG
Mt Stirling Bluff Spur track AM 14/9/19

P1050651.JPG

Mt Stirling West Summit trail looking west 14/9/19
P1050690.JPG

Clear Hills trail - At the gate before the Monument trail junction 15/9/19




P1050700.JPG

P1050700.JPG

Northern / NE aspect View at Craigs Hut 15/9/19
P1050701.JPG
Craigs Hut (& son @ ) - 15/9/19
P1050703.JPG


Snow melt on Clear Hills track to the South of Craig hut 15/9/19
P1050704.JPG

The trarne approx. half way back from Craig's Hut on the Clear Hills track 15/9/19
P1050709.JPG

Stirling trail snow below King Spur Hut 15/9/19 - Wind debris / surface melt evident

When T.P. and I were up there on 23/8/19 I met a chap on A/T gear who skied the TBJ to Craig's Film Set Hut route and back in a day. He was returning in no time. Skins are handy for the long ascents.There was good continuous cover then from TBJ onwards. He mentioned the Black run at the top of the Clear Hills trail. It was a killer when I did that trip in snow shoes some years back. Deep, ungroomed , uncompacted :-0 .
 
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