Trip Report Mt.Torbreck.27.7.16

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Jul 29, 2015
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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Mt. Torbreck
27.7.16
Trip report.
My friend and I went to Mt. Torbreck(1516 M ) today and went to the top.
On the way we stopped in Narbethong at Mystic mountains ski hire and hired some snow shoes and poles for my friend and some wheel chains and I bought a map ( just in case).
It was raining along the way but it was cold enough for that to be snow above 1400 M so off we went.
The road out there along Snob’s Creek road is good for 2 WD. It has been cleared of fallen timber too. We left the car at the bottom of the junction with Conn’s gap rd. and walked the rest of the way up to Barnewall plains road where the gate is locked to 4 WD vehicles in white season. That road has many fallen logs on it which will be cleared in November.
The snow started to appear on the ground half way up Conn’s Gap road. I don’t know who Conn was but he may have been a Greek bushwalker or mountaineer , or maybe not.
Further up I took off a layer of clothing and put on flexible microspikes/ crampons because it was icy and slippery going up the winding hill jeep road.
I had two sets of MSR snow shoes strapped to my pack.
Once we reached the picnic table area at Barnewall plains we started the true ascent of Mt Torbreck. The track notice says it is 2.1 kms one way and it's very steep and has obstacles along the way.
A little way further along we both put on the snow shoes.
It became very steep quite soon just as the Snow gums began to appear.
I was kicking steps with the snow shoes , using the heel lift and actually was using the ice axe blade on the self-arrest pole while ascending crab like on all fours on some very steep sections which were at least 40 cms deep in deep soft wet snow.
This sort thing continued as I followed the orange arrows on the snow gum trees until at summit plateau I ran out of orange arrows. It was snowing up there and it was very cold with everything covered in ice and festooned with snow, I could not see much and the summit cairn was not located on this trip. It could have been any of the huge rocks covered in snow.
Since this was the first time I had been there I decided to turn back only to find my walking companion still plodding up the mountain. We had a thermos of hot tea. She found my snow shoe extension which had snapped off and subsequently also found my orange pack cover.
After my friend went on to see if she could find the summit marker we descended. This was verging on semi technical mountaineering. One had to go backwards like a crab, kicking steps, down some slippery chutes that were easier to deal with climbing up . I had the whippet out and was using the blade to brake and get purchase in the snow and ice so I could stay in control on the steep descent.
My friend opted to toboggan without the toboggan on her derriere , often out of control after she had started to slide :-0
It was very beautiful , very cold indeed, snowing and wild up there at the 1500 M area and we didn’t see anybody else on the mountain. Mt Torbreck doesn’t cost anything to visit and is way more adventurous than going to Lake mountain .It is about two and half hours from Melbourne and is a winter day trip adventure that I will certainly do again next year , armed with a real ice axe. In fact we will go back in green season to find the summit cairn and maybe even visit the plane crash site when there is more daylight later in the year.
It is interesting that this site was once planned to become a downhill skiing resort. It is steep enough for the creation of some black diamond ski runs, it is higher up than Lake Mountain is in terms of elevation and the Chalet etc. would have been easy to build on Barnewall plains at the foot of the final ascent to the top. Moreover it is one hour closer to Melbourne than Mt Buller or Mt Baw Baw are.
Local towns such as Eildon would have done well out of it too.
It is good that such a thing never took place because it is a tranquil and wild place in winter that only adventurous , fit people on two legs can reach.
Mt. Torbreck rocks!
 
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weerab

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Jul 13, 2009
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Beautiful Altona Victoria
Mt. Torbreck
27.7.16
Trip report.
My friend and I went to Mt. Torbreck(1516 M ) today and went to the top.
On the way we stopped in Narbethong at Mystic mountains ski hire and hired some snow shoes and poles for my friend and some wheel chains and I bought a map ( just in case).
It was raining along the way but it was cold enough for that to be snow above 1400 M so off we went.
The road out there along Snob’s Creek road is good for 2 WD. It has been cleared of fallen timber too. We left the car at the bottom of the junction with Conn’s gap rd. and walked the rest of the way up to Barnewall plains road where the gate is locked to 4 WD vehicles in white season. That road has many fallen logs on it which will be cleared in November.
The snow started to appear on the ground half way up Conn’s Gap road. I don’t know who Conn was but he may have been a Greek bushwalker or mountaineer , or maybe not.
Further up I took off a layer of clothing and put on flexible microspikes/ crampons because it was icy and slippery going up the winding hill jeep road.
I had two sets of MSR snow shoes strapped to my pack.
Once we reached the picnic table area at Barnewall plains we started the true ascent of Mt Torbreck. The track notice says it is 2.1 kms one way and it very steep and has obstacles along the way.
A little way further along we both put on the snow shoes.
It became very steep quite soon just as the Snow gums began to appear.
I was kicking steps with the snow shoes , using the heel lift and actually was using the ice axe blade on the self-arrest pole while ascending crab like on all fours on some very steep sections which were at least 40 cms deep in deep soft wet snow.
This sort thing continued as I followed the orange arrows on the snow gum trees until at summit plateau I ran out of orange arrows. It was snowing up there and it was very cold with everything covered in ice and festooned with snow, I could not see much and the summit cairn was not located on this trip. It could have been any of the huge rocks covered in snow.
Since this was the first time I had been there I decided to turn back only to find my walking companion still plodding up the mountain. We had a thermos of hot tea. She found my snow shoe extension which had snapped off and subsequently also found my orange pack cover.
After my friend went on to see if she could find the summit marker we descended. This was verging on semi technical mountaineering. One had to go backwards like a crab, kicking steps, down some slippery chutes that were easier to deal with climbing up . I had the whippet out and was using the blade to brake and get purchase in the snow and ice so I could stay in control on the steep descent.
My friend opted to toboggan without the toboggan on her derriere , often out of control after she had started to slide :-0
It was very beautiful , very cold indeed, snowing and wild up there at the 1500 M area and we didn’t see anybody else on the mountain. Mt Torbreck doesn’t cost anything to visit and is way more adventurous than going to Lake mountain .It is about two and half hours from Melbourne and is a winter day trip adventure that I will certainly do again next year , armed with a real ice axe. In fact we will go back in green season to find the summit cairn and maybe even visit the plane crash site when there is more daylight later in the year.
It is interesting that this site was once planned to become a downhill skiing resort. It is steep enough for the creation of some black diamond ski runs, it is higher up than Lake Mountain is in terms of elevation and the Chalet etc. would have been easy to build on Barnewall plains at the foot of the final ascent to the top. Moreover it is one hour closer to Melbourne than Mt Buller or Mt Baw Baw are.
Local towns such as Eildon would have done well out of it too.
It is good that such a thing never took place because it is a tranquil and wild place in winter that only adventurous , fit people on two legs can reach.
Mt. Torbreck rocks!
I remember when Torbreck was gazetted as the next alpine resort but have never actually been there. Can you take dogs there? must make an effort to get there this year!
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
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Nice report....need pics!

I was up there last month and before any snow was on the ground. Driving in from the Big River rd gets you closer, the locked gate is only a km or so down from the Plains.

The cairn is right at the opposite end of the summit 'ridge' and requires walking around, over and between lots of big rocks. Great view on a clear day
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
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I remember when Torbreck was gazetted as the next alpine resort but have never actually been there. Can you take dogs there? must make an effort to get there this year!

Dogs are allowed...they need to be fit and agile for the climb.
 

VSG

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torbreck map.jpg
 
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Bogong

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That walk is under rated, I reckon that's one of the top four snow walks in the Victoria. In rough order of difficulty my favourites are:
  • Mt Torbreck via the main track
  • Donna Buang via Cement Creek (or summit circuit if Cement Ck is too overgrown this year).
  • Feathertop summit via Bungalow Spur.
  • Buller, up via West Ridge, down via McLaughlins Shoulder and Klingsporns Track.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
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That walk is under rated, I reckon that's one of the top four snow walks in the Victoria. In rough order of difficulty my favourites are:
  • Mt Torbreck via the main track
  • Donna Buang via Cement Creek (or summit circuit if Cement Ck is too overgrown this year).
  • Feathertop summit via Bungalow Spur.
  • Buller, up via West Ridge, down via McLaughlins Shoulder and Klingsporns Track.
Yes. I have only done it once. Since I learned to Nordic ski I have not been back in winter. It is semi technical and flexible crampons would be the best bet if one were to attempt it again in heavy snow and ice. I would also take a real ice axe too!.
However I prefer to ski on snow these days so I am not sure if or when a repeat white season visit will take place.
I have yet to ascend the West Ridge of Mt. Buller in any season.

@Bogong :Were we not going to do some chain sawing and brush cutting along Cement Creek at some stage?.
It will have to wait until Nov. 2020, assuming we will be allowed out at all by then :-0 .
I have the power tools and the interest.

We need Captain Killjoy( The VIC. Premier) to let us all out of after school detention ;-P
 
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snowgum

A Local
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Well done T. Must get back there again. It looks like the track hasn’t got any easier? Not a core DELWP priority?

But still a great little peak to conquer. Pretty clear why the hill would not support an alpine resort with lifts.
Such a small semi alpine area and very steep on the west slopes.

Perhaps a giggle-carpet might have been possible on the eastern slopes once a clearing was created. Why bother? As you indicate, it’s nicer to leave Semi-raw.
 

Rick Ross Da Boss

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Jul 19, 2017
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Well done T. Must get back there again. It looks like the track hasn’t got any easier? Not a core DELWP priority?

But still a great little peak to conquer. Pretty clear why the hill would not support an alpine resort with lifts.
Such a small semi alpine area and very steep on the west slopes.

Perhaps a giggle-carpet might have been possible on the eastern slopes once a clearing was created. Why bother? As you indicate, it’s nicer to leave Semi-raw.
Tell me more about the ‘steep’ side...:nerd:
 

snowgum

A Local
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Tell me more about the ‘steep’ side...:nerd:

Steep, rocky and heavily treed in most spots. It’s ‘possible’ that there could be some more open slopes further south along the ridge? This is going back maybe 20+ years (my life is much safer these days!)
so has to be careful - but Ts shots from 2016/2018? show little has changed.
 

Skiain

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Mt Torbreck was proposed as a new downhill "resort" to be developed back in the 80s. Obviously nothing eventuated, but the advertising pamphlet inspired me to pay a winter visit in 84 or 85. From Barnewall Plains, it was a mix of walking, herringbone and carrying skis that got me to the summit. The descent was a lot of sideslip, tight turns and skis off due to the rocks and poor cover in places. I saw noone, and there was no evidence of any ski or foot traffic preceding me. It was a fun adventure before collecting a new set of skis from the old Tudor Lodge in Narbethong on my way home. It is also a fun scramble to the summit from the aircrash memorial site and a really nice alpine walk back down to Barnewall Plains in spring or summer.
 

teckel

Pool Room
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Mt Torbreck was proposed as a new downhill "resort" to be developed back in the 80s. Obviously nothing eventuated, but the advertising pamphlet inspired me to pay a winter visit in 84 or 85. From Barnewall Plains, it was a mix of walking, herringbone and carrying skis that got me to the summit. The descent was a lot of sideslip, tight turns and skis off due to the rocks and poor cover in places. I saw noone, and there was no evidence of any ski or foot traffic preceding me. It was a fun adventure before collecting a new set of skis from the old Tudor Lodge in Narbethong on my way home. It is also a fun scramble to the summit from the aircrash memorial site and a really nice alpine walk back down to Barnewall Plains in spring or summer.
Nice memories :)
Unfortunately, Tudor Lodge burnt to the ground on Black Saturday and hasn't been rebuilt :cry:
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

Not your average unconventional eccentric.
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Melbourne, Lockdown-i-stan .
soundcloud.com
Mt Torbreck was proposed as a new downhill "resort" to be developed back in the 80s. Obviously nothing eventuated, but the advertising pamphlet inspired me to pay a winter visit in 84 or 85. From Barnewall Plains, it was a mix of walking, herringbone and carrying skis that got me to the summit. The descent was a lot of sideslip, tight turns and skis off due to the rocks and poor cover in places. I saw noone, and there was no evidence of any ski or foot traffic preceding me. It was a fun adventure before collecting a new set of skis from the old Tudor Lodge in Narbethong on my way home. It is also a fun scramble to the summit from the aircrash memorial site and a really nice alpine walk back down to Barnewall Plains in spring or summer.
You must be a top gun skier to try and ski up or down Mt. Torbreck by any route .
It was interesting enough in micro spikes, boots and snow shoes.
:-0
 
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Skiain

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Nice memories :)
Unfortunately, Tudor Lodge burnt to the ground on Black Saturday and hasn't been rebuilt :cry:

Ye, sadly, it has gone. Peter and Jenny Lane left Tudor Lodge long before the fires, and opened Paddy Pallin in Ringwood and at the time, Box Hill. I bought many skis, boots and climbing equipment from them for many years after
 
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