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Pretty Valley Hut via Mt McKay Rd

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by john_k, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. john_k

    john_k Hard Yards

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    Hi guys,

    anyone skinned to Pretty Valley Hut via the Mt McKay Rd starting at Howmans Gap?

    I’m planning on basing myself at Pretty Valley Hut for a few days of backcountry skiing and don’t feel like paying the overnight parking fees at Falls - assuming I can even park there given the C19 restrictions! - unlikely to head out for a few more weeks so resort entry fees which I don’t want to pay will be in force.

    John K.
     
  2. john_k

    john_k Hard Yards

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  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Road 24 is a drag, only ever done it once.
    PM coming your way
     
  4. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    Hitch up then ski down 24 to.finish on a good day/season you can take it all dthe way to the ticket box!
     
  5. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not sure that you can park at howmans anyway. I think the resort claim that the big area below the gate is theirs. Certainly not allowed to park in rd 24 without a staff permit
     
  6. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    No hitching with current covid regs. You have to prebook your entry and carry the printed form that includes passenger details
     
  7. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    Yeah i forgot that, ignore my suggestion. Or do.it.a other time!
     
  8. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The bus is $70 return + $6 per night parking but that may be the cheapest answer.
     
  9. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Just walk without putting your thumb out, if people offer you a lift accept it.
     
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  10. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Are you planning another extended pretty hut stay this year?;)
     
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  11. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    No because on $7- week I can't even afford to keep breathing. My beloved got a small promotion so they took my pension off me and she doesn't earn enough to give me pocket money.
    I will probably have to sell the car as I can no longer afford the insurance or registration and my beloved doesn't earn enough to cover all those extra costs as well
    And the parasite drug addict across the road got an extra $550- to spend on booze, cigarettes and dope FFS
     
  12. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    you are not permitted in the resort unless they have your name etc. even walking up rd24 is entering the resort. AIUI you are allowed in the NP but you would need to find an access point that is not via the resort
     
  13. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I don't think that is true currawong, the resorts lease means they have to allow back country access at all times, even the current covid restrictions can't change that and as I read the rules they can't ask your name and contact details unless you are staying in the resort/using resort facilities. It's your basic government cluster*ck IMO
     
  14. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    could be true but good luck getting whoever is on the gate to be cognisant of the fine legal details
     
  15. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    You mean they don't have a QC rostered on to the toll booth 24/7 to provide legal advice to the poor sods who have to put up with argumentative tourists?
     
  16. lightfoot

    lightfoot Hard Yards

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    You don't need to cross the gate though unless there is one down lower for covid.
     
  17. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rd 24 is in the resort.

    I have also heard some talk of police checks further down the road
     
  18. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I am reminded of the time an era ago when some young ski patrol twerp pulled a group of us up for not having CC trail passes, we told him we didn't need them as we were accessing back country but he tried to pull rank and even threatened to call the police when we refused to give our names and addresses, we just kept plodding along and ignored him and never heard anything else
     
  19. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Road 24 may be in the resort but it is still legitimate back country access, as I said earlier, major clusterf*ck
     
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  20. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    the difficulty in enforcement for passes is one of the reasons that there are no longer trail fees

    I entered this discussion to share what I knew. it seems to be degenerating into how can we undermine the rules brought in to manage covid. I won't contribute to that
     
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  21. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That’s rough...:eek:
     
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  22. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    It isn't about undermining the Covid rules, it is about understanding to whom those rules apply. BC camping is very much social distancing and as skis are pretty long it isn't hard to maintain a reasonable distance during the trip there. But seeing how so may people work so closely together on building sites around here, traveling to work site 6 in a vehicle etc; there does seem to be a huge double standard being applied in the past weeks. Groups of up to 10 are now officially OK so on a personal level I don't see what's wrong with accepting a lift or offering one. I'm in a supposedly high risk group but honestly at the moment I couldn't give a toss.
     
  23. Cam Slee

    Cam Slee One of Us

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    You're arguing about nothing.
    There's not enough snow to go backcountry skiing.
     
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  24. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    There is still camping and cold and fires to boil the billy, all of which are simply better with snow but highly enjoyable without. Snow is however on its way and soon I think.
     
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  25. Cam Slee

    Cam Slee One of Us

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    You should be up here if you want to ski.
    Mt Bogong last Wednesday, pic was taken from my loungeroom.

     
    #25 Cam Slee, Jun 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  26. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    Hi John, I’ve hiked/skinned up road 24 a number of times over the last few years and descended into Pretty Valley and stayed a night beside the hut as you are describing. It’s a bit of a hike but it’s not steep and a quite pleasant way to access that area IMO. As for parking, yes, as others have suggested Resort Management have deemed parking at Howman’s Gap ‘Verboten’ and will issue you a parking ticket (I do wonder if a ticket would be cheaper than three days resort entry to park at Windy Corner...).

    Anyway, to avoid any interaction with this I just park at the first switchback back down the hill and have not had any problems. Just be aware the road has a few blind spots between this point and Howman’s so be super aware of cars coming up the hill when you are walking on the road.

    Now technically you wouldn’t even have to enter into a conversation with the entry team as the turnoff to road 24 is before the toll gate, but I cannot comment whether there would be extra people standing guard at this point (but I highly doubt it). If you wanted to be doubly sure you didn’t have to engage with anyone of authority, take a compass bearing straight off the main road to intersect R24 before you come in sight of Howman’s Gap.

    I agree 100% with Moondog’s comments.
     
  27. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    One thing I would like to add to my last post is unless there is VERY good cover, don’t be tempted to take a short cut off the road via the creek line to the North West of McKay. Trust me on this one .
     
  28. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Talk to folk in Howmans Gap....if you ask them nicely they may let you park in there like I used too legally.Then is quite feasible to go up road 24 and into Pretty Valley that way....I used to do this a lot in orevious years.
     
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  29. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    When you get to the upper section of road 24 watch for the pole line on the right....follow this uphill till you hit other road to Pretty Valley.....follow the snow poles .....find the bifurcation of snow poles....one goes to Pretty Valley via cattle grid other one to McKay Saddle .In bad weather it’s a hideous whiteout uo there...following road and temporary plastic snow poles is tricky if not impossible....in bad weather follow straight along top of ridge on permanent snow poles.....it’s breezy but safer....note the poles on the left of the road mark the resort boundary ...sometimes they have rope between them...but in bad weather stuck with the permanent snow pole line that’s just to the right of the track...trust me it’s safest option in bad white out.....temporary ski markers are poorly spaced and not to be used in bad weather ...again seek permission from Howmans Gap private co.they are most obliging .Drop gear at barrier with vehicle them come back diwn and oark exactly where instructed in their private carpark.
     
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  30. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    just hike up FP spur - trust me you wont get bored! :)
     
  31. john_k

    john_k Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the comments everyone - exactly the sort of info I was looking for.

    Have come down FP spur before - a possible option but from memory very overgrown.
     
  32. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    i havent been up it for about 10 years but it was fine then. trail starts behind the cutting just up from ticket box
     
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  33. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah, the Frying Pan Spur track. Until a few years ago I used to run package guided hiking tours for 35 people over 4 or 5 days and we ran several based at Falls Creek in summer. Each day people had a choice of three guided walks. If weather permitted we ran the "north east day" first. The easy walk went along the aqueduct, over the wall to Ropers Lookout and Heathy Spur. The medium walk went from Langford Gap along the aqueduct to Fitzys Hut and back via Watchbed Creek with optional side trips.

    The hard grade walk was designed to tire the buggers out, so they wouldn't whinge about hard walks being too short on subsequent days. Starting at whatever lodge we hired, it went over the wall - Healthy Spur - Nelse - Spion Kopje - Howmans Gap - Frying Pan Spur and back to the lodge, with the understanding that we would pick them up from Howmans if anyone was knackered. Usually they rolled their eyes at the idea of being picked up, but on every single trip where we programmed that walk, when they got to Howmans and the guides pointed out Frying Pan Spur and asked who wanted to tackle it, not a single person was keen, so we had to drive down and pick them up. That night people who chose the easy and medium grade walks went to a pub, restaurant or partied on, but a surprising number of the hard walkers chose to have an early night.

    So that hard grade walk always achieved its goals of both showing off truly grand alpine scenery and also of tiring the hikers out so they wouldn't say that subsequent hard grade walks weren't challenging enough. Just looking at Frying Pan Spur scared them off.
     
  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    The YMCA at Howman's Gap have set rates for parking during the ski season. I cannot remember what they are/were but I looked into it long and hard because either a trip up or down the Endless Road 24 or across the very cold Rocky valley Creek and up to Spion Kopje have been in my white season trip in tray for some time now.
    Other forum members have suggested taking the affordable bus up from Tawonga and then hitching/skiing back.
     
  35. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    That is a bummer man, I am sorry to hear that . However If I had to choose between marriage and getting enough shekels to keep XC skiing, bushwalking , surfing etc. I know which one I would choose! ;-P
     
  36. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Proper XC skiable frothing about it type Snow is 2 weeks away according to Ms. Bunn.
     
  37. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Frying Pan spur would be one of the very few routes in the area I have not bushwalked. I must give it a go next green season.
     
  38. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    God only knows what amount of trees are over it?
     
  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Don't the FC resort wallahs promote that route for mtn. biking?
     
  40. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    What Curra is saying is valid and backed up by legislation but also the legislation could be interpreted to mean you can enter as long as you don't intend to access or make use of the public areas (see below). Not sure if road 24 would qualify as a public area in the spirit of the legislation but unless tested you would never know. It is an area in the resort open to the public but your intent is to access areas outside the resort. Now without going into a lengthy legal debate, is it really worth it? You can work that out yourself. For some the answer may be yes.

    And just so you know your rights, only a person authorised by an Act or Regulation can ask you to state your name and place of abode but I can't find any provision for that under the Resort Management Act. Authorised officers must carry and produce identification on request (that actually includes Police). Police are authorised under every Vic Act while others under specific Acts. An authorised officer has the power to direct you or stop you from doing something. Not all RMB employees are authorised officers but they can call one to assist.

    Reg 29 Offence for persons to enter alpine resorts by means other than in buses and motor vehicles without paying fee
    (1) The Board of an alpine resort may determine a fee that is payable for a person who enters the alpine resort other than as a passenger in a bus or in a motor vehicle to access or use public areas in the alpine resort.
    (2) The fee determined by the Board under subregulation (1) must not exceed 1·31 fee units for a person for each day that the person remains in that alpine resort.
    (3) A person must not enter an alpine resort, other than as a passenger in a bus or in a motor vehicle, unless that person has paid the access or use fee determined by the Board in accordance with subregulation (1).
    Penalty: 5 penalty units.
     
  41. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A few FCRM and 4site people are authorised to issue infringement notices. I don't know for sure, but I expect they would also be "authorised officers"
     
  42. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is all getting a bit technical to avoid paying some fees for a cleared road and car park.

    Or paying to park in Mt Beauty and catching the bus and hopping off early which I have done previously, albeit in the Summer, but it worked really well.

    Or did I miss something as to why these alternative parking and access routes are being looked at.
     
  43. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    To issue a notice you have to an authorised officer. Don't know about ski patrol but if someone from the RMB is asking you nicely to do something that you can see with commonsense is the right thing then people should see it and respect it. If people are trying to push weight around they do not have for no good reason then ask for the badge.
     
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  44. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    haha the reason i went up it was because my dirtbag friend didnt want to pay fees, or me to pay fees for him, which i was happy to do. afterwards i asked him if it was worth it. apparently it wasnt.
     
  45. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agreed

    I know someone who can and does issue infringement notices. There are more, in RMB and 4Site
     
  46. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Some people don't like paying (hence that other thread that was created simply to find ways of avoiding resort entry). If you use the service then pay the fee. I am not into resorts so we just don't go there. We don't access the facilities or resort areas. Simple. But I guess living on the other side makes it harder to get to the resort. For us accessing the BC is a matter of walking across the road from the house. We don't even use the groomed trails even though no fee is paid for that now.
     
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  47. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    hi @Xplora i havent been in via the rasberry hill side since the HP road was sealed.

    we used to park at the gate, theres still room there yeah? thanks
     
  48. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Raspberry hill has a drop loo and a good camp sites. Buckety Plain camp site has a drop loo and a down hill walk/snow plod on an MVO track of about 1 km to Faithful's hut.
     
  49. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You are in a lucky .01% to have this choice.
     
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  50. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    The route up to Trap yard Gap to access snow camping and BC XC ski touring the BHP seems like it will be open this white season to those who are well equipped with AWD/4 WD, chains. chainsaw and snow shovels etc.