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Question Rolling Ground to White's / Schlink

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Total Whiteout, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Planning an overnight walk in a fortnight to Valentine's Hut.

    I'm thinking it might be fun to start from Guthega Pondage, walk up the Trig, then onto the Rolling Ground, following the east side of the ridge to Granite Peaks and maybe Dicky Cooper Bogong, then down to White's or Schlink Pass, before picking up the 4WD track (Schlink Pass Road) and heading over to Valentine's.

    My question is, how easy is it to descend from the Rolling Ground to White's / Schlink Pass and what's the better / easier route down into the valley?

    Past Granite Peaks and down to White's? Or over to Dicky Cooper Bogong and down to Schlink Pass?

    From what I can tell there used to be old tracks for both routes which are largely gone now. Is navigation an issue?

    For context, I've walked / skied from Guthega PS to Valentine's before (and also over to Mawson's as a side trip) and also done the route to Horse Camp, White's, and Schlink Hilton quite a few times too (via both the 4WD track and the aqueduct track).

    I've also been up Guthega Trig and onto the Rolling Ground a few times, including a bush bash down to Horse Camp to beat a storm which I don't plan on repeating.

    Is this route straight forward or am I biting off too much?
     
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  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Addicted

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    Easiest way, especially in bad weather, is down to Whites. Don't actually go up on to the Granites, skirt to the east and pick up foot tracks that roughly follow the old vehicle track.
    Or continue along the east of the granites and head for Schlink Pass.
    Or go up the Granites, at their end then head for Schlink Pass. A more adventurous alternative is to go to Dicky Cooper, continue north before dropping down to the Schlink Hilton.
    All these routes are fine. I reckon if the weather is good, go higher.
    Navigation is not difficult, but requires some thought. In low visibility things can be tricky.
     
  3. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    The old 2 wheel marks that go down to Whites can still be located from the top if you look around near a prominent bunch of boulders.
     
  4. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its an easy route as @Greybeard has suggested.

    I travel across the Rolling Ground from Guthega dam regularly. The old track down to Whites is logical and follows the topography as you would expect. I have dropped a pin on this map to indicate where the tracks start to become distinct. As @Kletterer mentioned look for a bunch of boulders on a rise - SMA 0691 on the current topos. Following the track back up from Whites is a breeze.

    However, I think its more enjoyable to continue on toward Dicky Cooper Bogong and do the quick descent to Schlink Pass. The foot pad up to the RG from the pass is gone now but you only spend 5 mins in the scrub anyway. Use the Whites track on the return.
     
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  5. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Am I right in thinking the view down from DCB is sufficient to plot a straightforward way down to the pass?
     
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  6. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    There is a rocky knoll 400 metres East of DCB peak. Clear view from there .
     
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  7. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Kletterer is bang on.
    Just follow the Divide right down from there. Those lovely powerlines can be your guide :)
     
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  8. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Another 20 odd visits and i might get to know the place.
     
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  9. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is always something new to discover! That’s what I love about the place.
     
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  10. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Both your map and the SV map have a water tower near the spot you've marked. Is the water tower still there?
     
  11. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Those blue squares on the map? They aren’t water towers. They are just small bodies of water. Often “tarns”, springs or big puddles.

    An example from close by

     
  12. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Thanks, thought SV map key seemed odd.
     
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  13. skifree

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

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    They are just short water towers.
     
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  14. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    What is a water tower?
     
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  15. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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  16. mholling

    mholling One of Us

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    On NSW maps, blue square is the standard symbology for small man-made waterbody, i.e. a stock dam, in practice. Small natural waterbodies are marked as blue circles, but are uncommon in the DTDB with many mis-classified as man-made.
     
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  17. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    That symbol represents Ground Tanks
     
  18. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Got it.

    How many km is it from Guthega Pondage to White's River Hut via the Rolling Ground? My estimate is about 8km. Then another 9.5 km to Valentine's. Total 17.5km. Does that sound about right?

    I'm planning to go this weekend and I'm conscious it's meant to rain on Saturday so might be prudent to go via disappointment spur instead.

    My estimate is Guthega PS to Valentine's Hut via Disappointment Spur is more like 16km. Though I have seen Mr T put it at 18km.

    Do people have any thoughts on these competing routes? Time / distance / hardness etc.
     
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  19. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Schlink road = 17.5km
    Disappointment spur = 18km
    Aquaduct track = 18km
    Guthega Dam (to Whites) = 20km

    Hover over each line for distances

    https://maps.ozultimate.com/?lat=-36.23745444487461&lng=148.37038278579712&zoom=15&id=1612302390320

    The first three are fairly boring but if I had to pick I would go the Aqueduct track or Disappointment spur. The road is a road and you could drive a lowered Daewoo Lanos on it. The power lines are particularly charming. I honestly have never understood the appeal of these approaches other than to get to the good stuff as quickly as possible, but even then there are better options.

    The old bridge over Munyang River up to Disappointment spur is gone. The rock hop is usually fine though

    Guthega Dam to Whites or Dicky Cooper Bogong is by far the most interesting and rewarding option.

    The weather on Saturday looks to be classic alpine summer weather. Short and sharp and most likely in the afternoon. If you start early on Saturday you could probably avoid being up and exposed on the Rolling Grounds before the storm rolls in.
     
  20. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Another interesting way is along the Disappointment Aquaduct to the spur just before the hut. Climb direct onto Disappointment Spur and follow to Gungarten and beyond. A bit of scunge for the first few hundred metres, but not too bad.
     
  21. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its nice to be down before a storm hits, even a summer one, one time we ran down after being caught, golf ball hailstones anyone? Got lower and told others coming up to give it 20 mins, short, but very sharp.
     
  22. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Saturdays weather will be rather wet.
     
  23. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Up the road, dry out at the hut, at least there will be less people! Sunday should be alright.
     
  24. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agreed. Excellent way to get up high and quick
     
  25. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    So is that route following disappointment spur to disappointment spur hut then up to disappointment ridge - following the ridge to gangartan then dropping down to schlink pass?
     
  26. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    The upper bit once you are on the Ridge is nice- This Jan I came down off the Ridge to the road from above the Hut and it was thick bush for much of it. Some folks go up/ down from the weir 500 metres East of the hut. I had a look at the first 100 metres there and it looked like you would be in for some hard work ( initially at least ), particularly going up. Bear in mind that doing this kinda travel during/ after rain will really test your kits ability to keep out moisture. Def worth doing but it would be more enjoyable coming down than going up imo . BTW there is no fireplace at Dissapointment hut - pot belly at Horse Camp and Whites.
     
  27. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep, if you are worried about crossing the Rolling Ground then the route on top of Disappointment ridge will be an even more daunting experience for you.
     
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  28. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    There is a knoll Grid reference 0626500- 5981826 Elev. 1965 metres that has a sizable cliff on the Eastern flank to be avoided.
     
  29. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    I'm not especially daunted by Rolling Ground to White's. Just knew the track to White's doesn't quite connect and also have heard Dicky Cooper Bogong is worth checking out.

    My issue is more I'm taking my girlfriend this weekend and she is a less experienced walker who has never visited this area and is keen on both good scenery but also keen on visiting a nice remote hut like Valentine's.

    On the other hand I have been to Horse Camp, White's, Schlink a bunch of times with my main skiing / hiking buddy Michael and we've also been to Valentine's and Mawson once (though never via Disappointment Spur). We have also have attempted Rolling Ground to White's twice now in both winter and summer but have not quite made it either time due to bad weather (we bush bashed down to Horse Camp to avoid a storm - not recommended) and Michael getting injured (backpain from an old injury - nothing too serious).

    So I guess I've been 'umming and ahhing' all week on which trip to do, but I think all things considered we'll go via Disappointment Spur and see how far we can get... Finger's crossed we get as far as Valentine's.
     
    #29 Total Whiteout, Feb 3, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
  30. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Excellent idea. Look out for this weir. I use the boulder stream above it to get to the saddle just below the 1800m contour with the least amount of scrub. Once at the saddle you just climb up to the ridge and follow it along to Gungartan, the Kerries, Mawsons and beyond.
     
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  31. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just realised you wrote the spur and not the ridge... Ignore above

    Enjoy!
     
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  32. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    Between Dicky and Rolling Grounds.
     
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  33. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    There is still time to change my mind...
     
  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    I walked from Guthega Power station to Valentine's hut via Disappointment spur hut in one day. It was a long day on foot. I estimate it was 18 kms with a full multi night pack on my back . I arrived at Valentine's hut that Easter feeling rather exhausted.
     
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  35. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    Well you did change me mind.

    We went up from Guthega Pondage to the Trig Saturday morning then made our way along the Rolling Ground and dropped down to White's River Hut.

    Will post some photos and a more detailed report shortly.
     
    #35 Total Whiteout, Feb 8, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
  36. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Would have been very nice after the rain Fri night, lucked out.
     
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  37. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Look forward to the report. Thinking of trying something similar myself soon.
     
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  38. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Old n' Crusty Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you clap loud enough you don't have to count the copper heads.
     
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  39. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    So we spent Friday night at a mate's place in Jindy and awoke to pouring rain at 6am. So we did the respectable thing and went back to bed for another hour. Then went for a coffee and a danish.

    By the time we got to Guthega and started walking around 9.30am the weather had more or less totally cleared (a few dark clouds still). Dam was seriously flowing.



    Walk up the trig was straight forward (though I'm breaking new boots in so a little uncomfortable). Then it was a nice amble to Consett Stephen Pass.

    After CPS though I must confess I got slightly bewildered - not majorly - but I initially took us a bit too far west and then overcompensated taking us over the shallow valley on the east - I want'ed to stay out of the howling wind and also was a bit paranoid about losing touch the Schlink road.

    We had lunch about 1pm (tuna and avocado on crackers) sheltering by a rock somewhere along the Rolling Ground not far from some old fallen power lines / telegraph poles.

    Sky now becoming increasingly grey.



    We then headed off again and reached the southern granite peak and climbed up to the little marker. The wind was absolutely howling on the top.



    From this general area there was a decent view of the power lines between White's and Schlink which felt good. I could also see the general way down to WRH but wasn't totally sure whether to go to the north or south of the little peak nearby.

    There was also some old fence posts and corrugated iron near the eastern foot of the peak which was slightly curious but I assume related to grazing in the early-to-mid 20th c.

    We then decided to head on to Dicky Cooper Bogong and down to Schlink but quickly changed our minds once we got back into the wind. So we then backtracked slightly and headed down onto the little eastern slop towards the track down to White's.

    I wasn't sure whether we needed to head down to the north or south of a little rocky peak so I pulled out the iPhone GPS went to the southern side then picked up the old road on the northern side of the same little peak. We then had a pretty simple walk down (though we did briefly lose the track about half way down in a small clearing but quickly realised and found it again).

    We then got in to White's River Hut sometime about 3.45pm and had a nice cup of tea. Another walker, Sandra, was also there and we hung out with her for the night. Surprisingly though, Sandra was the only other walker we saw outside of Guthega the whole trip.

    We then collected some fire wood, lit the little pot belly, made dinner, and then bunkered down sharing war stories with Sandra over the bottle of whisky we'd packed. Sandra had had an interesting encounter with the resident tiger snake at WRH earlier that day.

    We headed back Sunday back the same way, losing the track again near maybe 3/4 up to the top by following the orange poles to the river headwaters instead of sticking religiously to the track but it wasn't a big deal as we had a better sense of the geography the second time around.

    The walk back was more straight forward the second time and we also took the opportunity to climb most of the little peaks as we went, enjoying the sunshine and views.



    Got back to the car a bit before 4pm. Great walk!





    PS Most of my best pics I took on my OM-1 and I'm yet to get the roll developed.
     
  40. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Guthega dam was the lowest I've seen it on Friday avo and wow, overflowing Sat morning.
     
  41. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have still yet to walk that route. Well done.
     
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