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Advice needed Route suggestion

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by axellotta, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    Hi all, hope everyone is stoked with the great start to the season!

    I'm heading out the back of Falls the weekend after next with two friends (both inexperienced skiers) and I want to ensure they have a good time and hopefully want to repeat the experience. We are planning on leaving Melbourne about midday Friday which should get us at Windy Corner by a bit after 5pm. Last year another mate and I left about the same time and made Cope Hut by about 9pm, but I think this might be a bit of a stretch with the crew this time around. Also, from memory there was not a lot of flat spots next to the hut if it is full.

    So first question is which hut would people recommend as a first evening with these timings? Pretty Valley hut is very nice (albeit small) but there are limited options on routes for the next day. Perhaps Johnston or Edmonson would be ok, especially as the trip across the wall and beside the reservoir are an easy way to get your ski legs on. They are quite a distance though and the terrain is pretty exposed if the weather is shite.

    Thinking outside the box, has anyone slept in the hall at Windy Corner and left early next morning? Is this a thing?

    Cheers in advance.

    Tristan.
     
  2. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can't help but, Hi ...

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't think there is a overnight ski trip out of Falls Creek suitable for sub-intermediates if you start after dark and are carrying packs. Of course if you camp near Mt Beauty or get a room the night before, you can take relative novices almost anywhere on the BHPs IF you have a full day and the weather is good.

    But if you want to start skiing after dark, there are suitable trips elsewhere. Have you considered:
    • A hut in the Mt Stirling area? There are a few nice ones not far from TBJ that will probably be empty at this time of year
    • JB Hut between Hotham and Dinner Plain? (No resort entry fees payable either.)
    • The Long Plain - Mt Reynard area probably has poor snow this early in the season, but if the snow is okay, it does have a couple of huts not far from the road closure gate.
    • The Bluff probably also has poor snow this early, but it does have a hut close~ish to the roadhead and skiing that is just as glorious as Mt Reynard.
     
  4. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Things could also be interrupted by next week's weather systems. While there is good cover now, that could all be gone by Tuesday with the forecast rain which will mean much walking. It may fill up again also but we won't know that until the time comes. I agree with Bogong on this. The best way to ensure a bed in a hut is book Johnsons hut and then you have plenty of area to cover through the days from a good location. The public area of Johnsons is not appealing. There are plenty of places near Cope to pitch a tent but you may have to walk a short distance from the hut. Taking inexperienced skiers in the dark with a pack is looking for trouble or at least a good way for the experience not to be one to repeat.
     
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  5. legend

    legend One of Us

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    My first ever ski trip was to get out to Johnsons from Falls, leaving at midnight (with full moon).
    It was a bit ambitious, we only got as far as the Rocky Valley observation hut (not there any more) that night.)I think the authorities bulldozed it back in 1976? due to many people staying there.
    If they have been skiing a bit, then Edmonsons is definitely doable at night with a full moon. We did this very regularly in the '70s and '80s, often surprising the sleeping guests when arriving at 2 or 3 in the morning.
     
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  6. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    ha ha my first time on skis was a 3 day trip to the fainters....fell over LOTS. but it wasnt in the dark
     
  7. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    dont tell anyone at FCRM but last year i slept in a grove of trees at the bottom of drovers dream...i missed the dam turnoff in the dark (very easy to do)....so id agree with others saying just leave early on the sat

    my favourite get there late friday night hut is dirtbagging it at diamintina hut at the end of the razorback
     
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  8. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    For late starts I've almost always got across the Dam Wall at Falls and then straight up in to the trees on Heathy Spur.

    It is a poo tube site but generally quiet, close to Falls if really required to bail.

    One three day trip we went across pitched the tent on Heathy Spur and read in the tent for three days while it snowed and snowed and snowed. The hole after digging out the tent was deeper than the Oly was tall. A relaxing trip.

    In days prior I stopped overnight after a dusk arrival at Windy corner in the old viewing hut that used to be at the Falls end of the dam wall, now demolished. It was one of the worst snow sleeps I have experienced. Wet concrete floors are not good to sleep on. I should have pushed over the dam wall and up on Heathy Spur and pitched the tent.

    I have done a night run out to the plan was Wallaces Hut site, but the weather cleared from blizzard to still with ankle deep fresh under a good moon by the time we got to Wallaces, so we wandered onto Cope on a compass bearing.

    Another late in the day arrival at Falls we skied out to Watchbed Creek and camped there after dark. Again a poo tube site. A rat ate a hole in my brand new leather boots on the first occasion of this.
     
  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Snow cover is thin or patchy at present on the BHP, with Lots of exposed rocks and bushes and the BHP road has long bald sections. I skied out almost to the Langford Gap hut and back to Windy Corner on June 2nd 2019. I am the first ski mad person to head up Heathy Spur on planks but at present it is not worth it.
    I posted the XC ski report today on the Falls Ck. thread and many XC ski routes are closed and grooming is on hold due to a lack of snow.
    Someone I bumped into on that day , June 2nd , said Pretty Valley had better snow cover. I don't know what the route out to Tawonga Huts, Cope Saddle hut and pole 333 is like but I would wait for the next big snowfall so that your newbies get a proper snow experience and don't hit any hazards on their skis.
     
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    BHP road , June 2nd . Not far from Langford Gap.
     
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  11. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Mr. T's pics were before the rain on Monday and even before the 10cm top up last week. Bitumen takes a lot longer to fill in than the ground beside it so it is not always the best indication but I can see up to the Cope hut area and where it was pretty filled in Sunday, now it is very patchy. We had 47mm which is close to what Falls Creek had. Just had a look at the National Radar and what is coming later to today will take most of what is left but there is a sting in the tail of this system so we may get a little back. Feels like I should be posting this in the weather forum. My advice would be to abandon any plans for BHP
     
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  12. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Langford Gap Hut though tiny has a new asset!
    You could sleep 4 people on its floor but one never knows who else is holding upmthere?
    Also Team Bears did not get a chance to stock it up with much firewood this year!
     
  13. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some work has been done out here so this hut should be reasonably weatherproof for season 2019.
    With current forecast ....particularly today ...it will be useful for some to get respite from nasty conditions.
    Oh I think they ran out of paint that day!
    It’s closest Hut in shit weather ....coming from dam wall most of that weather(westerly) is pushing you along the roadway ...
    If conditions stay shit...then many use aqueduct track to stay east of escarpment (Lee sided)and push along past Wallace’s Turnoff,Rover Lodge and finally uphill to Cope Hut.
    Though aqueduct is a longer ski ...it’s protected from extreme weather...The Rovers are normally good for a hot chocolate or two should you call in!
     
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  14. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ski touring parties will need to BYO a sled laden full of bags of briquettes to most huts for multi night XC ski trips on the BHP this season.
     
  15. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes well Team Bears were pouring time in to other projects and the early snow fall put a spanner in our works ....so we didnot supply/cut etc etc anything on high plains this winter!
    The only exception being MacNamaras Hut(Dinner Plain )...where we cut some firewood for wood shelter.

    So ...go prepared ...a small bush saw would be an advantage.....or thro some briquettes onto the sled/toboggan !
     
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  16. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Bunnings are selling cheap Chinese made tomahawks for 10 clams. I always put one of those into my supply drops with some briquettes.
     
  17. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Impressive with its new paint ....apologies for personal indulgence here!
    But Team Bears hopes this new asset is being utilised as conditions bomb on the high plains.Just a bit sad not much wood is in there to power this up!
     
  18. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes the Team leader has done a fine job with the new wood burner but alas there is very little wood ready and available to burn for reviving the hypo thermic long distance XC skier.
     
  19. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well we left some resources there...chainsaw behind enemy lines of a few blocks so what ever was there was useable but they are probably been converted for warmth long ago!
     
  20. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    That imbecile installation at Watchbed Creek at least could have had protective vestibule/annex to shelter in during bad weather !Some where to have a bite to eat and a cuppa before going any which way!Those bus stops for the school buses would have been a better and more practical design than this monstrosity !
     
  21. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, I agree and the debacle of a 'shelter' at Watch bed creek is also like an ashtray on a motorcycle. Not much use at all . Both were designed by people , possibly wearing expensive suits in a city office , individuals who have never been to the BHP and have never been caught out in fertilizer weather up there.
     
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  22. ARitchie

    ARitchie Early Days

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    Finding Edmonsons or Johnstons hut in the dark with little to no experience of the area is asking for trouble. They are both ungroomed, pole lines go through trees at some point. If you want to leave midday Friday you are better off staying in Mt Beauty and leaving early morning.
     
  23. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Seeing the next snow pole with head torch when its like this will be very difficult.
     
  24. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    Hi everyone, thanks so much for your replies. Have been away from the thread for a few days but I really appreciate people taking the time to add their thoughts.

    As of yesterday, the most inexperienced of my party pulled out which now leaves just me and one other. Although not super experienced on skis he is an experienced hiker and very fit so I am not concerned about his ability.

    We were now planning on leaving Melbourne at 10am which should put us at Windy corner by 4pm. After reading a few of the older posts about Edmonsons I think I’d like to aim for that with a view to carry on to Ropers for Sat night.

    Regarding snow poles and lack of other navigational cues, after a very sketchy trip in fast deteriorating weather last year I went out and bought a Garmin GPS64s in the post season sales. At any cost, if we don’t make Edmonsons we can also stop and pitch anywhere on route.

    My only concern now is the lack of cover. I guess time will tell whether anything is left after the f##king r**n storm today, and whether any snow comes in behind it. I’ll probably wait until Thursday evening to get a report on whether we go or abandon.

    Before I go, two questions if I may:

    1. What do people think the expected timeframe needed to get to Edmonsons from Windy Corner?

    2. Has anyone been out to Ropers relatively recently? What is the condition of the hut and amenities, what do you think the likelihood of firewood might be?
     
  25. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    Another possibility if there is not great cover would be snowshoeing. Has anyone here done WC to Edmonsons, and onto Ropers that would care to comment on timeframes? Mr T, looking at you.
     
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  26. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    GPS
     
  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have taken snow shoe trekking people out to Edmondson's hut with heavy overnight packs to snow camp there and also on a different trip to Fitzgerald's hut. On snow shoes Ed.'s hut takes about 4 hours non stop. Often it is very exposed and stopping for a snack and a rest on Heathy Spur is not viable or wise.
    We arrived at Ed.'s hut feeling rather fatigued and glad to be out of the wind . Lunch inside the hut with hot tea , hot soup etc. was a real boon.
    Fitzgerald's hut takes more like 5 hours in snow shoes with a heavy pack. Again the weather was testing us on the way back to Watch bed creek with nasty 100 KPH gales making life a bit tougher than usual above the tree line , just following the pole lines back to the BHP road.
    This season once the snow becomes at least 50 cms deep across the BHP, I will ski out to both respectively on different days and return to Windy corner easily within 6 hours with a day pack skiing on BC XC skis with pattern bases.
    Last season I made it out to "The Park" on skinny skis . That was great fun!.
    I do wonder why I didn't learn to Nordic ski earlier in my life but better late than never.
    The OP would be better off waiting for some decent snow to arrive. I know I am .
     
  28. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    WC to Edmondsons direct across Heathy -2.5 to 3.5 hours if on patterned bases with few transitions.
     
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  29. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  30. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  31. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking like some snow on Thurs/Fri... but probably won’t be enough....
     
  32. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Take a tent and camp on Watchbed just below the gate on BR fire trail. Good sheltered skiing on the Nelse side as well as the back of Marum Point. If the weather is good you can then venture further during the day. You should not be heading out at night with the goal of making it to a particular place for shelter. Under 2 hours to WB creek. Expect to be walking on dirt not snow.
     
  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I was camping out at Roper's hut In late Jan. 2019. The Hut is in good order and there is dead fallen timber that could be turned into firewood in the area. I have wondered about skiing that area esp. the bowl above the hut that seems to be a wet land in green season. Skiing out to Timm's spur Lookout would be good in fine weather.
     
  34. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    On the plus side, with the weather we are having at the moment, you may well find that you don't even need the snow shoes! >.>
     
  35. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    Do you have an opinion on timeframe from Edmonsons to Ropers on snowshoes?

    Whilst I appreciate people’s warnings about not relying on making it to huts for the night, it really is a moot point. You should’t be anywhere on the BHP without a 4 season tent you can prop and pitch at any time if need be.
     
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  36. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    About half a day to Ropers following the road and pole line.
     
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  37. axellotta

    axellotta Hard Yards

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    From Edmonsons to Ropers or from WC to Ropers?
     
  38. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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  39. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    WC to Ropers
     
  40. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    On skis I should say.
     
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  41. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    But getting up an icy track along Watchbed ain't that fast!
     
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  42. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Gear up for the conditions- patterned bases, kicker skins, full skins, ski crampons... as needed.

    Wouldn’t want to do it in snowshoes....
     
  43. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Less time if cutting across following GPS waypoints.
     
  44. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep. Or if it's good weather go up Telemark slope and along the Hoppet route.

    Re Ropers: without the kindness of U.S. firewood will be pretty scarce; I used to take up a folding bow saw.
    The hut is a modern insulated one and if you get the fire going you won't need a snow bag - it gets pretty warm.
     
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  45. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Going to emulate your Nelse Tims trips this year hopefully
     
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  46. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cool.
    You feel remote out there.
     
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  47. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I will make it out to Roper's hut on skis this season in September or in 2020.The summit of Mt. Nelse can become very icy with wind blown boiler plate ice which is not great for skis. Micro spikes could work better for that section and click out of your skis and carry them a short way if need be. You could tow a sled full of briquettes!
     
  48. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ski crampons with tech bindings on metal-edged patterned bases with full length skins....

    Not breaking out the boot crampons and ice axe just yet....
     
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  49. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ed. hut to Roper's hut on snow shoes in half decent weather , I would guess it would take about 3 hours. If it is super windy it might take longer . The lack of snow might make Kahtoola Micro spikes a better option esp. if the surface is a bit icy but not very deep in terms of snow. Snow shoes are very slow going. Micro spikes are quicker and skis are way faster.
     
  50. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Spring skiing - have a second coffee and extra time over the long drop while you wait for the snow to soften.