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Route Suggestions: Summer Hiking in KNP

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Undies, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Am thinking about battling the flies in mid-Nov this year, but wanting to know the feasibility of some of the planned routes. Can the brains trust please chip in?

    Thinking:

    Day 1: Take the Thredbo chair up. Would like to turn right at the top and hike past Merrits, over the back into Charlotte's. Is that possible?
    From Charlotte's would like to hike to Porcupine Rocks to camp the night. Is there a trail that goes from Charlotte's to Porcupine Rocks?
    Day 2: Hike across to Blue Cow, then out the back of Guthega and up Twynam.
    Day 3: Wander the Sentinel, Crags, maybe throw in Blue lake as well, then camp near Townsend.
    Day 4: Morning jaunt up Kosci, back to Thredbo for a beer and a massage.

    Really Day 1 is the only consideration, as the rest should be pretty straightforward. If there's any thoughts on better itineraries, though, am all ears! Basically want to wander for 3 or 4 days, then finish at Kosci and head down for a beer.

    Starting and finishing in Thredbo would be easier than dropping the car there and then trying to get a taxi to Perisher to start things off, but am open to suggestions.

    Cheers!
     
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  2. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    we did a great trek a couple of years ago. @dsns could give deets
     
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  3. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks!

    @DidSurfNowSki do you have any thoughts re the above?

    Much appreciated!
     
  4. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Day 1 doable, no direct track from CP to Porcupine Rocks. I'd skirt the top of valley from Meritts to the Bullwheel/restaurant ruins, skip CP and continue north.
     
  5. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good tag, I was having serious brain fart this morning!!
     
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  6. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome! How easily navigable is the trip from Merrits past the Bullwheel and onwards? Are we talking frollicking through alpine meadows or bush-bashing with a machete?
     
  7. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is a marked XC route from Charlottes to Perisher that goes close to Porcupine Rocks. I have never done it in Summer, but I would be surprised if there is not at least a footpad.
     
  8. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks muchly, by the way!
     
  9. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ours was a nice leisurely loop of the main range walking track. Day 1 - head out of CP, cross the Snowy River and head up the hill. Get great views of the alpine lakes on the way to Wilkinson’s Creek where we overnighted. Day 2 - back onto the main range walking track to Rawsons Gap, head up to the top of Kosciusko. Head back to CP along the management track.
     
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  10. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    Flies wont be an issue in November. November is probably one of my favourite months to be up on the Main Range. All the snow and water everywhere makes it feel especially alpine.

    I have a few suggestions.

    Day 1:

    There is nothing wrong with taking the chair up but if you have the time, the walk along the Thredbo river and up Dead Horse Gap is beautiful. Seeing sub alpine turn to alpine is glorious.

    No dramas heading from the chair to Charlottes. I would go over Kangaroo Ridge to avoid the road and visit the old Restaurant and climb Mt Stillwell before descending. Off track but easy tread and easy to navigate (in good weather).

    The walk to Porcupine Rocks from Charlotte pass is ok. Its a bit boggy if you don't pick the right paths. There is no official track to the Rocks from that direction but if memory serves there is a footpad and pole line. I would skip this in favour of more time on the range.

    Day 2:

    Between Porcupine Rocks and Guthega is a bit boring in my opinion. Once again, I would spend more time on the Range.

    The walk from Guthega to Twynam is stunning and is the place I always take people to introduce them to the Main Range.

    I love going up to Guthega trig, across Consett Stephens Pass, up to Tate and over to Twynam. Such good walking.

    Illawong to Twynam is also top notch. Have a poke around and see if you can find the ruins of Twynam East hut ;)

    Day 3:

    Great idea. It’s worth dropping down to Albina for a gander if you have the time. I like to stand where the old lodge was and imagine how good it would be to have a warm place there in winter...

    Day 4:

    Perfect end to the walk!

    Extras:

    Some of the snowdrifts can be a little hazardous in November. The one near Mueller's pass has given me pause quite few times over the years.

    I wouldn't miss out on the area around Abbott peak and the area around Rams Head North and Rams Head. Also, seeing Club lake at level is awesome and you pop can over to Kunama Hutte ruin for a look.

    Here is a great little tool to plan walks in NSW - http://maps.ozultimate.com/?lat=-36.500340981030895&lng=148.2998968998436&zoom=14&id=1562645405335
     
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  11. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great advice, thanks!

    Based on this, I like the idea of a revised Day 1, which heads from Merrits to CP, then wanders towards Guthega and looks for a spot to pitch a tent somewhere along the way. Rather than go from CP and across the Snowy, is it possible to stick to the ridge line and follow your nose towards Guthega? That way we can save the lakes for the next day.

    Again, much appreciated!
     
  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    Have you hiked the Round Mtn. circuit in the KNP ?
     
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  13. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go via Paralyser options to head direct to Illawong or Back Perisher to Blue Cow.
     
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  14. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can't say I've heard of this! I can see Round Mountain, but where does the circuit go?
     
  15. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yah, actually did Paralyser a couple of years back. Was great, although the scrub bashing at the bottom may not be ideal for this trip. Hence was wondering if it's a little less adventurous coming down Guthries Ridge towards Illawong track?
     
  16. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You could rock hop down Spencers Ck ;)
     
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  17. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think that may be the way to go. I'd like to camp just past CP on Guthries, so then hopping down Spencers the next morning would work well. Just not sure how easy that is to do!
     
  18. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    It is not the way to go.
     
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  19. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty sure i've seen an old vehicle track down the eastern side of Spencers Creek. About 100m up the hill from the Creek itself.
     
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  20. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    10000 x agree
     
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  21. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    There is. Then it is relentless waist deep scrub. Tough walking.
     
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  22. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    One possibility is to outflank Perisher. There is a route from the Perisher XC trails down to Prussian Plain. If you hit the road where it crosses Prussian Creek there is a service trail up to the Smiggins-Guthega Link road. You can follow this to Guthega. IIRC there are a few pleasant meadows for camping and it is pleasant walking.
     
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  23. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahhh, great feedback re Guthries, folks! Will avoid.

    It's sounding more and more like I'll be doing a main range stroll, with a bit of a variation across from Merrits to CP to avoid the main drag (and associated mountain bikes). Throw in some Sentinel and Watson's crags, and we're pretty good!

    What are the chances of it still being too snowy in the second week of Nov? Am thinking the paths should be walkable by then...
     
  24. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I quite like the sound of this. Would another option be to stroll the ski runs of Perisher down to Guthega?
     
  25. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    Mixed bag. The eastern side of the hills can hold some serious drifts but nothing that can’t be managed or diverted.

    Here are some pics from early Nov 2017 to give you some idea. Every year is different of course.

     
  26. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty easy to walk up one of the Mt P T lines across to Guthega on the high traverse or the summer maintenance tracks.
     
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  27. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Any snow left then is typically packed and easily walkable in shoes.
     
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  28. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great pics! Yeah, figured a lot depends on how much of a base we get this year. At the current rate we'll be able to hike in August.... :(
     
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  29. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    There's nowhere Dunlop Volleys can't get to.....
     
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  30. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nah. This week is big.
     
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  31. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Please, let it be so! We're a little overdue....
     
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  32. Townsend

    Townsend One of Us

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    Have done the CP to Thredbo in reverse via the bull wheel. Lovely walk as long as you stay up high. We dropped down to early onto, what is winter is Conrod Straight, and we were in chest high scrub!
     
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  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    Round Mtn. Trail Head/ Round Mtn. Hut/ Tumut River crossing/ Farm Ridge(steep ascent)/Bogong Creek/O' Keefe's hut/Dershko's hut/ Day trip to Mt. Jagungal 's summit ( weather permitting)/Round Mtn. Fire trail/ Round Mtn. Car Park.
     
  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    Have you walked from Guthega Power Station to Valentine's hut and back via Horse Camp Hut?
     
  35. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I got stuck there on very slim cover one june long weekend in the dark. Had fun skiing it basically just jumping from snow covered bush to snow covered bushback in the dark. Thank fark for the summer grooming on supertrail and the incomplete piles of man made. Was a bit candide thorvex going from frozen to grass to frozen to grass. Bloody hard to stop going over the handlebars even when you know the grass is coming.
     
  36. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have you?
     
  37. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Undies, what you are planning is all very doable, in fact we did the same trip a couple of years ago albeit we started at Perisher.

    We walked Perisher to porcupine rocks, there is a footpad that follows the ski pole line from the rocks to Charlottes. We stayed at a lodge that night.

    The next day we followed the footpad up to Stillwell and then followed kangaroo ridge all the way to the top of Merrits, this was an easy walk. We then took the merrits trail down into the village and straight to the pub for lunch.

    The next day we got the chair up and followed the main range walk up Kosci and past Albina to the sentinel and blue lake, we then made a b line for the swinging bridge and onto Guthega. This was a long day but as we hiked lodge to lodge we didn’t have to carry a lot.

    We then followed the 4wd tracks from Guthega to blue cow and back to Perisher, this was a short day but that suited us as we head back to Thredbo for New Years.
     
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  38. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome!
     
  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    Have you hiked from Geehi Flats up Hannel's spur :-0 over to Wilkinson's Creek , up Mt. Kosci. and then over to Dead Horse Gap?. You need to do that KNP trek but wait for good green season weather.
     
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  40. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hannels is on the bucket list! But this trip will be a little more sedate than that. Am thinking lots of whiskey under the stars, rather than fighting back branches and seating like a mofo! :D
     
  41. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    My Next KNP green season trek will be Brandney's Gap Picnic ground to Pretty Plain hut.
     
  42. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    Odd choice for a walk. What makes you want to do it?

    You need to spend some time in Jagungal, south of the mountain, and off the roads. That’s where the magic is.
     
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  43. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Victorians don't do off the roads.
     
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  44. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    There is some off track walking required to reach Pretty Plain hut. That route does offer possible winter access to Grey Mare hut & Dershko's hut etc. and the surrounding area which could be useful for XC skiing somewhere in the future.
     
  45. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    The “off track” to Pretty Plain hut takes 15 mins from the road near the headwaters of Bulls Head creek. There is a footpad.

    Winter access to both Grey Mare Hut and Derschkos would be better from Munyang. The scrub above Pretty Plain is impenetrable and you would have to be very skilled and patient on skis to get over the range and down to the other side. The old Strumbo Trail is a thing of the past unfortunately. Even above the tree line it is mostly indistinct.

    If you are talking about access up the valley and then following Hell Hole creek trail, I would imagine snow to be pretty marginal in that area most of winter. You would need a decent fall to fill in the gaps.

    I suggested the area south of Jagungal because it is truly stunning and well worth a visit in both winter and summer. I personally believe it is the quintessential KNP experience. I am sure you would love it.
     
  46. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This ^^^^

    Albeit it’s probably closer to a thirty minute walk from Bullshead. That said if you look closely you will see the track we drove the dozer in to pretty plain so I wouldn’t call it off track!
     
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  47. zapruda

    zapruda One of Us

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    Such a nice job on the rebuild. Good stuff.
     
  48. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cheers, can’t take the credit though that belongs to others, it is one of my favourite huts!

    Also like the rebuild of Okeefes, I like the few subtle changes that were made and improved the hut.
     
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  49. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I agree with all the mid November being a good time to hike it, though quite often I would still be drifting at that time. The flies are not out yet, some decent drifts about, flowers doing their thing. IMO, up high is pretty easy, off track is not bad, with a few areas that are harder. As you get a bit lower it gets rougher, chest high scrub etc. Id kind of look at the lakes walk, with significant detours, as a really good spine for an enjoyable ramble.