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Question Snow at Keppel's Hut

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Total Whiteout, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    Hey everyone

    Planning on using Keppel's Hut in winter as an overnight base to ski a few days at Lake Mountain (and so avoiding the $50 parking fee, long queues and having to drive back and forth from Marysville).

    Know it regularly snows around the hut and that they lock the gate in winter at the start of Keppel's Hut 4WD track (there's two gates actually - one at the keppel's hut track / upper taggerty rd turn off and one at the lady talbot rd / upper taggerty rd junction - not 100% sure which one they lock).

    We're planning to drive the car to the locked gate and walk the 2 or 3km up to the hut then head up east boundary track to lake mountain. Went up this weekend with mates for a recognisance / 'dry run' (though it pissed down with rain most of the time) and it all seems fairly manageable.

    Just wondering if anyone knows how low down the road it usually snows. Do they ever get much snow much below the hut or the gates?
     
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  2. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Over to you Teckel...
     
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  3. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    A friend and I went to Keppels hut last summer( Jan. '16 ) to suss it out as a sneaky way to evade fees in white season at Lake Mtn.
    You can come in from Buxton or from Marysville. The road may well be closed much closer to either towns at various gated points well before you get anywhere near the hut. The dirt road turns to impassable fertilizer in wet weather. A real high clearance 4 WD with all terrain tyres would the go in winter.
    Be prepared to walk much more than 2-3 kms. Did I mention MUD?.Take chains too.If you ring PV , VICROADS or DSE ( or whatever they are calling themselves this week) a few days before your mission then you should be able to ascertain whether the road from either end is open at all.There is a dunny and a stream nearby and the hut is not a bad one either . It was rebuilt after the Marysville fires.
     
  4. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  5. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    It does snow at the hut but below that it is marginal. One dude took his Mtn. Bike and his snow board and took off from Marysville. He managed to slide down some slushy mud , and waded /slogged it on foot through quite a bit of winter mud that was not bicycle friendly.There is a video somewhere on the interwebby of his trip.
     
  6. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another way of getting into Lake Mt is via the old overgrown track that comes in the back door so to speak via Camberville then along to Winter gate a bit of road bashing then a ski thro around bushes on old track..would need to look at maps cos been many years since I successfully did this ...a new challenge for Mr.T to Suss out?
     
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  7. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Quite often in winter, there is snow down to Keppels Hut. It largely depends on the weather - snow to low levels - you're guaranteed it, until it rains or warms slightly. A lot of people ski or snowshoe to and from Keppels.
    Coming via Marysville, you're likely to have an 8 or 9km walk in from your car. But if you go via Buxton and over Mt Margaret, you're only likely to have a 2 or 3 km walk in. Bear in mind that if there's been very heavy falls, that the route over Mt Margaret may be difficult. Whatever, carry chains and be prepared to use them. They're not compulsory, but could still be necessary.
    And remember your local friendly ski hire ;)
     
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  8. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    Thanks guys. Me and two mates went up last weekend for a reconnaissance. We went up via Lady Talbot drive from Marysville and parked the car about 500m up from the Keppel's Hut track gate and walked the last couple kms to the hut, then headed up to Boundary Hut ruins to check out east boundary track as well. Road sure was muddy. Teckel, when you say we'd have to walk 8 or 9km if we came that way in winter is that just because the road becomes too muddy to drive up that low down, or do they lock the gate even lower down than the Keppel's Hut track gate in winter? As far as I could tell from the map and other things I've read so far, that's the point where the SC is.
     
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  9. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are several SC gates on the Marysville side - one about 7 km from where you parked your car.
     
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  10. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    and do they shut the gate / road is the same spot every year or does it vary?
     
  11. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fairly certain they do. Wait till the morning when I'm back at the shop with access to the maps etc.
     
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  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    There are a number of gates as you travel towards the hut from Marysville. Which ones are locked in winter varies , or so I hear. Looking at the Rooftops Rubicon area map one can see other ways to get 4-6 kms from the hut in winter but again seasonally closed gates block any closer access from McFadyen track for example.I may suss out that route before daylight savings concludes at the end of March 2017.
    Because the Rubicon state forest is being clear fell logged into oblivion , many roads in the area are in reasonable shape for dry 2 WD access because effing huge 18 wheeler semi articulated lorries are taking the Old growth Mountain ash trees out of what is left of the forest on these roads and they are being sent to Japan to make paper. This gets my blood boiling. The Rubicon State forest or what is left of it is beautiful and should not be chopped down.
     
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  13. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    any luck Teckel?
     
  14. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The first gate you'll come across if you come from the Mt Margaret side is on Keppels Hut Track - so about a 2 km walk in. Whereas coming from the Marysville side the track will be closed about 750m after The Beeches. The other gates I was thinking of are on Camerons Cascade Tk & Upper Taggerty Rd, so won't affect you.
     
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  15. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    In full snow season you will need wheel chains for the Mt . Margaret road .
     
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  16. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    are there places to park near the gate on mt margaret rd? like is the road wide enough?
     
  17. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Obviously Lake Mt is pricing itself off the market.What will be the going rate for winter 2017..
     
  18. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    But the less petrol should offset that.
     
  19. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  20. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    What r we up to now ?Have we hit the $50 barrier yet.What is the tipping point at which customers decide to give it a miss.
    What is the comparison for sightseeing offered by Mt Donna Buang..
    At what cost of entry will customers take the Warburton turnoff for their day of snow ball activity..?
     
  21. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    How much does it cost take the family to see a movie in a cinema?
     
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  22. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    think its still $53 a car from memory. not too bad for a full car but still a drag.
     
  23. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    and yeh that's probably what it costs to take a family to the movies these days.
     
  24. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If there's snow on Mt Margaret Rd and it's a weekend, watch out for dogs out for a play in the snow. :)
     
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  25. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    wild dogs? sled dogs?
     
  26. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pet dogs. Siberian huskies, malamutes etc. Because it (Mt Margaret) is state forest, a lot of people take their dogs there in the winter for a romp in the snow. Sometimes, there's sleds. (I put the dog clubs onto it about 10 years ago)
     
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  27. neilmny

    neilmny Addicted

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    $53 is a lot less for a car full of XC skiers than it used to be when the access was $20.00 per car and the trail fees were $11.00 per skier and that was 20 years ago.
     
  28. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    Sure. I'm not really arguing that it's that affordable or bad value. Just like the idea of spending a few nights at Keppel's Hut.
     
  29. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am all for winter trips /white season trips to Keppell's hut but access is the issue. Be prepared to walk quite a way in deep mud to get there.
     
  30. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry a bit late on the pick up here.

    Gotta love the mountain roads maintenance policy here in Vic.

    We'll spend thousands maybe tens of thousands of dollars so logging trucks can send magnificent old trees (& some not so great) to Japan for photocopy and toilet pape, with little value add to the economy. Meanwhile recreational roads that encourage tourism and backcountry recreation (hence need for accomodation and supplies) go years without a cracker spent (hence tracks turn into mud and rivulet).

    And yet the Greens are blamed for this sorry state of affairs. I reckon logging does more to exclude or discourage people from enjoying the bush than anything the 'extreme' Greens aim for.

    ...back to main topic!
     
  31. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    So that explains why we have such good access to Camp Ck Gap,Mulhauser Saddle Camp and Big River Saddle.???
    Team Bears just travelled from Mitta to Tawonga via Mt Ck and that forest road is in great shape probably due to the hardwood logging industry.....oh we forgot to mention the Hollow Way which is now a 4 season freeway thanks to up keep required for hardwood logging.....May be the "Greens " need to do a bit of track clearing themselves ..............

    And West Kiewa Logging Road also....provides access to Spring Saddle and into the West Kiewa up to Diamantina Horse Yards??

    Perhaps if Parks Vic got some Earth Moving Professionals and spent less on silly consultants developing stupid Iconic Walk Programs...we would see a vast improvement in roads and trails and tracks...Bears say one Bulldozer operator is worth twenty of its head office staff!

    Remember it's a strategy to keep people out of National Parks by keeping roads in their existing poor condition......
     
    #31 Ubiquitous Steve, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  32. stansi

    stansi One of Us

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    @snowgum Come in spinner, gees You caught one there.:fishing::fishing::fishing::fishing:
     
  33. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hi Steve and Stansi, nothing to disagree about here - logging leads to some good access roads (I just came back the Howitt & Moroka Roads over Easter - with a 4WD trip up to Mt Wellington).

    Although as walker/skier/ camper/come naturalist etc... these good roads often come at the expense of considerably degraded forest (yes much grows back!) in which I have interest in walking/skiing/driving through. In fact one of the most exacerbating walks I've partaken in Vic is up Mt Bullfight from the Northern (Snobs Ck?) approach. Literally fields of abandoned logs often more than a metre high to be climbed over. Once big beautiful trees felled and burned and not even used for timber or paper (too many for seeding!!) plus the odd blackberry thicket etc. I only gained pleasant walking (few downed trees) once I gained the snow gum line.

    I'm not afraid to walk off track (dodge bushes) but it's sad to see such waste in area that prior to logging, could have been linked up with Torbrek & Lake Mt to provide a decent overnight sub-alpine walk - maybe some 25-30 kms. And as our viable logging areas diminish, who's going to want to walk/visit/camp in fields of coupes?

    Now maybe Bullfight is an extreme example? Who knows? But I do believe we're not using our forests well or responsibly when clear-felled en masse. Hell we even have logging within 50-100m of popular tourist routes like the Mt St. Gwinear & Lake Mtn Tourist roads & along lower segments of the AAWT and just outside the Mt Stirling ski trail system. We also used to log just a few hundred m from the Gt Ocean Rd - our UK visitors to ring with us thought we were mad!)

    Do why on earth should we spend our money (ski, walk, camp, drive, nature-study etc...?) to see logging coupes when we can go elsewhere on the planet. While not perfect, it's hard to see logging on the (admittedly) higher-altitude NSW ski fields.

    (Yes it's hard to believe some my great & great, great uncles were Gippsland timber fellers isn't it?)

    As for PV - don't look to me to defend them, admittedly they run pretty lean these days. But judged by the state of the Mt Wellington 4wD track (& notes of problems near the King Billy areas et al), I can believe they're actively discouraging visitation via inaction. (Although perhaps if we had Jeffs old 4wd levy (say $100 per v p.a), we'd see more track improvements?

    But hey I don't really care if I'm labeled a Greenie - if that's means I want a liveable planet for my 8 year old son to inherit do be it. I'm also very simpathetic to all the workers in the timber industry and the downstream businesses. Half my family are Gippslanders (but not into timber) and I wonder what they'll all do as the areas of log-grade (not cheapo paper fodder for Japan) trees rapidly diminish (& lets be honest - large percentages have burned these last 15 years).

    But these areas will need to transition like the 10,000s of workers in the vehicle sector (very sad year for them!)

    However I acklowledge we do need some high grade timber in this country. If I had my way I'd terminate he pathetic pulp contract, and send some of this allocation to Heyfield where there's considerable value add for Victoria. I guess I'll be told the timber is unsuitable??

    Anyway agree to disagree lads - enjoy your ski, bush whatever.

    And keep up the good work, Steve. - A shame PV / DELWP don't have 10 of you on the go!

    Snowgum.
     
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  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    "They cut all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum and they charged us a dollar and half just to see 'em, don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til its gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot".
    Joni Mitchell.
     
  35. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Touché

    (QED)
     
  36. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting observations, SG, and agree with you on a number of issues. I'll just add how surprised I was recently, when camping near North Cascades Creek behind MSG, to be awoken first thing by the sounds of heavy machinery. The log trucks were barrelling down the wrong side of the Thompson Valley road as usual on the way up, but this activity must have been really close to bb nat park. More old growth forests off to the paper mill. No respite.
     
  37. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Make sure you take pictures of the clear fell logging that you witness and send it to the so called Environment Minister for the State of Victoria. I have done that and sent a letter to her saying the State's conservation legislator ( the State govt. of Vic. ) also has vested financial interest in the Govt. backed logging firm that is doing all of this. Therefore it is like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.
     
  38. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sure thing MT - Victoria just is like Tassie (has a minister for defoliation).
     
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  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Back to Keppel's hut. Since the Team leader and I have taken an interest in keeping the foot track open, from Keppel's Hut to The LM hut ruins ski trail access on foot has improved. The winter gate coming up from Mt. Margaret road is locked at Lady Talbot road for the June to Nov. period. The walk from the gate to the hut from that side is 6.2 kms. I plan to go back up there in a week or so. I shall report back.
     
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  40. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ambled up from the locked Lady Talbot Drive gate at the junction with Keppels to Lake Mountain via Keppel Hut this Sunday 01/12 to celebrate the start of summer. Lovely walk up and back. A spot of rain and even some snow!

    Tip for those needing shelter during green season at the main Lake Mountain Resort Complex - while it’s all locked up after hours, the toilet entrance lobby of the main building remains accessible - I popped in to get out of the rain and heat some soup, and waved at the security camera!

    On the way up bumped into @Ubiquitous Steve who was cutting through fallen trees across the track. Sterling effort!

    And a big thanks to @teckel for the chat & map! In the early afternoon- Always good to pause on the way through Narbethong and pop into https://www.mysticmountainsskihire.com.au/

    Keppel’s track is a lovely friendly walk, but it strikes me as a less than attractive access route to Lake Mountain in snow season.... unless in a good year there’s awesome snow all the way from the Mt Margaret access point.

    But that begs the question- what would one rather be doing elsewhere when snow conditions were that good! Just stirring the possum here....

    Admittedly Keppel’s hut (the third on the site) is a lovely spot.
     
  41. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The gates on Lady Talbot should be open by now! I thought they were meant to be open for cup weekend. I'll give them a call. Always good to see you Chaeron :thumbs:
     
  42. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good to see you up there....we like folk using this track.Its reasonably popular over summer....always gives me a shock when I look up and see a person waiting to go past!Let Mr T know how much stuff he needs to cut above my foray 100meters up the steep hill...that will help him to get the job done.Yes they need a spot that you can shelter in green season when you are walking into the resort entry.Weather was a bit challenging for Team Bears on Sunday and we pushed ourselves to complete the job even when we were getting tired.....