Snow Camping

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by plink01, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. plink01

    plink01 First Runs

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    Hey guys im looking to do some camping in/near the snow this year to try and save some money on accommodation. I was wondering if anyone knew of any good spots that is within about half an hours drive of one of the Victorian resorts (Buller, Falls or Hotham). There is a bit of info on this site but its all a bit old so i thought i'd start a new thread. I have a landcruiser with a rooftop tent so ideally i'd like to set up close to my fire. I also have a swag if i cant get my car into the campsite. Im going to Hotham in 2 weeks and im gonna try camping at JB Plain but from what ive read i wont be able to get my car in and have to leave it at the car park. Im also gonna try Victoria Falls in Cobungra. If successfull im gonna try a week in kosciuszko at Island Bend. Yeah so does anyone know any other good spots??
     
  2. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    At JB you’ll be close enough to your car.

    Victoria falls in cobungra will just be camping in winter. No snow sticks down there.
     
  3. crackson

    crackson A Local
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  4. plink01

    plink01 First Runs

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    Hey thanks for the link. Thats a handy thread but it doesnt really address places to camp. Heaps of knowledge though, im unsure how the rooftop tent will go in extreme winds! I think im gonna take my swag and if the winds get nasty roll that out instead.
     
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  5. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

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    Mountain Creek Road, Tawonga puts you 40 or so minutes to Falls. Good water and you can pay for a shower at the caravan park. They still doing free showers at Q (Falls)? Roof top rear opening should get you into the camp area but there are logs to stop you driving in. Pretty close the tables and fireplace. We have had our side opener there several times. A swag would be handy if you don't want to pack up the tent each day but that does not take long anyway. Victoria Falls area is OK and you would be close to the car. Road is supposed to be dry weather only. Give Omeo PV a call to make sure it is open. Our tent is a Hannibal and has been in some pretty strong winds. The previous tent was OK as well and it was a cheapy. Just a bit more noisy and a lot less waterproof. You may need to sort out some firewood before you head. Both sites could be picked clean.
     
  6. CaptainC

    CaptainC Hard Yards

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    From Porepunkah you can head down the Buckland river road. There are a number of free campsite.
     
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  7. Barras

    Barras Hard Yards

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    If skiing at Hotham and staying in a tent i would camp at JB, if using a roof top setup i would stay at Vic falls.
     
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  8. plink01

    plink01 First Runs

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    Hey thanks for the replies. Yeah i think im going to go to Hotham and try one night in each of jb and vic falls, unless i love jb! The closness to the resort looks great. Im going to bring a ton of wood with me and overpack with blankets and clothes. Im super excited, i just hope the weather stays ok. I bought some massive pegs and some more guy ropes today incase. I think i should be ok.
     
  9. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Don’t camp on the lovely looking flat trail through JB plain or you’ll be woken up by a groomer through your tent.

    Do take toilet paper for the long drop.

    The hut & fire place is a little off the road so take a sled or tabboggon to shift fire wood from car to hut.

    Don’t sleep in the hut, you won’t get any sleep.
     
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    For camping near Buller / Stirling you can camp at Carter's road.It is peaceful enough with a pit loo and a water source nearby but flat camp sites are hard to find there. Further away from Mirimbah but much nicer is Sheepyard flat.
    For Hotham and esp. Dinner Plain XC skiing JB Hut is the go. I am heading up there next month. I know the area well from bushwalking and camping there.
    For Falls Ck. ,Mountain Creek picnic ground , Tawonga is fine for camping.
    For camping near Harrietville, the Old Harrietville Road Bridge area past Bright has camp sites by the Ovens River. The camp site at Smoko is very rough for 2WD access in winter.
    Island Bend in the KNP is a decent spot for camping. Be well equipped for camping in the cold and icy winter driving conditions.
    The OP mentioned taking extra blankets etc. . I would recommend getting a top shelf snow camping sleeping bag made of duck down and a properly insulated sleeping mat or you will not have a pleasant time at all .
     
    #10 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Jul 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  11. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

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    Not required. The swag and the rooftop tent have a mattress which is more than adequate and blankets or doona will do just fine. Car camping is different to snow camping. You can carry more warm stuff from home.
     
  12. Ubiquitous Steve

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    Bogong Village over by Junction of the two rivers....a little picnic area..sheltered with toilet and picnic tables tables ...gas bbqs I think.....for single night in tent or in van it would be ok....very beautiful scenery and roadway is good.I don't think you are allowed to camp for more than a night without causing trouble for caretaker of village.....
     
  13. Ubiquitous Steve

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    The sthn end of the lake ....is where a nice little picnic ground sits....some conifers exotics grass very well sheltered in a protected pocket of lush vegetation .
     
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  14. Dr_Phil

    Dr_Phil Hard Yards

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    Any comments on how popular it is to camp at JB Plain? Like is it unusual to find someone camped there, 50/50 someone else is camped, almost certain someone else will be there, almost certain someone else will be there and there might might be up to n tents set up? Thanks for any opinions (start of August is when I'm thinking of checking it out)
     
  15. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us
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    Ha! People with hero passes stay there...
     
  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy Renormed
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    There's not much car camping near Falls. Road 24 is for staff parking. You could possibly use one of the power line access tracks but it'd be close to the road.
     
  17. Dr_Phil

    Dr_Phil Hard Yards

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    Like, for the whole season??? It's become a village??
    Usually our camping trip is to ski out from Falls to Edmondson's hut or Tawonga hut for 2 or 3 nights. We were thinking of doing something different this winter. I've read people's descriptions of camping in the NSW's campgrounds and it doesn't sound quite as peaceful as Tawonga hut :) I'm trying to get an idea of where JB Plains fits between these two extremes.
     
  18. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us
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    I know people with hero passes who stay there (I think they are mainly weekend warriors). Last year they told me the hut was pretty well occupied most times they were there.
    Edit: as hinted at, take tent else rats
     
  19. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Lots of tent space at JB plain, even with a bus load of school kids,
     
  20. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper Addicted

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    The campsite @ smoko. well just past smoko - was closed off last time i was there - approx 2 weeks ago.
    looked like they were grading the road or something?
    might be all better now, but just a heads up.
     
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  21. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    JB Hut and JB plain have much appeal to me. Of course I would just be cooking food and drying out gear in the hut. I like my snow camping set up .It is warm, dry, private, clean and quiet.
     
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  22. Parallax

    Parallax Hard Yards

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    JB plain is quite popular in winter. Last time I camped there on an August friday night I was the only tent when I went to sleep. When I got up the next morning about 25 tents had appeared overnight. Most people camp between the carpark and the hut, if you want some space, bring xc skis or snowshoes and go a few hundred meters past the hut.
     
  23. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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  24. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Just needs a moonboot in the foreground and id feel like i was there.
     
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  25. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    A visitor.

    A land penguin we think?!
     
  26. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    One of uber steve's mates?
     
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  27. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    It couldn't be a penguin. It's too fat to fly.
     
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  28. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    Now we’re confused.
    Can some penguins fly?
    Obviously not a land penguin.
     
  29. Kletterer

    Kletterer Still looking for doughnuts
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    It aint nothin but a lil ol lint pickin weasel.
     
  30. Slowman

    Slowman Addicted
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    If it attacks just play possum.
     
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  31. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Auk, auk.
     
  32. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    How packed out is the hut in terms of people warming up in front of the hut fireplace, people drying out ski gear and people cooking inside the hut ? I am asking about a JB Hut type Saturday night in August.
    I know the area well from Summer camping.
     
  33. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    You’ll have company for sure.

    But snow is dry so you shouldn’t need a drying fire & all that shamozzle. Quick
    Cook up outside your tent & to bed after a day of chook footing in paradise.
     
  34. Parallax

    Parallax Hard Yards

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    Saturday nights in August the hut is quite busy. I wouldn't recommend it a drying room or kitchen on the Saturday unless you like a crowd. Different story on the Friday night, particularly if you get in early.

    I've successfully dried gear after a day of very wet snow/r**n/sago in the car. Just crank the heating to full o the drive down from Hotham, then leave the car running with all the windows down a crack for a further 20 minutes when you get to JB. Turn the car off and role the windows up and leave it for an hour, then give it another hit with the heater.

    As for cooking, outside your tent as skifree suggested if the weather is nice, or there are a few other huts and public shelters in the resort that are ghost towns after 5:30pm.

    If you're after the easy option, jump on the skinny skis and shoot down the trail to the Dinner plain pub for dinner. From memory its only about 10-15 minutes. The ski back up the hill to JB gets you nice and warm for bed. If you want to have a shower you can pay 45 gazillion dollars for one at the Dinner Plain Onsen.
     
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  35. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    After a week on Feathertop I walked down the Bungalow, got in the car, drove straight to the Onsen, paid my 45 gazillion dollars. It was stupendous.

    They're probably still cleaning it.
     
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  36. JM72

    JM72 Hard Yards

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    So...... Just thinking for next year, is Island Bend just first in and best dressed? Is there a toilet? Shower? And are you allowed camp fires ? Also what sort of access if heavy snow?
    Cheers
     
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  37. CaptainC

    CaptainC Hard Yards

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  38. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    Yes

    And toilet only, primitive, take your own TP.
     
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  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Using snow balls instead of dunnie paper is the way to go when snow camping and using a pit loo in the snow.
     
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  40. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    I might camp at Island bend in Sept. And take the oversnow service to C.P. For the day.
     
  41. Slowman

    Slowman Addicted
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    First in best dressed for what are very basic sites. No showers. Fires are ok. Take some fold up chairs/table and a water supply. The road is cleared but still unsealed for the final bit up to Guthega. Take chains and a spade or better yet a 4WD if you have one to take and snow is in the forecast. Can get windy so peg any tents well and give some thought to falling branches. I learned about this the hard way many years ago when a falling Island Bend branch amputated the front bumper off a Mitsubishi Magna - mind you it was such a crappy car that my mate thought the arboreal surgery was an improvement.
     
  42. Dr_Phil

    Dr_Phil Hard Yards

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    So plink, did you do it? How'd it go?
     
  43. JM72

    JM72 Hard Yards

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    Cheers for the info
     
  44. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    The Guthega Road itself will get cleared, but I’m and about the campground will not. As others have said, chains and/or 4WD if a reasonable Bit of snow is required.

    It’s a great spot.
     
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  45. Greybeard

    Greybeard Hard Yards

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    The camping at Island bend is rather spread out. There's basically two areas - the old township up high, and the industrial zone down near the river - with other areas in between. If you want late afternoon sun and the wind is low then up high is nice. Down by the river can be a bit more sheltered and nicerer - but less sun. Oh the decisions us poor northerners have to put up with - and there are two dunnies! (but no need for snow poles). If a serious dump of snow is forecast then stay up high (or be prepared to use chains (or 4WD). No water available, but I use the river water for washing. Its might be OK to drink, but is downstream from Guthega.
     
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  46. plink01

    plink01 First Runs

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    Hey mate yeah it was awesome!! We went to JB Plane campground and cheated a bit and slept in the hut Friday night. There was a few other guys in it and we had a big fire going and it was toasty as. I knew there was going to be snow at JB Plane but i didnt think there would be that much!! I still think we would have been ok, it was just pretty intimidating setting up camp on a few foot of snow and we pussied out and took the easy option. There was a few other tents set up though so other people were doing it. The next night we camped at Victoria Falls. It was really good, it was minus 7 and ive never experianced cold like that. Water bottles and my water tank in my car completly froze so we had to boil river water the next day. I stayed in the rooftop tent and it went well, i had way more condensation then i was expecting though. My tent has a few vents but next time i think i will leave a window completly open. I was in a long sleeve shirt, trackies, socks, a standard sleeping bag and i wrapped myself in my double doona from home and i was plenty warm. the second any skin was exposed though you definately felt it! I will definately be doing it again. It is hard the next morning packing up though, everything is stiff/frozen and doesnt want to open or close! I thought my fingers were gonna snap off packing up the tent and tying the swag back on! My mate did fine in his swag ontop of a blow up mattress. The only thing is we had absoloutly perfect weather, it could get real interesting if it was seriously windy or raining!
     
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  47. neilmny

    neilmny Hard Yards

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    "everything is stiff/frozen and doesnt want to open or close"
    If your having trouble with car doors freezing shut put a bit of cooking oil around the seals.
     
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  48. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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    Packing up a camp site in snow/ frost is easier if you are wearing rubber kitchen gloves. It is good to hear there is plenty of snow at JB Plain. I plan to snow camp at least three nights there and XC ski a lot!