Telemark Phat

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It wasn't your final resting place thank goodness but it beat lying in the snow waiting for rescue. I looked after a 12yr old on a BC trip with his uncle in 2013. My group and I was enjoying a stay at Illawong Hut. We were skiing back there when we found them mid-afternoon. Oscar was lying in the snow, his uncle was very anxious.

Oscar had landed on his head going off a little kicker they had made and he had bad neck pain. His uncle had activated an EPIRB. I had a mate go to their tent and bring back a mat and sleeping bag. We carefully excavated under him and got him into the bag while I kept his neck stable.
The chopper took a couple of hours to arrive from Canberra after refilling in Cooma and couldn't land. We were on boggy terrain. Oscar was winched away.
It was getting dark and much colder by then but we were only a half hour from the hut.

Happily we found out later he didn't have a broken neck or spine damage. Some muscle damage and strained ligaments but a full recovery was the prognosis. Note his uncle told us he'd fallen on his head on a trampoline just two weeks before. The lad needs to rotate faster!

His uncle had wisely taken out ambulance cover for them both for the trip...just in case. Something to consider, are you covered? Air ambulance rescues are otherwise very expensive, even more than buying petrol get to and BC entry points.
Funily enough I didn't pay a cent for my Kosci misadventure. Only Cooma hospital asked for my medicare details. No one asked me for my health insurance details. No one sent me a bill.
 

climberman

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Not true, and not always relevant. When setting off an EPIRB you don't "know" if you have gotten through. If you are in a situation where there is data but it's unsafe to speak, you can easily see if the message has been seen at the other end (think home intruder and someone is hiding. I can use a messaging app, and it has read receipts.

Likewise in the survivalist scenario, the common furphy goes around of "change your voicemail if you have no coverage" - but if you have no coverage then you cannot make the connection to change it. At least if such a service existed there would be a *chance* that the message would get through.
I don’t get what you’ve written.
 

nezumi

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I don’t get what you’ve written.

You were saying that a text based method of communication with emergency services was pointless, right?

  • If someone breaks into my home with the intent of causing my physical harm, then making a voice call to get the police is a high risk, as the intruder could hear me and find me if I was successfully hiding. If I was able to text instead then it would be safer.
  • If someone was perpetrating an act of domestic violence, then being able to text message rather than call would be safer. It would avoid scenarios where people call emergency services for pizza:
  • Messaging services like WhatsApp, Messenger etc can show you when the person on the other end has read your message, so you know if it has been received just like a call.

  • The "survival" scenario is based off this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cellphone-change-voicemail-greeting/
    If you attempt to send a text message while you are out of range of a tower, your phone will "hold" that message until you get reception. Given the short nature of an actual SMS message, the length of time that a solid connection needs to be made is minimal. As a result, if you have a scenario where you have a phone and cannot get consistent reception but can get intermittent reception, you would be able to send a text message out far more readily than you would be able to make a phone call and go through the standard procedures needed by emergency services.

By no means am I saying that this should be the primary method of communicating with emergency services, but it should be an *option*.
 
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KylePee

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You were saying that a text based method of communication with emergency services was pointless, right?

  • If someone breaks into my home with the intent of causing my physical harm, then making a voice call to get the police is a high risk, as the intruder could hear me and find me if I was successfully hiding. If I was able to text instead then it would be safer.
  • If someone was perpetrating an act of domestic violence, then being able to text message rather than call would be safer. It would avoid scenarios where people call emergency services for pizza:
  • Messaging services like WhatsApp, Messenger etc can show you when the person on the other end has read your message, so you know if it has been received just like a call.

  • The "survival" scenario is based off this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cellphone-change-voicemail-greeting/
    If you attempt to send a text message while you are out of range of a tower, your phone will "hold" that message until you get reception. Given the short nature of an actual SMS message, the length of time that a solid connection needs to be made is minimal. As a result, if you have a scenario where you have a phone and cannot get consistent reception but can get intermittent reception, you would be able to send a text message out far more readily than you would be able to make a phone call and go through the standard procedures needed by emergency services.

By no means am I saying that this should be the primary method of communicating with emergency services, but it should be an *option*.

Your pizza comment is another reason it’s a ‘challenge’. The rise of mobile phones already caused enough pocket dials, enabling text present many and varied issues. There are certainly some genuine use cases where it could assist, but presently the case against is stronger.

In the interim, if you want to work out an emergency alerting method, you can establish some trusted contacts - partner, sibling, mate. And discuss their role if they get a 000 text from you. They can act as your relay, and if you’ve given them some info beforehand, will be able to also answer many of the extra questions- how equipped are they, do they have any other medical conditions, are they with others, yada yada

Epirbs and the like give an easy SOS button and if that’s what you want you can buy into that option (cost is a good GM hurdle for serious use). Beyond that, emergency services want to have a 2 way discussion that gets them the info they need, and allows many pieces of info to be checked.
 
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climberman

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You were saying that a text based method of communication with emergency services was pointless, right?
No.
I'm saying that for an initial emergency response out on the Main Range, voice is where you can be certain you have connected with someone who can respond.

If I pulled the trigger on a PLB because I or someone I',m with broke their leg, I would pull the trigger AND call 000 (and possibly the nearest Ski Patrol or cop shop) to say 'hi, I'm climberman and my party just pulled the PLB trigger and we are at xxx and the problem is yyy' and then ask them all that future communication be via text message to preserve battery life.
 

climberman

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You were saying that a text based method of communication with emergency services was pointless, right?

  • If someone breaks into my home with the intent of causing my physical harm, then making a voice call to get the police is a high risk, as the intruder could hear me and find me if I was successfully hiding. If I was able to text instead then it would be safer.
  • If someone was perpetrating an act of domestic violence, then being able to text message rather than call would be safer. It would avoid scenarios where people call emergency services for pizza:
  • Messaging services like WhatsApp, Messenger etc can show you when the person on the other end has read your message, so you know if it has been received just like a call.

  • The "survival" scenario is based off this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cellphone-change-voicemail-greeting/
    If you attempt to send a text message while you are out of range of a tower, your phone will "hold" that message until you get reception. Given the short nature of an actual SMS message, the length of time that a solid connection needs to be made is minimal. As a result, if you have a scenario where you have a phone and cannot get consistent reception but can get intermittent reception, you would be able to send a text message out far more readily than you would be able to make a phone call and go through the standard procedures needed by emergency services.

By no means am I saying that this should be the primary method of communicating with emergency services, but it should be an *option*.

But I agree with the the stuff you've posted in a non 'I broke my leg skiing at Lake Albina' context :)
 
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KylePee

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You were saying that a text based method of communication with emergency services was pointless, right?

  • If someone breaks into my home with the intent of causing my physical harm, then making a voice call to get the police is a high risk, as the intruder could hear me and find me if I was successfully hiding. If I was able to text instead then it would be safer.
  • If someone was perpetrating an act of domestic violence, then being able to text message rather than call would be safer. It would avoid scenarios where people call emergency services for pizza:
  • Messaging services like WhatsApp, Messenger etc can show you when the person on the other end has read your message, so you know if it has been received just like a call.

  • The "survival" scenario is based off this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cellphone-change-voicemail-greeting/
    If you attempt to send a text message while you are out of range of a tower, your phone will "hold" that message until you get reception. Given the short nature of an actual SMS message, the length of time that a solid connection needs to be made is minimal. As a result, if you have a scenario where you have a phone and cannot get consistent reception but can get intermittent reception, you would be able to send a text message out far more readily than you would be able to make a phone call and go through the standard procedures needed by emergency services.

By no means am I saying that this should be the primary method of communicating with emergency services, but it should be an *option*.

OK, watched your video now, slightly different context to my earlier response. People are calling 000 for all sorts of non life threatening medical emergencies or civil disagreements and it's a big problem. Opening up to text is a recipe for more of this nonsense, and then how do they triage those calls for actual emergencies?

Now, important note - don't farking pay any attention to how Murica handle 911 and radio dispatch. You'll see all sorts of stuff that doesn't happen in Aus. Mostly in USA, emergency services are a municipal service, and 911 call taking is done at a local level, often by the same operators who work the radios with the local police and firies - that's why that guy is call a dispatcher.
In Aus, when you call 000, the first person you speak to is a Telstra operator and they will ask, "Police, Fire or Ambulance, which town or suburb". AFTER that, you will then reach an operator for the service in the state that you require. In some states like WA or NSW, this is likely to be a direct employee of the ESO, and often someone with actual service experience. In Vic, you'll get the central outsourced agency. You might get someone with local knowledge, or you might get someone at the other end of the state. Some of these people are in the same room as the radio operators, some are in a different location. They are able to get information from the 000 call via their system but often wont actually talk to each other.
You have the added advantage in recent years that when you actually call 000, there is an advanced location service which will give the ESOs a good idea of your location using phone and service data. You should also download and use the Emergecy Plus (000) app if possible, which will give multiple methods of location identification - lat/long, what3words, address

1655443144790.png
 

Xplora

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Ambulance dispatch in Vic has been amazing in my experience. In a real emergency you will get a call back from a paramedic or you may be transferred to one on your initial call. Waiting for the helicopter I have received numerous calls at regular intervals requesting patient updates. Police are the control agency for search and rescue in Vic so I have a direct number for the Police radio room that covers the mountains I play in. That is where a 000 call for Police would be sent. Only had to use it once for an emergency but it worked well. I was talking to the radio operator on the phone who was talking to the local police on the way.
 

ecowain

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Worth noting, at least in the blue mountains NSW, that if we are in a remote location requiring urgent assistance, I have been advised that it is best to request police not ambulance if on a voice call.

This then diverts to the fantastic blue mtns police rescue squad, as well as ambos, and gets things underway much much faster. At least once whilst on the initial call I’ve been directly patched thru to local mates in the squad who were monitoring in real time.

Also, when I’ve utilised an SOS on inreach, I’ve then received texts from local emergency services, not just GEOS.
 

seak

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Worth noting, at least in the blue mountains NSW, that if we are in a remote location requiring urgent assistance, I have been advised that it is best to request police not ambulance if on a voice call.

This then diverts to the fantastic blue mtns police rescue squad, as well as ambos, and gets things underway much much faster. At least once whilst on the initial call I’ve been directly patched thru to local mates in the squad who were monitoring in real time.

Also, when I’ve utilised an SOS on inreach, I’ve then received texts from local emergency services, not just GEOS.
What does patched mean?
What is GEOS?
 

ecowain

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What does patched mean?
What is GEOS?
“Patched in” meaning the rescue crew were brought into the call with 000.

GEOS is the private rescue comms operator based in the US that are the point of contact when either a spot or an Inreach device has its SOS button activated. They then contact the Australian emergency coordination centre in Canberra and onward to the local emergency services that will be responding to your activation. Similar to when you activate your PLB, but with the additional step of involving an operator in the US.

From talking with police rescue, they say that response time from spot / Inreach to GEOS to Canberra to them is very similar time frame wise to the PLB to Canberra to them.

Hope that makes sense.
 

KylePee

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Worth noting, at least in the blue mountains NSW, that if we are in a remote location requiring urgent assistance, I have been advised that it is best to request police not ambulance if on a voice call.

This then diverts to the fantastic blue mtns police rescue squad, as well as ambos, and gets things underway much much faster. At least once whilst on the initial call I’ve been directly patched thru to local mates in the squad who were monitoring in real time.

Also, when I’ve utilised an SOS on inreach, I’ve then received texts from local emergency services, not just GEOS.
Not so close to the police setup, but (now called) Fire Rescue NSW used to have comms centers in Sydney, BM and Newy. I think BM was closed but Newy still operating. But I don’t think they are as clearly split in terms of calls and dispatch now. I think for calls they just operate as one virtual room. But for radio they take regional vs metro channels. Many of theor operators are actual firies.
I think(!) police are a similar setup
I think all of ASNSW goes to their Alexandria comms centre but not sure.
All of them have a level of operational supervisors in the room or in another room with transfers available. Good to hear cops use it actively. I’ve helped out with staffing the flood assistance line in Surry Hills before and had to flag one call that went to rescue for someone stuck on one of the bends in the Murray. That guy should have called 000 but didn’t want to bother anyone!!
 
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DJM

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I learned this after a kite-assisted lofting and wind-lip smack-down out near Jagungal. I then presented myself at Cooma hospital (with what turned out to be a broken neck) and the nurses and doctors were all (rather unkindly) sniggering and calling me Macgyver 'cos I had dodged up a neckbrace out of my skins, camp map, tow-rope and gaffa tape
That call was not something I’ll forget…..something along the lines of, “Now don’t panic, but I’ve broken my neck”.
The self extraction was nothing short of hardarse, careful and scary.
 

Goski

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Funily enough I didn't pay a cent for my Kosci misadventure. Only Cooma hospital asked for my medicare details. No one asked me for my health insurance details. No one sent me a bill.
I got a bill from the NZ ambulance for my use of one in the upper carpark at Whakapappa. When I was transferred to it from the snow groomer equipment cage they brought me down in (!) the St Johns ambo looked at me, my dislocated and busted right ankle and called for a helicopter.

The bill from the ambulance service for a non-resident was $13 NZD lol. In Australia it would have been a few hundred. No bills from the Waikato hospital where I had several bouts of surgery before medivac to Australia. The staff there were great.

Credit card insurance covered the medivac, lost/damaged gear and my share of the unused campervan hire etc.

The chopper was a volunteer service funded by donations, not a fully kitted air ambulance, so no stretcher bed but I was very grateful they came. I made a donation to that service and had my name give my untouched duty free beer to the ski patrol the next day. My bottle of Appleton rum was discretely handed to me a week later in Waikato hospital when my mate visited on his way back to Melbourne. The rum stayed hidden in my bedside table in Coke bottles he'd decanted it into. They were empty when I left.
 
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Red_switch

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No.
I'm saying that for an initial emergency response out on the Main Range, voice is where you can be certain you have connected with someone who can respond.

If I pulled the trigger on a PLB because I or someone I',m with broke their leg, I would pull the trigger AND call 000 (and possibly the nearest Ski Patrol or cop shop) to say 'hi, I'm climberman and my party just pulled the PLB trigger and we are at xxx and the problem is yyy' and then ask them all that future communication be via text message to preserve battery life.
That's lucky (and cute) that you have cell service.

I'd only use a PLB if cell wasn't an option/available. Two way satellite text devices fill a nice use case.
 

GS

Part of the Furniture
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Is the road up to the winter gate clear or did you have to do some chainsaw work?.The Bluff hut is in my “in tray “ for back country ski trips.
A lot of trees down but all had been cut other than some small ones I did with bow saw. Still quite a bit of snow on the track from Refrigerator Gap to Bluff tk, easy enough with highway tyres on a Prado
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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A lot of trees down but all had been cut other than some small ones I did with bow saw. Still quite a bit of snow on the track from Helicopter Gap to Bluff tk, easy enough with highway tyres on a Prado
I think you mean refrigerator gap but I know what you meant.I know the area quite well.I would be inclined to hide a supply drop next March and have plenty of briquettes and kindling for the Bluff hut fireplace .Let us
know what the snow is like going out to Lovicks hut and /or the Bluff plateau.
 

Xplora

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I think you mean refrigerator gap but I know what you meant.I know the area quite well.I would be inclined to hide a supply drop next March and have plenty of briquettes and kindling for the Bluff hut fireplace .Let us know what the snow is like going out to Lovicks hut and /or the Bluff plateau.
It will all be different next year. Maybe make a note to ask again when you are ready to go.
 

GS

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I think you mean refrigerator gap but I know what you meant.I know the area quite well.I would be inclined to hide a supply drop next March and have plenty of briquettes and kindling for the Bluff hut fireplace .Let us
know what the snow is like going out to Lovicks hut and /or the Bluff plateau.
Yes, refrigerator. I had helicopter on my mind as the bloke from Alpine Helicopter Charter had just flown over.
 
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jonathanc

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I got a bill from the NZ ambulance for my use of one in the upper carpark at Whakapappa. When I was transferred to it from the snow groomer equipment cage they brought me down in (!) the St Johns ambo looked at me, my dislocated and busted right ankle and called for a helicopter.

The bill from the ambulance service for a non-resident was $13 NZD lol. In Australia it would have been a few hundred. No bills from the Waikato hospital where I had several bouts of surgery before medivac to Australia. The staff there were great.

Credit card insurance covered the medivac, lost/damaged gear and my share of the unused campervan hire etc.

The chopper was a volunteer service funded by donations, not a fully kitted air ambulance, so no stretcher bed but I was very grateful they came. I made a donation to that service and had my name give my untouched duty free beer to the ski patrol the next day. My bottle of Appleton rum was discretely handed to me a week later in Waikato hospital when my mate visited on his way back to Melbourne. The rum stayed hidden in my bedside table in Coke bottles he'd decanted it into. They were empty when I left.
I had a ride in the old Snowy Hydro Southcare helicopter - no charge except for the ambulance that got me to the helipad, which was covered by private health insurance.

By coincidence, about 12 months later I ended up doing some pro-bono work helping Southcare with their budget. Worked out that my flight would have cost about $35k plus overheads.
 

AT&TeleMike

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They both look well loaded from here

Bit of a sunset behind Buller

PXL_20220618_070217414.jpg
Got up on Mt Tate today. Very icy indeed. Ski crampons were essential! Met a nice young couple on top who snow shoed there. I hope they survived the funky snowboard down. I took the Nth aspect of the mtn which never fails (even today). Managed to get some nice turns in before the funk set back in.

20220618_125715.jpg
20220618_124414.jpg
 

climberman

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That's lucky (and cute) that you have cell service.

I'd only use a PLB if cell wasn't an option/available. Two way satellite text devices fill a nice use case.
It's also not a very big area - Thredbo village to Shlink Pass is about 25km.
That said, Le Tour to Courmayeur is about the same distance as the crow flies, which shows what a difference geologic and environmental history can have or topographic complexity :)
 

snowgum

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Not to the hut. If the snow softens a bit I might tootle up to Mt Lovick to have a look at what lines its back side offers. Sun has only just broken through the cloud though and everything is still a giant block of ice

Howdy GS, I’m loving your pics. Very jealous as I look on from the big smoke!

From memory there’s fun little lines to be had if the snow cooperates.

Not the longest runs in Vic but saves your lungs in the climb.

One area looks a bit like quarry - Very steep and concave. Ice affects from colder Millenia?
 
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GS

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Howdy GS, I’m loving your pics. Very jealous as I look on from the big smoke!

From memory there’s fun little lines to be had if the snow cooperates.

Not the longest runs in Vic but saves your lungs in the climb.

One area looks a bit like quarry - Very steep and concave. Ice affects from colder Millenia?
Yesterday was sweet, spring like corn on the south side. Bit of a breeze today and it has remained rather solid. anything facing the sun is good...just not much choice! On my way back out after a quick slide over to the Blowhole
PXL_20220619_010639085.jpg


Very clear looking towards Howitt and Bogong

PXL_20220619_014800151.jpg


Skiing with a pack is a bit rusty, the icey descent through the trees to Bluff Hut was entertaining
 
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snowgum

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Yesterday was sweet, spring like corn on the south side. Bit of a breeze today and it has remained rather solid. anything facing the sun is good...just not much choice! On my way back out after a quick slide over to the Blowhole
PXL_20220619_010639085.jpg


Very clear looking towards Howitt and Bogong

PXL_20220619_014800151.jpg


Skiing with a pack is a bit rusty, the decent through the trees to Bluff Hut on ice was entertaining
Most folks ski that section* with a day pack - to/from Bluff hut. You’re doing bloody well!

* Some folks climb the Bluff face from the first, snowy saddle (Refrig) then follow the walking path of sorts as marked on the Alpine Ash. Bit of a scramble with day packs & skis. Not what I’d call fun with big O-N packs but can cut half a day of walking through slush & mud up past the winter gate to the hut.

Pick your (least bad) battle?

Ps: I see the snowgums coped a hammering, like so many areas. I’m curious to know whether this has opened up more descent lines or added length at the bottom. I recall on both the Bluff and Mt E.S, there’s lots of choice, just not that long 2-300m and maybe 80-100m vert. Good length for some fun without having to spend 2 hours’ of climbing.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Most folks ski that section* with a day pack - to/from Bluff hut. You’re doing bloody well!

* Some folks climb the Bluff face from the first, snowy saddle (Refrig) then follow the walking path of sorts as marked on the Alpine Ash. Bit of a scramble with day packs & skis. Not what I’d call fun with big O-N packs but can cut half a day of walking through slush & mud up past the winter gate to the hut.

Pick your (least bad) battle?

Ps: I see the snowgums coped a hammering, like so many areas. I’m curious to know whether this has opened up more descent lines or added length at the bottom. I recall on both the Bluff and Mt E.S, there’s lots of choice, just not that long 2-300m and maybe 80-100m vert. Good length for some fun without having to spend 2 hours’ of climbing.
Does that area usually hold snow well in the first week of September?. I have about 5 days then to do a longer trip with a pack and skis.I would be inclined to leave the car at 8 Mile Gap and slog it up to the Bluff Hut from there with skis and
ski boots strapped to the pack.
Mt. Wills interests me for a 5 day trip from Melb. as do the Fainters coming in from Falls Creek , Pretty Valley and Tawonga Huts , Maybe using Tawonga huts as a base camp.
@pegasusSki is interested in coming along in early Sept. for such a BC ski trip with me.
 

snowgum

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Does that area usually hold snow well in the first week of September?. I have about 5 days then to do a longer trip with a pack and skis.I would be inclined to leave the car at 8 Mile Gap and slog it up to the Bluff Hut from there with skis and
ski boots strapped to the pack.
Mt. Wills interests me for a 5 day trip from Melb. as do the Fainters coming in from Falls Creek , Pretty Valley and Tawonga Huts , Maybe using Tawonga huts as a base camp.
@pegasusSki is interested in coming along in early Sept. for such a BC ski trip with me.
Depends on the season and the previous weather & snow. In a poor year the Bluff can be pretty lean from a limited no. of skis/ winter walks ~ 4?

In a goodie (Rpoer!) like 2000’, everything south-facing was fine, east (like King B 1) was good too! :ski:
 

snowgum

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The back side of mount Lovick from a few years ago.
CEA9D970-7C81-44F4-9072-F3C07D29B483.jpeg
2D924C30-026D-499B-9612-050FF5E76AAC.jpeg

That’s a nice run in the first pic - 80-100m vert at a guess.

Folks from NSW would laugh but the Bluff area isn’t well blessed with 4-500m lines. As great and steep (in parts) as it is! ;)

Nice to see Reynard glistening in the distance - another ‘high’ & semi-remote Vic peak worth a ski in a good year. And probably holding the ‘flattest, high-peak’ award in Vic. :thumbs:
 

GS

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Yarra Valley Vic
Most folks ski that section* with a day pack - to/from Bluff hut. You’re doing bloody well!

* Some folks climb the Bluff face from the first, snowy saddle (Refrig) then follow the walking path of sorts as marked on the Alpine Ash. Bit of a scramble with day packs & skis. Not what I’d call fun with big O-N packs but can cut half a day of walking through slush & mud up past the winter gate to the hut.

Pick your (least bad) battle?

Ps: I see the snowgums coped a hammering, like so many areas. I’m curious to know whether this has opened up more descent lines or added length at the bottom. I recall on both the Bluff and Mt E.S, there’s lots of choice, just not that long 2-300m and maybe 80-100m vert. Good length for some fun without having to spend 2 hours’ of climbing.

Base camping at Bluff Hut would make the most sense, but I've always wanted to camp up on that ridge line if the forecast allowed

Climbing up the face to The Bluff this weekend would have been brutal, lot of deep soft, wet snow. I've climbed that in snow a few times but never with an overnight pack, and at 58 I'm not going to start now.

Yep, the seriously burnt snowgums above Bluff Hut have opened it nicely and provides lots of ski descent options ...if snow allows. At the moment it's like a giant mogul field with dead trees and rocks thrown about.

Certainly good cover up there but anything on the north and west faces is melting rapidly. I could ski all the way up Bluff Hut track from the gate on Sat, needed to walk sections back down today. Bit of a b*****d track to ski down anyway...I "power plowed" most of it LOL

Anyway glad i went up this weekend, had the place to myself. Not sure I'll make it a regular weekend destination as it's a long and tiring 1.5hr drive in from the Buller road with high risk of tree fall blocking the way.
 
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