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TR King Billy eMTB

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Boodwah, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Found myself with a couple days off, and since there's no meaningful snow for ski touring in Vic, decided on a maiden voyage with the eMTB instead.
    This bike (a significant birthday pressy - I'm getting old!), was bought specifically with winter access to Mt Magdela and Howitt in mind.
    Unfortunately all my decent camping gear is up at DP, so I bought a cheap bivvy, sleeping bag and mat on the way out of town at Anaconda. As it turned out, this could have been a life altering decision, but in retrospect a lesson learnt.
    I set off from the winter gate below the Bluff Hut a bit too late in the day, (another lesson learnt), and was amazed by the bike's ability to help me power up the hill with a full pack and through about 10cm of fresh slush once up in to the snow gums.
    The biggest lesson learnt over the two days was prudent battery use. More power is obviously required for uphill (I did 1500m of climbing), and through snow. When my battery eventually ran out of juice on the way home the next day, I realised just how hard it is to get a (relatively heavy) bike up steep fire trails through thick snow with a full pack. Even on the flats I would have otherwise struggled with my regular light carbon MTB.
    Anyway, I got to the National Trust snow gum ("King Billy") by dusk after a brief stop at Lovick's, and set up my miserable little bivvy, around 12km from the car in just over an hour and a half. It was damp, dark, foggy, breezy, and cold, and I skipped dinner which would have been impractical. With the forecast, and my very sensible packed clothing, I'd thought that sleep would have been easy. I was wrong. The bivvy and sleeping bag were pieces of shit that were only good for trapping in moisture but not cold air. So basically I tossed and turned for twelve hours to stave off hypothermia, and was relieved by first light.
    Was planning on getting to Magdela the next morning, but the weather was still socked in, and so hiked up to king Billy instead. There are some nice East lines to be had off the summit with decent snow, and the stands of ancient snow gum forests out that way are truly beautiful - I hope they continue to remain untouched by fire. The sun started to break through from KB, and it was all very pretty.
    The battery cutting out on the hill after Lovick's made for a very long trip back to the car, although the final long descent from Mt lovick was huge fun (almost like a good ski run), and made me realise just how much I'd been aided the day before. Much of this had been in "Boost" mode which in retrospect, was stupid. If i'd been prudent with the battery (off when not needed, then in Eco or Trail mode, using Boost only when necessary, I think the entire 30km round trip could have been done without the battery konking out, although the cold doesn't help either.
    As for aiding a ski sorti out to Howitt and VG Hut, well definitely a possiblity (only to KB where the fire trail veers off), but totally dependent on the snow pack.
    Anyway, a fun couple of days out whilst waiting for a decent snow fall.
     
  2. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Buy cheap gear on the way out of town, leave it there to biodegrade after! Winning!

    haha, so funny (but glad you didnt die man!) having a disastserish experience after so many years. Its like all the shit we did in our late teens.
     
  3. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome. I’m gonna get an eMTB after winter.
     
  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Full gear and clothing details please so I can compare to my own semi freezing bivvy nites out. I need a new piece of bivvy gear so I need to know what POS to avoid at Anaconda
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  5. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Think Anaconda and POS synonymous.
    Having spent so much on bike, was after shortcuts. And thought I’d be right with my serious down jacket.
     
  6. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I have one of those but it's my legs get cold and my good winter bag is still at OP waiting for the cleaning person to come back from leave. It is my legs get cold. OK I am assuming synthetic and less than $100-?
     
  7. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anyone ever mention ya mad?

    In a good mad way!
    Great pics.

    Reminds me of a winter trip in the early 80s up the closed Brocks rd to camp at King Billy.... the sense of isolation was right up there, my mode of transport wasn't.
     
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  8. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes isolated, think I read somewhere that you tend to spend equal amount of Joules regardless of mode of transport.
     
  9. emkae

    emkae One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great report and pics. Tell us some more about the bike
     
  10. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Life lessons learnt. So what was the bag and bivvy rated for? Materials etc? Help us out so us plebs don't make the same mistake.
     
  11. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well I’m a pleb too so not sure I’m qualified to hand out advice. Maybe it’s better though to spend a bit more and get proper 4season gear from reputable brands. Anaconda just has their Denali etc which are likely fine for good weather. Wetness is what really can nail you in Oz BC conditions I reckon. Need equipment with proper balance of good thermal gradients and adequate ventilation.
     
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  12. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Scott Spark eRide, from Avanti in Collingwood, run by brother of good friend so could trust him to give me good deal and his honest opinions on this new field of MTBs.
     
  13. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Several times during the night I had to hyperventilate in sleeping bag to get warmth, but water vapour was just precipitating on the inside of the bivvy then dripping on to sleeping bag. Once it had leached in to the down, I was the opposite of cooked. At four am I was starting to get pretty wet, but figured I could keep moving enough in my “sleep” to keep my core temp up enough until daylight. The high (cold) humidity outside was the biggest problem. You learn that with kids, but daddy is a slow learner.
     
    Tanuki likes this.
  14. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I turn 50 this year, but am still a teenager.
    Funny and sad too! Definitely did not leave it to biodegrade after the “event”. Responsible 49 yo teenager.
     
  15. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sure, I dig it. I didn't mean to be glib. I've looked at the Anaconda synthetic sleeping bags and wondered How'd they perform in AUS conditions. I assume it was a synthetic fill with a shell that lacked breathability. Anyways.
     
  16. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Edit, just read your other response. Wow, that bivvy really sucked. Wet down, especially when clumpy is the worst. Glad you had the sense to keep wriggling and squirming through the night.
     
  17. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    Great photos:). I am surprised you went out into the B.C. of the Buller /Howitt area in winter with less than bullet proof camping gear , esp. in winter :-0.
     
  18. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    #bantheEbike
    #earnyourturns
    #humanpoweredBC

    Backcountry will be flooded. Loses the value getting out there so easily

    Somewhat regrettably, I am glad you survived @Boodwah :D i have had a similar experience as in the picture below. Rain on not compacted base is not good

    Photo 2014-06-25 17 49 03 (1).jpg
     
    Rick Ross Da Boss and skifree like this.
  19. ralf_plough

    ralf_plough One of Us

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    Correct use of a motorcycle if you can get away with it IMO.
     
  20. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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  21. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its human powered, you're just spreading the spent Joules out further. So, for example, get out to Howitt or Blue Rag, or Tims, and still have some gas in the tank to actually do some skiing and climbing.
     
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  22. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The bike obviously needs a mode where the rear hub free wheels and the motor becomes a generator. Then you can spend the night peddling on the spot to recharge the battery, keep warm and stave off cheap gear hypothermia :D
     
    #22 GS, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  23. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like the post...it’s good to see some of our proflic skiers and experienced making boo boos?
    Team Bears thought they were the only folk that had epics and disasters !

    Hopefully Boodwah gets into one of the backcountry huts and reminisces as he sits by a big fire and wonders about that epic trip!:thumbs:
     

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  24. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which hut?
     
  25. Mister Tee on XC Skis

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

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    Langford Gap Hut. The Team leader has installed a new wood burner into that hut. We just need a enough snow to XC ski out there now. The High Plains road before the hut is bare and the terrain near the road is not XC skiable....yet . It looks like we will get the snow we have been waiting for as of Thursday next week.
     
  26. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Firewood may be a little scare now so bring little saw and find some fallen stuff along aquaduct track to fuel the beast....$40 from Sunbury Tip Shop ...a bargain ...flu cost next to nothing ...replaced the completely stuffed old sec pot belly that was unusable ...it was rusted out crap...

    Mt T knows the full details of installation on the Bunnings Trolley!
     
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  27. LastMile

    LastMile Early Days

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    Knowing how poorly the batteries on my garden/power tools perform if I leave them out in sub-zero temps (uninsulated Canberra shed), I'd be pulling the battery of my ebike and sleeping with it inside my sleeping bag!
     
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  28. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    If you were still a younger man, you wouldn't be reasoning these excuses :D I left it ALL out there (after a season and years of training) on my XC saw; howitt; magdala trip #culmination. The skiing and climbing wouldn't have been as rewarding if it had been any easier. The satisfaction from completely human powered (bootpacking the whole time) from cobbler car park - magdala and back over 4 days (including skiing lines) was the peak experience of my life

    I have never smiled like this before. Satisfaction admiring line off magdala. Part delirium yes LOL but the satisfaction comes from the hard work (for me anyway). Completely cooked (clearly) but wouldn't have it any other way

    Screenshot_20190705-164641_Video Player.jpg

    Also, great trip report; even if I am not a fan of the transport. Love the detail you go into; what makes this forum great. And great photos
     
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  29. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ha! I was like you too when I was your age, but I'm still smiling despite double your years. What became apparent for me when the battery died was that the road was actually unrideable w a conventional MTB, and unskiable too. So its just a different means of adventure, dont worry I still worked hard.
     
  30. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Boodwah has given us inspiration and we all have gained from his efforts with this new technology.
    So we can see that it’s possible to get along some of those trails and roads when winter barriers are down with this contraption.....Team Bears can see that a trip along West Kiewa Logging Rd to Spring Saddle may give us greater ability to access the Fainters without such a road bash!!
    Well done ....we like those pictures too.
     
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  31. VSG

    VSG Crayon Master Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cannot add much to what's already been said.

    Except, staying dry is the object, and insulating your bag from the ground. A dodgy, but ventilated tent may have been a good thing - in hindsight. ;)

    Great pics. As always, @Boodwah
     
    Boodwah likes this.