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Vic highcountry huts

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by trickster, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. trickster

    trickster First Runs

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    I've often pondered on the merits of the old summit hut at the top of the staircase up on Bogong. Does anybody know if they ever considered rebuilding it and what it takes to start a ball like that rolling? It just seems in a handy spot for punters stuck in the elements, nothing fancy, just a small non-reflective refuge in a strategic spot - its a long way between biv/michell and cleve cole. I know the tent deal but sometimes people are in no shape to deal with setteing them up.

    Any thoughts? and any other huts that are no longer??
     
  2. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Though some would say - Yes! Lets build them on every summit, huts tend to attract those that should not be there in the first place.
    The Gadsten party was a classic - 'we're almost there' but the whole party died only 100 metres away trying to make it.
    The Footscray Tech incident in the early '70s on the Overland Tk where one of the students died trying to reach Windermere Hut - yet it was only 500m away.
    I've seen the Summit Hut when it was 'useable'. In heavy blizzard it could be under snow, the Staircase can be covered in 'Blue Ice' where crampons/ice axe are the only things to get you there.
    The old Bushwalking Mountaincraft Leadership Course (BMLC) covered these incidents and trained many would be leaders about the dangers of attempting to get to huts instead of looking at alternatives (camping) before things turned pear shape. Unfortunately the state government hasn't provided funding for this worthwhile venture for about 3 years.
    In wild places as in SW Tas there hasn't been a fatility due to exposure for many years, yet large numbers visit the place quite regularly. They tend to know they need to have the right gear and experience to enjoy the experience.
     
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  3. needsnow

    needsnow First Runs

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    try www.vhvha.org.au
    victorian high country hut assosiation
    its a good place to start
     
    #3 needsnow, Jul 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  4. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Originally posted by trickster
    If people are in no shape to set a tent up there sure as hell not in anyshape to go looking for a hut. Modern day tents are pretty easy to set up. I still cannot fathom why people would rather stay in a vic high country hut over a modern day tent. With the exception of possibly 3 huts the rest are cold, rat infested and filthy.
     
    #4 sidetrack, Jul 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
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  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    There will always be occasions when people push on too far, it may be trying to get to the treeline, it may be a road, it may be a hut and it may be a ski resort.

    Just because on rare occasions people die trying to get to a hut doesn't mean that the hut caused their death.

    If you've ever been in poor condition and marginally hypothermic, you will know the value of a hut, if only to have a break somewhere dry and out of the wind. This was the value of Summit Hut on Bogong, it wasn't designed as a place to sleep, but rather as refuge. I'll bet London to a brick that huts save many more lives than anything else except a lot of outdoor experience.
     
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  6. opa

    opa First Runs

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    quote.
    I'll bet London to a brick that huts save many more lives than anything else.

    thats something we will never know.

    I recon the Number of huts in VIC and NSW is about right, was dead against them in my younger purist days but still camped close by when the opportunity was there (howzat for double standards).now in my older non purist days use them all the time, for socialising and drying out etc , still sleep in the tent though.

    where's the snow ?? [​IMG]
     
    #6 opa, Jul 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  7. CaptainC

    CaptainC Hard Yards

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    Similar to Opa. Huts are good for socialising etc. Room to move around. But I prefer tents for sleeping. No risk of getting your gear mixed up with strangers and a tent can be warmer (smaller space to heat). As Opa says the amount of huts is about right. Also if a hut disappears for whatever reason you can still find many years later people with old maps, guide books etc looking for the hut.
     
  8. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    I ve got no issue with huts there as a refuge, and even social events. It's just that when you do need to dry stuff or cook you cant because there are rude groups of slobbs speading there mess everywhere. Ok mabye Im generalizing a bit but it seem s to happen an awfal lot.

    I like the idea of the way dericks is set up for cooking and catching up before retiring to a nice warm tent.
     
  9. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No to new huts.

    No to replacing those that collopse because they are on a swamp or are burnt.

    Yes to maintain those in existance.

    Let evolution take it's course and let the bush reclaim it's self.
     
  10. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sentient huts ?
     
  11. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    THat sounds like a radical greenie approach
     
    #11 teckel, Jul 22, 2006
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  12. echidna

    echidna Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I understood that the really radical greenies actually burn down existing huts.
     
  13. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Where have you heard that rubbish REDNECK PROPAGANDA!! Loggers love to blame the greens for wrecking their equipment, but when investigations have caught the criminal, they have all been found to be from rival companies, contractors, etc (NO green has ever been charged with willful damage!!!).
    Have seen yobbos in huts with massive fires, others who don't know how to fill and light their stoves spilling fuel all around (I've told them in no uncertain terms to rack off outside), unsupervised school groups (the ones who burnt down Fitzgeralds) are the ones who put the bush hut at risk.
     
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  14. gusc

    gusc Hard Yards

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    I think it's usually school kids & 4WD-ers that burn down huts (semi :p )

    Where was the summit hut (apart from the bleedin' obvious...)? I never knew there was once a hut up there.

    I reckon punters on the mtn are pretty well served by the 3 current huts - all within 1 hr of the summit - esp the new Michel Hut. 1 hut above the treeline wouldn't cover the mountain in an emergency (people caught out at west summit vs. en route to Cleve Cole, etc) and, as others said, you should be self sufficient up there. A cairn on the summit is bad enough without us having a building up there too.
     
    #14 gusc, Jul 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  15. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Summit Hut was about 50-75m down the Staircase Spur. Approx 100m above the Gadsen memorial cairn.
     
  16. echidna

    echidna Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Easy there leg. It's my recollection that back in the 70's / 80's some isolated greenie groups were actually advocating the illegal destruction of alpine huts, and there might have even been a case or two. Much the same as radical arms of PETA or Greenpeace might occasionally step over the line or hold radical agenda of their own.

    On alpine conservation (and elsewhere on environmental matters hopefully) I count myself as somewhat of a greenie & I do not at all sanction the destruction of huts. That's why I distanced that agenda with the words "really radical". Holding a set of values does not mean that others can't take those same values to extreme and unwarranted levels.

    If you check Teckel's post immediately prior to mine, my quip was simply to indicate that in context, skifree's suggestion is not particularly radical IMO.
     
    #16 echidna, Jul 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  17. legend

    legend One of Us

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    Point taken - Thanks :cheers:
     
  18. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Climberman posted this link in another thread on Snow Talk. It's about the NPWS fee increase in NSW. I've severely edited it to highlight what their plans are in regard to huts in NSW
     
    #18 teckel, Jul 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  19. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    But what about the huts tat the NPWS pulled down in 1973, will there be a surcharge to replace them?
     
  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll happily pay to have Rawson's Hut rebuilt!
     
  21. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout Addicted

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    anyone here have any more details on the hut burnings or eco-vandals?
     
  22. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    What do you want to know?
     
  23. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Holy thread revival, after 13 years in torpor, this thread lives again!

    Just so people know what Summit Hut was, here's a very short history plus a few photos I found on Google.

    Cleve Cole proposed a summit hut in the early 1930s in his paper on Mt Bogong development. After his death, a very basic refuge was erected c.1937. It was sound and weatherproof until it was bent over in a slow moving 'slab avalanche' during the bumper 1946 ski season. It was given a quick and cheap repair job, but it was never the same and by the mid 1960s reports began to say it was not completely weatherproof and occasionally snow penetrated into the interior. It had a dirt floor and very few internal fittings (at most a bench seat and a table?) It was burnt in October 1978 when vandals torched three huts on Mt Bogong: Maddisons (Aertex), Summit and Bivouac (Mark II). Only Bivouac Hut was rebuilt.

    [​IMG]
    Summit Hut 1963 by 'kuuhite'.
    and in 1975 (no photographer credited)
    [​IMG]
     
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  24. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm pro-hut but I doubt we're worse off for the loss of that on the Bogong skyline.
     
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  25. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think Cleve and his mates had grand plans to build a resort on Bogong just like the Tallangatta ski club had grand plans to build a resort on Mt.Wills. I am kind of happy that concept died with Cleve. While I am not entirely anti-resort, I think we have enough and they do not need to spread. As for huts, there are also enough but some say that with increasing interest in BC we need more huts. What that is infers is we need more accommodation in the BC to make life comfortable. Might as well build more resorts. As for the summit hut, I probably would have provided the match to get rid of that unsightly mess. Structures like that are likely to be the reason we now have things concerning huts in the mountains regulated.
     
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  26. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can't say for sure but i think i recognise the standing guys in that 2nd photo. Both still birky members.
     
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  27. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Actually, it wasn't Tallangatta Ski Club that had "grand plans to build a resort on Mt Wills". Rather they only had modest ideas about the place. The idea of a proper resort was established in the landmark Alpine regions of Victoria; ski-ing and tourist resorts report by the state government in 1950. This very interesting report was designed to summarise the ski industry which had developed piecemeal over the previous 25 years and come up with long term objectives and strategies. More than anything else, it is responsible for the state of ski industry today, 70 years later.

    It was this report which said that Mt Bogong was too steep, inaccessible, exposed and dangerous to be developed into a resort (page 42). Instead it recommended Hotham, Falls, Buffalo, Buller, Baw Baw and Mt Wills as resorts (but not Lake Mountain). The report recommended more than Tallangatta S.C. had dreamed of (Mt Wills stuff on p.43) and so they decided it would be worth expanding and improving an existing rough hut and building a ski tow, because Mt Wills would soon develop into a proper ski resort. They expected to be the first of many clubs and businesses on the mountain. But no one else came to Wills, even nearby towns were closer to other resorts, so Omeo people went to Hotham, Albury people went to Falls, etc. So for the past 60~ish years, Tallangatta S. C. has been content to mostly have the mountain to themselves in the same way Wangaratta S.C. has Mt St Bernard with their lodge and two ski lifts to themselves.
     
  28. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    From memory this report also investigated the viability of Mount Torbreck as a skiing destination LOL
     
  29. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The original location of the Tallangatta ski club hut was to be on top of Mt. Wills but not where the current Mt. Wills hut is. A road was cut toward the south peak but permissions did not come. Although the current ski club hut is used regularly, the rope tow and ski run does not see any more action. It has been discussed on the forum before, but it is not really a good ski destination. You need to be close to get the best snow.
     
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  30. neilmny

    neilmny Addicted

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    :thumbs: and on the surface structurally unsafe.
     
  31. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    @Bogong I found this digitised report of the Cleve Cole tragedy and it mentions how he had outlined his plans for development of Mt. Bogong as a ski resort (pg 7). The plans were published in the Victoria Ski Club yearbooks in 1934 and 1935. These yearbooks are in the National library but not digitised. You may have access to a hard copy or a digitised version.
     
  32. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Xplora I have almost all the Australian Ski Yearbooks from 1935 to the late 50s, but only from 1930 to 1934 for the SCV club yearbooks. So the passing reference to Cole's plans I wrote was just from memory. While his development plans for Mt Bogong were tweaked a few times and expanded once or twice, I can get scans (or at least photos) of the main proposals and post them here if you want me to and can wait for about a week.

    However there are lots of references to Cole's plans from his contemporaries and the dozen plus ski clubs in Victoria at the time. Most see them as a little ambitious and I think some said they were unaffordable, but I don't recall anyone disagreeing with them as a long term goal.
     
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  33. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It is not important and only mentioned it thinking you may be interested. The recollection I had led me to mention it in the first instance and that information is enough for me just now. Way too many other things to read. Thanks.
     
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  34. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well if anyone wants to write up anything on mountain history, even just a few paragraphs on an obscure subject, I can point them to sources and even provide them with a web page and promote it a bit. I will never get a round to researching and writing about everything that interests me, so I'm more than happy to help anyone else who wants to do it.
     
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  35. stansi

    stansi One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  36. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, Joyce has been a bit of a problem child for Hotham for over 70 years. It's required a lot of expensive maintenance (at one stage water was seeping up through the floor). When the Brockhoff Poma lift was operational, the hut was fairly popular as it was close to the lift, but it was largely forgotten when the Poma lift was replaced with a chairlift on a different alignment.

    As the Arrabri article (taken from the 2nd Butler report) says, it's been adopted by different groups over the years but at that time it was without a caretaker or much of a role. Hopefully the crowd that has reputedly opened a cafe there manage to make a living from it because that will ensure it is properly looked after and the memory of Joyce Brockhoff will be revived.

    Of equal interest is the short Arrabri club history. Only a few of the thousand or so ski clubs in Australia have recorded why they were founded and the events of their early years, so even that little article is quite valuable.
     
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  37. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty sure it’s a load of bull dust!

    In NSW NPWS removed a lot of huts as they didn’t have the funding to repair and at the time the philosophy on huts was to remove.

    Now their is an underlying current to recognise the there historical value and representation of times past.

    The only hut in NSW that has been burnt recently was whites but that was a bush walker error (poured metho on a fire) but I’m pretty sure he was heavily involved in the rebuild.

    Climbermans post is kind of interesting as a) those huts were rebuilt and b) my understanding is the money came from insurance. That said NPWS have significantly repaired (effectively rebuilt) a couple of huts recently.
     
    #37 zac150, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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