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Question What is the best approach to the Fainters, Vic?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Simplicius, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Simplicius

    Simplicius Hard Yards

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    Hey all,

    Thinking of a trip up the fainters in July/August but, trying to avoid falls or the slog across the high plains...

    I've had a look on the maps and remember the turn offs for some 4wd/logging tracks on the way to falls and wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to get up on any of those during winter with a couple of subies and chainsaws.. or are they all properly closed?

    Or does anyone know if it's a good idea to park the cars at howmans gap and heap up towards Mt Mckay? or is it possible to take cars as far as the hydro station under McKay?
     
  2. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Climb up the spur from Harrietville. Big car park at the bottom and you would be unlucky to be stuff by a tree fall on the access road.

    The foot track was originally cut as a bridle track as far as the old hut and so is a very nice grade and width to there. Mostly sheltered until Fed Hut so you can get in and out in poor weather.
     
  3. Simplicius

    Simplicius Hard Yards

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    That sounds like bungalow spur up to Feathertop to me! I'm thinking of Fainters, the poorer cousin on the other side of Kiewa West.
     
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  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    You can't drive up road 24 or the hydro road so it's usually through the village and out via the Pretty Valley road
    I always park the truck at Turnback tho
     
  5. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've never done it myself, but this is my understanding.

    Spring Saddle track from near Bogong village. Not sure about parking at Bogong Vilalge - used to be illegal. I think you would find somewhere to pull-off the road within a few hundred metres of the track. The old area that was used before the new hydro works has been partially revegetated now. I think there is still a little space.

    you are not allowed to go up the road to the powerstation any more. You could park at Howmans, but you have to pay, in which case you might as well have parked at Falls and saved a bit of climbing. From Falls head out on foot past Pretty Valley and Tawonga Huts. I think this is still the most commonly used route

    Big Hill - flatter approach but a long way. boom gate closing the road is close to mt beauty
     
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  6. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fainter to Bogong Village is a quick Descent but approaching from Bogong takes too long . You could ride a Mountain bike up a lot of the way
     
  7. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    :doh:ROFL
    Ignore me, I'm clearly lost.

    Maybe I'm just hankering for a Feathertop trip and do not know it yet.:whistle:
     
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  8. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    There has been in the past a locked gate short of the hydro. And I certainly have met people on the Fainters who came up this way. From their descriptions it has sounded like more work than the Falls Creek, Pretty Valley, Tawonga Huts way which is generally pleasant enough in my experience. And if the weather turns you can always hole up and camp at either Pretty Valley or Tawonga. If camped at Tawonga you can wait for the weather and do the Fainters as a day trip.
     
  9. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    West Kiewa Logging Road has seasons closure but a mt bike would be of value to go the six kms to Spring Saddle Track (a fire trial on the left that leads quickly to Spring Saddle...then past National Park Gate and upto Junction of intersection with track from Bogong Village on the left(about 1/2 km from management gate) then uphill to junction of firetrail that comes in from Mt Mackay Power Station (about 4km approx.) then to Bogong Jack Saddle(old hut there to the Mt Buffalo side of clearing(horse yard thro opening) then you are close to Nth Fainter which is about 2km further on....
    you can get to Nth Fainter which exception of last 1/2km sheltered in trees on a jeep track that is easily followed....this being the Fainters Track...
    if you can get to the:thumbs: start of Spring Saddle Track it is the best approach as not so much altitude to worry about...trip described from Bogong Village I have done many a time too but is a descent climb....

    this is a well protected route ...only exposed while you are on Nth Fainter or proceeding to other Fainter...
    From Big Hill Car Park the West Kiewa Logging Road stays at same contour till well after the turnoff to Spring Saddle...it would be an easy ride on a bike clambering over any fallen timber..its a pity management gate is not situated at Spring Saddle Turn Off...seasons closure prohibits motor vehicles including trail bikes and quad bikes but it would be easy to drive along here and even up to Spring Saddle and beyond but witho_O caution should management authorities see you...

    going up past firetower(Big Hill proper) is waste of energy....better to contour around for six kms on some form of bike to take on saddle(Spring Saddle) With minimal climbing....:p
     
    #9 Ubiquitous Steve, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
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  10. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    One of the good things about Fainter is the having the Bogong Jack Saddle for an escape in crap weather. Tawanga huts (Yes I still spell it that way) to Falls Road approx. 2.5 hours
     
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  11. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Team Bears not been to Bogong Jack Saddle for a while as the West Kiewa Logging Rd has been closed for 12months almost after a massive slip somewhere...probably well after Spring Saddle turnoff...
    but a couple years ago we put some insulation and ceiling in there trying to make the poor old hut as warm as possible given that it has no wood stove....but it is a haven in bad conditions and only like half hour from Nth Fainter and this is best escape in bad weather as its a well protected track in bad weather with the ridge line between you and incoming westerly weather in big trees....:p
     
  12. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The descent via bogong jacks to bogong village is swift,(it would be a slog with camp gear up) potentially you could base camp at BJS and daypack up the grunt to the fainters.
     
  13. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    this suggestion is a good one ...just be careful on Fainters in white out no poles to help out very difficult navigation make mental notes of major rocks and position of fire trail..as you move around should weather crap out....
     
  14. Simplicius

    Simplicius Hard Yards

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    Thanks for all the info guys, looks like starting at falls and coming down via bogon jack is the way to go, but that requires a car shuttle or a mate with a car and a lot of generosity.

    Overall reminds me why i still slog up eskdale to bogong over and over again...

    Also meanwhile another question has arisen about Feathertop approaches. I'm under the impression that parking at diamantina is in Hotham resort and thus you need to pay to park, my mate at work says it isn't so. Please tell me I'm wrong.
     
  15. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have to pay to park Diamantina as within resort boundary - they will scan your number plate and fine you if you haven't bought a pass. It stinks, but so do they.
     
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  16. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    By far the easiest approach is to park at Big Hill lookout at about 1000 so you are already 300 ahead of the 700 at Bogong. That gate there has been upgraded and it is now not possible to get a motor bike around it. Defiantly worth taking a MTB for the section to Spring Saddle track. From there its just stroll up easy grades compared to a bloody slog up steep grades from Bogong to Jacks.

    With bikes you can easily get to Jacks in under 4 hours add an hour if you walk to the track up to SS. Its about 2 hours quicker than parking at Bogong. As Steve said that road could easily be kept open to the track to SS.
     
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  17. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Having said all that my favourite way is to ski in Falls via Tawanga and Little Plain then exit down to Big Hill Lookout.
     
  18. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thro traffic to Omeo is free on this route ...so get a friend to drop you off at Diamintina Spur and he does u turn and goes back to Harrietville...or you all leave gear there like Diamintina Hut and then stash car at little car park before ticket office and hitch back up to your friends that have set up camp at Diamintina Hut with fire going....bring firewood....:love:
    and the Omeo to Bright Community Bus could be useful in this regard.....
     
    #18 Ubiquitous Steve, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
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  19. Simplicius

    Simplicius Hard Yards

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    Yeah the park and hitch idea has crossed my mind, i think that is the way to go...
     
  20. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also I used to with prior approval park in Howmans Gap Resort and then u could use shuttle bus (free) from ticket office to Falls Ck Windy Corner ......don't walk from Mt Mackay Power Station Turnoff to the Fainters cos I think this track is bloody long but Mt Bike would be the go... Howmans Gap staff used to be very friendly if you ask them nicely if u could park there and tell them how long for and park exactly where they say....:p
     
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  21. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    you are close to Nth Fainter from BJS only like half hour ski on day trip...
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    and looking back towards BJS and Big Hill along Fainters Fire Trail....I think this is from Fainter with Nth Fainter just to left in pic..[​IMG]
     
  23. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    BJS Hut aint flash but will get you out of weather so you can have a cup of tea out of weather
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  25. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  26. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    You could walk up from Harrietville. This would save car shuttles and/or no need to pay $45/day diamantina hut "parking" fee. Turn left off great alpine road just before the school bridge over the river. This way is much more protected than the Razorback and may be a touch shorter, but you're starting at 600m elevation instead of 1700m!
     
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  27. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    [QUOTE=" ......don't walk from Mt Mackay Power Station Turnoff to the Fainters cos I think this track is bloody long [/QUOTE]

    Not only long but good luck crossing the river just after the power station.
     
  28. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The face in steves first photo is steeper than it looks there and gets sun affected
     
  29. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nth Fainter is a very good looking peak that is seen prominently when travelling along the Kiewa Valley Highway approaching Mt Beauty.... to the right looking thro windscreen you are seeing the distinct spur leading from Nth Fainter towards the West Kiewa Valley..the upper section of this spur is shown in photo from BJ Saddle...
     
  30. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its a nice line when hoar frosted.:cool:
     
  31. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or in pouring rain with 70 lumpy pounds on your back
     
  32. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    :eek:
    Need un/notlike button.
     
  33. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The fine I got last year for parking at Diamantina overnight confirms that you are right unfortunately. I thought of whinging that I got in early and the pay gate was closed so there was no way to pay, but I thought better of it.... we benefit from the snow clearing etc.
     
  34. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    To park at damnation you need to drive out the razorback about 400m to get outside the hotham boundry
     
  35. neck_deep

    neck_deep Addicted

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    From what I hear you can't even drive in and out the same gate now without paying. Too many fines parking up there to bother trying to get away withit anymore. Sucked it up this year and brought the season psss. More than 500 to park on the side of the road and let Mr plow barricade you in, that is if they haven't already closed the road. Probably quicker (and easier at night) from harietville
     
  36. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    WTF no edit? That should read Diamantina
     
  37. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Control points have been unstaffed for several winters now. You can only pay online, or going to the resort mgt office is still possible I think. If out of hours, do it first thing the next day.

    The only time I got caught and fined cos I was snookered I explained the situation the next day to the office person and was let off.
     
  38. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh, I was looking forward to parking at Damnation, once I found it, I'll stop looking now.:(
     
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  39. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Its ok skifree you could challenge yourself by trying to drive out the Razorback. We could build a kicker at the guard rail and you could start up at the corner. You should get enough speed to land on the info board.
     
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  40. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have walked the Razorback, it would be a challenge of a drive. My work truck is the as @Ubiquitous Steve so maybe he could do a test run for me.
     
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  41. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    would need some track modifications for Rodeo and T.Bears to negotiate the Razorback to Federation Hut....

    Team hasnot been to Federation for some time but may make guest appearance soon before snow makes it tricky....
    we will do one of our unofficial hut checks maybe.....:D
     
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  42. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's one of my fave summer walks. Great views, clean cool air. Day 1, Diamantina Hut to Fed Hut. Day 2, down Diamantina Spur to Blairs Hut. Day 3, return via W Kiewa Logging Rd.
     
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  43. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    It looks like we are heading up to BJS and the Fainters via the fire trails from Bogong village on the last weekend of the ski season , which is the first weekend in October 2016 . There might still be some snow up on the summit areas.
     
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  44. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dont eat enough Iron.
     
  45. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    ?
     
  46. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    please give us a hut report on BJS ..as we have not been there for awhile....hopefully the hut is holding up and the door is still on etc.. there may be some plastic seats up there but then the radicals may have removed them....we do hope things are ok there as we did a bit of work there 2 years ago roughly....we put insulation in walls .silver foil and insulwool batts and thin ply wood to cover that too...not sure if our ceiling make over is still there too...but this approach from Bogong is well protected in tall trees and to lee of ridge line...;););)
     
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  47. ladycamper

    ladycamper One of Us

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    Harrietville to Fainter via Bungalow Spur would need a descent of the steep, rocky in some places, Diamantina Spur.
     
  48. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I would take a rope for a winter descent of the Diamantina spur. The Cliffy bit could be icy too. I would not be keen on tackling that in a whiteout.
     
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  49. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    the last drop off from the ridge proper ....turns to the right and comes down on the right hand side of the ridge/spur....the first 50feet needs to be done with concentration and a rope may be of assistance to get packs down carefully...or just sit on bum and make sure you got contact with rock/roots/tree branches ....not a place you want to roll down hill here...and go down pretty slowly...would highly suggest that all parties do stay close together while negotiating this bit....visibility down here is always good as u are in tree line....just go slow and all will be good thro here....note a good supply of firewood was cut for Blairs Hut recently and also Westons Hut has a good supply as you climb towards the 3pole junction close by Mt Jim.....if weather is crapped out big time as you plod up pole line in this direction then retreating to Westons is sensible....Westons is state of the art in new huts insulated,wood floor ,very good light thro windows with great wood stove.. if navigational difficulties arise then the longer dog leg guided by snow pole via Cope Saddle Hut (good shelter too)and then to Pretty Valley also via snow poles to PVHut (good shelter) should be considered...white out can be expected up on the approach to Pretty Valley(all above tree line).......parties that know what they are doing can get over to PV Causeway(Pondage) then more easily towards PValley Hut.....if navigational skills are limited then be extremely careful in bad white out......along pole lines you are apples...all you got to do is rug up and keep going till a sheltered spot like Cope Saddle Hut is reached...:p:p

    also be aware Tawonga Huts to the west is a short distance along a pole line to shelter if conditions cause grief for any party..but...no pole line exists between Tawonga Huts and Pretty Valley Pondage(u must cross at Causeway only)......:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
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  50. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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