Bogong High Plains region tracks

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 30 Oct, 2020 11:48 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:If you suggest to a newbie to visit Mt. Bogong via the river crossing at the Bottom of the T spur and go from Roper's hut to CC hut in a day you might put that person off ever returning ;-P.
/quote] I'm nothing if not full of *&%$#!.
The
For Bogong, go hard.
was meant to be a hint. as was
(the above is not to be considered for normal people)

I lack social skills, anyway...
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 31 Oct, 2020 6:55 am

Thanks all, I will have to sit down with the map to figure that all out.

Do you get a good idea what you are in for by the time you get to Bivouac? Could I judge it at that point and modify my trip to camp there then take in the summit on the way to Michelle's for my second night? Or does the going get harder from Bivouac?
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 31 Oct, 2020 7:16 am

My very battered map has the following altitudes.
Mountain Creek gate 570 metres
Easy stroll to the foot of the Staircase 740 metres
Steeply up to Bivouac about 1400 metres
A few more steep sections but a bit easier to Hell Gap 1950 metres
A relatively short gentle walk to the summit 1986 metres.

The Staircase has steps of up then flat, hence the name. If the weather is poor then going beyond Bivouac is not advisable. I've found the section to Bivouac to be the hardest, with a few short steep rocky bits near the treeline, easier approaching Hell Gap. By the time you get to Bivouac you will have an idea of your pace and options. Above the treeline is very exposed, lovely in fine weather, less so in bad weather.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 31 Oct, 2020 9:34 am

In white seasons I have turned back and turned around groups I was leading, back from pushing onto the Mt.Bogong summit from both Bivouac hut and from Michelle hut.
Sometimes we turned around at Gorge Gap or just at the Eskdale/ Granite Spur track junction .
There were times when crossing the summit plateau of Mt. Bogong in green season coming up from the Quartz Ridge knob when the winds were so strong it was a matter of going over the summit and back into the tree line on the Eskdale spur ASAP. Other times the snow was so deep and soft that snow shoes were useless and we were expending energy when we were already spent. Not good!
Other times we could not see the next pole on the Eskdale spur :-0 .
People have died up there in bad weather. It is not to be taken lightly.
The same can be said about Mt. FT. The weather and the Mountains will let you know what you can and cannot do safely .
Even in good weather the wind chill can be deceptively strong at the summit cairn. The weather can change quickly too.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby drakkar » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 9:47 pm

Looking to head up and summit bogong one weekend soon.

Is driving up from Melb to mountain creek, and then waking up to bivouac hut in the dark ok?
Or are we better camp at mountain creek Friday. Early start sat go up the staircase, summit. And camp at Michelle hut? Returning on eskdale Spur and driving home Sunday?
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 7:13 am

drakkar wrote:Looking to head up and summit bogong one weekend soon.

Is driving up from Melb to mountain creek, and then waking up to bivouac hut in the dark ok?
Or are we better camp at mountain creek Friday. Early start sat go up the staircase, summit. And camp at Michelle hut? Returning on eskdale Spur and driving home Sunday?

I'd be concerned about walking from Mountain creek to Bivouac hut in the dark. I think it's a 900m vertical climb, and a simple pad/track in the day can become difficult at night if you're not familiar with the area.
But that's just my 2 cents, not having been there.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 7:25 am

The foot track can be a bit hard to follow at night, and you would need spare torch batteries. Also, you would need to get to the gate by about 10 pm in fine weather and be fairly fresh. It's 2-3 hours from the gate to the hut. If the weather is fine and there's water on the track just below the summit, then you could camp on the south side, exposed, a bit sloping but a wonderful high camp. From there via Eskdale to the gate is about 4 hours.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Xplora » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 7:51 am

drakkar wrote:Looking to head up and summit bogong one weekend soon.

Is driving up from Melb to mountain creek, and then waking up to bivouac hut in the dark ok?
Or are we better camp at mountain creek Friday. Early start sat go up the staircase, summit. And camp at Michelle hut? Returning on eskdale Spur and driving home Sunday?

There is plenty of daylight. Get up early and start. It can be done in the dark but why? You miss out on so much.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 8:55 am

Why trek up Mt. Bogong in the dark? . Night time is for sleeping. Get up early with the sun and enjoy the scenery. The same can be said about most other treks in the BHP/ Vic. Alps.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby drakkar » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 11:25 am

Why walk in the dark?
- Walking under the stars is amazing. Especially at elevation.
- Many small animals and insects you miss during the day.
- Waking up to completely unseen surrounds the next day, not exactly knowing what you’ve camped between.
- Can make some of the not so nice fire road commute sections much more enjoyable.
- 1 extra sunrise at elevation.

Plenty of good reasons.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 6:08 pm

I beg to differ. If you want to learn the lay out of the terrain so that in white season for XC ski touring you can navigate in poor visibility then learning what the routes look like in Green season is priceless. Moreover I like to get into camp by 3 pm at the latest if possible, and just rest and wind down .
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 06 Nov, 2020 7:09 pm

In summer I'm walking by 6:30 am most days, with longer or hotter days starting before dawn, about 5-5:30 am. This gets me to camp at 1-2 pm, a bit later some days. Occasionally I reach camp in time for lunch, and relax all afternoon. I'd rather walk in daylight, more views. One fine night on Mount Nelse there was a full moon and no wind with what passes for Australian powder over a solid base. The conditions for skiing were amazing.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Xplora » Sat 07 Nov, 2020 7:15 am

drakkar wrote:Why walk in the dark?
- Walking under the stars is amazing. Especially at elevation.
- Many small animals and insects you miss during the day.
- Waking up to completely unseen surrounds the next day, not exactly knowing what you’ve camped between.
- Can make some of the not so nice fire road commute sections much more enjoyable.
- 1 extra sunrise at elevation.

Plenty of good reasons.

Some good points. A full moon walk would be nice as well. The Staircase is a great forest walk which is why I felt daylight would be better.
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I beg to differ. If you want to learn the lay out of the terrain so that in white season for XC ski touring you can navigate in poor visibility then learning what the routes look like in Green season is priceless. Moreover I like to get into camp by 3 pm at the latest if possible, and just rest and wind down .


Would you not also have to learn how to XC ski tour with a full pack first? I don't recall you ever having done this.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby stry » Sat 07 Nov, 2020 8:26 am

I'd be good to walk up to bivouac in the dark. As I recall, the vegetation on the lower reaches of the Staircase blocks a lot of the views anyway.

Bivouac would be a great place to start a new day and to finish the climb from. Would also make a little more daylight time available up high.

FWIW I prefer the Staircase to Eskdale.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 07 Nov, 2020 9:44 am

I do base camp ski trips so knowing the terrain is still vital for XC skiing up to 20 km in a day. Some parts of the BHP have route options that veer away from the pole lines which are quicker. I do have a sled I was going to tow out over the BHP this year but the plague put an end to all of that.

Anyway I am from the Night time is for sleeping in your tent type of angle.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Xplora » Sun 08 Nov, 2020 6:57 am

We are talking here about the Staircase and not skiing on groomed tracks around BHP so there would not be any XC skiing to be had. People enjoy the outdoors in many ways and if you enjoy night walking then I think that is great. You may like getting to camp by lunchtime and laying around for the rest of the day and great if that works for you. Bivouac hut is a great place to camp and start a new day. Done that too. If the choice is to do the Staircase at night then I don't think there would be any issues staying on track. It is pretty clear. Better going up it than down in the dark. Either way it will be nice to have an adventure. Welcome back out to those who have been in lockdown. Things have been quiet around here for some time. All indications are that it will be very busy on the mountain now.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby neilmny » Sun 08 Nov, 2020 7:56 am

I haven't night walked the BHP but I have night walk a few places quite often. There is something special about walking at night. Your senses are on full alert and on a full moon without the distortion of a city glow on the horizon you can see a surprisingly long way and quite clearly. The only thing is the loss of colour in moonlight. In the outback you can actually see quite well by starlight. The stars in the outback on a moonless night are extraordinary. On a moonless night they touch the horizon all around and the Milky Way, wow. You won't see that lying in bed asleep.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 08 Nov, 2020 9:07 am

I do like looking at the stars at night in the desert, by the sea at the Prom and in the mountains. The full moon on a clear night in the Australian Alps is very special.
I have never walked up or down Mt. Bogong in the dark in any season. I do remember getting into Moira's flat camp site in an exhausted state by headlight some 30 min.s after sunset on the Hannel's spur mission.

Anyway whatever floats your boat when it comes to bushwalking. I will be heading up Mt. Bogong later in Nov. 2020 via Long Spur so I will report on the track conditions.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 5:06 pm

This is a bit off topic, but anybody know if there's public transport (bus) on Saturdays from Harrietville up to Hotham (event better stops at Diamantina Hut), or a reasonable taxi on same route?
It doesn't look like there's a Saturday, green-season bus, and Taxi seems to be from Bright only (which may be workable if they pick will pick up at Harrietville).
Was thinking of walking Razorback to Fed. Hut, then down to Harrietville next day.
If not, might just have to trundle back to Diamantina Hut next day.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 6:46 pm

You can walk up the never ending spur a.k.a Bon Accord spur :-0 from Harrietville. It reaches the top of the Razorback not far from The Diamantina Hut. Once you leave Washington Creek there is no water en route. However if you carry extra water and budget it wisely then you can make it into a loop over two solid days and walk across the Razorback and down the more humane Bungalow spur back to Harrietville.You will find water just off the Bungalow spur near the old hut ruins site.
People do this and have made trip reports about it on the interwebby. It could be better to do this route in the other direction and just fill up on extra water on the way up the Bungalow spur 2km before Fed. hut, camp at the Top of the Diamantina spur near High Knob and then smash out the Razorback the next morning before the sun becomes hot and fang it down the Bon Accord spur.
This idea appeals to me. I have carted water for one night and an extra day from near Fed. hut and camped near High knob and returned via Champion Spur, so It is feasible and better than carrying 4 L. of extra water all the way up from the Valley floor.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 7:09 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:You can walk up the never ending spur a.k.a Bon Accord spur :-0 from Harrietville. It reaches the top of the Razorback not far from The Diamantina Hut. Once you leave Washington Creek there is no water en route. However if you carry extra water and budget it wisely then you can make it into a loop over two solid days and walk across the Razorback and down the more humane Bungalow spur back to Harrietville.You will find water just off the Bungalow spur near the old hut ruins site.
People do this and have made trip reports about it on the interwebby. It could be better to do this route in the other direction and just fill up on extra water on the way up the Bungalow spur 2km before Fed. hut, camp at the Top of the Diamantina spur near High Knob and then smash out the Razorback the next morning before the sun becomes hot and fang it down the Bon Accord spur.
This idea appeals to me. I have carted water for one night and an extra day from near Fed. hut and camped near High knob and returned via Champion Spur, so It is feasible and better than carrying 4 L. of extra water all the way up from the Valley floor.

Thanks for the reply. I tried the Bon Accord-Razorback-Bungalow Spur circuit (or almost did) in March. My son pulled the pin just before Washington creek on the way up.
When I told him about the never-ending climb, he seemed to suddenly go weak. Strange.
The trek I'm planning involves some hikers who will not come if they have to go up 1km ascent. So I convinced them that the Razorback would be good one, then the idea of a gravity assist on the second day down to Harrietville via Bungalow spur appealed to them too. But if it's not feasible, it will be a return to Diamantina Hut.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Xplora » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 7:04 am

Baeng72 wrote:This is a bit off topic, but anybody know if there's public transport (bus) on Saturdays from Harrietville up to Hotham (event better stops at Diamantina Hut), or a reasonable taxi on same route?
It doesn't look like there's a Saturday, green-season bus, and Taxi seems to be from Bright only (which may be workable if they pick will pick up at Harrietville).
Was thinking of walking Razorback to Fed. Hut, then down to Harrietville next day.
If not, might just have to trundle back to Diamantina Hut next day.


To answer your question, the schedule at the moment seems to be Mon, Wed, and Friday between Bright and Omeo. It would be an early afternoon up the hill from Harrietville.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 8:03 am

The Razorback still has a climb from 1600 M up to nearly 1750 M to approach Twin Knobs coming from Mt. Hotham. It is not flat !! .For people who have a disinclination for any kind of ascent then perhaps the Vic. Alps are not entirely their kind of thing. The Big Dipper on the Razorback could lead to complaining early in the trek too.
The Bogong High Plains are far more the appealing newbie soft option. Walking a tour of the huts following the pole lines starting at Pretty Valley near Falls Ck. , moving onto Tawonga huts , Young's / SEC hut , Ryder's hut and back to Pretty valley would still give you views of Mt. FT, Mt Loch, Mt. Cope and High Knob on the Razorback with far less up and down walking than even the Razorback offers.

When I started bushwalking I found the up hill bits a bit unpleasant and taxing but now I enjoy the challenge and have taken on some big hills including Hannel's spur up to Mt. Kosci from Geehi flats and every known route up Mt. Bogong and Mt. FT/ The Razorback as well as peaks and glacial lakes in Southern Spain and India's Himalaya.

Oh and yes there is a bus service as Xplora has remarked.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 8:39 am

Thanks for the replies.

I did see that there was a Mon., Wed. Fri. bus, just hoping there might be some other service I couldn't find on a Saturday.

They're not against a small ascent/climb, just not something of 1km (I think Harrietville is about 550m and Fed. Hut is about 1700m) or more.
The climb of 150m from the low point on the Razorback to Twin knobs doesn't seem that different from the climb from just after Telegraph Saddle (180m?) to Windy Saddle (330m?) on the Sealer's cove track (or the return from sea-level to Windy Saddle but that's pretty gentle), which was an alternate bushwalk we were considering. I did warn them about the Big Dipper, but told them it was short and sharp, not like that the whole way.

Anyway, it appears they are unable to come, so maybe PCV's suggestion is a goer or Mt. Difficult.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 9:13 am

Which track is better (less physically challenging) to ascend (and descend) Mt. Bogong, Staircase or Eskdale spur?
I understand the Staircase is pretty much straight up the mountain, and seems quite steep, whilst Eskdale has a bit of a road bash, and it more exposed on the way up, but is it as steep?
Was thinking of starting at Mountain creek, going up Staircase, summiting Bogong, then either heading to Cleve Cole to return next day via Staircase, or Eskdale (whichever is less taxing of the knees)
or if weather looking bad for next day, going to either of Bivouac Hut, or Michell Hut to camp, then continuing back to Mountain creek, and driving home.
Bivouac is closest to Mountain creek, so quickest exit to get back to car, then drive to Melbourne, but if Staircase is difficult to descend, especially if it's wet, maybe not the best choice. Thoughts?
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby north-north-west » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 9:48 am

Both have steeper sections, but I've always preferred going down Eskdale. The only negative is, as you said, the road bash at the end.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby neilmny » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 10:01 am

All are steep and all are very taxing on knees paricularly on the way down.
Staircase from Mountain Creek (at about 600m) to the bottom of the Staircase Track is about 2.1km then start the Staircase Track at about 725m and climb to 1986m over about 6.5km
Eskdale from the Camp Creek car park start at 1075m approx and climb to 1986m over about 4.5km
Granite Flat car park start at 1450m and climb to 1986m over about 2.8km
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 10:03 am

Eskdale is longer and a more gradual climb, and about 3 kilometres longer to the summit than Staircase. Staircase is steeper and hard on the knees going down. Staircase is probably harder in the wet. From Bivouac it's about 90 minutes to the bottom and another 35 minutes to Mountain Creek. Michell Hut (or whatever the spelling is) to Mountain Creek is a bit longer, as you can go faster on the road than on Staircase.

The maps below show a start from Mountain Creek as I do not know where the gate is located, probably about a kilometre up the road, may be point one on both maps. The Eskdale way has a foot track from point three to point four. Point five is about 1430 metres, close to the hut.

Eskdale
https://graphhopper.com/maps/?point=-36 ... =Omniscale

Staircase
https://graphhopper.com/maps/?point=-36 ... =Omniscale
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 10:38 am

Thanks for the replies.
Eskdale does look a better descent, with a cruise along the road at the end.
It looks like the hard yards last longer on Staircase than Eskdale, but as it's straight up the side the pain is over quicker.
From neilmny figures the gradient (steep bits ) of Staircase is just under 20% (194m/km) over 6.5km and Eskdale is just over (202m/km) over 4.5km.

I don't have a 4wd, so I don't think Granite Flats is a possibility.

A circuit going up staircase, coming down Eskdale probably the best compromise. Or just go to Maccas and not suffer, keep my covid-figure. :)
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby stry » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 6:32 pm

That makes sense to me. The Staircase is to me the more dramatic and impressive way to get up, but as another poster said, not knee friendly on the descent.
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