To go........Or not?

Discussion specifically about the Overland Track should be posted in this subforum, including side trips and the Cradle Mountain day walk area. Alternative access routes and connecting routes belong in the parent forum.

To go........Or not?

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 25 May, 2019 7:51 pm

Cradle Valley forecast for the next 4 days looks pretty bleak. Lots of wind, rain, snow and hail.
There are walkers booked to start every day for the next 6 days.
If you've been planning this trip for months, have just flown in from interstate on a tight schedule should you still start ?
If anyone starting tomorrow gets into difficulty in the next few days is this just bad luck or a degree of stupidity ?
I had to make this call a few years ago and chose not to go ( mostly based on the fact that I probably wouldn't see stuff all )
Just wondering what others might do if faced with a similar forecast ?.
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby tastrax » Sat 25 May, 2019 10:06 pm

Snow tomorrow and rain all week - they will get the true Overland experience! Me, I would wait and go another time, but I am a local.

Probably wont be a queue like Everest... viewtopic.php?f=32&t=29812#p375379
Cheers - Phil

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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby Rabid K9 » Mon 27 May, 2019 12:52 am

Mechanic-AL wrote:Cradle Valley forecast for the next 4 days looks pretty bleak. Lots of wind, rain, snow and hail.
There are walkers booked to start every day for the next 6 days.
If you've been planning this trip for months, have just flown in from interstate on a tight schedule should you still start ?
If anyone starting tomorrow gets into difficulty in the next few days is this just bad luck or a degree of stupidity ?
I had to make this call a few years ago and chose not to go ( mostly based on the fact that I probably wouldn't see stuff all )
Just wondering what others might do if faced with a similar forecast ?.


Would certainly go, for precisely the reason others are hesitating.

Less people, more adventure, as long as prepared & with plenty of time.

Few years ago (2004), managed to get dropped off before road was closed for a big event in July, was quite a solid outing all the way to Ducane Gap, including having to dig into Kitchen Hut to take shelter (bottom door was completely buried). First experience with avalanches in Australia (on Face track). Had snowshoes & couple weeks worth of food, food drop bought in to the then Windy Fridge, then up onto Traveller with intention to go out via Walls. A decent snow base from June was also in place, which helped travel somewhat, instead of just floundering through the normal Tassie alpine scrub covered by wet snow.

Unfortunately warmed a little & rotted the snowpack we were hoping to use to get across Plateau more easily, so came back out via LSC.
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby wayno » Mon 27 May, 2019 4:25 am

only go if you have previous experience in those weather conditions and know how to manage the cold and wet effectively and can avoid hypothermia...
from the land of the long white clouds...

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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby Petew » Fri 31 May, 2019 11:05 am

Did you go?
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby benoloughlin » Sat 01 Jun, 2019 10:53 am

wayno wrote:only go if you have previous experience in those weather conditions and know how to manage the cold and wet effectively and can avoid hypothermia...


I agree. A decision as to whether one should go should be based on one's health and fitness, preparedness, and experience in similar conditions. Walking in the alpine or subalpine during extreme weather isn't a mere inconvenience of feeling a bit cold and wet, but can be life threatening.

The following documents make for some salutary reading:

Inquest into the death of Jin Kang on the Overland Track on 20 February 2014
https://www.magistratescourt.tas.gov.au ... ,_Kang.pdf

Inquest into the death of Trevor Tolputt on the Overland Track on 14 July 2016
https://www.magistratescourt.tas.gov.au ... ngs-OM.pdf

kind regards,

Ben
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby Warin » Sat 01 Jun, 2019 1:01 pm

You don't get experience unless you go... preferably with some who has experience.

For the OLT... there are frequent huts... and you should have supplies to outlast a storm in one of them.
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sun 02 Jun, 2019 6:22 pm

Rabid K9 wrote:
Would certainly go, for precisely the reason others are hesitating.

Less people, more adventure, as long as prepared & with plenty of time.



I guess it all depends on the reasons you are out there for in the first place.
But if the main reason for starting in atrocious conditions is to test yourself against the elements does that mean you would happily do 6 or 7 days in snotty conditions and not see much along the way ?
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby matagi » Tue 04 Jun, 2019 3:36 pm

Mechanic-AL wrote:
Rabid K9 wrote:
Would certainly go, for precisely the reason others are hesitating.

Less people, more adventure, as long as prepared & with plenty of time.



I guess it all depends on the reasons you are out there for in the first place.
But if the main reason for starting in atrocious conditions is to test yourself against the elements does that mean you would happily do 6 or 7 days in snotty conditions and not see much along the way ?


It's certainly a different experience when you cannot see the views or much of the surrounding countryside. Not better, not worse, just different - my opinion only, of course. Others may disagree.
This makes me the first man to climb Mount Everest backwards, without oxygen...or even a jumper.
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby Petew » Tue 04 Jun, 2019 5:45 pm

Providing you are well equipped and experienced an epic can be fun! Or at least fondly remembered after the fact......
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby Mechanic-AL » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 12:19 pm

Judging by the number of people who have been caught out in the past week there is clearly a line in the sand/snow regarding when it is ok to venture forth or not.
This line is obviously extremely variable dependent on euipment, past experience etc...
It is an individuals ability to determine where their own personal line is set that is the critical factor.
Lots of people clearly shouldnt have left the car park last week.
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: To go........Or not?

Postby wayno » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 12:27 pm

if you're not used to being in the roaring 40's its no place for novices esp in winter... the added wind chill makes it all the more dangerous... the whole trip is on an elevated plateau, it was cold enough when i was there in summer, very exposed... the wind travels uninterupted around the southern ocean and slams into the island....
from the land of the long white clouds...

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