Cleve Cole Hut

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Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Snolion » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 3:12 pm

Hello forum, I am wanting to know how many people does Cleve Cole Hut sleep in total? I understand it is on a first come first served basis.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 6:43 pm

Snolion, welcome to the forum

Cleve Cole has two bench bunks about 3000 mm across. There are wide mats that might take five people on each level, and with BW mats, maybe 7-8 people. With 18 people in the hut it would be very crowded. Like nearly all mountain huts, Cleve Cole is first come first served. However, a person in need is never turned away. Can you please advise how and when you are planning to go to Cleve Cole?
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Mark F » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 7:39 pm

Could I just add that planning to use a hut, especially in winter, does NOT remove the need to carry an adequate tent or shelter. Due to weather/circumstances you may not reach the hut.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 8:14 pm

Mark, strongly agree. Gadsden showed what happens when going for a hut in poor conditions. If the weather is poor, then maybe stop at the tree line, or go back down to where a sheltered camp can be made. There's 2-3 hours of exposed ridges coming up Staircase or Eskdale to CC Hut, not a good place to be in wind and snow.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby andrewa » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 8:21 pm

Maybe I'm just getting old, or the fact that my trips are only weekends, but I rarely can be bothered going over to CC these days in winter - inevitably conditions were crap coming back on Sunday's, and it's an extra 60-90 minute slog over there and back. I'd rather tent somewhere where I can get off the mountain easily if conditions turn sour.

It's a great hut, but just far enough removed from the "action" in winter that it doesnt do it for me. Lots of good flat camp sites nearby in the trees though. Can't imagine 18 in the hut! No one could move!

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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Xplora » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 6:13 am

If a member is at the hut then that opens up another 6 or 8 births at a squeeze but only for members or emergency. Last winter got a bit crowded at times. Stayed a night inside when there were just a couple but next day a group of 4 turned up who were clearly intent on taking over. They had tents but decided to push everyone else aside. We pitched a tent and were much more comfortable especially when more came the next day. I guess if you like the thought of spooning some hairy bloke you just met then you will be in your element. We could have gone into the members only section but my mate in there snores. If your plan is to take a large group there to sleep in the hut then like MarkF said, take a tent or you could be disappointed. If you all don't have good winter outside sleeping gear then think seriously about not going. I found it uncomfortable with 11 people just using the hut at one time. If you get up for any reason you lose your seat.
Michell hut is coping quite a bit in winter as well, likely because of what Andrew said. These two huts are mostly used by skiers in winter and the better skiing is back up the hill from CC. As Lops said, let us know when you plan to go and with how many. I will make sure not to be there at that time.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Biggles » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 11:01 am

Lophophaps wrote:Mark, strongly agree. Gadsden showed what happens when going for a hut in poor conditions. If the weather is poor, then maybe stop at the tree line, or go back down to where a sheltered camp can be made. There's 2-3 hours of exposed ridges coming up Staircase or Eskdale to CC Hut, not a good place to be in wind and snow.


Yes, I fully agree. The route off the treeline across the plain is horrendous and frightening when the weather closes in (happened to me last summer — a blizzard!). Though not at all needed for the grunt up and up and up, GPS is absolutely essential once on the tops (vicious wind and fog obliterates all sense of direction). Twenty minutes later... a blue sky appears. Not funny!!
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Snolion » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 3:52 pm

Thank you to all for the detailed info. We won't be crowding the hut as there will most likely be 4-5 of us walking up there this spring and I wanted to know how many it sleeps to make a call on whether we stay there or not. At this stage I am leaning towards staying in tents and using the hut if the weather turns sour. Cheers
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 7:43 pm

Snolion, that can work, but there will be other parties with exactly the same idea. There's good camping behind the hut, albeit a little exposed. The water is reliable as well. If the weather's fine, think about camping on the treeline where the poles from the summit turn left and down to the hut. While there's no water, the views at sunset are often brilliant. From the hut, if you go across the creek for a few minutes there's an old yard, nice and flat, a bit quieter than near the hut. Going downhill there's not much until a small spot at the top of T Spur.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Xplora » Thu 20 Jul, 2017 6:03 am

Lophophaps wrote:Snolion, that can work, but there will be other parties with exactly the same idea. There's good camping behind the hut, albeit a little exposed. The water is reliable as well. If the weather's fine, think about camping on the treeline where the poles from the summit turn left and down to the hut. While there's no water, the views at sunset are often brilliant. From the hut, if you go across the creek for a few minutes there's an old yard, nice and flat, a bit quieter than near the hut. Going downhill there's not much until a small spot at the top of T Spur.

You can see the old yards from the hut. Horse camps use this area but they won't be there in spring. Still likely to have a bit of snow around. There is also Camp Valley which is before T spur just as you cross the creek. The track heads off to Howman Falls on the south side of the creek and this is a very nice and sheltered spot, big enough for a group this size.
Using the hut as a social gathering point is good and you can cook out of the wind or whatever weather there is. Early spring may still see people skiing but not sure about this year. Given snow holds there longer and this season may not produce much, people may be flocking to Bogong. November would be my pick of spring there. There are a few critters in the hut so leaving food anywhere they can get to is not advisable. We usually pull the table off the wall a foot at night and hang the packs off the wall or at least your food bags. Water is from a spring which is piped into the hut. Just turn on the tap. I have drunk it without treating but I leave those decisions to the individual. It is a great hut and one worth seeing even if not staying. We finished the steps last Christmas day so now people can sit on them and not get in the way of others wanting to come in or out.
New steps Cleve Cole Hut.jpg
New steps Cleve Cole Hut.jpg (100.25 KiB) Viewed 940 times
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 20 Jul, 2017 6:38 am

Xplora, I was unaware that the yards were still in use; I've not seen horse riding parties there. The Camp Valley site is good. However, it's a bit close to the creek for my liking. The picture below shows the flat area you describe from the Long Spur side. That was the day that there was about 100 mm of rain, and the walk from Mount Wills was arduous.

I saw the new steps and was quite impressed with the work done. The next job is to remove the pillar at the end of the table. It may be structural ...

Camp Creek flood.jpg
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Xplora » Fri 21 Jul, 2017 5:49 am

Lophophaps wrote:Xplora, I was unaware that the yards were still in use; I've not seen horse riding parties there. The Camp Valley site is good. However, it's a bit close to the creek for my liking. The picture below shows the flat area you describe from the Long Spur side. That was the day that there was about 100 mm of rain, and the walk from Mount Wills was arduous.

I saw the new steps and was quite impressed with the work done. The next job is to remove the pillar at the end of the table. It may be structural ...

Yikes! Which one is the creek? I think in those circumstances you would not begrudge anyone a night in the hut.

The Baird's still take people up there on horses over summer. They are the only operators licenced but private horse groups can also go that far at present. Nobody can go further up than CC. Some years ago the Baird's would pack in supplies like gas bottles but they started charging too much. Now the bottles are packed in and out by club members on the working bee weekend.
I suspect the wall is structural but it also makes the kitchen area separate and the stove is on the other side of it. There would be no moving it now anyway as I think there is a heritage overlay on the building. We also redid the hearth while there(underneath as well). I take no credit for the fine job. My job was to mix the mud and move rocks. Gordy, whom you know, and my partner did all the placement and it is most impressive. We also found a nice Alpine Copperhead living in the rock pile which made getting rocks interesting.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 21 Jul, 2017 8:49 am

Xplora, if you look carefully you can see the track to CC on the far side of the creek. I think that the track to Howmans Falls is on the flat area, just visible.The rain stopped as I descended to the small campsite at the top of T Spur. The water was quite swift, although only just over knee deep, and I went across in three short crossings. My comment about the wall was partly in jest. While the hut design has stood the test of time, I reckon that today the stove would be better on a wall, giving more space for the inmates. When I was there apres the flood there were about six people cooking and eating in the hut, and it was crowded. I saw the rock heap and avoided it on principle.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Xplora » Sat 22 Jul, 2017 4:56 am

Lophophaps wrote:\ While the hut design has stood the test of time, I reckon that today the stove would be better on a wall, giving more space for the inmates.

I do agree but considering it was designed and built in one year it is pretty good and one of the best shelters in the mountains. Still some significant work being done re-pointing the entire outside stone walls. Much has been done but the rest will have to wait for the next materials drop in the spring. That stuff is brought in by helicopter now thanks to PV.

Regarding huts in general, they are a vital resource for all of us and although I have said this before it is worth repeating. Please take care with them and respect the 'hut code'. No big fires in open fire places, replace firewood if you can and only cut dead timber, don't leave stuff behind because you don't want to carry it out (that includes food), report any damage to PV or the Victorian Huts Assoc.and maybe consider contributing to their upkeep in some way. Most huts are public property now, although originally privately built, so consider them to be your own and respect them as such.
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Re: Cleve Cole Hut

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 22 Jul, 2017 6:24 am

Xplora, perhaps more than any hut, Cleve Cole has endured very well. The design reflects the time it was built, and my comments are just that, not a criticism of the designers or builders. I always carry a tent, and use the tent I occassionally use huts if the weathe is poor or if needs so dictate. I stayed at CCH after a long and very wet day from Mount Wills. The last time I was that wrecked was skiing from Albina Hut to Tin Hut, delayed due to ice on steep slopes. The Main Range is no place to be on skis on ice, even with metal edges, which were not much help.

Your comment "consider them your own" has merit. There's an old BW saying, take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. I'd go a bit further and suggest that if possible, carry out rubbish that others have left behind. This may not always be safe. A few years ago I saw a big plastic bag behind the Federation Hut campsite. It was wet, putrifying and quite impossible to carry out. I advised PV, who hopefully collected this when they next visisted by helicopter. There's minimal rubbish at most places where overnight walkers go.
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