Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

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Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby crispopp » Wed 02 Oct, 2019 8:26 am

I'm heading to Mount Bogong this weekend to do a circuit. Start Saturday morning from Mountain Creek car park. One question and one offer:
1. Does anyone know what the snow conditions are upon Bogong? I'm assuming there is snow.
2. Does anyone want a lift up that way? Would be leaving Friday afternoon from East Brunswick at around 3 PM.
3. Anybody know about the water status - assuming there will be plenty even if it is snow melt.
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby Xplora » Thu 03 Oct, 2019 6:35 am

Still plenty of snow cover. Snowshoes advised. Crampons if you are heading south side in the mornings but the weather is forecast to be warm so maybe no freeze. Not sure on where the snowline is on the north side but there is good cover on the east side to 1650m and patchy past that to 1500 so that could give you some indication. Likely a bit higher coming from Mountain Creek. Water will not be a problem if you are walking through but it would likely be snow melting. CC hut has it on tap. What was your circuit? Interested to know the status of the chain at Big River (T spur) and the river height. Weather should be good enough but windy. Tuesday turning cold again. Enjoy.
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby crispopp » Thu 03 Oct, 2019 3:04 pm

Thx Xplora. Do you think I need an Ice axe too?

Circuit is: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/938781?units=km (hope link works) : Mountain Creek > Staircase > Bogong > Grey Hills > Spion Kopje > Roper Hut > T Spur > Cleve Cole > Eskdale > return.

What do you think> I havne't done it before so appreciate any suggestions ...
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby Xplora » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 8:12 am

I would think crampons would be sufficient but even then they may not be needed. There are a couple of steeps which can get icy. Last pinch up the staircase but it should have some sun on it by the time you get there. The other bit is on Quartz Ridge which is south facing.
Your circuit is a good one. The Grey Hills will be tough until Mt. Arthur as it is a bit overgrown. The first bit from the helipad (Bogong Crk saddle) is not bad. There is no water on the Grey Hills unless there is snow. Once you get to the end and can see the Spione Kopje ridge line you should just head straight over to it. I doubt it will be clear of snow and that would be a good thing. There is no track anyway and hopefully you can walk on top of the low srub. From there things are pretty simple to Big River Fire Trail and Ropers Hut. Water in the aqueduct at the crossing on Spione Kopje. Water at Ropers. The T spur/Big River crossing has a chain and sometimes it gets broken when the river is in flood. It can be deep there and flowing this time of year so take care. I suspect it will be around thigh deep for an average person at the moment. T spur is a grind. Very doable loop in the time allocated.
One other suggestion would be to do it in reverse. You can make the river crossing easy on day one or if a later start you can get to CC hut for the night. CC to Big River will take about 1.5 hours with no detours and if the river is too high to cross you can head back up. This has happened to me before and it would be better than being turned around to Ropers and the Grey Hills.
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby north-north-west » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 8:43 am

Xplora wrote:One other suggestion would be to do it in reverse. You can make the river crossing easy on day one or if a later start you can get to CC hut for the night. CC to Big River will take about 1.5 hours with no detours and if the river is too high to cross you can head back up. This has happened to me before and it would be better than being turned around to Ropers and the Grey Hills.


Indeed. I'd much rather walk back up T Spur than back up Duanes.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 10:05 am

The ridge line of Spion Kopje would still be XC skiable !!. I would not take skis strapped on the pack over the Grey Hills. It is quite a bush bash.
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby Xplora » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 12:41 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The ridge line of Spion Kopje would still be XC skiable !!. I would not take skis strapped on the pack over the Grey Hills. It is quite a bush bash.

Nobody has mentioned skis. So far the talk has been snow shoes but yes skis would pose some problem for a short section that is overgrown a bit. Skis can be carried in the hand but I can't imagine anyone contemplating a ski trip on this circuit at this time of year. That would be a lot of weight on your back for little benefit.
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby crispopp » Wed 09 Oct, 2019 3:58 pm

HI all, thanks for the comments. I didn't quite make it the whole way around.
DAY 1:
I got from Mountain Creek car park through to Quartz knob. Found a great camp and plenty of snow for water.

DAY 2:
I headed off early in the morning, but, as you may know, the Quartz Ridge Trail is very poorly marked. In summer it would be fine, but in winter, large sections of the trail are covered with snow. So you can see the trail disappearing under the snow – but hard to find where it emerges. As a result I took a wrong turn down a spur and ended up down near Cairn Creek. Compass was not much good as there was not much to sight against and not a good reception for my phone maps. So, after an hour of bashing about, heading a fair way south, I spent some more hours climbing back up to Quartz Ridge - which I found. By then I was about 30 minutes out from the junction with of the Cairn Creek Hut track. Long story short, I lost three hours.
So instead of taking the Grey Hills track, I took the Tims spur fire track. This required a river crossing (sans chain), which was doable, though, would not have been fun if I had fallen. Tim spur was not a bad walk - just a long way up! Made it all the way to Roper's hut on day 2. Incidentally, I couldn't find Roper's hut until the morning - why is the sign pointing in the wrong direction?
And you are correct Xplora - the river was about thigh-high. Chain intact. Still a little bit wild to cross ...
DAY 3:
I got through to Cleve Cole (it took me five hours some Ropers Hut, down to big River and back up the T spur knob - is that slow? I found it pretty hard going), and decided to press on to Hells Gap. It lived up to its name - a white out, very cold, and *&%$#! conditions. So headed down to camp the night at Mitchell Hut. Glad I did as the wind howled most of the night and it snowed. That would have been good except there were no views in the morning due to the cloud cover, and it would have been a cold and blowy night.
DAY 4:
Pretty easy walk out, down is now spur and along Mountain Creek Road back to Mountain Creek car park. Thanks all for suggestions and help.
Always looking for good ideas for my next challenging walk ... :-).
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby Xplora » Thu 10 Oct, 2019 6:05 am

Even with the navigation error, you made good choices and good progress. Maybe going in reverse would have helped navigation up Quartz also. Ropers to CC hut in 5 hours is not shabby. T spur is a difficult climb and I would think most people with a heavy pack would do it in that time. Even the down hill to the river is slow. All in all I think you have ticked off a good adventure. Certainly worth coming back to do the Grey Hills.
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby crispopp » Fri 11 Oct, 2019 1:59 pm

Yep - going up, Quartz would have been easier to find. Other thing is to have kept to the top of the ridge. All good though and I enjoyed the experience. Thanks for the positive comments :-).
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Re: Bogong this weekend 2019 -Oct 5-8; Snow? Lift Available

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 11 Oct, 2019 9:32 pm

It is good to hear you found your way and came back safely. Did you check the weather forecast prior to setting out?. The summit area of Mt. Bogong and above the tree line on the BHP in a white out with strong winds are not the best places to be when out for a walk.
I went XC skiing on Wed. 9/10/19 at Mt. Baw Baw. Nordic Skiing conditions were surprisingly good.
October can be unpredictable in terms of weather in the VIC ALPS. Come back and hike the Grey Hills next time . The Quartz Ridge is very scenic in good weather. I have hiked up it and down it . The Grey Hills offer good views too. Following the pole lines to get you to Roper's hut is a good idea. I cannot quite imagine how you had any trouble locating Roper's hut even in very poor visibility.
If you become more familiar with the area navigation will become easier.
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