Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

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Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Thu 18 Jun, 2020 5:34 pm

Hello everyone,


1st time poster,
Looking to snowshoe from Mt Hotham across to Mt Bogong and finish at Mountain Creek in about a months time with a friend. Keen to hear from anyone that's done that hike in winter. I've done this hike in summer and have snowshoed and camped in snow a few times.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Fri 19 Jun, 2020 8:46 am

Were you planning to leave a car at Hotham for the entire time? That would be an expensive option. What is it you would like to know? You would probably need to add a day to your summer trip to account for slower going in snow. You could park at Dinner Plain for nothing and go down Brandy Creek track and then up Paling spur to Youngs Tops but you would have to be able to navigate without markers or have a GPS once at the top of Paling spur. May not be much in the way of snow below 1600m but it is a month away. Pretty much none at all now. The T spur crossing should not be too bad but you have other options to get onto Bogong.

Anyway, welcome to the forum and come back with some specifics and you should get the info you need.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Fri 19 Jun, 2020 12:21 pm

Hi Xplora,
We're looking at doing car shuffle, leaving one at Camp creek, the other at Harrietville and catching bus up, start at Mt Loch car park, like you said adding a day because of snow, Looking to get to Ryders Yards 1st night via swindlers spur, onto Johnstons or Edmondson(is one better suited?)2nd night, Cleve Cole 3rd, do we need crampons or microspikes or are snow shoes enough? Is The Staircase an option in snow or Eskdale? Is avalanches a concern or if we stick to the pole lines will we be ok? And is there any thing else to be aware of?
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Fri 19 Jun, 2020 1:36 pm

The only real issue you may have with foothold is coming down the Staircase or Eskdale spur if it is icy but I have done both with just snowshoes with a metal cleat at the front (MSR). If there is good snow cover on Youngs Tops then when you get to the top and the pole line (after coming up from Cobungra gap) you can take a straight east bearing and head toward the beginning of the aqueduct and High Plains Creek. This is the other side of Mt.Jim to the pole line and the AAWT and will set you up to get to Ryders easily. Save a couple of k's. Would not do that in bad weather. Stick to the pole line to pole 333 then to the Cope East Aqueduct track. Remembering there is no toilet at Ryders hut. Edmonsons hut would be a better option than Johnsons for a good start the next morning as again, if there is good snow cover, you can head north up the hill once out of the snowgums and meet up with the road. Cuts off a couple of k's backtracking to the road and up to Nelse. The T spur crossing is more of an issue during snow melt but if there is a rain event then it will rise quickly. No sleeping allowed in CC hut currently and I would say that goes for all huts. You will probably get a day of bad weather and you have some options with your plan. Keep off any groomed trails as much has possible. Would not be concerned about avalanche if you stay on the ridge or spur and avoid any cornice. Can't see it being too much of a problem in a month.

Good plan. Should work with an early start each day.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Fri 19 Jun, 2020 9:08 pm

Have done the short cut to Ryders Yards in summer and was thinking to try weather permitting, I like your idea of Edmondson and short cut as well, Hoping to do it in 4 days but allowing 6 days with food included. Good to hear you've done Staircase and Eskdale with just snowshoes. We're only using huts for food prep and in case of emergencies.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby north-north-west » Sat 20 Jun, 2020 8:47 am

I've done both Staircase and Eskdale in the snow. I found going down Eskdale easier, with or without snowshoes. Recall one awkward patch in particular on the Staircase, a diagonal line fairly high up, maybe not that far from Hells Gate. Otherwise they're straightforward enough.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Sat 20 Jun, 2020 9:32 am

Hi North-North-West, might have to decide when we get to Bogong as to which direction we'll go.

Thanks to you and Xplora for your info
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Sat 20 Jun, 2020 9:53 pm

north-north-west wrote:I've done both Staircase and Eskdale in the snow. I found going down Eskdale easier, with or without snowshoes. Recall one awkward patch in particular on the Staircase, a diagonal line fairly high up, maybe not that far from Hells Gate. Otherwise they're straightforward enough.


Know that bit well also. It can be rough in heavy snow or when icy. Going up it turned us back once. Came down Eskdale on our bums once. Wind was blowing us over. Would still think Eskdale spur would be a better bet in bad weather. Good you know the short cuts and in full snow they are even better. No need to worry about sensitive areas and bogs. See how the season goes but thinking August would be better for snow coverage.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby north-north-west » Sun 21 Jun, 2020 7:40 am

Oh, Eskdale is great for bum-sledding. Even if you do lose the occasional pair of sunnies on the way down. :roll:
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Sun 21 Jun, 2020 11:34 am

We were planning to do Larapinta Hike in May before Corona changed everyone's plans, we're now looking at first 2 weeks of August, will keep an eye on snow and borders
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Sun 21 Jun, 2020 12:27 pm

Guys, looking at buying snow shoes instead of hiring, do yours have the heal lifters for steep climbs? do you use and like them or could do without? Also do you guys have microspikes or similar and opinions?
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby north-north-west » Sun 21 Jun, 2020 2:32 pm

Heel lifters definitely if you're going to be doing a lot of steeper stuff. I have and use microspikes, but they're for ice rather than snow. Also have crampons but I've never used them; somehow they always get forgotten and left behind when I'm packing for a trip.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 6:36 am

I don't have heel lifters but that is because my snowshoes are really old. They are a good idea and I have them on my skis. Microspikes would be handy also. Don't have any of them either but have used crampons a couple of times. Crampons are a bugger to carry for very little use but when needed you are glad to have them. For the most part I would think microspikes would be enough.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 7:40 am

Guys, Thanks for the info, now for the snow . . .
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Rlgm12 » Sun 28 Jun, 2020 12:39 pm

If you’re leaving from Mt Hotham; are you going up the following way:


Mount Lock Car Park->
Machinery Spur Track -> Derrick Hut
-> Swindlers Spur -> Cobungra Hut

What’s this section like?
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Mon 29 Jun, 2020 10:26 am

I have done this walk in summer, fairly flat out to Derrick hut, (quite pretty around there), then drop down to Cobungra gap via swindlers spur. What info are you after?
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Rlgm12 » Mon 29 Jun, 2020 1:14 pm

Franz Tee,


Just seeking out generic info on the strip from Hotham to Bogong.

Am considering starting in Harrietville and knocking off Feathertop.


My current plan is Hotham to Mountain creek, following the AAWT.

Alternative summit to T and Duane is the spion kopje - Mt Arthur - Quartz Ridge.

Got 7 days so am flexible. Limited to snow shoes. Leaving early July
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Franz Tee » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 7:54 am

Feathertop would be good, good luck on your hike
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby north-north-west » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 9:13 am

Feathertop is superb in the snow, in the right conditions. Enjoy.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Wed 01 Jul, 2020 6:08 am

Feathertop via the Razorback then down Diamantina spur to Blairs, up to Westons and pick up the AAWT at pole 333. That would be more spectacular than going Swindlers spur. The Grey Hills (Mt. Arthur) would be awesome too. Too many choices but all good.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby dymmas » Mon 06 Jul, 2020 3:04 pm

I did Eskdale yesterday in about a foot of fresh snow and was postholing - even in snow shoes!

_DSC0508.jpg


Mid - late morning best for Eskdale as it gives the sun some time to soften the snow. It can get very icy at times.

Note that the chain at Big River is broken - if the river is running high it can definitely prevent you crossing (as I found out last week...).

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Last edited by dymmas on Mon 06 Jul, 2020 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby north-north-west » Mon 06 Jul, 2020 3:41 pm

Would expect the chain to be disconnected this time of year.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby dymmas » Mon 06 Jul, 2020 4:02 pm

north-north-west wrote:Would expect the chain to be disconnected this time of year.


Ah right - I didn't realise that was a thing!

Would you know when it is reconnected?

Cheers
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby north-north-west » Mon 06 Jul, 2020 4:36 pm

Sometime after the spring thaw.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Tue 07 Jul, 2020 7:31 am

dymmas wrote:
north-north-west wrote:Would expect the chain to be disconnected this time of year.


Ah right - I didn't realise that was a thing!

Would you know when it is reconnected?

Cheers

I don't think it is ever taken down. Sometimes it gets hit with by a tree and breaks when the river is high but it is kept in place for crossings all year round. Looking at the river height then I would be cautious going that way just now anyway. My guess it would be above the knees to mid thigh.
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Re: Mt Hotham to Mt Bogong Winter Hike

Postby Xplora » Wed 08 Jul, 2020 5:09 am

Report from Dymmas that the chain is broken and the river high. See here viewtopic.php?f=37&t=31371&p=396454#p396454
The Grey Hills or Timms spur a better option. I will let Parks know but it will not be fixed until after the thaw.
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