Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 01 Apr, 2021 4:23 pm

Apart from the Diamantina Spur being a steep and relentless pain in the a**** ,
the whole area will be far too busy with campers and walkers for my tastes during the Easter/ April School Holidays period.
The OP will be having type 2 and type 3 fun for sure.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Staceykate » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 12:54 pm

So my husband can read topographic maps (I've had my first lesson!) Only been married 9 years and I had no idea he knew how to do that :lol: :lol: He's a country bred boy...

He's looked on the Getlost map and there are 2 tracks that come off Diamantina at the end towards the river. A few GPX files that he has seen, show the southern track as being the one people take. The map he has from Maps VIC shows the top track.

He's wondering which is better (if one is) - the steep sections look different, obviously not one flat and one steep, but steep in different sections, but just wondering any recommendations on which track to take (or even if there really is two tracks?)

Pic attached...
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby andrewp » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 2:33 pm

The southern one is the only track. This is what is shown on OSM. The northern one is as shown by VICMaps, but is no longer there (and hasn't been for a long time).
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 7:02 pm

A few months ago when I went up Diamantina I did not see the northern track. If it's faint then this is understandable as I was in an advanced state of decay at 1400 metres, a condition that eased on the journey home. Online maps often have false information, one reason I asked about the Tom Kneen shortcut. It really would help if maps such as the above had 100 metre contours thicker and the altitude numbers in a black typeface. Brown typeface is hard to read. Black is beautiful.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby badd0g » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 5:37 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Also, is the Tom Kneen Track so signposted, or does the sign say NW Spur?


Turnoff sign to MUMC is noted as the Tom Kneen track
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 6:30 pm

badd0g wrote:Turnoff sign to MUMC is noted as the Tom Kneen track


Thank you. Maps and the Vicnames maps at
https://maps.land.vic.gov.au/lassi/VicnamesUI.jsp
not helpful. The screen shots below are from Vicnames.

Tom Kneen Track.png

Tom Kneen Track 2.png
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby north-north-west » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 5:01 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Stacey, most snakes will slither away. Some snakes are aggressive, notably Tiger snakes.


They aren't aggressive, they just don't like giving ground. Keep at a distance, make plenty of noise and, if all else fails, throw something (that won't hurt) at them.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby badd0g » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 5:38 pm

Lophophaps wrote:
badd0g wrote:Turnoff sign to MUMC is noted as the Tom Kneen track


Thank you. Maps and the Vicnames maps at
https://maps.land.vic.gov.au/lassi/VicnamesUI.jsp
not helpful. The screen shots below are from Vicnames.


Lop, not sure if you've seen it but this article is a wealth of info on the history of the area. Suggests that the NW track was renamed in 1985 after Tom Kneen's death. Most maps still have NW track denoted despite the signage
https://www.australianmountains.com/feathertop
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 9:19 pm

Badd0g. I had seen that link; thanks for posting it. There's one minor correction. The first Federation Hut had the airlock on the inside, under the mezzanine floor. Under that air lock there were steep steps to a tank under the floor, cramped and awkward. Around 1971-72 the airlock was moved outside to the position shown with the red door and two walkers. I know this as I was in the work party that did this. The weekend that Tom died was busy, two other searches. Tom's body was not found until spring, way down Avalanche Gully.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Staceykate » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 9:42 pm

Forecast isn't looking great for the Razorback... very windy.

Lops, is your bogong loop you sent more sheltered?
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 9:49 pm

Stacey, the high plains walk is exposed but the campsites are more sheltered than Federation. The Bungalow is sheltered up to the hut. Razorback is very exposed. Your proposed loop is more committing than the high plains, which has six huts. Diamantina is a slog, rough on the knees but okay if you take it slowly. The rocky sections require care. At about 1500 metres you are in the trees, sheltered to the road, Cobungra Gap, Dibbins and nearly all the way to Derrick Hut. The last 90 minutes from there are exposed. From the bottom of Diamantina you are committed to two routes. Forget about going back. Go up Machinery Spur or Swindlers Spur.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 11:26 pm

My Friend Ms. C. is going out over the Bogong High Plains this weekend with her hiking chum :-0.

I told her to keep each hut on her route in mind as a refuge from driving winds, rain and snow and do not take short cuts from the pole lines in poor visibility.

The OP would be wise to avoid the Razorback over the coming Friday to Tuesday period. The Summit of Mt. FT would be sketchy in these conditions and the views would be minimal. The Diamantina spur in bad weather is not a place I would like to be.
As LOPS has commented The Bungalow Spur is a safe route up to Fed. Hut in foul weather but proceeding past it has been nearly impossible in some white season trips I have done. Even in Autumn storms the poor visibility and wind chill can be nasty.
I have done it in white season in foul weather a number of times :-0. Even then it required some inner resolve to push onto Fed. hut and get out of the elements and warm the eff up, what with deep snow, driving winds , icy temperatures and all !.Even when it is just raining cats and dogs and miserable ,The Bungalow Spur track is still sheltered but stopping just to eat is not always an option in such bleak weather.

Overall staying in the tree line is wise when the weather turns feral.

If the OP has experience of knowing the early signs of Hypothermia then that is good.

Pole 333 on the Bogong High Plains could be a good place to re enact the last hours of Scott of the Antarctic!.
:-P

Mt . Stirling offers good easy to navigate walking or XC skiing in season , many warm and dry huts and a more sheltered mountain experience.
Last edited by paidal_chalne_vala on Fri 09 Apr, 2021 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 09 Apr, 2021 7:18 am

PCV, I don't need pole 333 for a re-enactment! The last one is between Cope Hut and Cope Saddle last Christmas.

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AAWT track mat.JPG (163.5 KiB) Viewed 590 times


The weekend at Falls Creek looks bleak.
http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/fallscreek.shtml
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 09 Apr, 2021 2:05 pm

The OP could consider a walk to Ritchie's hut on the Howqua river coming in from 8 Mile Flat. The hut is spacious and has a fire place. The setting is soothing and peaceful and well within the tree line.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 11:07 am

See PM.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Staceykate » Wed 14 Apr, 2021 9:01 pm

We made it !!
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby bigkev » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 6:25 am

Well done Stacey... that's a step up from The Prom in terms of difficulty. :)
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby stry » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 6:55 am

Well done. Clear skies and just enough snow to improve the view without causing problems.

A fortuitous change of plans, I'd say. :D
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 7:36 am

Nice. One good aspect is your flexibility. Prom, Feathertop, Diamantina Spur and now Razorback. At least you saw how steep Diamantina is. The hut I mean, the roof. You also have a heap of information for future trips, and know a little of the area, always a good starting point. If you go to the region before October skis may be needed.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 8:09 am

Nice work!
What was your route?
I'm guessing you're on the Razorback there? Maybe Feathertop summit?
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 8:19 am

Well Done. There are a number of routes to and from the Razorback and Mt. FT. Now you have started the project to walk them all.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Staceykate » Thu 15 Apr, 2021 8:13 pm

Original pic was of Feathertop summit :)

We ended up doing our original plan - Razorback, Diamantina, Swindlers back to hotham. Monday - Wed.

Day 1 - Razorback to Fed hut, set up camp, filter water and fill everything, summit feathertop. I came back to camp to finish setting up beds and stretch to try save my knee for the next day - rest of the group did sunset at little feathertop.

We had snow from Sunday's dump in patches across the Razorback and a decent dusting on Feathertop, it was magical. It was a COLD night - in thermals, socks and beanies, in my -4 comfort bag and just ok. Fed hut wasn't crazy busy (in my opinion) but did have maybe 8 tents there. I grew up going to caravan parks for holidays so others probably would find that busy.

Walk along Razorback with the dusting of snow on everything was beautiful, the highlight was the snow.

Updated forecast on Monday night for Tues/Wed was not too crazy winds, and just a tiny amount of rain on Wednesday, so made the decision to do the whole loop.

Day 2 - Diamantina Spur, then along the road, sleeping at Dibbins. That was a hard walk down - I'm glad everyone here prepared us for it! The "backwards rock climbing" sections were short and ok (a bit of an adventure for us 30- somethings!) - the constant steep downhill was way worse. As fit "younguns" it definately tested us. We had lunch at the bottom just near the river and we were very tired. Then we walked to Dibbins and got to Dibbins around 4pm, smashed but proud of ourselves. We were really happy we booked the tent pads - it was very windy, but the direction of the wind meant that we were protected behind in the hill on the pads we had booked (1-3 are up against the hill) Another couple camped down on the grass and were saying it was super windy overnight - but we didn't think it was so we were definately glad it was so protected! Dibbins hut was great - we lit a fire in the pot belly stove, had dinner in the warm and played some cards. Just us in the hut. Toilet much cleaner than at Fed hut. Was only our group and 1 other couple campred in the area (probably due to the bad weather forecast on Sunday that had improved by Monday night)

Day 3 - up Swindlers and back to Mt Loch carpark. Swindlers was steep, lots of loose shale, but good to get us going and warm since there was light rain as we set off. Lunch was at Derrick hut - great little hut, toilet also, wouldn't want to camp there though, was pretty exposed compared to Dibbins. In no wind it would be fine but we had strong winds (forecast was 50km, not sure actual)
From Derrick hut - carpark was very exposed, glad lophophaps warned us about this as we all layered up for the end of the trip.

Highlight was definately the Razorback and Feathertop for the views, and if we did again we would do that/ get to Dibbins hut a different way. The Dibbins campground was our fave, really nice and quiet and just well laid out. Beautiful scenery.

Can't believe from an intial terrible forecast, that it turned good (the wind followed our journey over the 3 days, we were protected right until the end) and hubby got the dusting of snow on Feathertop that he's wanted ever since he saw the hike for the first time!

Thanks to everyone for all the tips, advice and comments, it was invaluable!
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby Xplora » Fri 16 Apr, 2021 8:02 am

Excellent work. Hope to hear more from you in the future. I have spent a night at Dibbins (in a tent) during a blizzard. Had to set up with the howling wind and bucketing snow. The hut was nice to sit in and cook. Camping is not permitted there unless in emergency and we figured it was at that point. Another time (doing the same walk you did with some newbies) had the Police helicopter land there and offer us a lift. Something about a bushfire north of us. The ladies swooned at the uniforms and had photos taken cuddling the Police before they left us and did a low fly/wave back over. Wondering if phone numbers were exchanged.
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby bigkev » Fri 16 Apr, 2021 8:50 am

Great photos Stacey :D
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Re: Feathertop Loop ? My prom trip got cancelled :(

Postby neilmny » Fri 16 Apr, 2021 1:59 pm

Nice work Stacey adn thanks for the report.
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