Page 2 of 2

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2015 9:50 pm
by JohnStrider
I quite like the Harrietville to Feathertop to Hotham trek. Went on a pre-season camp about 10 years ago and am sure we did this on the Saturday. Was a slog from about 6:30 in the morning to 6:30 at night.

Loved the views from Feathertop. Absolute magic.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan, 2015 6:12 am
by north-north-west
Lophophaps wrote:
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Yes, The NW spur track up/down Mt. Feathertop is the gold standard in torture.

Going down is no picnic. Still, abseiling is always an option.

Hang-gliding. As long as someone else carries it up.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan, 2015 8:34 pm
by andrewbish
Pretty subjective topic really. Gradient, terrain, track condition and foliage are major factors, not to mention whether you're going up or down. Let's ignore random variables, like heat and (f-ing) March flies.

The thigh busters:
  • The Staircase Spur (Bogong) - It's a steep, demanding track, but well-maintained - ie. trail runners love it. Well-named, it is the Stairmaster of alpine tracks
  • T-Spur (Bogong) - with your legs nicely chilled from the crossing of Big River, you are faced with an hour or so of insane gradient
  • NW Spur/Tom Keens (Feathertop) - when some wag has posted a rough sign that says "The Wall" for a section of a walk, you just know you're in for trouble. And you pretty much are. The zigzag at the start reduces your pain, but your lungs will tell you you're working hard as the trail starts to head directly up the spur
  • King Spur (Koonika) - The vegetation in the lower sections will drive you bonkers, then the series of bluffs at the top end will have you puffing hard

The gaiter-meisters:
All of these are top candidates for offering the intrepid off-trail hiker an unhealthy dose of thick, nasty scrub
  • Wonnagatta Spur (Viking to Wonnagatta) - the km of regrowth will wear you down, then the wall of blackberries at the river will break your heart
  • Unnamed Spur (Wonnagatta to McAlister Springs) - Why, Walkon. Why?!!
  • NE Spur (Feathertop) - demons await

Honourable Mention:
  • Diamantina Spur (Feathertop) - The first half of this walk is brutal, culminating in a big-stepping climb over a bluff. But, just when you think you can't take any more...you don't have to. The last half is straightforward
  • Zeka Spur Track (Howitt) - In a 4wd this road would be simple boring and a little taxing on your vehicle. But when you're walking up it,it's a diabolically tedious slog.
  • Queen Spur - Like the King Spur above, the Queen Spur has stupidly thick vegetation at the bottom, then adds a heart thumping climb at the top end. Like me, you may top out, then lay on your back, panting like a dog.
  • Champion Spur (Feathertop) - A long slog up a disused 4wd track turns into a grind through a dead forest of dry, shin-scratching trees

I'm sure my list is too short - it's a question of how far "off-trail" you're prepared to go. Hmmm, Bogong via Lt Bogong looks interesting...

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan, 2015 8:51 pm
by north-north-west
andrewbish wrote:I'm sure my list is too short - it's a question of how far "off-trail" you're prepared to go. Hmmm, Bogong via Lt Bogong looks interesting...

It's better than 'interesting'. I'd put it on the 'fun' list. ;)

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2015 2:55 am
by Lophophaps
This is a good list, but, as advised above, it's subjective. I would dearly love to ignore march flies, heat and other variables. Staircase has never amused me, mainly as it is so long in distance and especially altitude. This is one of the biggest climbs in Australia, 1300 metres from memory. Maybe an escalator or a lift... NW Spur is horrible, up, down, sideways, any way. Not keen on hang gliding. A zip line would be nice for going down. King Spur is okay, much shorter.

I hate blackberries in the bush. One trip we could hear and see the water but the ****** blackberries stopped us. Dry camp.

Diamantina Spur is a pain, a right slog, up or down. DS has too many tops! I have not done Queen Spur for a while. The scrub then was quite light, but post-fire regrowth can be dreadful. The approach to Little Bogong from the car park is straightforward and steep, loose scrub, like sand in places. Little Bogong to Bogong is a bit thick here and there, but so am I. Saddleback Spur on Bogong took an entire day, scrub most dreadful. Once is enough.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2015 7:43 am
by north-north-west
Lophophaps wrote:Staircase has never amused me, mainly as it is so long in distance and especially altitude. This is one of the biggest climbs in Australia, 1300 metres from memory.

Hannels Spur to the Abbotts is the biggest. It's an 1800 metre gain to Kosciuszko, not much less to the Abbotts and Townsend. And in all that there are three very short flattish sections, otherwise just up, up and more up. Even when the track's clear it's a gut buster.

Lophophaps wrote:I hate blackberries in the bush. One trip we could hear and see the water but the ****** blackberries stopped us. Dry camp.[/color]

Used to be my pet hate about walking on the mainland - there's barely a river or creek in the high country that doesn't have its fair share of blackberry. One of the greatest things about Tassie is the lack of that infernal weed in the mountains.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2015 7:08 pm
by Lophophaps
north-north-west wrote:Hannels Spur to the Abbotts is the biggest. It's an 1800 metre gain to Kosciuszko, not much less to the Abbotts and Townsend. And in all that there are three very short flattish sections, otherwise just up, up and more up. Even when the track's clear it's a gut buster.


That big? My usual way from the base of Hannels to the summit of Kosciouszko is to drive from Swampy Plains, chairlift to Eagles above Thredbo, and a lovely walk on the track to the hordes.

north-north-west wrote:Used to be my pet hate about walking on the mainland - there's barely a river or creek in the high country that doesn't have its fair share of blackberry. One of the greatest things about Tassie is the lack of that infernal weed in the mountains.


Would you like some blackberry seeds for your birthday? They're good for emergency food. Failing that, rabbits. I come up with the good ideas, sane people make them work.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2015 7:22 pm
by north-north-west
Lophophaps wrote:
north-north-west wrote:Hannels Spur to the Abbotts is the biggest. It's an 1800 metre gain to Kosciuszko, not much less to the Abbotts and Townsend. And in all that there are three very short flattish sections, otherwise just up, up and more up. Even when the track's clear it's a gut buster.

That big? My usual way from the base of Hannels to the summit of Kosciouszko is to drive from Swampy Plains, chairlift to Eagles above Thredbo, and a lovely walk on the track to the hordes.

It's the sort of walk you do once. Just to have done it. Sanity (and knees) prevent a return.

Lophophaps wrote:
north-north-west wrote:Used to be my pet hate about walking on the mainland - there's barely a river or creek in the high country that doesn't have its fair share of blackberry. One of the greatest things about Tassie is the lack of that infernal weed in the mountains.

Would you like some blackberry seeds for your birthday? They're good for emergency food.

I don't do birthdays.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan, 2015 7:23 pm
by paidal_chalne_vala
THE NW spur on Mt Feathertop is still the toughest gold standard in torture. I'd rather go up or down any spur on Mt. Bogong than do that again. Ever.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 02 Feb, 2015 3:36 pm
by Hishy P
I recall tackling the staircase with a heavy pack (heavy tent and camera gear and tripod didn't help) and low fitness. it was just before New Years and quite hot, and it took me forever to get to the hut. I kept hoping it would be around the next bend. Bad psychology!

Then after the hut tese horrible little caterpillars had spawned in their millions and were hanging off the trees crowding the trail and dropping all over me.

I finally made it to the plateau late afternoon but had run out of water, it was getting late and I was exhausted. So I made my way to cleve cole hut and skipped the top of mt bogong. It wasn't until 4 or 5 years later that I finally got to the top on a much easier day walk, without those bugs.

Cleve cole hut was beautiful though and worth it all. I stayed there two nights as I nursed some very sore joints and muscles then came back the same way. Flew down.

That was tough. I'm no regular adventurer but the only thing that has beat that was a snow covered pass crossing in turkey, or the Himalayas.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 02 Feb, 2015 8:00 pm
by paidal_chalne_vala
The trek I did last year up to Lake ManiMahesh in NW India at 4130 M was tough but mainly because of the lack of Oxygen, the lack of moisture in the air, and the rock fall hazard. I had porters too . :-). It wasn't as tough as ascending the Staircase spur or descending the NW spur of Mt Feathertop with a full pack , tent , rations, water etc. etc.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 3:47 pm
by neilmny
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:........ or descending the NW spur of Mt Feathertop with a full pack , tent , rations, water etc. etc.


Man, your going to need therapy to get over that NW spur :shock: I'm never going there, I don't even want to see it. :lol: :lol:

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2015 4:51 pm
by Pika
I am inspired to tackle some of these on my next trip to the high country.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 8:21 pm
by Derringer
My hardest walks in Vic have been,

The Razor via the NE ridge

Mt Bogong via Little Bogong, from Mountain Creek

The Devils Staircase from Terrible Hollow

E ridge of Feathertop from North Peak and upto Mt Fainter South

Lake Cobbler to the Razor via Catherine River

Vereker range traverse to Mt Latrobe and Mt Ramsay, Wilsons Prom

Mt Norgate to South Point via Enclave Creek, Wilson Prom

Snowy Bluff from the Moroka river

All good off track walks

Kevin

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 9:24 am
by paidal_chalne_vala
I also think the Crinolene/Mt Ligar
circuit is a demanding trek.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 11:18 am
by andrewbish
Derringer wrote:My hardest walks in Vic have been,

The Razor via the NE ridge
Mt Bogong via Little Bogong, from Mountain Creek
The Devils Staircase from Terrible Hollow
E ridge of Feathertop from North Peak and upto Mt Fainter South
Lake Cobbler to the Razor via Catherine River
Vereker range traverse to Mt Latrobe and Mt Ramsay, Wilsons Prom
Mt Norgate to South Point via Enclave Creek, Wilson Prom
Snowy Bluff from the Moroka river
All good off track walks

Kevin


Some good, hard-core stuff in there, Kevin!

What route did you take on the Devils Staircase? Was it the spur heading NE then NNE from VG Hut?

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 2:00 pm
by Derringer
Andrew

PM sent

Kevin

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2015 7:29 pm
by Bodysurfer
Derringer, I would *love* to hear about the Catherine River. Several times I've looked at that valley and thought "what a wild and mysterious place".

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Sun 30 Dec, 2018 5:26 pm
by henrysmits
Just in case someones still interested in this thread. The hardest walk I've ever done was an overnight hike from falls creek to Bogong Village. I started at watched creek and followed the fire trail until the start of the Spion Kopje Spur track, before turning onto the grey hills track. These two tracks were easy up until the grey hills turnoff, where the track quickly becomes hard to see and ridiculously steep at the start. I followed the grey hills track and ended up camping on Grey hills knob overnight. the next day I hiked to Mt Arthur and turned of onto Black Possum Spur track. This was ok for the first kilometre, it was steep but otherwise a clear and deceivingly reasonably maintained track. This quickly changed, and the track became overgrown with weeds which made it almost impossible to follow and required a lot of bush bashing, and then there were the fallen trees covering the track. Almost every 20m there was at least one tree covering the track and in some places there was a heap all fallen over each other that required you to either walk right around them through the dense bush and scrub, or to try and climb over them (at one point I managed to cover 2km in 2 and a 1/2 hours, so it's very slow going). With 500m left, the track opened into a clearing and completely disappeared. If you couldn't have spot the Mt Arthur fire road in front, you would've found yourself in a lot of trouble. Once I finally managed to bush bash my onto the fire track, it was a relatively steep but cruisy walk into Bogong Village to complete the hike.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2018 11:51 pm
by paidal_chalne_vala
Walking up or down the Nobs track from Clear Creek is just wrong!. The Bluff walking track is nearly vertical in places between the summit and the Car park near Refrigerator Gap, not good with a heavy 4 day pack on your back.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jan, 2019 5:38 pm
by jamelaur
I agree on the Mt St Leonard walk, although most of the ascent is fairly gradual there are a few steep sections, especially the final ascent which I call the goat track. This can be made a more serious walk by going through Mt Mondo making the walk 24km with 1050m of elevation. All in all its not super tough but it's a decent training walk I used it to train for the gr5

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2019 7:27 am
by Mr Bean
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Walking up or down the Nobs track from Clear Creek is just wrong!.

Yep! After a long day climbing Mt MacDonald recently in the heat, the last thing we needed was Nobs Track to Clear Creek. But the desire for water overcame that reluctance. 1hr down, 1.5hr back up. All for just 2km!

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2019 10:45 pm
by paidal_chalne_vala
I should mention The Nobs track coming up from Clear Creek. It is relentless and V E R Y steep. Paling spur is scrubby and steep. I was swearing a lot going up that one. Ascending Swindler's spur from Dibbin's hut to Derrick's hut is still a slog. I did it again this week.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb, 2019 9:52 pm
by +dj_hansen+
Whilst i havent climbed Bogong or Feathertop, i did the semi offtrack climb from Shannonvale up to Cope Hut/Rover Lodge on the Bogong High Plains to reenact the journey up to the Rover Chalet via the original route and that was quite a challenging trip. Nearly 10 hours of slogging up and over fallen timber and making sure we were on the right spur. An adventure with only day packs :D

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2019 7:02 am
by Xplora
+dj_hansen+ wrote:Whilst i havent climbed Bogong or Feathertop, i did the semi offtrack climb from Shannonvale up to Cope Hut/Rover Lodge on the Bogong High Plains to reenact the journey up to the Rover Chalet via the original route and that was quite a challenging trip. Nearly 10 hours of slogging up and over fallen timber and making sure we were on the right spur. An adventure with only day packs :D

This track was cut by the Fitzgeralds and used to pack all the materials up to build Wilkinsons lodge. Tom Fitzgerald then ran a successful pack horse business during winter until the resort opened up and then people thought it easier to drive to the snow. The track was still open to some point but was lost with the regrowth after the 2003 fires. Interested to know when you did this and if you can track the spur on a map. We have done to Buckety Plains creek junction while fishing but intend to go all the way up at some stage but I suspect the spur turnoff is before Buckety Plains Creek. Another fire will go through at some stage and that may be the opportunity to find the original track again. It was not the track used by the Fitzgerald's to take cattle up. Ten hours is a hard slog for a relatively short climb. Getting to the spur would have been the quickest part.

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2019 10:16 pm
by +dj_hansen+
I was just a bit of a tag along. We found some of the original track down the bottom and the odd jam tin lid marker, but like you say; the track was definitely lost with fire regrowth. We werent entirely sure if we were on the correct ridge most of the time. We popped up further along the aquaduct than planned, but we could see the Rover chalet in the dark off in the distance. We did the walk to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Rover chalet over Labour day in 2008. There is a short write up here https://info.bogongroverchalet.org.au/u ... ssue60.pdf

Re: Hardest Mountains/Walks in Vic

PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2019 10:47 pm
by Xplora
Thanks for the link. Interesting read and not likely we will be doing it until after a fire. Looking at the map, I would say you were pretty close most of the time. Great effort and one not to be repeated for a long time.