Mt Bogong Mid-October

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby FNM » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 8:21 pm

Hi guys,

I've searched the web and forum but still don't feel like I have an answer. I think this may be to do with the unpredictable nature of hiking in Alpine regions and therefore not being able to say whether a hike is suitable or not.. ie, need to know what the weather is doing, which you can only know a few days beforehand (?)

But I'd like to throw it out there and see what you guys think. I'm inexperienced .. Have done summer day hikes - NZ (Tongariro, Roy's Peak), Grampians, Cathedral Ranges, Wilson's Prom ... The only overnight hiking has been at the Prom. Anyway, I now live in northern NSW but am heading home to visit the family next month. Was hoping to squeeze a good hike in.

Do you think Mt Bogong (or Feathertop) is suitable for someone without a whole lot of experience. I have decent amount of gear - currently in need of new hiking boots/shoes (on a sidenote, I recently sprained an ankle but am thinking hiking shoes with a brace rather than boots). Do not have a down jacket, but do have merino base layer, mid-layer, MD fleece/soft shell and Marmot Precip Outershell.. Have a 12 year old MD Sleeping Bag rated to -6... I'm mainly concerned about getting lost/slipping to my death! .... Probably wouldn't do it on my own, so dependent on finding a mate who is keen to join. If you think it is out of my league and I should aim for something a little easier - please feel free to offer suggestions. I'm 34, and fairly fit :) ... I'd be looking at staying in Mt Beauty and then heading up and spending one night on the hike.

Also, if you can provide any info/tips or point me in the right direction for info/tips, it's all much appreciated.

Regards
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby andrewa » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 9:44 pm

Hi FNM,

Re Bogong:

Each year there's great skiing on Bogong well in to October. The northern slopes lose their snow first. This has been a good season, and through October I would expect to find snow above the tree line.

Based on last year, I suspect that the top, steeper sections, of the Eskdale and Staircase Spurs will have full snow cover through the whole of October. The main ridge of Bogong will likely have some grass poking out on the north aspects, but not much. The spurs and summit area are reasonably well marked. I'd be wanting a down jacket, or an early night in a sleeping bag.

A
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby FNM » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 10:49 pm

Thanks Andrew.

I'm happy to buy a down jacket. Am going to need one sooner or later.

Given the likely snow cover, does that mean specialty gear required? Or regular hiking shoes do the trick?

Re navigation, it sounds easy enough if tracks are well marked.

Cheers
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby Xplora » Wed 05 Sep, 2018 6:36 am

Given the lack of specialist gear I would go for Feathertop up Bungalow spur. Easy route and you will not get lost. Lots of other people likely and you should be able to get to Federation hut in hiking boots without the need for microspikes, snowshoes or crampons. For this walk you would stay in Harrietville instead of Mt. Beauty. As Andrew mentioned, there is likely to be reasonable snow cover above the tree line and unless there is some significant rain then I would suggest above 1600m in mid Oct there will be enough snow to have you post holing so it depends on how much of that you want to do. You can hire snowshoes from Rays in Myrtleford I believe. Down jackets are warm and weigh less but it can be done without if you layer and have a windstopper.

It is still more than a month away so anything can happen. I look out my window to Bogong High Plains and can see up to 1700m. Mid October we usually ride our bikes on BHP road but always encounter some snow on the road. It will be interesting to see how much this year. Currently at 1700m there is about 1.5m - 2m coverage.
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby FNM » Wed 05 Sep, 2018 12:22 pm

Ok, that sounds like a good idea Xplora. Allows me to work my way up to the more difficult Bogong, so to speak. IF hiking through snow, does that require thermal pants, regular hiking pants and waterproof pants? or do you require insulated pants as well? If there is snow, I'd try and hire snowshoes - have had no experience hiking in snow. Would a 3-season tent get the job done for a night?
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby Xplora » Thu 06 Sep, 2018 7:08 am

FNM wrote:Ok, that sounds like a good idea Xplora. Allows me to work my way up to the more difficult Bogong, so to speak. IF hiking through snow, does that require thermal pants, regular hiking pants and waterproof pants? or do you require insulated pants as well? If there is snow, I'd try and hire snowshoes - have had no experience hiking in snow. Would a 3-season tent get the job done for a night?


I don't bother walking with thermals in snow during winter. Too hot (unless in a blizzard). Quick dry light weight long pants is the go for me. I carry waterproof pants but don't often walk in them. Too hot. Forget insulated pants. I also wear boots and not shoes. Boots are best waterproof and a raincoat is handy too. Gaiters are often good to stop the snow dropping into your boot. A 3 season tent could do fine if it is good in the wind and you have a reasonable bag and a good mat to sleep on. We took a 3 season to Bogong last week and it was minus 9. Good bags though. It is most likely going to be spring weather with some snow on the ground but being more than a month away, advice is variable. The most important thing is to have some layers to put on when you stop activity. Thermals top and bottom, gloves, beanie and other layers around your chest. You can sleep in them as well. Always pack a pair of socks as the ones you are wearing will likely be wet. Lets wait to see about the snowshoes. You may or may not need them but if you take them then sort something out to carry them on your pack. I have some shock cord attached to the compression straps.

It will take a few hours at least to the hut and another hour or so to summit Feathertop.
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby FNM » Thu 06 Sep, 2018 2:38 pm

Awesome info/advice - thanks!

I'll probably touch base again closer to the date (about a month away) with more questions .. or if I'm looking at gear sooner, perhaps advice there! I don't actually have hiking pants (only North Face waterproofs) so I might look at those. Plus, I need new shoes/boots and perhaps a down/synthetic jacket!

Cheers
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby FNM » Thu 25 Oct, 2018 11:26 pm

Hi again guys! I’m down in Victoria now - have spent time with the family and the past week down the surf coast. I have just checked the weather forecast and it appears that there should be great hiking weather Sunday/Monday/Tuesday, which is when I may be free.

Just wanted to check if anyone knows what the snow situation is? Will I be ok in hiking shoes? (That I am yet to buy!).. I’m assuming with the predicted clear weather it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep to the track? ... I haven’t been able to find anyone with the time to hike with me, so I’ll be flying solo if I make it there, which isn’t ideal.
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby Xplora » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 6:06 am

Still snow on the top but thinning quickly. Snow line appears to be retreating to the 1700m mark but south facing slopes and protected areas will have some lower. You will be OK in shoes but take some dry socks. Expect some post holing but likely not enough to make the carriage of snowshoes worth it. Temps have been very mild and not much of a freeze until the last couple of days. The conditions would not put me off giving it a go even with limited gear. You may get a light freeze on Sunday and Monday which will aid walking in the mornings but also the crust may freeze and you take a step then the next you are up to your knees. It is all an experience and your have picked good weather. Enjoy. Should be a few others around making the most of the spring snow.
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 7:32 am

If you have to walk on snow then it's probable that you will sink a little or a lot, with snow getting into your footwear. For this reason, gaiters or stop tous are indicated, and a change of socks. If the remains of a cornice are on the summit climb and especially the ridge, stay well to the left, preferably on ground. At the summit I'd expect a 2-5 metre near-vertical drop on the snow into the gullies. In the morning there may be ice. As Xplorer said, it's a good time to go. Take care.
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby J M » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 10:56 am

This is what the south side of Bogong looked like earlier this week when I was up there. Whilst I didn't venture over there, the snow on the ground where I was was soft but firm enough to walk on (sinking down to less than ankle depth), so you'll be fine in normal hiking shoes. It's a beautiful time to be up there - enjoy!
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Re: Mt Bogong Mid-October

Postby FNM » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 3:38 pm

Thanks guys! Very helpful info and the encouragement is.... well.. encouraging! Makes me really want to go. Hopefully, my next post will be photos! Cheers

Ps. Good to hear there will likely be others around!
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