Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

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

Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby Unsplash » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 4:42 pm

Hi All,

Just curious to get your thoughts on an absolute beginner attempting the following day hike in summer (not planning on overnights at this stage).

Harrietville to Mt Feathertop (Bungalow) to Bon Accord turn off (Razorback) and back to Harrietville (Bon Accord). By my calculations it'll be somewhere around 35km.

I'm relatively young and pretty fit. Recently I did 1,300m ascent and descent over 12kms (approx 22% gradient for the uphill sections) in 3 hours and found it pretty comfortable. It was 5 repeats of a hill, obviously not a perfect comparison but should provide a bit of a baseline for my fitness.

Wouldn't plan on doing this with rain forecasted (but would prepare for rain nonetheless). Would plan on carrying all water in case Fed Hut has none and to avoid detouring down NW Spur.

Cheers.

EDIT: Realised it was not explicit, but this would be solo.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 5:47 pm

Unsplash, welcome to the forum. It's a long day trip but viable if you are fit enough. It may be an idea to go up Bon Accord. The reason is that there's a creek at the bottom, which could be tricky the other way if you end late. I do not know if there's a bridge. By contrast, there's a good track on The Razorback and Bungalow Spur. Also, if the weather breaks towards the top of Bon Accord it's not far to the Hotham road. The tank at Federation was dry a few weeks ago and cannot be relied on - too many people. There's water at the Bungalow Hut site about 20 minutes down, and a small soak above Tobias Gap. I'd get an early start from Harrietville. Car parking can be at the Pioneer Park, which makes for a slightly shorter start and slightly longer end. I see no need to go down North-west Spur.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby peregrinator » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 6:25 pm

I've just borrowed Glenn van der Knijff's 2016 guide to the region from my library. According to which, there is a footbridge at the Ovens River approaching Harrietville from Bon Accord.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby commando » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 9:45 pm

Before you bite off more than you can chew, do a Bungalow Spur - Feathertop return 21 Kms its allocated 8 hours
and compare the times as part of a reconnaissance to give more added preparation to your plans there is no hurry
it will be there next week. If you intend doing the 35 kms by yourself without preparation, training, experience,
or backup you will need a good torch as you will be in the dark at the start or the end of the journey.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby Xplora » Tue 09 Feb, 2021 5:44 am

Had over 200 mm in that area over the past 10 days. Should have water in the tank but the springs on Bungalow would also be running. It is a big day, doable but I tend to agree with Commando. Just a bit of caution. There will be no water from Fed hut until the bottom of Bon Accord. Having an exit plan is good. The joys of being young and fit. Stay safe and have fun.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby Unsplash » Tue 09 Feb, 2021 9:24 am

Thanks all for your responses. I think Commando's idea to do a Bungalow Spur - Feathertop return is definitely the right thing to do. As they pointed out, the loop won't dissapear and I'll have plenty of time to do it in my lifetime.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby stry » Tue 09 Feb, 2021 11:06 am

Good plan. I met a couple of keen beans doing the full loop pre covid,and my impression was that they they were doing it for the physical challenge rather than for a pleasant walk in the bush.

Nothing wrong with either motive, but worth considering one's own motive when setting the goal.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 09 Feb, 2021 11:52 am

I second/third/whatever the plan to head up Bungalow and back that way.
I know you're fit and young, so physically the trip is within reach, but see how the Bungalow return trip goes anyway.
It's more trafficked than Bon Accord and probably in better condition (there was some deadfall after Tobias Gap in November, but may be clear now).
And 20 Km is a lot different to 35 km as a day walk.
There's probably water around, but the track to NW spur (after junction between Razorback/Bungalow Spur) has a pretty reliable spring.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 7:11 am

Some people still walk the NW spur/ Mt FT summit / Bungalow spur in a day. I have done it in two days with a camp at MUMC hut. I am slow and soft!!.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 9:40 am

The NW Spur is steep. I have done it twice, the first and last time, never again unless the gondola is built. Don't laugh - there was a plan for a gondola up the Bungalow Spur. I think slow, soft and smart is a better term. Being able to relax in camp after walking each day is good, sort of a reward for the effort. I'm not interested in a punishing pace and a near-death experience.
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Re: Feathertop Hike Plan - Beginner Suitable?

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 9:46 am

I agree with Lops but the near death experience and the Burma railway style death march still crops up when I do some trips without prior knowledge of how taxing they will be :-0 .Being fit and experienced gets me over the line and out of bother but I prefer to relax , wind down and enjoy the campsite too.
If the OP can get access to a 4WD/ Decent AWD with All Terrain tyres (and a chainsaw for just in case a tree block the fire trail ) then the Stoney Tops / Northern Razorback approach to Mt. FT is the quickest and most scenic way to go up and back in a day.
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