Larapinta trail

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Larapinta trail

Postby zorro » Fri 15 May, 2015 3:42 pm

Hi there, thinking of tackling the Larapinta this winter. I would really like to hear from anyone who has done this trek, or parts of it, and find out what to expect in regards to planning, transport, food, route they took etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby north-north-west » Fri 15 May, 2015 3:57 pm

The NT Parks site has pretty well all of the information you need. Get the Walker's Info Pack from them - it's good value, the maps are plenty good enough to work from and you get a nifty souvenir poster as well.

http://www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/p ... VWKgGZ67Wo
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Aushiker » Fri 15 May, 2015 4:25 pm

zorro wrote:Hi there, thinking of tackling the Larapinta this winter. I would really like to hear from anyone who has done this trek, or parts of it, and find out what to expect in regards to planning, transport, food, route they took etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


It has been awhile but wrote up are experience of walking the trail back in 2005 here.

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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby wildlight » Fri 15 May, 2015 6:58 pm

Did it last year, likely going back again this year. It is an insanely awesome walk. Take your time, be prepared for some "in-between" camps- which means carrying water. You'll get some amazing sunrises and sunsets, and really experience the wild feeling of being out there. The arid lands are an amazing place, have gone and done it every year for the past 5.

Try to stretch it out to a month- or 28 days. Don't rush. Might see you out there.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Human » Sun 17 May, 2015 1:20 pm

My partner and I will be on the trail mid August.
So I can't provide any real information yet.


But I have researched this over the last 3months until my eyes bleed, so I'm feeling well prepared (we will see).
It seems that the trail is pretty user-friendly with lot of water tanks, maps, markers and exit points. Plus it looks relatively flat (typical ascents are no more than 300m, apart from Mt Sonder).
But then again, all those sharp, dry, loose rocks should provide a bit of a challenge.


I'm struggling to trust the walking times in the parks-NT-maps/Chapman-book. They just seem soo... tame.
Section 1 is 24km with undulation: recommended time is 9h of walking over 2 days? (assuming 15-20kg pack and average fitness level)
I'm not sure if the track really is harder than I am expecting or if 'average fitness' is little too subjective.
Oh well, one way or another, this is something we will find out in August :)


We plan to do this over 14days + 1 day chilling out at glen hellen.
There is great thread by user 'forest', which shows him doing it in 10days. http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14504
I think the 'standard' length is somewhere between 16 and 19days
How long do you plan on giving yourself to walk it?



BTW, we are going East to West. For you and/or anyone else lurking: I'm happy to share transport from Mt-Sonder/redbank back to AS on roughly the 21st of August. Just throwing that out there.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby zorro » Sun 17 May, 2015 5:15 pm

Thanks for the info everyone. The more I think about this trip, the more I get pumped. Yes, the Parks website is very good and informative, have not got the info pack yet but will be sure to do so. I have been thinking around July- August- September but I have no itinery yet. Not in any hurry anyway.I will be going solo so naturally would like to hear from anyone who is thinking tackling the track about the same time. Thanks.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby RonK » Sun 17 May, 2015 7:26 pm

Human wrote:I'm struggling to trust the walking times in the parks-NT-maps/Chapman-book. They just seem soo... tame.
Section 1 is 24km with undulation: recommended time is 9h of walking over 2 days? (assuming 15-20kg pack and average fitness level)
I'm not sure if the track really is harder than I am expecting or if 'average fitness' is little too subjective.

I don't know about Larapinta, but I've always thought Chapman's walk times rather optimistic.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby walk2wineries » Sun 17 May, 2015 11:00 pm

Well, if you have time to spare I think there are a number of side trips - eg Ormiston Gorge circuit.
I've only done day trips that way - going to do a truncated version with a group in July. I do recall meeting people who'd done the through walk who were still trying to scratch out spinifex splinters days later..some of it sounded a bit tough. Short days, too.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby north-north-west » Mon 18 May, 2015 8:42 am

RonK wrote:
Human wrote:I'm struggling to trust the walking times in the parks-NT-maps/Chapman-book. They just seem soo... tame.
Section 1 is 24km with undulation: recommended time is 9h of walking over 2 days? (assuming 15-20kg pack and average fitness level)
I'm not sure if the track really is harder than I am expecting or if 'average fitness' is little too subjective.

I don't know about Larapinta, but I've always thought Chapman's walk times rather optimistic.

I did the whole thing with a lot of extra sidetrips in 12 days - something like 450km. And I wasn't hurrying.
It isn't a hard walk although there are some sections that have awkward steep bits on loose rock. Not much scrambling. Essentially a very good track which is being improved all the time (read: being made easier).

There are a lot of places to camp that aren't mentioned either in the book or on the maps and notes - you don't have to use the official sites. Basically you can pitch a tent anywhere there's room, but there are some places that are insanely awesome to camp. Brinkley Bluff, for instance. Other official campsites I hated and made a point of avoiding (like Ormiston).
The biggest hassle is making sure you have enough water to get to the next source. The tanks are usually kept filled (the local rangers put a lot of work into this walk) and there are other sources along the way, but you can never be 100% certain that they'll all be usable. I never left a source without at least 3 litres, usually more.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby north-north-west » Mon 18 May, 2015 8:50 am

Human wrote:I'm struggling to trust the walking times in the parks-NT-maps/Chapman-book. They just seem soo... tame.
Section 1 is 24km with undulation: recommended time is 9h of walking over 2 days? (assuming 15-20kg pack and average fitness level)
I'm not sure if the track really is harder than I am expecting or if 'average fitness' is little too subjective.
Oh well, one way or another, this is something we will find out in August :)

Let's put it like this: You can walk from Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap, including a bit of wandering on the cliff edges along Euro Ridge, and then follow the 4wd and bike tracks back to the highway, have a visit to Flynns Grave, follow the highway back into the Alice, walk along the riverbank to the Telegraph Station and get your car out of there before the gates close. Easily.

The Larapinta is a bit like the OT - a lot of non-walkers do it as a kind of rite-of-passage or bonding exercise. Times have mostly been adjusted to account for that.

There are a lot of off-track sidetrips that are worth trying, provided you're comfortable doing that sort of thing. Navigation is mostly very easy and the country tends to be pretty open. It gets burnt regularly so the regrowth usually isn't much of a problem. Arenge Bluff, Paisley Bluff, Mt Giles, Mt Lloyd etc. It's a wonderful area to just wander.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Kid » Wed 01 Jul, 2015 8:53 am

Hi, I am looking at doing the Larapinta Trail in the first two weeks of September. Keen to know if anyone else will be doing the track around that time.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Kid » Fri 03 Jul, 2015 8:23 am

Hi, I am looking at doing the trail in the first two weeks of September if you have not gone already
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby zorro » Sun 05 Jul, 2015 1:34 pm

Hey there kid, no unfortunately I had to postpone my trip but it is still high on my list this year. I will keep abreast on the website but Sep. sounds interesting. Will keep you posted.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby legend » Mon 06 Jul, 2015 10:34 pm

Also worthwhile doing a 'sidetrip' out to Bowmans Gap then along the East Ormiston Creek, climb Mt Giles (sidetrip) and rejoin the Lapinta Trail. Permanent water at Bowmansbowmans Gap and Giles Spring, with good water often found along the creek. Cross country walking is quite easy in this region.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby englishmanbo » Sat 18 Jul, 2015 8:42 am

I am looking to share transport on return from Redbank Gorge (western end point) on the 31st August.
It is a minimum of 2 people pick up and I am solo at the moment.
$155pp with Alice Wanderer (08) 8952 2111 optional $35 for food drops at Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge.
I plan to use the generic 16 day itinerary and modify if time and energy allow. Bo
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Rupotty » Thu 23 Jul, 2015 9:00 pm

Just posted a blog on our Larapinta Trail 28th March this year might be an interesting read, recommend Redbank Gorge to Alice Springs though!
http://www.discoverytravel.com.au/larap ... explorers/
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Natalie » Wed 29 Jul, 2015 1:17 am

I am just starting to plan this solo walk (thinking perhaps July or August 2016 as a goal), and silly as it sounds, something that i am nervous about is dingoes... heaps of blogs i have read reference hearing them howl, but none mention any encounters, so i assume it isn't a realistic fear. Have quite a lot of walking and hiking under my belt, but this will be the first multi day/camping experience for me. (although will plan a few training overnight/weekend trips before then first to get used to the equipment etc).
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby tommo81 » Wed 29 Jul, 2015 10:01 pm

I am hoping to do c. 10 days of the Larapinta starting at the beginning of August (not far away now!).

Would be useful to share transport / food drops. Please contact me if you are planning a trip around this time.

Tom
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Eremophila » Wed 29 Jul, 2015 11:13 pm

Natalie wrote:I am just starting to plan this solo walk (thinking perhaps July or August 2016 as a goal), and silly as it sounds, something that i am nervous about is dingoes... heaps of blogs i have read reference hearing them howl, but none mention any encounters, so i assume it isn't a realistic fear. Have quite a lot of walking and hiking under my belt, but this will be the first multi day/camping experience for me. (although will plan a few training overnight/weekend trips before then first to get used to the equipment etc).


Dingoes will come and check out your stuff at night, but won't hurt you. Pack everything away - you don't want to lose a hiking boot! You will hear them howling in the distance, but won't hear them when they are close - they are masters of stealth.

We awoke one morning to a group of maybe 8 dingoes heading straight toward us. I think the campsite was simply on part of their travelling route - they went through/around the campsite totally ignoring us.

The only thing you really need to worry about on this walk is water, water, water.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby photohiker » Thu 30 Jul, 2015 6:56 am

We've camped in the outback many times. Never had an encounter with a dingo.

We regularly see dingo tracks around the campfire in the morning and they will take any food left out (don't)

They are wild animals so take basic precautions and don't worry about them.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby north-north-west » Thu 30 Jul, 2015 8:12 am

I saw three when I did the Larapinta - one very scrawny youngster and two healthy adults. All three disappeared as fast as possible when they saw me.
They're not something to worry about.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Eremophila » Thu 30 Jul, 2015 11:21 am

photohiker wrote:We regularly see dingo tracks around the campfire in the morning and they will take any food left out (don't)


They will take anything - including clothes. I lost one of a $30 pair of Wigwam socks a few years back - lesson learnt.

And awoke to the sound of a dingo chewing on a small plastic bottle which I'd had some whiskey in. Apparently they like the scent of Jack Daniels.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby katamatsu » Mon 03 Aug, 2015 9:11 pm

How are the bugs at night this time of year? I'm hoping to just take the outer part of my Tarptent Notch on my trip next week. Ideally, I'd like to sleep under the stars if the weather is right.
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby walkon » Tue 04 Aug, 2015 7:33 am

Eremophila wrote:
Natalie wrote:I am just starting to plan this solo walk (thinking perhaps July or August 2016 as a goal), and silly as it sounds, something that i am nervous about is dingoes... heaps of blogs i have read reference hearing them howl, but none mention any encounters, so i assume it isn't a realistic fear. Have quite a lot of walking and hiking under my belt, but this will be the first multi day/camping experience for me. (although will plan a few training overnight/weekend trips before then first to get used to the equipment etc).


Dingoes will come and check out your stuff at night, but won't hurt you. Pack everything away - you don't want to lose a hiking boot! You will hear them howling in the distance, but won't hear them when they are close - they are masters of stealth.

We awoke one morning to a group of maybe 8 dingoes heading straight toward us. I think the campsite was simply on part of their travelling route - they went through/around the campsite totally ignoring us.

The only thing you really need to worry about on this walk is water, water, water.


Dingos no worries, hang packs just off ground if leaving for a while.
Yes water is very important though I would have said boots boots boots. It is really hard on footwear.
I saw several coming apart and ones that were stuffed stopping their trip(trail runners 5 days in, were new, his wifes not much better). look after your feet, because of the uneven surfaces, shoes tend to move around on feet more causing blisters.
Seriously its not a competition and those who race through it are the ones who miss out, they just don't know it.
Camp on as many hill tops as possible. Hugh gorge is magnificent, camp in it not the at the trailhead.
Creek beds are good, more comfy and cleaner sand. if you have a rest day don't do it where there are car tourists
Bugs go with the cold weather and aren't there now.
Cheers Walkon

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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby wildlight » Wed 05 Aug, 2015 2:08 pm

katamatsu wrote:How are the bugs at night this time of year? I'm hoping to just take the outer part of my Tarptent Notch on my trip next week. Ideally, I'd like to sleep under the stars if the weather is right.


Perfect Katamatsu. I'd be dropping a head net into the mix, and be mindful of not leaving food around which could bring on an anti-social situation- as in "ants". Not having a floor in your shelter would be so not fun if the place was ridden with ants. Take a little spray tin of "Bushman's Repellant" that will stop crawlies in their tracks.

Whatever shelter you take, ensure it can be pitched on hard surfaces without relying on being pegged into the ground. You can use big rocks (available liberally everywhere) as anchor points. Some campsites have soft sandy soil (or sand) and others are just rock. I've used all manner of things- and sleeping out under the stars- especially in the remote, no-other-people camps is the way to go.

Have done the Lara many times, this year was the only one I didn't go there for nearly a decade. :( It's on again for me next year though! And I can't WAIT!

Ants generally aren't a problem- at least not at night. Minimal issues during daylight hours- more of a problem at popular stopping spots if people have been careless with handling food just before your arrival. Look around before the big relax for lunch.

Also with regards to food storage at camps- pop your pack or food bag up on the water tanks if you camp at the designated sites. The tanks are mostly square, all have flat tops, and dingoes won't get anywhere near them (that one was for Natalie for 2016).

Dingoes are curious- but they leave you alone.

Savour the trip. Try a high and wild camp or two. Check Section 9 water availability and plan / carry accordingly. It is an amazing place, there's just "something" about it.

cheers

WildLight

edited some crazy "auto-corrected" typos- it rendered head net as "headset"- yes maybe a headset would be good too! (not)!
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby rocketrm2 » Thu 20 Aug, 2015 11:05 pm

I am 66 yo, just completed the walk, planned to take 18 days. But did the walk in 16 days (which includes 2 rest days) so 14 days of walking, on of these the last day was the return trip to Mt Sonder summit. Hope to write moresoon
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Re: Larapinta trail

Postby Human » Sat 22 Aug, 2015 7:28 pm

wildlight wrote:Also with regards to food storage at camps- pop your pack or food bag up on the water tanks if you camp at the designated sites. The tanks are mostly square, all have flat tops, and dingoes won't get anywhere near them (that one was for Natalie for 2016).


We just got back home today after doing the trail. Over all dingoes were not an issue...
BUT on our last day, at Redbank I actually saw a dingo climb up onto the wooden raised base of the water tank. Reach up on its hind legs and pull down a sack of food which was up top... presumably to keep it safe from dingoes

I tried to stop it all happening, but the dingo didn't even seem that fussed, it just trotted off with a small bag of nuts in its mouth with 2 crows following it.
Then over the next few hours, the crows had a great time pulling apart every other bag of nuts which was up there.... similarly not giving a f


So, yeah, if you put your bag up on a tank, make sure it is right in the middle (none of it dangling off the edge) and also tough enough to protect it from the crows.
Or just hang it in a tree like we did.
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