SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

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SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby beardless » Wed 23 Jan, 2019 5:43 pm

It is obviously way too hot right now for adventures in the Flinders but I am keen to one day climb Mt Aleck and also wondering whether a traverse of the Elder Range is possible.

The view of the range is magnificent and it looks like exciting walking.

I have read the blog post from jez_au about climbing Mt Aleck

http://jez-hiking.blogspot.com/2011/07/ ... s.html?m=1

I have also read the Wild article referred to in that blog.

I would be keen for any other info on the area.

1. Is it necessary to obtain permissions to access any of the area? If so who?
2. Has anyone else reached the summit of Mt Aleck particularly recently and what route is recommended?
3. Has anyone traversed the range? Is that even possible?

I would be interested in any advice.

I realise it would be srubby steep and water would need to be carried making it a weight heavy exercise.
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby eggs » Wed 23 Jan, 2019 5:52 pm

Bad news. The actual peak is in Arkaba Station.
That has been transformed into a high-end echo tourism venture.
They restrict access to Mt Aleck to tours only, by which they mean a chopper ride followed by a short walk and then a descent off the range.
I think it is a 3 day venture at top dollar.
This is based on advice from the adjacent Mt Little Station and web searches.
The locals are doing it pretty tough up there at the moment.
The Heysen trail goes through Arkaba Station and I think access to that is still ok, but only out of the hot summer months.
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby peregrinator » Wed 23 Jan, 2019 5:57 pm

1. Rawnsley Park Station. I spoke to a most unhelpful and unpleasant person. Gotta do it their way (and pay plenty dollar) or no way. Or . . .
2. Tried but failed. Seems like I possibly took Jeremy's difficult 2009 route.
3. Dunno.
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby beardless » Wed 23 Jan, 2019 10:14 pm

Thanks eggs and peregrinator.

So it looks like I might have to settle for walking alongside the range on the Heysen Trail and admiring the range from afar.

I have wondered before why it is not part of the National Park. With such a magnificent form it strikes me as being worthy of inclusion. Perhaps one day.

It would be great if the station welcomed self sufficient walkers on the range for a significantly lower fee. It is likely that the vast majority of such walkers would not be willing or able to pay top dollar.

eggs wrote:The locals are doing it pretty tough up there at the moment.

Is that due to the drought? Or something else?
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby peregrinator » Thu 24 Jan, 2019 8:13 am

beardless wrote:Thanks eggs and peregrinator.

So it looks like I might have to settle for walking alongside the range on the Heysen Trail and admiring the range from afar.

I have wondered before why it is not part of the National Park. With such a magnificent form it strikes me as being worthy of inclusion. Perhaps one day.

It would be great if the station welcomed self sufficient walkers on the range for a significantly lower fee. It is likely that the vast majority of such walkers would not be willing or able to pay top dollar.

eggs wrote:The locals are doing it pretty tough up there at the moment.

Is that due to the drought? Or something else?


Plans for a nuclear waste dump have alarmed a lot of the locals:

https://www.acf.org.au/no_dump
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby eggs » Thu 24 Jan, 2019 2:21 pm

The drought was having a major effect on Mt Little Station
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby oysters » Wed 30 Jan, 2019 4:12 pm

I did it back in 2001 when I was in Venturers, I think it was the May long weekend (back when SA had a May long weekend...I was very sad when we lost an LWE in peak bushwalking season!). We started walking Saturday morning from Wilpena Pound Chalet, following the Heysen Trail. We camped just off the trail at the base of the Elder Range. Then next morning climbed it...from memory we chose to go up a gully/scree slope about 1-2km north of the Mt Alec summit...the scree slope was most of the ascent into the range and at least a couple of hundred metres of climbing...lots of fun! On the top of the ridge, with our daypacks, we traversed south to the Summit. Then reversed it. Traversing the ridgeline was fine, I mean its hard work, scrambling, certainly not an easy off-track bit of walking, much like other off track walking in high parts of the Flinders. Other sections of the Elder Range Ridgeline I couldn't comment on, and of course your navigation needs to be spot on and careful so you don't walk yourself over a cliff edge...

Back then we had permission from the station to do it. But unfortunately yeah I've heard as well that things are tightened up. Same goes for walking "off-track" in Flinders Ranges NP... we used to do a lot of peak bagging trips off track around the pound, Heysen, ABC ranges, etc, Edeowie Circuits. But they don't want people to do that any more. I can understand making sure that people have appropriate skill sets, qualifications, etc (which I and others I walk with do) but often enquiries return a "no".

If you do manage to get permission for the Elder Range, definitely please post back here! I'd love to know, and know how! It really was a spectacular climb...Absolutely up there with anything I've climbed in Australia. We have better more spectacular climbs here than in Victoria... Mt Alec (and other great peaks like Mt Abrupt, Mt Falkland, Mt McKinley) top Feathertop, Bogong, Viking/Razor/Mt Howwit circuit for me by far...the Ruggedness of the climbs is superior, and the adjacent views are better. For non-snow climbs at least.
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Re: SA - Flinders NP - Elder Range - Mt Aleck

Postby beardless » Wed 30 Jan, 2019 5:36 pm

Thank you Oysters for the account of your trip.

oysters wrote:... If you do manage to get permission for the Elder Range, definitely please post back here! I'd love to know, and know how! It really was a spectacular climb...Absolutely up there with anything I've climbed in Australia. We have better more spectacular climbs here than in Victoria... Mt Alec (and other great peaks like Mt Abrupt, Mt Falkland, Mt McKinley) top Feathertop, Bogong, Viking/Razor/Mt Howwit circuit for me by far...the Ruggedness of the climbs is superior, and the adjacent views are better. For non-snow climbs at least.


Nothing to report yet. Interesting comparison with the alpine peaks of Victoria. I am also yet to climb any of those peaks so I cannot comment. From the Elder Range I suspect there would be great views of the pound.
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