Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

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Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Tue 08 Jul, 2014 8:01 am

Hi everyone. I thought I'd start this so anyone who wants info or a progress report on this year's trip can jump in.

I'll be in as regular contact with MD55 as his Optus mobile on the high plains will allow, so any questions, messages, or if you want to join in the fun, I can help out with information. He won't have any internet access while he's away.

He is already up there, currently in the village waiting for the lifts to open, and hopes to have his camp set up in two or three days.

I'll check back regularly.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby neilmny » Tue 08 Jul, 2014 8:14 am

Well done Cecile. You've got to hand it to Mondog he's as keen as they come. :D
I'll bet the snow condition is magic at the moment and another 20 to 45 predicted over
the next couple of days.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Tue 08 Jul, 2014 8:27 am

Apparently the snow isn 't great yet, just average, and even though it's school holidays the lodge where he's having his coffee is only 1/3 capacity. His main thoughts at the moment are to get the rest of his gear to Pretty Valley, and that his stash is untouched.

And you're right, he is keen. He loves the mountain, the outdoors, and the challenge of staying alive in conditions that I refuse to willingly put myself into! I grew up in the snow (upstate New York) and don't care if I never see the stuff again!
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 08 Jul, 2014 9:21 am

Snow prayer time...
Just move it!
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Tue 08 Jul, 2014 7:11 pm

Day one was a bit of a bust, especially after 36 hours with no sleep. Ted's thought to haul everything up the ski lift has turned out to be much less convenient, and far less easy than simply strapping on the sled harness and walking the whole way from Windy Corner. He still hasn't got past the resort, but has sheltered for the night, ready for a start at o'dark thirty (or before the ski patrol shoos him out of where he's sheltered.) Personally, I think it's a bit of a pity it's not permitted to hire a snowmobile to haul your stuff, but they are not allowed in the national park.

The weather hasn't been kind today, very foggy with poor visibility. I somehow suspect it's going to be a LONG week.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby walkon » Tue 08 Jul, 2014 7:27 pm

GPSGuided wrote:Snow prayer time...


Nah moondog prefers sacrificing virgins! It's good to see a man so happy and keen about life, it will be good to get up there and share it with him.
Viva La Moondog
Cheers Walkon

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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Wed 09 Jul, 2014 7:59 pm

walkon wrote:
GPSGuided wrote:Snow prayer time...


Nah moondog prefers sacrificing virgins! It's good to see a man so happy and keen about life, it will be good to get up there and share it with him.
Viva La Moondog


You can share it with him if he ever gets to the campsite! Terrible weather today, and when I spoke with him about lunchtime he was just about to head to Eagle Rock (I think) with his last rucksack. He was confident he'd at least get to the campsite before dark. I won't have any contact now for a couple of days, since there's no Optus signal at the campsite.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Giddy_up » Fri 11 Jul, 2014 11:51 am

Hi Cecile,

How is Moondog going? Has he got all his gear to base camp yet?

Cheers
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 8:39 am

Giddy_up wrote:How is Moondog going? Has he got all his gear to base camp yet?

Cheers
G_u



I have no idea, but I have to assume he has, without any major mishaps. He doesn't have any mobile reception up there, even though he's in sight of the tower (Optus, GRRRRR) so I won't hear anything until he goes back to the village. It's a possibility he hasn't been able to charge his phone, even though he took a solar panel and batteries with him. All the comforts of home!
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby photohiker » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 10:21 am

Hmm. Seems to me Moondog should grab a prepaid Telstra phone or simcard on his way up (if Telstra would work where he is, it does all over the downhill area)
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 2:05 pm

Just had a phone call. He had no idea that it was Saturday. Ted said that the weather's been horrible, and he has not seen so much snow since 1981. Earlier today visibility was awful, but when we were speaking it had turned into a bluebird afternoon. Up at his campsite he's having trouble erecting the big tent, because there is over 2m of snow on the ground, which he said is unheard of. Someone pinched more than half the firewood from his stash, and a bag containing kitchen bits and pieces that had not been locked up. The Megamid tent now leaks, has already blown down, and his sleeping bag got saturated. He had parked his sled, and it's now buried under over 3m of drifting snow, so of course he can't find it. On it was the spare sleeping bags, and all of his medication.

He also said that for anyone heading up there, Pretty Valley Hut will need to be dug out.

I have no idea how this can be considered fun, but apparently it is.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 6:02 pm

Another update, about half an hour ago. He found the sled, and is now headed back to the campsite. Hopefully the snow and wind will die down a little so he can get the big tent erected. All this effort for the visitors he's expecting :-)
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby neilmny » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 6:25 pm

What can you say, Moondog is a champion. I really hope he gets some visitors this year.
I wish I had the time..... and the courage to be one of them.
Very glad to see he found the sled with the MEDICATION on it.... :shock:
I don't remember 81 but I do remember some good years since the 90's....but 2 and 3 metres crickey!
I remember 1 year at Hotham the claimed cove was 230cm.........claimed cover that is :wink:
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 8:55 pm

The final update for the night, and probably a few days. He is at the cattle grid, where mobile reception cuts out. I believe he's snowshoeing, is about two km from the campsite. The batteries on his head torch aren't lasting more than an hour, and he's very grateful for the Dolphin torch! "My God, it's cold!" were his words. I'm not sure if the 3m snow is from blowing and drifting, but it's lot of snow for sure.

I'm eternally grateful that I'm in a nice warm(ish) house, with hot and cold running water, and all my warm blankies :-)
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby kyubi » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 8:56 pm

Would it be easy for myself who hasn't previously hiked in the area to find his camp? I do have some time off and wanted to check the area out..

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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby walkerchris77 » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 9:09 pm

Im assuming hes got a pbl just incase. Hope hes enjoying his trip. Tell him we want lots of photos if possible and dont do anything that could get himself in trouble.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 9:29 pm

kyubi wrote:Would it be easy for myself who hasn't previously hiked in the area to find his camp? I do have some time off and wanted to check the area out..

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I'm not an expert and don't know the area well (have only been up there once, in spring, a few years ago) but I think you could. He wrote this in a thread on another forum "I'll be making my camp at the first fireplace at the start of the horse yards" which is not far past the Pretty Valley Hut, and I think just before you get to the Pretty Valley campsite. There's a pit toilet not far from the horse yards, too. I'm sure if you got up there you could not miss him, because he's got his trailer up there, and a LOT of equipment. You would of course have to ski or snowshoe in.

Here's the thread where he discusses his trip and the locality with others http://forums.ski.com.au/xf/threads/fal ... ley.64816/

Here's a basic map http://www.exploreaustralia.net.au/Vict ... mping-area
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 9:32 pm

walkerchris77 wrote:Im assuming hes got a pbl just incase. Hope hes enjoying his trip. Tell him we want lots of photos if possible and dont do anything that could get himself in trouble.


What's a PBL? He's got the camera, and once he gets situated I'm sure will take a ton of photos.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Strider » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 9:53 pm

Chris meant a PLB - Personal Locator Beacon. Which I don't think Ted has, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby walkon » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 10:23 pm

kyubi wrote:Would it be easy for myself who hasn't previously hiked in the area to find his camp? I do have some time off and wanted to check the area out..

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When are you thinking of going
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 10:28 pm

Strider wrote:Chris meant a PLB - Personal Locator Beacon. Which I don't think Ted has, if I remember correctly.


That's what I thought. If he did have one it'd be for me to be able to track his movements. He is very familiar with the area so I'm not that concerned about it, and he travels with map and compass. He also travels with a full survival clothing kit and other stuff that would keep him safe if he got lost. I'm basically just a worry rat, because I'm not a bushwalker.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby kyubi » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 10:59 pm

walkon wrote:
kyubi wrote:Would it be easy for myself who hasn't previously hiked in the area to find his camp? I do have some time off and wanted to check the area out..

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When are you thinking of going
I'm on uni holidays and free for the next week at least so any time

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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sun 13 Jul, 2014 12:07 am

kyubi wrote:
walkon wrote:
kyubi wrote:Would it be easy for myself who hasn't previously hiked in the area to find his camp? I do have some time off and wanted to check the area out..

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When are you thinking of going
I'm on uni holidays and free for the next week at least so any time

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If you are thinking of going, I know that once he's got the base camp set up he's coming home until the end of July, then returning in August for the month. I'm sure he'd love some company this week.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby sim1oz » Sun 13 Jul, 2014 2:44 pm

Hi Cecile, Thanks for sharing MD's news. We are planning to go up early August for a long weekend. I'll have to check with MD when he is back home (with you) whether our food was some of what was taken. Shame about the firewood... that is just so wrong. Look forward to hearing that all is well and base camp is set up.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sun 13 Jul, 2014 4:23 pm

sim1oz wrote:Hi Cecile, Thanks for sharing MD's news. We are planning to go up early August for a long weekend. I'll have to check with MD when he is back home (with you) whether our food was some of what was taken. Shame about the firewood... that is just so wrong. Look forward to hearing that all is well and base camp is set up.


I believe that your food was locked in one of the toolboxes. What went missing was I believe mainly kitchen implements, including a knife, cutting board. Mountaneers are pretty good at not stealing from others' food and equpment dumps, and if food is taken it's usually an emergency. For example Ted was trekking back to the campsite and stopped at Pretty Valley hut to warm up. Someone left a packet of two minute noodles, which he ate. He'll replace them. On the other hand, a few years ago he came home at short notice because I was injured, and someone raided his food dump, took all the chocolate, a bottle of port, the Gold Blend coffee, and left everything else. Opportunistic folks who don't understand the "code" of the mountain, I guess.

MD may not be home if he can't get the big tent set up, but he's in as regular phone contact as Optus reception will allow. I believe you have our phone number, give me a call if you have any questions.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Sun 13 Jul, 2014 6:15 pm

sim1oz, I was trying to send you a PM and it would not go for some reason. Let me know if you need our phone number, I can email it to you perhaps.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby sim1oz » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 7:42 pm

Hi Cecile, Glad I caught you on the phone. Let MD know we are thinking of him!
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby Cecile » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 8:25 am

I haven't heard anything since Saturday evening. At this point I can only hope that the weather has been kind, he has been able to get the big tent up, and the campsite more like "home."

After hearing about the tragedy up on Bogong, it reminds me that even the most experienced can run into trouble.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby icefest » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 12:43 pm

I wouldn't be worried Cecile, from what I've seen with moondog's adventures is that he plays it safe.

I hope he's getting done decent bluebird days.
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Moondog55's 2014 snow trip

Postby bailz66 » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 1:17 pm

He is also not far from PV Hut as an emergency shelter assuming he has been able to dig it out. A PLB call is only about 20 minutes snow mobile which can be used in an emergency.

PV is also no risk from an Avalanche especially at the cattle yards where he is so just has to beat the weather and he will be fine
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