Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

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Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby andyszollosi » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 6:06 pm

My pulse quickened, and I leant closer to the map. A two day winter circuit incorporating the summit of Mt Buller revealed itself to me; starting from Gardiners Hut on the Howqua River, climbing right over the top of Mt Timbertop before approaching Buller along the dramatic West Ridge. My return route would be along Four Mile Spur which is a clear cut ridge that runs in a south westerly direction down to the Howqua River, creating the perfect return route. The final hurdle was going to be a high water-level crossing of the river before completing the circuit at my starting point, Gardiners Hut.

I knew that allowing only two days for this circuit meant a tight schedule and I would have two long and arduous days of walking. I didn’t mind however, for I intended this walk as a training exercise to help me prepare for my solo attempt of the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) in the early spring. I was hoping that completing this circuit would give me some much needed experience in wet and cold alpine conditions. I was not disappointed!

I spent less than a week on the planning of the hike. As soon as I spotted the route on the map, I felt compelled to undertake a serious attempt, even if it proved unsuccessful. I did not try to find notes on the full circuit but I did research what I judged to be the riskiest section, the ascent along the west ridge under heavy snow. In hindsight, the river crossing by far was more treacherous. Nevertheless, I was instilled with enough concern about the ascent that I hired a pair of crampons and an ice pick from the good folks at Bogong Equipment (all their snowshoes were hired out, due to the excellent early season snowfalls). Other safety gear that I took as a precaution included packing an extra two days of food, a spot as my emergency signalling device, , extra fuel, snow pegs, back up compass, two down jackets, snow goggles, waterproof over mitts, a thermal sleeping bag liner, and plenty of hot chocolate mix. I figured if the worst happened and I got stuck above the snowline I would be able to live quite happily in my Hilleberg Soulo tent for 3-4 days. In the end, I was especially glad to have taken the extra food, as my two day hike turned into a three day epic.

I started walking late on the Saturday morning after a late night drive from Melbourne followed by a cramped sleep in my car; my body was lethargic, and the pack felt heavy. The first four kilometres of the track followed the meandering Howqua River, from Gardiners Hut to Sheepyard Flat. While it proved to be a pleasant warm-up exercise I tried to avoid looking at the swiftly flowing river. Would I be able to cross at Gardiner’s Hut at the end of my walk, or would I have to bush bash the four kilometres along the water to the bridge at Sheepyard Flat? This question I pushed to the back of my mind as I strolled comfortably over the bridge, the cold water swirling below.

To climb up to the start of the Mt Timbertop summit track from the Howqua valley, one may either follow the graded dirt road, called Howqua Track or an unmaintained walking track along an unnamed spur that follows the road in a rough fashion. In my mind, there was no question which way I would go. However, the two routes diverge considerably within the first kilometre so a crossover from the walking track to the road is not really feasible. I committed to the walking track and started the climb up towards Mt Timbertop. (The start of the walking track is not sign posted but is clearly visible, on the right hand side of the road if one is coming from Sheepyard Flat. After Doughty Rd, there is a private driveway to the right and the track leads up a well defined ridge just past this private road.)

I was to gain 400m in elevation in roughly 7 kilometres. I was pacing myself as the climb was long and steady. I was followed by the beautifully variant calls of the lyrebirds and stopped many times to stare at the funky fungi growing along the track. One of the most striking specimens was the coral fungi, which seemed to me like a stranded sea creature stuck on the ground, very far from home.


IMG_1739.JPG
Coral Fungi, a strange creature


The track was well defined at the start, but soon became overgrown. The overnight rain meant I was soon saturated from the overhanging branches. As I climbed steadily up, I could occasionally hear the roar of a dirt bike along the graded dirt road to the west, and while it sounded close-by I knew that through the barrier of the thick undergrowth, it might as well have been light years away.

Reaching the top of a rise just before Muzzas Saddle, there was a split in the track. According to my map and compass I was to follow the track on the left, which happened to have the unmistakable ‘closed’ sign of a few smaller logs placed perpendicularly across it. The other track was clearly marked with pink track markers, but seemed to be headed entirely in the wrong direction. So I took the ‘closed’ track and crossed my fingers.

Before long I was in an overgrown rainforest gully, scrambling over slippery logs with my 25kgs+pack. At least there was plenty of water so I decided to fill up my water bladder with about 4 litres of clean mountain water, which would allow me to set up camp at any stage. It was already getting late, with about an hour of light left and I had barely covered half the distance towards my planned camp site at the start of the West Ridge track. I swung the pack back on after my water refill and picked up the pace. I was determined to get to my planned position before I struck up camp.

The going got slow and I was struggling to keep to the pad, as it was getting slimmer and slimmer. I was forced to put the headlight on as twilight settled around me, accompanied by a steady soaking drizzle. After about an hour and a half of rough going my minute track popped out onto a better maintained one and it wasn’t long before I reached my first true check point, the start of the well marked Mt Timbertop summit track.

It was well past sundown and I still had 11kms to go to my planned campsite. I ate a muesli bar and pushed on. The next hour I followed the switchback track under the dimming glow of my headlight (the spare batteries tucked away in my pack) and gained about 400m in 2 kilometres. Reaching the summit of Mt Timbertop I felt that I had reached powerful place; I wished I had a view instead of driving rain, roaring wind and a gloomy darkness that hid the moon from my eyes.

The next three hours were a slog, my only aim to get to the start of the west ridge track, where I was to set up camp for the night. I was sodden and tired when I reached my destination. I set up camp, cooked and ate dinner in less than an hour. I fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of blue skies and crisp snow.

When my alarm went off at 5 am I was surprisingly well rested. Perhaps I was just excited, for today was the day that I came for. I was going to climb Mt Buller along the West Ridge, in heavy snow!
I packed up my saturated tent and gear into my trusted 85L One Planet Mcmillan and struck out. Most of my things were saturated and the pack felt heavier than the day before, bordering on 30kgs from the feel of it on my back.
I had a lethargic start to the day, taking very small, deliberately slow steps on the track up towards Round Hill. It was straight and steep and I gained altitude quickly. As the first patches of snow appeared, the mighty Mountain Ash were replaced by the shorter, twisted Snow Gums.

The snow appeared only in scattered patches at first, but eventually, around the 1500m mark, it blanketed the ground completely in a damp layer. Soon I was sinking and sliding with every step. I contemplated putting on the crampons but the snow was soft; with the aid of my hiking poles I felt secure and so I kept climbing.

Occasionally I saw the story of a passing wombat or feral cat written as tracks in the snow, and often I followed these animal tracks as it was usually the easiest path to take. Animals rely on their ability to move efficiently for survival and I was happy to learn from their movement.

The steeper sections were exhausting. I would take 10 steps then rest for 3-4 breaths, then take another few steps before having to take a break again. I was reminded of videos I’ve watched of mountaineers, moving ever so slowly up a steep slope, inching their way towards the summit.

IMG_1747.JPG
Looking up at one of the many steep sections of the West Ridge of Mt Buller, animal track in the snow.


As the hours passed and I got closer to the summit, the snow got deeper, and the rocks became covered in ice. Some of the snow gums exposed fully towards the north were frozen over with inches of ice. It is amazing that they are able to survive fully exposed on that ridgeline for hundreds of years. No wonder they are twisted for they must be tormented beings, bearing the full brunt of winter every year.

The final rise of the west ridge is ridiculous under snow. I was faced with a choice of scrambling over a frozen escarpment of what I judged to be about 65 degrees or a snow field of 45 degrees. Not trusting my skills with the ice pick and the crampons with my heavy pack, I opted for the snow field. It took me 30 minutes to cover 100 metres. My heart was pounding in my ear. I wasn’t sure if it was exhaustion or the altitude, but I was panting hard.

When I topped the crest after this most exhausting section, I could feel I was on the summit ridge, despite the dense fog. I felt myself floating towards the distant outline of something triangular in the misty distance...

IMG_1750.JPG
One of the few breaks I took during the climb. My clothes were saturated from the previous day so I could not rest for too long.


There it was! The summit structure; covered in about six inches of ice on the northern side, with warning signs plastered all around, beware steep cliffs, extreme ice, do not ski or you will probably die. I felt victorious, for I had conquered the mountain.

Having arrived to the summit of Mt Buller, I was instantly greeted by a complete change of atmosphere. Gone was the wild and remote west ridge with its steep cliffs and frozen rocks; replaced by the vibe of an early season day at a ski resort. People were skating and skiing on the snow covered slopes, completely carefree, catching the lifts up and catching gravity down. I couldn’t help but think that the challenge of reaching the summit of a mountain is lost on the average downhill punter.

IMG_1755.JPG
I was relieved to see the summit structure.


Despite having reached the summit, I could not allow myself to relax. I knew my schedule was tight; I needed to get to the Howqua River before sundown. The crossing was likely to be dangerous and would not be ideal to attempt in the dark. First of all, I had to find the start of the Four Mile Spur track, which proved difficult.

My map did not have quite enough detail and I knew the track was not going to be sign posted. I had to find someone who knew exactly where the track started and who could take me there. I decided to head to the kiosk, the main hub on the slope. I took my pack off for the first time since I’ve started the climb 3 hours prior and rested on one of the seats. It was less than a minute before I overheard a conversation of two older snowboarders planning their route off the mountain. They had an air of experience about them so I decided to ask them about my ridge. After a few minutes of discussion, they decided to show me to the start of the track. They were quite friendly but were bemused about my adventure.
“Why do it?”-asked the older snow boarder.
“Ah, lots of reasons”-I replied awkwardly. I could not think of the quick and easy answer that he was hoping to hear. In his mind I was doing something dangerous and silly. In my mind I was living one of the most exciting and rewarding days of my life.

After about 10 minutes of jogging with the pack downhill, doing my best to keep up with the boarders who were easily gliding downhill, we were at the start of the track along four mile spur. A lonely orange track marker signalled the way along this magnificent south-west ridge, or as my map called it, Four Mile Spur. Due to the poor visibility the track marker was the only clue pointing towards the existence of this said ridge however. The slope looked about the same as everywhere else with no sign of a defined ridge, and with no visible track or footsteps leading into the trees at all. The orange arrow seemed eerie and unwelcoming. I confirmed with my compass that the arrow was pointing roughly south west. I thanked the boarders for the directions and I left the main ski track and entered the forest once more.

The snow was deep, the arrow markers rare and the ridge fairly broad. I came very close to losing my way within the first half an hour. The fog lowered the visibility to a couple of hundred metres, but looking at the map I could tell that the slopes dropped off very steeply on both sides of the ridge, plummeting down to the valley about three hundred metres below. I imagine the views would have been spectacular, had my view not been obscured by the dense cloud.

One section of four mile spur was a true highlight of the walk. For a distance of about a few hundred metres, the ridge narrowed into a rocky razorback where it was barely a couple of metres wide. While it was wet, rugged and therefore treacherous, what I remember above all else are the vibrancy and colour of the lichens on the rocks. These wonderful organisms are a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae and are amazing because they do not require soil to grow. Instead, they tend to grow on rocks. In fact, they break down rocks, so once could claim they are rock eaters. In the wet, they come alive with a vibrancy that is great to behold.
This highlight area of the ridge did not last very long, and I was soon walking amidst a very thick eucalypt sapling forest. The regrowth was a result of bushfires having swept through the area. I had difficulty following the arrow markers. The pad was barely existent, and I decided to simply follow the ridge and forget about the irksome pad. I figured I would have no trouble following such a distinct ridge. I was mistaken.

The going got thicker and thicker until I could barely see a few metres in front of me. I soon made the first navigational error of the trip. Unable to see the ridge anymore, and perhaps too eager to walk downhill, I veered off the main ridge and onto a spur, heading prematurely off the ridge and into the valley of the South Buller Creek. I did not realise my mistake until I popped into a clearing, and having descended below the cloud line I could see that I was well below the main south west ridge and on a north east running spur. The climb back to the ridge, while relatively short would have taken me well over an hour through the thick regrowth. I decided to sidle the slope instead until the contour lines eventually met up with the main ridge once more.

It was a good plan but it did not work. The thickness of the gum saplings meant I was constantly being forced downhill and so I was not able to maintain my elevation. I was too tired to fight the landscape. I was forced to descend down towards South Buller Creek.
I did not figure it was a large problem since the creek flowed into the Howqua River anyway. I could not get lost but I did expect the going to get a bit slower. Naturally I underestimated how slow the going would get and the distance that I had to cover to reach the Howqua River along the valley.

Once I had reached the bottom of the valley, I resigned myself to wet boots, and started walking in the creek. It was a picturesque and remote valley; the vegetation was a thick a rainforest where often the easiest path was along one of the numerous wombat tracks that ran parallel to the creek. With a combination of climbing over logs, wading through the creek and pushing aside undergrowth, I began my slow march towards the river.

At 7pm I had been walking for over 11 hours and I was running out of energy. I decided to stop and assess my location using ‘memory map’ on my iphone (a topographical gps ap, it is a great alternative to a gps!). With one glance at my location, I knew I’d be spending the night in the valley, I was still roughly 3 kms away from the river, which could take up to five hours to cover in the dark. I set up camp right there and then for I was exhausted. I cooked my dehydrated meal and went to bed. I was very aware of my poor choice of campsite, merely inches above the water level.

Luckily, the water level did not rise that night and the next morning I found the vale to be in a very good mood. The sky was blue for the first time since I have started walking from Howqua exactly two days ago. Knowing I had only a short day in comparison to the previous two, I struck off in high spirits. Nevertheless, my legs were lethargic and I had to stop to refuel quite often. I went through three muesli bars within the first hour of walking, not long after a big bowl of breakfast porridge. My body was catching up with me after two days of strenuous walking.

I followed the wombat tracks when I could, and the walking was quite pleasant, but some sections were quite rough with steep canyon like walls. As I got closer to the Howqua River, an invasion of berry bushes barred my way in places like a barbed wire fence. My relatively new rain gear was not going to be a sacrifice so I took the often strenuous route and climbed around the bushes.
When I eventually reached the river, I was dismayed to see the water level. It was deep enough that I would definitely have to swim, and the water was flowing fast with plenty of rapids. However, I was not prepared to commit to a 5-6 detour to cross on the bridge at Sheepyard Flat so I decided to take my chances with the cold water.

I stripped down and put everything in my dry bags inside my pack. This was going to be my first ever wild river crossing. In hindsight I would have attempted it differently. As it was, I picked the 30 metre stretch within sight that had no rapids or larger rocks, just swiftly flowing water. The river was about 10 metres wide, and there were only about 3-5 metres of swift flowing water in the centre where I would have to swim. Despite knowing I was a competent swimmer, I was nervous. I pressed my lips together and entered the water, my heavy pack on my bag, with all the straps unclipped.

Within seconds, my feet went from under me and I was doing a rapid breast stroke across the river. My breath was caught by the cold water. I was perhaps halfway across when the current grabbed my bag and twirled me around like a folded paper ship in a bath tub splash. My head was pushed under in a split second and I could not surface for air. The pack on my bag was pushing me under and would not let me up. I knew I was being washed towards a particularly large rock. I decided to ditch my pack. I quickly slid one shoulder strap off and was about to let the pack go completely in a moment of panic when I suddenly touched the rocks on the bottom with my feet. I was on the other side.

I stood up and with an energetic heave I hauled my pack out of the river as I still had one of the shoulder straps in one hand, in a last, desperate grip. I panted for a few seconds, then laughed and dried myself off with my towel. Having nearly drowned, I felt very alive.

As I cruised back towards my car I contemplated the question of the older snow boarder on the mountain.

“Why do it?”- He asked.

In hindsight, I had a simple answer to his question all along.

I do it, for the same reason anyone does anything.

It makes me feel alive.

IMG_1765.JPG
Exhausted, but exhilarated at the end of the walk, having just crossed the final hurdle, Howqua River. A snow capped Mt Buller and its South West Ridge, or Four Mile Spur, is visible in the background.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby icefest » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 6:20 pm

Wow.
A great read. I’m happy you made it across the river safely, it sounded quite dangerous.
Did you end up using the crampons or ice axe?
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby dancier » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 7:18 pm

Enjoyed the read as well, I'd be keen on a bit of a gear list like boots, bag, mat, stove, crampons etc.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby andyszollosi » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 11:09 pm

Cheers!
Yeah, the river crossing was one of the sketchier things I've done in this life. Hindsight is a beautiful thing though...If I was faced with a similar scenario now I think I would approach it very differently. I would have found a safer crossing point where I had a larger margin for error (as it was I only had about 30m before I would have been washed into the rapids) and used my pack as a flotation device rather than simply wear it on my bag while swimming. The pack on my bag led to loosing control in the water. I do not recommend swimming with a heavy pack after this experience, it does not work.

As for gear...

Crampons and ice axe I did not end up using but I feel that the crampons would have made the ascent a lot easier as I was slipping in my boots a fair bit. I simply did not want to stop and muck around with opening my pack and putting them on because I was quite wet underneath my jacket and would not have taken very long at all to get very cold if I had stopped. I took them more as a pre caution in case the conditions were very icy, which they weren't really. Due to the steepness of the west ridge, I would definitely say that either snow shoes or crampons are essential under heavy snow. My trekking poles helped me gain some extra traction; without them, I would not have been able to complete the ascent. By the way the crampons were the hires from Bogong Equipment, so I'm not sure about their model or make but if you called them they could give you advice about crampons or tell you exactly what they were.

As for the full gear list, here it is roughly.

One Planet Mcmillan 85L Pack
HIlleberg Soulo Tent
MSR whisperlite stove
Exped Synmat
Kathmandu Seeker -10C sleeping bag (I wouldn't mind an upgrade, but it does the job. I had a polypro liner to go with it, which I was very glad for as my bag was quite damp by the second night, loosing a fair bit of loft and therefore warmth. I'm going to use some nikwax downproof wash in waterproofer for the down filling before my next trip so see if it improves performance when the bag gets damp.)
Asolo Sasslong Boots
Black Diamond Trekking Poles
Lowe Alpine Waterproof Mitts
Wind stopper gloves (mid layer)
Polypro gloves (base layer)
Merino thermals
Fleece
Petzl Headlight
Spot
Recta full feature compass (mirror and adjustable declination arrow)
Mt Buller-Howitt SV map
and...

LOTS OF SNACKS! haha

Yeah so all this gear makes for a pretty heavy pack but it gives me a really reliable and comfortable set up for winter/mountainous trips which makes me feel very safe as long as I've got my pack on my bag! (as long as I'm not swimming!)

Any more questions, just let me know. I may be doing one more weekend hike this winter in preparation for my AAWT trek so if anyone is keen for an adventure, let me know. I am actively going to try and make my next one slightly less adventurous though! Snowshoeing on the bogong plains, or maybe around mt buffalo? Ideas are welcome, as long as it involves snow!
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby icefest » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 11:18 pm

Bogong plains circuit is nice.

Park at bogong (the town) and walk up Fainters via bogong jack hut. Go south around falls creek and follow Spion kopye back to the car.
90% above the snow line, with multiple huts as backup camping locations.

Which dry sack did you use?
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby andyszollosi » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 8:02 am

Thanks for that tip icefest, sounds ideal.

Both my pack liner and dry sacks are from sea to summit. They do the job very nicely, the problem instead came from the amount of condensation that built up inside my tent...
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby neilmny » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 8:13 am

Great report I can't wait to read your report on the AAWT :wink:
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby dancier » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 1:14 pm

Thanks for the gear list, gloves are my weakness but I'm thankful now that I got the XL Extremities overmitts, mean I can put more glove layers underneath.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby north-north-west » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 5:31 pm

Based on that report, the AAWT will be a doddle - provided you forget your schedule and take breaks as and when the conditions insist.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby andyszollosi » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 7:07 pm

Ah that's all right, I've got 30 days of side trip adventures planned, never you worry!
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 12:16 pm

Wow, necky and exhausting stuff. Getting the river crossing over on the first day makes the end easier for Buller and the High Plains. However, for Buller, the treat of walking up ski runs does not appeal. Going down the West Ridge in crud and ice is hard as well. Line-ball. High Plains is an easier decision: start from the High Plains Road and hence up Spion Kopje. Anti-clockwise means that the last 10 km or so from Fainters is on roads. Last time I was there a locked gate just above the HP road slowed me down for a moment. Had to crawl under. I'm used to this.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby north-north-west » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 3:23 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Wow, necky and exhausting stuff. Getting the river crossing over on the first day makes the end easier for Buller and the High Plains. However, for Buller, the treat of walking up ski runs does not appeal. Going down the West Ridge in crud and ice is hard as well. Line-ball. High Plains is an easier decision: start from the High Plains Road and hence up Spion Kopje. Anti-clockwise means that the last 10 km or so from Fainters is on roads. Last time I was there a locked gate just above the HP road slowed me down for a moment. Had to crawl under. I'm used to this.


Yeah, I've done that crossing in 'interesting' conditions at the start of the SK circuit and spent the next few hours wet from the chest down. Luckily it was a warm summer's day . . .
As for crawling under - first time I went up the Fainters via Ropers Track it was over and under trees for the better part of a km. Oh, the fun.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby Travis22 » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 5:00 pm

Thanks for sharing your trip report with us.

Don't know why but I feel like I know you from somewhere.. Are you in the ROC - Rmit outdoors club?

Travis.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby icefest » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 5:42 pm

Not sure which way your guys went up SK from Bogong village. If you head north from Spion (towards eagles nest?) and then head down west you arrive at a bridge and do not need to do any river crossing.

There was plenty of treefall when I did it, so it's easier down than up.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby north-north-west » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 6:06 pm

Depends on the circuit. Mine was just two days - up via the SK track from the lower carpark via Magazine Cable track (I think) to whatistname corner, then up via Little SK after crossing the creek (which is where the problem was). Then past Crows Nest to Warby Corner, over Timms, cross the Big River (Mitta Mitta), to Bogong Creek Saddle and back via Arthur & Little Arthur, with the final descent down Black Possum Spur.
The Big River crossing at the base of Timms can be an easier prospect than the creek. It was that time. I've also done it in winter without any issues.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby andyszollosi » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 10:56 pm

Hmmm looks like there are lots of interesting options for bogong high plains circuit.

Question. What would be a good two day circuit to do on cross country skis for someone who hasn't skied before? If there is anyone interested, I am planning it for either the 2-3rd Aug or 23-24th August, potentially both. It would be nice to go with someone who is an experienced skier so I can be safe and learn a few tricks!

Travis I'm not sure, I am not a member of Rmit but I do work in the city at Mitchell's Adventures on Elizabeth St...have you been in our shop in the last couple of months?
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby icefest » Wed 16 Jul, 2014 11:02 pm

Falls to cope saddle / PV / Tawonga huts

Mostly graded tracks suitable for skating, with options for an early break according to weather.
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 17 Jul, 2014 1:19 pm

For a novice skier, think about stopping a short distance along Heathy Spur up from the dam wall at Falls Creek. This is less than an hour from Windy Corner, and gives the minimum time skiing with a pack and the maximum time with a day pack. There are a number of sheltered hollows on the south side, and some have good morning sunshine. An open creek may be hard to find. If the weather gets bad it's not too hard to get back to Falls, albeit with an exposed ski across the dam. If you feel comfortable, there's a low-level route about five tiers down the dam wall. This is longer and steeper, with climbing at the end, but it's more sheltered.
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Re: Mt Buller Circuit-An Alpine Adventure

Postby Smeagle » Thu 17 Jul, 2014 8:15 pm

cool trip report :) you might need to start thinking about pack rafting more than skiing ;) always up for and adventure of those kinds :)


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