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Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Wed 27 Jul, 2016 9:31 pm

Mt. Torbreck
Trip report.
My friend and I went to Mt. Torbreck(1516 M ) today and went to the top.
On the way we stopped in Narbethong and hired some snow shoes and poles for my friend and some wheel chains and I bought a map ( just in case).
It was raining along the way but it was cold enough for that to be snow above 1400 M so off we went.
The road out there along Snob’s Creek road is good for 2 WD. It has been cleared of fallen timber too. We left the car at the bottom of the junction with Conn’s gap rd. and walked the rest of the way up to Barnewall plains road where the gate is locked to 4 WD vehicles in white season. That road has many fallen logs on it which will be cleared in November.
The snow started to appear on the ground half way up Conn’s Gap road. I don’t know who Conn was but he may have been a Greek bushwalker , or maybe not.
Further up I took off a layer of clothing and put on flexible microspikes/ crampons because it was icy and slippery going up the winding hill jeep road.
I had two sets of MSR snow shoes strapped to my pack.
Once we reached the picnic table area at Barnewall plains we started the true ascent of Mt Torbreck. The track notice says it is 2.1 kms one way and it very steep and has obstacles along the way.
A little way further along we both put on the snow shoes.
It became very steep quite soon just as the Snow gums began to appear.
I was kicking steps with the snow shoes , using the heel lift and actually was using the ice axe blade on the self-arrest pole while ascending crab like on all fours on some very steep sections which were at least 40 cms deep in deep soft wet snow.
This sort thing continued as I followed the orange arrows on the snow gum trees until at summit plateau I ran out of orange arrows. It was snowing up there and it was very cold with everything covered in ice and festooned with snow, I could not see much and the summit cairn was not located on this trip. It could have been any of the huge rocks covered in snow.
Since this was the first time I had been there I decided to turn back only to find my walking companion still plodding up the mountain. We had a thermos of hot tea. She found my snow shoe extension which had snapped off and subsequently also found my orange pack cover.
After my friend went on to see if she could find the summit marker we descended. This was verging on semi technical mountaineering. One had to go backwards like a crab, kicking steps, down some slippery chutes that were easier to deal with climbing up . I had the whippet out and was using the blade to brake and get purchase in the snow and ice so I could stay in control on the steep descent.
My friend opted to toboggan without the toboggan on her derriere , often out of control after she had started to slide :-0
It was very beautiful , very cold indeed, snowing and wild up there at the 1500 M area and we didn’t see anybody else on the mountain. Mt Torbreck doesn’t cost anything to visit and is way more adventurous than going to Lake mountain .It is about two and half hours from Melbourne and is a winter day trip adventure that I will certainly do again next year , armed with a real ice axe. In fact we will go back in green season to find the summit cairn and maybe even visit the plane crash site when there is more daylight later in the year.
It is interesting that this site was once planned to become a downhill skiing resort. It is steep enough for the creation of some black diamond ski runs, it is higher up than Lake Mountain is in terms of elevation and the Chalet etc. would have been easy to build on Barnewall plains at the foot of the final ascent to the top. Moreover it is one hour closer to Melbourne than Mt Buller or Mt Baw Baw are.
Local towns such as Eildon would have done well out of it too.
It is good that such a thing never took place because it is a tranquil and wild place in winter that only adventurous , fit people on two legs can reach.
Mt. Torbreck rocks!

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Wed 27 Jul, 2016 10:20 pm

Has been on my radar for a winter trip but never made it, so far. Great walk in the dryer months both to the summit and to the memorial on the north face
Summit Cairn On A Fine Day

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Thu 28 Jul, 2016 7:00 pm

Nicely done PCV we need some photos though :wink:
As you can see in gmacs photo the cairn is fairly abvious but a bit of a walk/scramble? about 600 metres along the top spur to the north once you pass the saddle.

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Thu 28 Jul, 2016 8:04 pm ... st-3068812

I posted some photos on this website. It seems easier to upload them there.

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Fri 29 Jul, 2016 5:53 am

Nice photos.

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Fri 20 Jan, 2017 10:21 pm

I snow shoed up there in July 2016. It was steep and there were icy chutes on the upper track where I wished I had an ice axe for the descent.The track was not super simple to follow in snow, ice and fog. There was snow from just past the Conn's Gap Road Bridge all the way up to the top. There was a poo... load of snow at the top. I went back today , 20/1/17 and could not see much because of heavy fog and drizzle . It was still wild, beautiful and quiet. I like that place a lot .I have yet to go there on a clear day and see some major views from the top.Somebody has gone in and recently cleared the track from Conn's Gap bridge to the summit with a chainsaw and put up new orange arrows so it is easier to find the way.

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Sat 21 Jan, 2017 6:55 am

When you say from the Conns Gap road bridge to the summit are you saying a new track has been cut?
Most of the way from the bridge is the Barnewalls Plain Road to Barnewalls Plain.
The walking track goes from Barnewalls Plain to the summit.
The summit didn't have any views when I was there you had to climb on top of the cairn.
Has someone been cutting down trees up there?

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Sat 21 Jan, 2017 12:27 pm

What I mean is that just before that steep rocky pinch on the 4 WD track at the Conns Gap road/ Barnewall plains Seasonally locked gate , where the Conns Gap bridge is visible, that is where the July 2016 snow line was. The Blackberries are out of control up there , swallowing up the 4 WD tracks and a huge Logging truck was fanging it down Snobs Creek road. Yes somebody is cutting down trees in the Rubicon state forest. They are old growth mountain ash trees. These people are the CMFEU logging workers , who pull the strings on the VIC state ALP puppet that they control.
That is why the Great Forest Nat. Park still does not exist.
The Mt Torbreck summit walk has been subject to track clearing and that is good because I like that place and will return.
The Rubicon state forest , or what is left of it is beautiful. The recent rain meant that Snobs Falls were absolutely pumping. It was spectacular.
I am off to do do the Rubicon Tramway/aqua duct day walk next month. :-)

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Sat 21 Jan, 2017 2:12 pm

PCV I have a very close relationship of 40 plus years with locals and the devastation is beyond belief. This is nothing to do with the workers it is the cowardly state governments, all of them that have allowed this happen. 1 log truck, sh#t my mate has 20 plus a day go past in the Rubicon Valley. The skyline has been wrecked where logging has taken place over the top of the Royston Range and the damage to the Royston and Rubicon watershed has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy the little bits that are left because you will never again see what we used to be able to wander through.

Re: Mt. Torbreck 27.7.16

Sat 21 Jan, 2017 9:48 pm

The State Govt. are gutless ,Lib Lab, Lab Lib , they are the same on this issue and the Old growth mountain ash trees in the Rubicon state forest are vanishing rapidly out there. Plus the Blackberries are WAY out of control.If logging was replaced with eco tourism then something might change but there may not be much for tourists to visit if they keep logging it like there is no tomorrow.
So water quality,soil retention, habitat , flora and fauna all suffer. That is why a creating a Great Forest National Park is the solution.
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