Mt McDonald

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Mt McDonald

Postby bigkev » Wed 17 May, 2017 6:46 pm

I had such a great time last Saturday over on Mt Magdala that this week I decided to head back up to the Alpine NP and do a circuit encompassing Mt McDonald. The plan today was to Climb Mt McDonald via it's North Ridge before following the AAWT along the high ridges towards The Nobs, then drop down Nobs Track into the Jamieson River Valley and walk Brocks Road back to the ute. That all sounds pretty easy if you say it quickly! The walk from where I left Low Saddle Road to the bottom of North Ridge was a serious scrub bash through re growth, made even harder due to the fact that I was trying to locate a shallow saddle at the foot of North Ridge and not just pushing through the scrub climbing up a spur (which always makes the off track stuff easier IMHO). Once on North Ridge there are a couple of more belts of scrub to push through although there is a bit of a pad. Once onto the rock above the re growth North Ridge made for great walking, the rock bands continued all the way to the summit of Mt McDonald, and while never huge they all required scrambling or by passing - good fun. It took me almost 4 hours to reach the summit though.
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Scrub bashing on my way to the bottom of North Ridge.

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North Ridge was good fun.

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Mt McDonald

From the summit I followed the AAWT along the ridge to Nobs Track, this ridge walk is another stunner, although it can be a bit rough in sections as you try a pick a pad that avoids the worst of the rocky obstacles. Unfortunately I ran out of time for the side trip to The Nobs on this walk, continuing on and down the very steep Nobs Tack to meet Clear Creek Track which in turn led me to Brocks Road. The descent down off the tops on Nobs Track needs to be taken a little carefully as the surface of the track consists of loose gravel. Once on Brocks Road I had a nice easy stroll back to the ute in the twilight. I walked a bit over 23 kilometres on this stroll and climbed a bit over 1200 metres, the off piste stuff and the scrambling and it made for a fairly hard walk for me. If your interested I used the notes out of Glenn Tempests book [i]Daywalks Around Victoria[i]I've also written up my usual blog post if you want to check out a few more photos http://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot. ... k-may.html

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Conditions were a little hazy today, that's The Bluff in the middle distance.

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Following the AAWT along the ridge off Mt McDonald, the tilted slabs require a bit of caution.

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The road bash along Brocks Road wasn't too bad in the late afternoon light.
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby surly 17 » Thu 18 May, 2017 3:07 pm

Nice walk bigkev looks like a great walk, I fancy getting out that way myself before the snow season maybe mount clear instead though.
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby bigkev » Fri 19 May, 2017 1:18 pm

Hi surly 17, yeah its nice walking up that way. Mt Clear will have to wait for next spring for me I think.
Cheers
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby GregR » Sat 20 May, 2017 5:04 pm

Thanks Kev.

A great read as always.

Greg
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby bigkev » Sun 21 May, 2017 6:26 pm

Cheers Greg
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 23 May, 2017 11:56 pm

Thanks for the trip report.That whole section of the AAWT is in my ' in tray' . I have get a better suited car in order to get nearer the trail heads for Mt. Clear , Mt. McDonald etc.
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby bigkev » Fri 26 May, 2017 7:54 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Thanks for the trip report.That whole section of the AAWT is in my ' in tray' . I have get a better suited car in order to get nearer the trail heads for Mt. Clear , Mt. McDonald etc.


Hi PCV, all going well I'll be walking it in spring, it'll be good to link all the sections that I've already done over the years together. I know what you mean about the right car, a 4wd makes things a bit easier. If you take it easy and there hasn't been too much rain then Brocks Road should be doable in a 2wd. Cheers Kevin
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 28 May, 2017 9:58 am

I would still like to do a chainsaw handling course and buy a chainsaw. If a tree falls down on the roads out there then you are stuck/stuffed if you cannot clear it .
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby north-north-west » Sun 28 May, 2017 5:26 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I would still like to do a chainsaw handling course and buy a chainsaw. If a tree falls down on the roads out there then you are stuck/stuffed if you cannot clear it .

Great excuse for turning up late to work.
Or not turning up at all, in one case. :D
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby Biggles » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 11:13 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Thanks for the trip report.That whole section of the AAWT is in my ' in tray' . I have get a better suited car in order to get nearer the trail heads for Mt. Clear , Mt. McDonald etc.


Ah, that would be the small clearing just before the raging torrent crossing of the Howqua River and continuation of Brocks Road on the other side. A 4WD can cross the river, but definitely not a 2WD (unless the river is bone dry, which it is not). Leave car(s) in the clearing, and wad across. Fecking cold water will leave you numb and grumpy...

The post-crossing section of Brocks Road is an excellent MTB route and takes you along (2-3km) to the foot of the spur for the long climb up to Mount Clear.
Never criticise somebody until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes.
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby Avatar » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 11:57 am

Nice report, great photos, but this is a BIG DAY OUT for anyone thinking of doing it. Take lots of water, keep hydrated and watch electrolyte levels up there.

Biggles wrote:Ah, that would be the small clearing just before the raging torrent crossing of the Howqua River and continuation of Brocks Road on the other side. A 4WD can cross the river, but definitely not a 2WD (unless the river is bone dry, which it is not). Leave car(s) in the clearing, and wad across. Fecking cold water will leave you numb and grumpy...


Maybe, (sounds like you went the long way) but I did this trip based on a car camp off Brocks Rd on the Jamieson River. No river crossing required.
Doable in a 2WD (the neighbour at the car camp had a 2WD Camry and picked me up on the wayout at Nobs Tk! Thankyou!) with car shuffle from Low Saddle Rd and/or Nobs Tk but a few drainage gutters to negotiate and expect a few scrapes or else a long road bash back to the car camp along Clear Ck Track/Brocks.
So a bit of extra clearance is very nice to have. (In wet weather these roads may be a bit more difficult in 2WD)

This is a great walk but it is really dry. I carried 6 litres for a camp on ridge over Nobs, gained from a tiny trickle way down in steep thick scrub near Nobs Tk turnoff.
And yes, the start is a 1 1/2 hour thick scrub bash just like photo 1 to the small saddle at the start of the climb!
There are a couple of exposed scrambles up Mt McDonald which could be dodgy in wet so not for newbies.
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby JohnR » Mon 24 Jul, 2017 5:20 pm

I was thinking of having a crack at Mt McDonald via the "Mt McDonald Walking Track" in the next few weeks. Aim is to camp at the top in calm weather.

Has anyone done this in winter? If so what gear would you recommend taking (ice axe, crampons? Or perhaps just microspikes?).

I attempted it in November last year (from Fry's Hut along Lickhole Creek Track and over Mt Darling) but had to retreat back down to the Upper Jamieson late in the day due to increasing darkness and lack of water. So I am a prisoner of hamburger hill.

This time I will start a bit closer to my objective (park on Low Saddle Rd, assuming it is open which I think it is?).

Cheers,
John
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby JohnR » Mon 23 Oct, 2017 8:16 am

Finally got around to doing this hike on the weekend.

Started at Low Saddle Rd at about 2:30pm and made it to the top of Mt McDonald at 5:30pm (so 3 hours to cover the 3.5km walk / climb). The 'track' up is badly overgrown - really almost non existent. Got lost twice bashing through impenetrable shrub. Scaling the rocky terraces at the top is also interesting.

I camped 3.5km east of Mt McDonald where the AATW meets Nobs Track (great spot - flat, long soft grass and plenty of logs to sit on). Went for a walk SW down Nobs Track and found good water a bit over 1km down.

Next day did the 11.5km walk back to the car in 2 1/2 hours.

Fantastic country. Love the remote feeling and also the views across The Bluff and beyond.

Cheers,

John
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby neilmny » Mon 23 Oct, 2017 11:34 am

Great photos John.
I don't know wether it would be good to have your note about good water on the AAWT threads.
There's a few either on the AAWT or about to be before long that might benefit from the knowledge.
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby JohnR » Mon 23 Oct, 2017 1:00 pm

Thanks Neil.

Good suggestion. Just posted a note on the AAWT thread then.

It did seem that no one else had been in the area for some time (perhaps since before winter).

Cheers,

John
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Re: Mt McDonald

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 24 Oct, 2017 7:55 pm

Good stuff. I like it !
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