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Wed 07 Jun, 2017 1:26 am
I went up the Bungalow spur in good weather on Sunday June 4th. The heavy frost left huge ice crystals everywhere along the ascent up the Bungalow spur. It was a frosty cold night camping near the Old Harrietville Road Bridge on Sat. night June 3rd. The Last two kms to Fed. hut always seem to be the longest 2 kms ever when you have a heavy pack on your back.
There was ankle deep snow on the ground near Fed. hut . I camped out and had the hut and campsite to myself.
The Summit and Razorback were shrouded in cloud as the sun sank so I didn't go much further than the top of Little Mt . FT.
I collected and cut some wood and got the fire started inside the burner at Fed. Hut . The stars were all out and so was the moon which gave off light which was reflected off the snow making a lovely soft moonlit night.
The Bungalow spur track is reasonably clear of logs , saplings and other debris. There was melting snow as low as 1 kms below the old FT hut ruins.
I put on micro spikes for the last 3 kms to the hut.
Before dawn on Monday June 5th I was up and ready for a dawn summit push. It was cold but clear and still. I went up the summit of Mt. FT in micro spikes and partly aided by a head torch.The sunrise was superb. Mt. Bogong, Mt Hotham , The Fainters etc. all had snow on their summits and there was enough snow on Mt. FT to say I have done a dawn snow season ascent !!
I could see Mt Cobbbler, Mt Buffalo and much more from the top.
I had the mountain to myself and the hut was all mine for breakfast when I returned.After I packed up I collected a small amount of dry wood for the next hut user.
The Bungalow spur is decent work out with a winter weighted pack.I didn't use the ice axe, snow shoes , snow pegs or snow shovel .I still took them all just in case.Photos are coming soon.
Wed 14 Jun, 2017 10:46 pm
Thu 15 Jun, 2017 3:48 am
Some nice pictures there PCV. I really like the sunrises.
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 10:54 am
Loved the pictures beautiful. I am heading up to Feathertop this next week.
I'm thinking of starting from Diamatina, razorback to fed hut, go up to feathertop. Possibly thinking of doing a loop down bungalow and back up Bon accord. I'm flexible as I have a few days to play with.
Any advice with regards any river crossing or things to watch for. I'm well prepared with gear apart from I don't have microspikes/snowshoes. Im gonna take an ice axe but wanted to get some opinions on the spikes/shoes.
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 3:08 pm
At Very least take Kahtoola microspikes and an ice axe or a whippet self arrest ski pole. At $80 a pair microspikes are very handy in icy weather. With these clear frosty nights the surface near the summit of Mt FT is icy but not quite deep enough for snow shoes.
The river crossing at Washington creek at the foot of the Bon Accord spur is over a L O N G log which is marked with orange arrows. The water levels are low at present because we have had some dry weeks lately.
Crossing the Razorback at the moment won't be too tough. There is not much snow on it at the moment. However you will need a weather window that is clear , stable and settled. High winds, Rain and snow and dense fog can make it treacherous to cross in winter and early Spring. I was going to have a go at it but I saw the weather forecast and the weather was going to change on June 5th so I played it safe and got off the mountain along the most sheltered route which is the Bungalow spur.
I do plan to ascend by the NW spur this year and to ascend the Diamantina spur this year too. I have been down both of them but I have yet to go up them.
You could ascend via Champion spur from Harrietville ( no I have not done that before , but it does have appeal ) and descend via the Diamantina Spur to Blair's hut , then go up Swindler's spur then cross the Razorback ( weather permitting) and take your pick of NW spur or the Bungalow spur for the return to Harrietville.
Leaving your car at the Diamantina hut will cost you $$$$ in parking because the Mt. Hotham ski resort is now operating as a white season money printing scheme.If leave my car there in white season then I must have full deep snow cover and blue skies or the trip becomes unjustifiably expensive in terms of parking fees and potentially unsafe in terms of weather.
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 3:57 pm
Thanks for the info very useful Ye I was thinking of buying a pair of Grivel G1 but sounds like the micro spikes would be enough this time of year.
In terms of parking then I cannot just leave the car at the Razorback trail head just on the road side? I was thinking of starting from here to get straight onto the razorback. I guess I can start from Harrietville and do a loop the other way. Mon(tommorow) to Wed weather looks pretty stable so should be OK.
If I do start from the foot of the Bungalow is parking easy in Harietville?
Thanks again for the tips.
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 4:59 pm
Ski season has started so access and parking at Hotham means $$$. Starting from Harrietville is free.
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 7:26 pm
cheers, Ye just checked it out about $45 per night think I'll go with Harietville start
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 7:43 pm
Parking at the start of Bungalow spur is safe and it would be my choice to start. Given how things are at the moment you really do not need a great deal of extra stuff if you intend going this week. Saturday morning saw a temperature inversion which had the mountain tops quite high and the valleys in frost. Snow is melting and is not much of a problem on this route currently. If you have a bit of time then a diversion to MUMC hut would be in order. Don't forget to get an ice cream at Morries in Harrietville (opposite Hoys chain hire). Home made. Not a great deal to be concerned about this week with the weather so enjoy.
Sun 18 Jun, 2017 7:48 pm
Thanks Morries is on my to-do list! Yum.
Thu 22 Jun, 2017 2:49 pm
So did my planned circuit on 19th-21st spent two nights, up bungalow to feathertop across the razorback and down Bon accord. Great weather and great workout. Used the spikes once along razorback where it was a bit slippery but most of the snow was gone.
Few pics...oh and Morrie's was closed no ice cream https://goo.gl/photos/yC6A62sVsGpoCc3A7
Thu 22 Jun, 2017 6:35 pm
You did the right thing going down the BA spur. Going up it is cruel ! :-0 . The cooler months are the best time walk these often steep routes. The heat of summer can be torture. .
Fri 23 Jun, 2017 5:15 am
Few pics...oh and Morrie's was closed no ice cream
Bad luck on the ice cream but the rest sounds good. Emma may have gone on holiday before the ski season kicks off properly. Good people there. Pete gave me a lift to the trout farm to pick up my car after a winter loop up NW spur many years ago.
Fri 23 Jun, 2017 10:03 am
Where did you camp each night OllieVic ?
There is no water between Mt. FT( the spring /soak on the track heading for MUMC hut ) and Washington creek at the bottom of the BA spur . So crossing the Razorback takes about 4 hours on foot and descending the BA spur takes possibly longer, more like 5 hours with a full winter overnight pack .In full white season you can melt snow for cooking /water and camp just near the BA hut ruins.I think the hut on the BA spur should be rebuilt with a rain water tank and a drop loo.It will never happen , of course.
Fri 07 Jul, 2017 3:11 pm
I may be heading up Mt. FT again on 17/7/17 via the NW spur. I will report back .
Wed 19 Jul, 2017 6:15 pm
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I may be heading up Mt. FT again on 17/7/17 via the NW spur. I will report back .
I'd love to hear what conditions are like on the tracks leading to and from Federation Hut.
Tue 25 Jul, 2017 5:13 pm
I piked out of the NW spur and went up the Bungalow spur again. Take snow shoes for the last 2 kms to Fed. hut. Microspikes could work but you will be post holing a bit.
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