Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

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Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 20 Jul, 2017 9:20 pm

I trekked up the Bungalow spur on Monday . Once I passed Tobias gap it started to drizzle lightly. I put on Microspikes about 2 kms after that food and gear change pit stop. It began to spit with rain so on went the weatherproof top and pants. Once I reached the old F.top hut ruins it was snowing but still not snow shoe depth under foot. I was really fagged and I had to make myself grovel up to Fed. hut and warm up inside the hut .I had missed lunch and was feeling cold and depleted of energy.
I changed into dry thermals inside the hut , ate lunch and got the fire going. Then I put the tent up . It was snowing a lot, the snow was dry and it was really throwing it down.
I was almost feeling almost human after arriving at the hut in a tired and emotional state, shattered really , I went and cut some wood for the evening.
I was post holing away from the Little Feathertop track.
Another snow shoe trekker with an ice axe arrived. Paul had slogged it all the way up the Bon Accord spur and crossed the Razorback in iffy conditions.It was a brave and superhuman effort . He was clearly over exhausted.He put up his tent and crashed out out until he emerged to cook something inside the hut. The tank was frozen solid so I was melting snow for water.
The evening went by quite peacefully in the hut with the fire,candle light , my travel guitar and a full stomach( daal and rice ) and fatigued legs.
Overnight in my tent I heard THAT SOUND. A snow storm. I thought it could have been rain but at day break I went out to pee and found that the tent has been buried under at least 20 cm of snow.It was still snowing and it was still effing windy too.
It was not the day to rehearse one's ice axe skills. It was a white out and not far off being a blizzard.One had to limit the time I was exposed to the elements outdoors. I wanted to replace the fire wood in the hut for the next person , but I could not see anything too well .The wind was very cold and any bare skin was quickly becoming numb.I dug out and packed up the tent and my gear and had breakfast in the hut . It was snow shoe time. There was a lot of dry powder snow and the scene had been transformed from the day before. It was spooky heading down the Bungalow spur solo in snow shoes.
I more or less went straight through to bottom of the track , with a stop to change from snow shoes to microspikes at about one kilometre after the hut ruins and I also stopped to wolf down some water and trail mix at the less hostile Picture point bench. It was still raining at the bottom. It went from snow to sleet to hail to rain.
I must be mad but I am going back up there again in August ! .I reported to Enzo the Ranger in Bright the fallen timber on the track and Bungalow spur trail head intentions book no longer having any empty pages.It rained a lot on my way back to my friend's house in Myrtleford. That hot shower,shave and change of clothes was GOLD.Photos are coming soon.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby Xplora » Fri 21 Jul, 2017 6:10 am

You certainly must love Bungalow spur and Fed hut to make the effort of that drive from Melbourne which you only did 6 weeks ago and are going to do again in another month. These days I prefer my walking time to be longer than my driving time. It is a bit of a tourist track these days, in good and bad weather, so I have avoided it. Still a very nice place though and a relatively safe route in bad weather such as you have described. Been there in similar.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby Kinsayder » Fri 21 Jul, 2017 3:26 pm

Great post, PCV! Looking forward to the pictures. It all sounds suitably rough, definitely how Feathertop hiking should be. :)
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 22 Jul, 2017 2:13 pm

I have a base at my friend's house in Myrtleford. So I drive 3.5 hours to her place and crash out the night before. Then it is just one hour to H/Ville the next morning. The Bungalow spur is a safe route in bad weather. In bad weather it takes me 5 hours to slog it up the Bungalow spur with a full winter pack . In good weather I can do it in under 4 hours with a full
winter pack .
I will probably concentrate on Mt. Bogong next white season in winter 2018 as well as making an attempt on the NW spur in August 2018.I think I should do that with some trekking companions rather than solo.
I can say that I know the Bungalow spur and what is involved and even in poo... -o- rama weather. I am confident that , solo , I can get myself up and down in one piece .
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby Xplora » Mon 24 Jul, 2017 6:22 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I have a base at my friend's house in Myrtleford. So I drive 3.5 hours to her place and crash out the night before. Then it is just one hour to H/Ville the next morning. The Bungalow spur is a safe route in bad weather. In bad weather it takes me 5 hours to slog it up the Bungalow spur with a full winter pack . In good weather I can do it in under 4 hours with a full winter pack .


I wasn't thinking it would not have taken you that long so I guess your drive time is less than your walk time. NW spur took us about twice as long as Bungalow so if it the same for you then get an early start. We started NW spur in the afternoon and arrived after dark. It would have been better to start earlier and take a few more rest stops instead of pushing hard due to the lateness of the hour.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 24 Jul, 2017 4:25 pm

If the weather is cr*p then the ascent time to Fed. hut can be as much as 5 hours up the Bungalow spur My best time would be under 4 hours solo in dry clear weather. I carry up to 30 kgs in winter so that slows me down. If I was carrying half that weight then I would just grow wings and fly up because I do keep fit.

I will have crack at the NW spur next winter. I am going to head up to Michelle hut on Mt. Bogong next month. I am all Bungalow spurred out for now.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby jdeks » Tue 25 Jul, 2017 12:59 am

Gnarly stuff, I like the rough trips. Gives a sense of accomplishment.

30kg pack though, man what are you carrying? I barely crack half that for 4 days doing Harrietville/Falls Creek. That sort of weight will really work against you in snow.

Any ideas of snow depth at Fed hut? Are the hut stumps fully covered? If you've got a good 50cm or so, snowtrench is a better option than a tent IMO.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby neilmny » Tue 25 Jul, 2017 5:05 pm

Xplora wrote:Y...... These days I prefer my walking time to be longer than my driving time. .......


Pretty easy to do when the whole shebang is right on your doorstep Xplora :D
We folk from the big smoke don't have too many choices. :lol:
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 25 Jul, 2017 5:11 pm

I carry in white season a snow shovel , ice axe , snow shoes, micro spikes, etc. plus extra clothing and a Martin back packer travel guitar !. The reason winter is slower going ascending the Bungalow spur is because in deep snow from the hut ruins to Fed. hut , the last bit is a real slog in snow shoes. There should be enough snow to dig 50 cm. down now. When I was there I could n't dig a pit to get the tent out of the wind because there was not enough snow.
I like my 4 seasons tent and I am not interested in sleeping in a snow trench.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby Xplora » Wed 26 Jul, 2017 6:03 am

neilmny wrote:
Xplora wrote:Y...... These days I prefer my walking time to be longer than my driving time. .......


Pretty easy to do when the whole shebang is right on your doorstep Xplora :D
We folk from the big smoke don't have too many choices. :lol:

It still is a fair drive for us to places like Speculation and the crosscut. I would think people from Melbourne would be able to get there quicker than us, in summer of course. Bungalow spur is also a bit of a drive this time of year. It is nice to have much on the doorstep and so glad not be living in the big smoke anymore. Half hour from home last week we were in the back country skiiing. When we had to drive a day to get to the start we made sure the walk was long enough. Time constraints and life in general does not make that possible for everyone. We are also fortunate not to be limited to weekends now and can pick the weather.

Deep snow can make even a short walk difficult and slow. Last year I post holed into Cleve Cole hut and that was with snow shoes. I probably need to trim a bit more fat from the pack, and me also.
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Re: Federation hut. July 17th & 18th 2017

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 26 Jul, 2017 7:34 pm

My Friend lives in Myrtleford and has all of these things at her door but has not been to most of them. Some people are not that interested in this kind of stuff even when it is right in their faces.
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