AAWT in April

A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)

AAWT in April

Postby butter-nuts » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 9:28 am

Hi Guys,

I have just begun planning for an attempt at the AAWT and am looking to lock down timing. From all the reading I have done, October~November seems to be the best time of year due to water availability from snow melt, however due to work, it's looking like I will have a good window in late March~April. I have read some trip reports around this time of year which seem OK (which is encouraging), I was just hoping for some input from those with experience. IS April a feasible time to walk the AAWT? Will water be a issue? Anything else (other than water availability) that I need to worry about around that time of year?

Thanks for your input, once I get timing nailed down I will make a more detailed post asking for critique of my gear, food drop location, etc.
butter-nuts
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue 08 May, 2018 10:35 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: AAWT in April

Postby Mark F » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 9:57 am

April is certainly a good time to attempt the aawt. The main water issues will occur in the section from Walhalla to Hotham where you will need to plan for serious water carrys but until much closer to your departure you won''t know the full extent. From Hotham through to Tharwa water is much less of an issue with pretty reliable supplies no more than an day apart. One piece of advice would be to include water in your food drops and potentially place more drops, possibly just water, especially in the Walhalla to Hotham section than you may otherwise plan.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
User avatar
Mark F
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon 19 Sep, 2011 8:14 pm
Region: Australian Capital Territory
Gender: Male

Re: AAWT in April

Postby butter-nuts » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 10:16 am

Thanks for your input Mark, this is exactly the info I was after! I was thinking of including a few liters of water in every food drop (can't hurt right?). From my initial planning I was thinking of the following drop locations as a start point:


1. Mt Skene/Rumpff Saddle (112km distance, 6,877m/5,907m elevation)
2. Hotham (123.7km distance, 7,884m/7,430m elevation)
3. Benambra-Corryong Rd (101.4km distance, 4,203m/5,388m elevation)
4. Thredbo (125.3km distance, 5,305m/3,992m elevation)
5. Kiandra (106.6km distance, 3,126m/3,691m elevation)
End. Namadgi Info Centre (106.3km distance, 3,119m/3,902m elevation)

What do you think? Would you recommend prehaps another 2 drops, one between Walhalla and Rumpff Saddle and another between Rumpff Saddle and Hotham?
butter-nuts
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue 08 May, 2018 10:35 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: AAWT in April

Postby Mark F » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 11:13 am

I would consider putting in some water around Mt Victor/Fiddler Green to allow for a dry camp and also a bottle where you come out on the road to Hotham as you are going to pass the spot on the way to Mt Hotham to place a drop anyway. You will also need enough in the Benambra-Corryong Rd drop for an overnighter and the climb to Johnnies Top. If you can get up to Selwyn Ceek Road or Macalister Springs (I keep seeing comments that the springs are drying out in late summer) then also useful drop sites.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
User avatar
Mark F
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon 19 Sep, 2011 8:14 pm
Region: Australian Capital Territory
Gender: Male

Re: AAWT in April

Postby Mr Bean » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 12:53 pm

Sorry for the long post, but from our experience (Rumpff Saddle to Hotham) we did in two sections, but learnt a lot about the terrain. In January we did Rumpff Saddle to Mac Springs, then in March/April did Mac Springs to Hotham. Our notes were:

January
- Rumpff Saddle, water found at the alternate camp site (1.5km from the Saddle) as mentioned by John Chapman. The road forks and the right branch leads to a pipe under the track, where water was flowing.
- Low Saddle, on the decent from Mt Sunday, had a look for the water as mentioned by John Chapman, but the terrain is very steep and after 20min gave up. We could hear the water running which was frustrating. At Low Saddle itself, we found no water. We then hiked up and camped at the start of the Mt MacDonald climb and camped by the roadside (in John's book, its at the 129.5km mark). We then dropped packs and hiked (with every water bottle we had) down the Mt Sunday Rd to Barkly River West Branch (30min). Lots of water. In future, I'd probably do the same. An easy walk for reliable water.
- Nobs Track, by this stage, I wanted reliable water and did the 2km decent down to Clear Creek. Hard walk, but lots of water. The other option, which I'd explore next time, is at the AAWT / Nobs track junction (just down from Mt MacDonald) I'd head SW to a couple of stream crossings. The road appears to be an easier grade.
- Chesters Yard, lots of water.
- Just before King Billy's there's a spring that crosses the road.

March/April
- Howitt Spring, as you descend to Mac Springs, there's a spring to the right 200m from the track. When we went there in late March it was a slow trickle. Took us 20min to fill up a number of bottles. Saved time by not going to Mac Springs.
- Camp Creek, good water. Flowing well.
- Water tanks from Barry Saddle to Hotham. All were full in April. The new tank at Barry Saddle my be low, as they put 200L into it a couple of weeks ago.

Hope that helps.

As it is, we are planning on doing that section again next March / April, over school hol's / Easter. We can do that in 11 days, based on previous times. Its certainly a difficult but rewarding section of the AAWT.
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: AAWT in April

Postby butter-nuts » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 1:22 pm

Mr Bean wrote:Sorry for the long post


No need to apologize, this is incredibly valuable information and very much appreciated! I am currently going through Chapman and trying to come up with a rough day-by-day plan, you post will be a huge help!
butter-nuts
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue 08 May, 2018 10:35 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male


Return to AAWT

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest