March 2021 attempt

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

Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby LLSC » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 4:28 pm

Hi Jonesy. Thanks for posting the videos: I really enjoyed seeing how the track is these days.
You mentioned a couple of spots that need attention from the track clearing fairies. I know a bloke who says he can contact them, so if you would like to, please send me a pm with any detail you can remember and I will try to pass it on.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby bigkev » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 4:51 pm

Anotherjonesy wrote:Well I'm done, 30 days in. The 6.5 days since thredbo were mixed . Lots of fire regrowth as expected, unappealing walking with the long grass, but I chose to walk it, although I walked around most of it...

Lost so much weight, wish they had scales here. I was 76 when I left, must be sub 70 now.
Got my aawt yellow marker, certificate, and ice cream from namadji...even if I talked porkies about my last two days route...

I'll do a more detailed post in coming days


Well done Jonesy, that's a great achievement :D

I'm looking forward to the next video - it's been great doing the track vicariously!

Cheers
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 04 Apr, 2021 5:33 pm

Great effort! Impressive.
Videos were good.
Chef's kiss.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 1:46 pm

Very impressive. Congratulations on a job well done :-). I was astounded at the Amazing time and speed/distances covered , esp. in nut crushing terrain in VIC. :-0
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby crollsurf » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 2:46 pm

Stormed home in 6.5 days, great effort. I haven't rolled an ankle on that Alpine Grass yet but you do have to pay constant attention. The other problem is the track is non-existent in a lot of places up high so you have no choice but to battle across it. Can't say I'm not jealous for what you've done. Looking forward to final vid and reading the report. :)
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby badd0g » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 5:42 pm

*&%$#! top effort Ben! Looking forward to the vid (and the ever entertaining commentary!)
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Anotherjonesy » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 7:03 pm

Thanks everyone. Back home now, a feeling of melancholy. Nice to have some comforts, running water, kitchen...but this will take a while to get over.
The time I had to do it in, meant I never really had the ' this is awesome ' moments, because it was a struggle most days, but that's what I wanted. The ' this is awesome' moments will come now looking back on it. What an epic adventure it was. Could possibly be the best a lay man can do on two legs in this country.

I love the high country, it's my favourite part of the world . The sound of the Currawong is the high country anthem the entire journey. There are people fitter and younger than me that if planning wondering what they can do it in, I think 23-26 days is realistic for the below 40s above average fitness, or athletic types. I'm 41, below average fitness, but I can chip away walking fast, about my only physical asset . I understand if you want to take your time and enjoy the experience more than going slower is preferred. For the more mature, obviously 35-60 days is more suited...no matter how many days you do it in its a physical feat,you still have to get over the same amount of mountains , same distance, living in the same stink, carrying more food!
I can't think of a better achievable expedition walking experience in this country. A feeling of you and no one else most of the time. Elements of fear only enhance the experience.

Navigation, I think if you have common sense there is no issue here, you don't need to have circum navigated the globe , you just need to know how to read the signs, observe, think your way through, 90% of the time it's straight forward, Vic can be challenging. Back up technology and your fine.
I had two newish phones, with maps.me, and guthooks, nothing else, and my kti if things went pear shaped. There's a lot of negativity towards GPS and apps but that's comical, there is nothing more reliable. Compass and map is a cool skill set to have, but it doesn't replace a GPS for reliability. Computers fly you to London...
If you're competent with technology and have sufficient back up, don't let the scaremongering about remote navigation put you off, it's a completely outdated mindset. If you're hopeless with logistics, and keeping things charged, waterproof, then you probably shouldn't go. Same for those with no observational skills.otherwise, go for it.

Anyway , I'll be honest and say I walked the last part that is shut . It shouldn't be.... And will probably be given the all clear in the coming weeks. That rain event set it back damaging roads, but its just an over abundance of caution keeping it shut. NSW is in worse state, but it's open

Thredbo - whites river hut. I cheated, got the chairlift up the first bit. My pack weighed to much, I got lazy, sue me haha! Was an enjoyable ride anyhow! Freezing up there, kozi whited out, and much of the day. The Rolling ground I couldn't follow an identifiable track, wasted time doing so...finally got to the hut, was a frost but great insulation , temp gauge had it at 10 inside, puddles were frozen outside!

Whites river hut to O'Keefes. Lot of water crossings, Valentine's first thing was the coldest experience since I was a kid when dad made us wash in the cobungra river in October haha. Think I had 7 shoe off crossings for the day, annoying with the injinjis.

Okeefes To happy hut ( burnt) . Lost motivation today. Through the option up of quitting, walking across to Adamidaby and tapping out at the big trout. The burnt out ground, was like a wasteland. Long grass walking..I hate that. Continually looking at your feet for snakes, it's all I do. Got to Happy's hoping for a clearing, got a small one


Happy's to witzes. Woke up in a better mood, another cracking day after a light frost. horses started appearing just before kiandra. As much I think they should be gone I enjoyed having them around for the day. Over the eucembene they made the terrain like walking through a paddock . Another nice spot at witzes.

Witzes to Murrays gap. Confession. I cut the corner... I wanted to have a look at the tantangara as a trout fishermen. Snowy hydro 2 was in full swing. hooked back up to the aawt early arvo and meant to stop at Oldfield's, but kept going to the hideous Murray's gap. Swamp, burnt out, 6 foot grass. I pitched the tent on a mossy muddy burnt out scrap heap, spent 30
minutes pulling out the sharp burnt out roots.
Note I chopped out 11kms from the official route, but I think I took at least 30km more in diversions, so I'm not losing any sleep!

Murrays Gap to ( some place 15km from the finishing line that's not open yet....)
I walked the roads through the unopened part. Thought if I'm going to break the rules at least I won't walk off trail if I need to be rescued. Was actually a weird feeling being in a national Park and being the only person in there on a public holiday. Regrowth is going well. Clearly should be open to walkers now.

The final day - walk into Namadgi. Yeah I told them porkies and said I walked the diversion. Got my ice cream, certificate, and old Vic track marker...it's like my Tom Hanks in castaway Wilson replacement item now!

What an experience, one I'll never forget. The parts I complained about needing track work, I look back now and think no leave it as is. The hardest parts now the most fondest. Obviously attention and priority needs to be given to the burnt out sections now in all states. I wish I had chainsaw experience, I'd put my hand straight up.

Hopefully everyone lining up to do it in November get a clear run at it. Maybe the winter will kill off the extraordinary long grass through the burnt out sections. I think walking amongst a greener terrain in spring would only enhance the experience.

I started at 77ish, I'm now just shy of 70. Food...cold soaking, so convenient, so s***! No matter how pimped out, after a few days oatmeal so hard to eat without being done up with sugar.
Winners -cheese in any form, angel hair spaghetti, SE Asian 3 in 1 coffee ( works hot or cold) , Gatorade powder, protein powder

Anyone want and feedback, at my hits and misses, feel free.

A long post, probably riddled with grammar errors, oh well
Last edited by Anotherjonesy on Mon 05 Apr, 2021 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 7:46 pm

Just found this topic and really enjoyed reading about it and watching the 2 videos so far.
As a trout flyfishing snob I have had the "pie in the sky" idea of fly fishing my way along the AAWT but it would take me such a long time in one hit.I shall have to be happy with just biting off bits and pieces thoroughly giving them a good workover and have probably done around 70-80 KM so far in KNP and BHP.
Well done and thanks for giving a good insight in to what is involved in achieving this.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Anotherjonesy » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 8:16 pm

MeanderingFlyFisher wrote:Just found this topic and really enjoyed reading about it and watching the 2 videos so far.
As a trout flyfishing snob I have had the "pie in the sky" idea of fly fishing my way along the AAWT but it would take me such a long time in one hit.I shall have to be happy with just biting off bits and pieces thoroughly giving them a good workover and have probably done around 70-80 KM so far in KNP and BHP.
Well done and thanks for giving a good insight in to what is involved in achieving this.

Having seen the difference in trout numbers to walk in spots only, definitely on the radar now! Some of those streams in KNP are paradise away from roads. Think I'll do a little rememberance walk through there in November with a twig rod! Tantangara creek and ingeegoodbee took my fancy...
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby MeanderingFlyFisher » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 8:32 pm

The number of trout streams that you walked past would be mind boggling.Glad to hear the Ing........... looked good as it was very low when we fished it around Christmas 16 months ago.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby neilmny » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 6:51 am

Anotherjonesy wrote:..............A long post, probably riddled with grammar errors, oh well


All made perfect sense to me Jonesy. Thanks for effort in writing it.
As for navgation with devices, I'm with you. Insisting that a paper map is the only way is like saying morse code is more reliable than a mobile phone.
My preference is to have both and mostly use the GPS.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 12:19 pm

I wish I had chainsaw experience, I'd put my hand straight up.

Do a day long course on handling and maintenance of a chainsaw and then get in touch with BTAC.

We need chainsaw operators with their chainsaw ticket. We are clearing the AAWT from St. Phillack Saddle to Stronarch's camp this weekend. It is going to snow and rain but we seem to be going ahead with the volunteer work anyway . I bought a new shell jacket so it will be tested out in some proper weather.
Long Spur is a mess and needs some chainsaw action. The Nobs track up to Mt. McDonald also needs some track clearing. The list of these places in VIC. on the AAWT that require some attention is extensive.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby bigkev » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 2:40 pm

Thanks for the video Jonesy,...it's looking pretty ordinary up north isn't it :cry:

I'm hoping to do it again in around 5 or 6 years - I hope the country has come back again by then, although with the amount of big fires we seem to have now I've got my doubts.

Cheers
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Anotherjonesy » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 6:40 pm

Yeah I doubt we'll ever see things as they were pre 2003.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Lord Backcountry » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 10:44 am

I also enjoyed your journey as well, many thanks for sharing. Really helps visualise where things are at.

Video Part 3 was good as well.

cheers
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Anotherjonesy » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 1:01 pm

Lord Backcountry wrote:I also enjoyed your journey as well, many thanks for sharing. Really helps visualise where things are at.

Video Part 3 was good as well.

cheers


Thanks LB

A stupid question, but anyone done the AAWT or something of similar length or longer had issues once home? Obviously my feet have some some minor damage, and knees are a bit stiff, but today I feel crook to the point I'm still in bed , and I'm having trouble eating more than one meal a day. Not great seems we are short staffed and I'm running the shift at night, so I can't call in sick...I could, but guilt.

Was wondering if my body is going through physical withdrawals, is that a thing? I've lost another 2kgs in the past 4 days .
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby indented » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 1:12 pm

Not sure on the long distance withdrawals part, but could it be related to contaminated water maybe?
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Anotherjonesy » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 1:22 pm

You'd think that would of hit quicker than this if water related, had a few water SE Asian bugs, not great. I don't have the explosive toilet visits ha, but felt like vomiting all day so far.
Anyway better get ready for work, this is going to be a joke of a night at best
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby badd0g » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 1:59 pm

Anotherjonesy wrote:You'd think that would of hit quicker than this if water related, had a few water SE Asian bugs, not great. I don't have the explosive toilet visits ha, but felt like vomiting all day so far.
Anyway better get ready for work, this is going to be a joke of a night at best


Change in diet perhaps? Plus your body has been used to taking in and using a lot of fuel...I know after I train for and run a big run, my body is out of whack for a few days after.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby neilmny » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 6:08 pm

Anotherjonesy wrote:You'd think that would of hit quicker than this if water related, had a few water SE Asian bugs, not great. I don't have the explosive toilet visits ha, but felt like vomiting all day so far.
Anyway better get ready for work, this is going to be a joke of a night at best


There is a real bad stomach bug going round Jonesy. My daughter and grandson copped it Easter Sunday.
Worth getting checked out as might be some parasite or something.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby bigkev » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 12:05 pm

I bounced back into 'normal' life pretty quickly physically... although mentally it was a little harder adjusting to the daily work grind again Jonesy. I got a slight tummy bug which sucked a little energy for a couple of days around the border but was otherwise pretty OK physically although I didn't go as hard as you and drop as much weight - I dropped around 8 - 10 kgs however I'm pushing 125 kgs normally :shock:

I've just found this article online which is worth a look. It's specifically about the health impacts of doing the long walks in the US however it probably relates to our slightly shorter walks as well https://www.colorado.edu/asmagazine/202 ... XPFgy4p2EA

Anyway, I hope you've pulled up OK.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby Anotherjonesy » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 3:24 pm

All good now, apart from having to work all weekend...
Appetites back, but after reading your article I may be canning the plan to have fish and chips tonight when I get home..
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby badd0g » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 3:34 pm

bigkev wrote:

I've just found this article online which is worth a look. It's specifically about the health impacts of doing the long walks in the US however it probably relates to our slightly shorter walks as well https://www.colorado.edu/asmagazine/202 ... XPFgy4p2EA

Anyway, I hope you've pulled up OK.


Interesting read BigKev, though not really surprising given the US thru-hikers' penchant for really poor food choices to keep their weights low. All our dehydrated meals have at least 3 veg and a good macro profile to *fingers crossed* keep us well nourished along with a few treats to reward ourselves for tough days. Basically, not too much different from normal daily diet.
Out of curiosity, what did you take on your last trip?
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby bigkev » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 5:58 pm

badd0g wrote:
bigkev wrote:

I've just found this article online which is worth a look. It's specifically about the health impacts of doing the long walks in the US however it probably relates to our slightly shorter walks as well https://www.colorado.edu/asmagazine/202 ... XPFgy4p2EA

Anyway, I hope you've pulled up OK.


Interesting read BigKev, though not really surprising given the US thru-hikers' penchant for really poor food choices to keep their weights low. All our dehydrated meals have at least 3 veg and a good macro profile to *fingers crossed* keep us well nourished along with a few treats to reward ourselves for tough days. Basically, not too much different from normal daily diet.
Out of curiosity, what did you take on your last trip?


I tend to agree with you Badd0g, we do seem to eat a bit healthier - at least on the walks I've done.

I went pretty early in the season on my AAWT walk and it was still pretty cold so I mostly had hot porridge spiced up with dry fruit for brekky. Lunch was generally something simple like dry biscuits with peanut butter. Dinner was normally of the freeze dried variety.
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Re: March 2021 attempt

Postby badd0g » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 9:41 pm

bigkev wrote:
I went pretty early in the season on my AAWT walk and it was still pretty cold so I mostly had hot porridge spiced up with dry fruit for brekky. Lunch was generally something simple like dry biscuits with peanut butter. Dinner was normally of the freeze dried variety.


Also heading off in October... Expecting cold and pepping for lots of hot meals!
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