AAWT general discussion

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

AAWT general discussion

Postby wilray » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 7:49 am

We heard that maybe some water tanks on the Barry's section of the AAWT have been vandalised and are now empty as a result, has anyone been there in the last couple of weeks and can report on whether this is so !!!! I have had to pull out due to lack of fitness but the rest of our small group are still leaving on the 1st Nov so wondering about the state of these tanks. If anyone can help that would be great.
thanks, Willy
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 8:15 am

Willy, for several months I've been in touch with Mansfield PV staffer Nigel Watts, Senior Ranger, Western Alps, North East District, East Region. He has been most helpful about Mac Springs being vandalised, horses on Howitt and especially water. Last I heard from Nigel was that the Barry Saddle was fine but needed boiling due to mossies. Selwyn and the Twins are fine, no neeed to boil. He sent me an email yesterday and did not mention Barry Saddle tank being wrecked. If he knew I believe that he would say so.

A few minutes ago I sent an email to Nigel quoting your post and asking for urgent advice. I'll report here as soon as I get a reply.

I'm going north-south and hope to make it to Mac Springs before you. If so I'll leave something in the log book. You should have backup water plans.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby wilray » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 8:32 am

thanks so much for your help, will keep checking for your post. And yes, of course you are right, we cannot fully depend on tanks but helpful if we know their status, especially if there is a chance they are definitely not to be relied upon. Our itinerary at the moment does not include Mac Springs; they are staying at Mt Magdala camp spot at this stage, and then on to spec next.
cheers Willy
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 21 Oct, 2015 4:40 pm

Nigel of PV mansfield advises:
"I think there may be a problem with the tank at Barry Saddle, it may be partially tipped over but still a bit light on detail. If I find out more I will let you know."

If the Barry Saddle tank is dead I'm going NNW, down about 100 metres to the creek junction at 788933. Hope the scrub isn't too thick. The last certain water is 18 kilometres back at Selwyn, also a tank.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby north-north-west » Wed 21 Oct, 2015 6:31 pm

Lophophaps wrote:If the Barry Saddle tank is dead I'm going NNW, down about 100 metres ...

I am not going to be waiting there with water for you.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 21 Oct, 2015 6:57 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Lophophaps wrote:If the Barry Saddle tank is dead I'm going NNW, down about 100 metres ...

I am not going to be waiting there with water for you.


LOL. It's not hard. Fly Hobart to Melbourne, train to Wangaratta, bus to Bright, hitchhike to Wandilogong, about 45 kilometres by road, might get a lift, should not take more than three days. Or maybe I can light a fire and they will drop water on me. NNW, I can pay. You like taking pictures, and I have a Hasselblad 4 X 5, perfect for you. Bring the water and the HB is yours - I'll even include some film, hypo and a box of 8 X 12 glossy.

The tank at 844952 may be viable. Last water back a ways, PV says 100 metres from the junction of the East Riley vehicle track and Selwyn track on the Selwyn track 848966. There may be water on Viking.

There's a case for putting tanks 3-500 metres way from 4WD tracks to avoid vandals.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby wilray » Wed 21 Oct, 2015 8:14 pm

Hi, I'm not sure that the tank on east riley rd and Selwyn track is viable either, still waiting to hear about that one too, heard on the grape vine it may have been vandalised too, so its not looking good. At the moment I think the only one for sure that's ok is the one on Sth Selwyn, but as someone said nothing can be counted on when relying on tanks.
cheers Willy
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Summitview » Wed 28 Oct, 2015 5:19 pm

I spoke to Parks Vic in Bright today, and they have not visited the tanks yet, so they can not confirm their condition. It sounds like they have credible reports that Barry Saddle Tank and/or the East Riley tank have be affected. They plan to inspect and repair these tanks to the extent possible next week (week starting 2 November). I got the impression that they would not necessarily have time to get to and check the Selwyn and Twins tanks, and that they had not heard reports of these being affected. I am starting walking from Walhalla this Saturday, so I am kinda hoping they can fix whatever needs to be fixed!
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 02 Nov, 2015 3:00 pm

I've just returned from the Barries. There are detailed notes at Mac Springs and Barry Saddle. The following were the only water points I found.

Mac Springs is running nicely, as is the creek to the south (right going to MS) on the Howitt link.
Camp Creek is running very well, but you have to go to the road for water. Camping on the road.
I was advised that there is water at Viking Saddle, a fair way down.
Barry Saddle tank is full, mostly water, lots of wrigglers. Suggest filter with cotton then boil.
Barry Mountains Water Tank 844952 is empty, unlikely to be repaired due to poor access.
East Riley Road tank is good, 100 metres up the SW track ~848966. Poor camping in saddle.
South Selwyn is good, ~100 metres from the summit (east) ~908996. Good camping, or on the road
Twins Tank is good, about 200 metres past the campsite saddle (east) 037019.

Tracks are hard to follow in places, especially where trees have fallen over the track. Plans are being prepared for a zip line off The Twins.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby north-north-west » Tue 03 Nov, 2015 7:52 am

Lophophaps wrote:Plans are being prepared for a zip line off The Twins.

What is a zip line?
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby GBW » Tue 03 Nov, 2015 10:43 am

north-north-west wrote:
Lophophaps wrote:Plans are being prepared for a zip line off The Twins.

What is a zip line?


Flying Fox?
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 03 Nov, 2015 11:41 am

A zip line is a flying fox. Much potential for rapid transit.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby wilray » Sun 08 Nov, 2015 10:26 pm

Is march still a reasonable time to start the aawt from Walhalla or is it getting too late in the year, that is would it be too dry after summer, and too close to bad weather in alpine areas, what do most of u think ?????
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby walkon » Mon 09 Nov, 2015 5:08 am

Lophophaps wrote:I've just returned from the Barries. There are detailed notes at Mac Springs and Barry Saddle. The following were the only water points I found.

Mac Springs is running nicely, as is the creek to the south (right going to MS) on the Howitt link.
Camp Creek is running very well, but you have to go to the road for water. Camping on the road.
I was advised that there is water at Viking Saddle, a fair way down.
Barry Saddle tank is full, mostly water, lots of wrigglers. Suggest filter with cotton then boil.
Barry Mountains Water Tank 844952 is empty, unlikely to be repaired due to poor access.
East Riley Road tank is good, 100 metres up the SW track ~848966. Poor camping in saddle.
South Selwyn is good, ~100 metres from the summit (east) ~908996. Good camping, or on the road
Twins Tank is good, about 200 metres past the campsite saddle (east) 037019.

Tracks are hard to follow in places, especially where trees have fallen over the track. Plans are being prepared for a zip line off The Twins.


So all the tanks are good then. At Barry Saddle, if you use the tap all you get is tannin stained water with no wigglies. I've drankthat watermany times and never had an issue
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby walkon » Mon 09 Nov, 2015 5:29 am

wilray wrote:Is march still a reasonable time to start the aawt from Walhalla or is it getting too late in the year, that is would it be too dry after summer, and too close to bad weather in alpine areas, what do most of u think ?????


It's a good time of year to go.
Cheers Walkon

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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby scouts1 » Thu 19 Nov, 2015 7:57 am

Hi all
I am a new user here, I have a question about the AAWT in reverse from Kiandra to Thredbo.
I have a few venturer level scouts keen to do this part of the AAWT in January. aged 15-16 with one young fellow aged 12 tagging along.
These are tough kids and I feel they are up to it as they are training with multi night hikes at present.
I see many comments on number of days etc, how long would they actually take? of course that has weather variables and where are good spots to leave caches for them along this route?
Sorry if theses questions are mundane but anyone who has ever done a risk assessment for a scouting activity will understand!
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby walkon » Mon 23 Nov, 2015 9:44 am

If you allo
scouts1 wrote:Hi all
I am a new user here, I have a question about the AAWT in reverse from Kiandra to Thredbo.
I have a few venturer level scouts keen to do this part of the AAWT in January. aged 15-16 with one young fellow aged 12 tagging along.
These are tough kids and I feel they are up to it as they are training with multi night hikes at present.
I see many comments on number of days etc, how long would they actually take? of course that has weather variables and where are good spots to leave caches for them along this route?
Sorry if theses questions are mundane but anyone who has ever done a risk assessment for a scouting activity will understand!


Its sort of like how long is a piece of string. Taking onto account their age and stamina is the problem without knowing them, say 8 days, any days left over could easily be used up on side trips. Off the top of my head a food drop would be to walk one in to whites hut to avoid the Charlotte Pass road bash maybe, have to look it up to see if that's feasible.
Venturers are hard to gauge, some are troopers with good stamina and others are very much less so. The 12y/o is the issue for me, if he/she is yours you will carry the brunt of the load there but it would be a great trip for them.
Cheers Walkon

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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 23 Nov, 2015 10:04 am

Eight days is about right, but at the expense of extra weight, consider allowing 10 days. This will give you spare days in case of delay, or if you feel like a rest day, which is always nice. Can you please give an idea of the route, or will you be sticking to the AAWT all the way? There's a heap of brilliant alternatives around Jugungal-Gungartan, and from Schlink Pass I'd go up to Dicky Cooper Bogong and hence Twynum. Water is not a problem, even on the Main Range.

Carrying 8-10 days of food should be viable, except for the 12-y-o. The only place that I can think of that's about halfway for a food drop is Schlink Pass, and that's a few hours of walking from Munyang.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby scouts1 » Mon 23 Nov, 2015 10:51 am

Thanks for the feedback. The 12 year old is my own son, so I fully expect to carry the majority of his load (tent/water/ food etc). We aim for him to carry 10kg which he has done for 3 night hikes and cross country skiing before. he is also now running 10km easy off road with me regularly. so I feel he should be right with his physical stamina (but I am a little concerned about his motivation given the distance involved- waking up every day on a walk of so many days is very different to a 3 night hike where the end is always in sight).
He is determined to come along so I don't think I can now stop him without a good excuse.
Your right about the variance of stamina with the Venturers but this small group is pretty good. The Queens Scout Award does wonders for motivation.
The actual route will take in some of the AAWT side tracks (they need to decide on the actual side tracks themselves). Some add distance, some lessen the distance- so if we say 9 days we should be roughly ok- and I will allow 1 day for bad weather contingency. so 10 in total.
The cache is merely for things they might not need, but would like-- chocolates, dried fruit, nutragrain with long life milk, additional fuel for stoves, notes from family etc. Just a stash of stuff to raise their morale when they might be feeling down.
I will walk this in during Christmas maybe to Schlinks or Whites as suggested.
Given the budget I would like to book accommodation for them in Thredbo in advance to save some $ but we might need to book last minute as we cannot be sure when they will get in. I have often found walking in off the street gets you the maximum price they have. Maybe the YHA would be a good spot last minute.
I also appreciate the private messages from ex Scouts offering support- its a great movement and I myself was once a scout and now a leader. Giving back is what its all about and these types of activities can lead to a lifetime love of the bush.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby north-north-west » Mon 23 Nov, 2015 11:09 am

Chocolate is never a 'nice but not necessary' item.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 23 Nov, 2015 11:26 am

scouts1 wrote:Thanks for the feedback. The 12 year old is my own son, so I fully expect to carry the majority of his load (tent/water/ food etc). We aim for him to carry 10kg which he has done for 3 night hikes and cross country skiing before. he is also now running 10km easy off road with me regularly. so I feel he should be right with his physical stamina (but I am a little concerned about his motivation given the distance involved- waking up every day on a walk of so many days is very different to a 3 night hike where the end is always in sight).
He is determined to come along so I don't think I can now stop him without a good excuse.


On a long walk such as that planned it assists to set short objectives. For example, at Kiandra, don't think about Thredbo or even the camp that night, say Nine Mile Creek. Think of the powerlines about 3 kilometres away, say 60-70 minutes. Done that, rest, reward. The next objective is Four Mile Hut turnoff, 4 kilometres and 90-110 minutes, Another objective achieved, another reward. Keep the objectives short and the mindset will prosper.

Make no mistake - after a few days a rythm will set in and it will be accepted or not.


scouts1 wrote:The actual route will take in some of the AAWT side tracks (they need to decide on the actual side tracks themselves). Some add distance, some lessen the distance- so if we say 9 days we should be roughly ok- and I will allow 1 day for bad weather contingency. so 10 in total.


I've found it useful to have a number of options in case of bad weather, slow party or the like. Knowing the options will make it much easier if they have to be used.

scouts1 wrote:The cache is merely for things they might not need, but would like-- chocolates, dried fruit, nutragrain with long life milk, additional fuel for stoves, notes from family etc. Just a stash of stuff to raise their morale when they might be feeling down.


Whites River is closer to Munyang but entails more climbing on the walk. Also, White River is very suss on health, water must be boiled, the one KNP place I avoid if at all possible. So many people visist WR that the food drop may vanish. Find a vacant piece of bush way from the hut. The route up to Dicky Cooper Bogong is not hard - swing left at the start and curve right. DCB is worth visiting. If the weather bombs on the Rolling Ground it will be quite interesting. There's an escape route here, Tate East Ridge.


scouts1 wrote:Given the budget I would like to book accommodation for them in Thredbo in advance to save some $ but we might need to book last minute as we cannot be sure when they will get in. I have often found walking in off the street gets you the maximum price they have. Maybe the YHA would be a good spot last minute.


If some party members are not not YHA members you may be able to get in on a leader's pass or the like. I cannot recall the details.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby walkon » Mon 23 Nov, 2015 12:28 pm

Lopho's right, just set immediate short term goals, be flexible and have options all along the way.
The rolling grounds-twynam is certainly better than via charlottes so it would be worth it using up contingency days to do this. Though have to watch the young bodies on this route as they don't hold up to exposure as well. All depends on the weather really.

north-north-west wrote:Chocolate is never a 'nice but not necessary' item.


Amazing what teenage boys will do for food, especially chocolate and are easily controlled through their stomach. I would hold off from using this incentive early though :)
Cheers Walkon

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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 02 Dec, 2015 1:09 pm

The above posts were at the end of the Walkon the AAWT thread. That thread was meant to be about Walkon's trip, but had moved to be more about general AAWT matters. The above posts are hopefully a good start to the new thread.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby scouts1 » Tue 19 Jan, 2016 7:25 pm

Hi all, just back home after the test walk from Kiandra to Thredbo solo this last week. Thanks for the very positive feedback and nothing negative to my scouting/venturer ideas.
I did it in 5.5 days departing from Kiandra at lunchtime on Wednesday and arriving in Thredbo at lunchtime Monday.
Day 1 made it to 9 Mile via 4 mile Hut and the Elaine/Bloomfield Mines.
Day 2 short cut down the hill to Happys Hut- not a recommended shortcut as its not fun. overnighted at Maclays Hut, what a great spot to arrive in the middle of a storm.
Day 3 overnight at Grey Mare Hut- and met teacher Michael from Sydney who shared is knowledge.
Day 4 overnight at Consett Stephen Pass.
Day 5 overnight at Muellers Pass.

Day 4 was certainly the hardest. The walk up from Whites River Hut was tough along the ridge, then getting to the top the track disappeared and was not found again until I was almost atop Mt Tate! The rolling grounds certainly need good navigation on a bad weather day.

Left my phone on the entire time running on a small Anker solar panel. Then my wife sent me a message each day- when the phone pinged in my pack I knew I had reception- and that was each day of the walk.

I would certainly take a few extra days with the Scouts.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 19 Jan, 2016 8:20 pm

The descent to Happys Hut is not Happy. In another thread there's discussion about variations, and one is to go south from Happys to the power lines near Dr Phillips Hut site. Another is to leave the AAWT just before Mackays and go to Cesjacks-Bulls Peaks-Mawsons-Gungartan-SchlinkPass-Dicky Cooper Bogong and hence to Tate. Going up from Schlink Pass is easier than from Whites River, light scrub and steep in only a few places, very manageable.

Consett Stephens Pass and Muellers Pass are quite exposed, and there's good camping before and/or after. Grey Mare to CSP in a day is a bit of a step.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby scouts1 » Wed 20 Jan, 2016 9:45 am

I personally would not try and cross the Rolling Grounds so late in the day again, being tired made that section difficult.
It was much easier to skirt around the edge of the tussock areas at a slightly higher elevation.
Hadn't even thought of heading up the ridge from Schlink Pass but then I would not have visited Whites River Hut.
The highlight of that section was camping at Consett Stephen Pass as it was a great spot.
why so few people visit Tate is a mystery as it's also an amazing location.
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Re: AAWT general discussion

Postby mtbarney » Fri 16 Dec, 2016 4:31 pm

My wife and I just got back from a trip to Whites River Hut. We started from the Guthega dam and up and over the Rolling Ground and down to Whites River Hut. We returned via the road back to the power station.
The only difficult part (I'm in my seventies) was descending from the Rolling Ground to the Hut...we had to scrub bash all the way down. We only found out that there was track down when we emerged onto it about 300m from the hut.
If anyone has the waypoint coordinates of the start of this track on the Rolling Ground I would be forever grateful.

Cheers
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