AAWT 2017

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

AAWT 2017

Postby AWTtrekker » Tue 24 May, 2016 11:09 pm

After 20 years of 'not getting around to it' my dad and I are in serious planning for the AAWT late next year. We are both recovered from injury approx 18 months ago(me a moderate knee injury) and my dad is currently retraining himself after being hit by a car, hence planning it 18 months out rather than for this year so we can ensure our physio and fitness training is complete. We are studying John Chapman's book in earnest and talking to other bushwalking friends to recruit a couple more people to come with us. Plus I am saving like crazy to buy the necessary gear as I have always been able to borrow gear but for this and our planned hikes before then I really need my own. My wonderful husband has already agreed to care for our three primary aged kids for seven weeks and my mum will run food drops! We are Vic high country natives having done many walks in Vic and New Zealand when I was small and my father was my scout leader!

If anyone has done the walk recently or is planning it for this year and can pass on any tips or info that may not be included in John's book I would be very grateful.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby oyster_07 » Wed 25 May, 2016 7:06 am

I'll be walking south-to-north solo this coming November. I'll write a report once complete.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby AWTtrekker » Wed 25 May, 2016 7:08 am

Thanks, will keep an eye out for it.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 25 May, 2016 1:58 pm

Planning so far in advance is good, and will give you a lot of time to sort all the details. One key point to address is water. Some parts are very dry, with water well away from the track. For example, the Barries is dry and has tanks. There should be fallback poistions for water and escape routes.

Buy the gear slowly. If you choose well then the gear will last for ages. Boots need to be broken in well before the trip so that if they don't fit you can get another pair. If you don't have a PLB then you may be able to hire or borrow one.

At the top of this forum there are three stickies with advice about the AAWT. Underneath them are other threads with good information. This forum is a logical place to seek answers. Do you have any dates yet, even tentative?
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby GBW » Wed 25 May, 2016 2:46 pm

Hi AWTtrekker, as Lophophaps said, giving yourself plenty of time to prepare will greatly improve your chances of success. I've done a couple of large sections as a relative beginner so here's my advice:

If you're buying all your gear from scratch then you have some research to do.

-Find a good template for deciding what gear you'll need (I used one from this site to get me started and adjusted it to suit two people - http://www.johnevans.id.au/Pages/KC/KCAAWT.html)
-Once you get your gear, learn how to use it and test it in a range conditions...cold, rain, wind, even snow if possible
-Chapmans book is great, but consider getting the full set of maps for a better overview and mark all camps and water points.
-Do as many walks of 2-7 days duration on or near the AAWT as possible
-Work out your food, water, gas, power requirements per day
-Work out km per day that suits you..helps with planning camps, water, food etc.
-40+ days of walking is a lot to think about so breaking it down into say 6 x 7 days allows you to manage the planning easier.
-Keep your pack weight sensible
-Find comfortable shoes
-Do it at your own pace and plan along those lines
-Consider doing some of the side trips like Blue Waterholes

There are plenty of people more experienced than me that can help so ask away.

You'll find some useful info on current track conditions here: viewforum.php?f=64

Good luck...it's a great walk.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby AWTtrekker » Wed 25 May, 2016 11:23 pm

Thanks guys so just to answer some suggestions. :)

We have a PLB already. My father already owns most of the maps for the entire track length, he is currently sifting through them, updating some and adding a few others. He is also researching a mid level GPS to take as a back up.
We have some great templates for gear, etc put together by my father over the years. Many years of hiking all over the world there so he weighs everything to the gram to keep weight down as low as possible, he is a very experienced hiker with some great knowledge(bushwalking and mountaincraft leadership, hardcore scout leader, currently walks almost every week for at least a long day walk), we are also both qualified emergency first aiders(me emergency services, him long term ski patroller). We have walked small sections of the track in the past before, particularly in Victoria as I grew up around Mt Baw Baw and was walking this area with groups of friends doing 2-3 day walks at the age of 10-12 without adults quite happily, we have done 4-5 day walks around the Bogong area, close by up the razorback spur(snow hiking/camping) and in the area close to the Tharwa end, my father has walked other areas also.

I do have boots already but I wear them every day for work(as I also work in the bush) so by then I expect to need to replace them, the gear I currently do own is just too heavy for this purpose so I will be upgrading a lot of it. He has all his own equipment already and in the past I have just borrowed my mums stuff but as I now live interstate from my parents that is no longer a practical option, hence the need to purchase my own so I can do some hikes up here in NSW. We are planning for 7 weeks to allow for a few side trips during most likely October and November. We are definitely planning to do some of the side trips :)

We have a wonderful support crew in my mum and husband, both whom drive 4 X 4s so we do have the option to meet at roads and four wheel drive tracks if we need additional resupply of water, etc over and above our planned supply drops
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 25 May, 2016 11:36 pm

How will you communicate with your support crew for additional resupply?


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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby AWTtrekker » Wed 25 May, 2016 11:47 pm

We will be meeting with them at a number of the food drops and they may join us for some smaller sections of the walk so we will get a chance to talk along the way. If it is looking to be a dry season and water is likely to be an issue we will strategically place additional water drops or our short-stay walkers may carry some extra in for us. :)
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby scoha » Thu 26 May, 2016 8:33 pm

AAWT 2017, its such a wonderful experience just remember to enjoy it. I did it solo SoBo in Nov 2015 and the memories are very strong. Water is key depending on your chosen time of year and in my mind - pack weight - keep it low and you will enjoy it more and less stress on the body. Think about what you need to take and test this on other training walks. But dont compromise safety for weight. Space your food resupplies so you dont carry more than about 5-6 days of food (thats about 5-6kg) but do make sure you eat well - its a big physical effort and food is so important.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby Xplora » Fri 27 May, 2016 5:56 am

Some of the roads your support will need to access will still be closed until November and often beyond so it is important for you to work around them or find a good contact to let you know. Most people have their drops in now but it is likely too late to do that already. I often suggest to AAWTrackers to spend a night at Glen Wills retreat which is just down the hill from the track on the Omeo Highway. It is a good spot for a hot shower/comfy bed and quite cheap. This is also about half way on the track. Food drops can be left there as well if you are staying. I think you should be right for water at that time of year as this winter is shaping to be a wet one.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby AWTtrekker » Fri 27 May, 2016 12:38 pm

Definitely not too late to get our food drops in as we are planning for next year not this year. :D.

My dad lives in Melbourne and spends a fair chunk of time in the Vic high country and I live in NSW not too far from Canberra, we both have 4x4 ability so we will likely divide and conquer to get food drops in place next year in advance. :)
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby Eljimberino » Fri 27 May, 2016 1:57 pm

Be sure to give Gordo at Glen Wills Retreat a ring - he's a legend.
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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby walkon » Fri 27 May, 2016 8:32 pm

In regards to the closed roads, if you are a AAWT walker then you can get permission for food drops in these areas.
Some peoples packs weigh 20kg others under 10kg so dont stress to much about pack weight, but don't take 30 something kg's like the pommy guy. Carry what you are comfortable with but don't skimp on the sleeping bag or safety stuff. Remember you get fitter and it gets easier.
I did the track last year viewtopic.php?f=64&t=19859 and there's a list of stuff I took on the last page.
Be flexible in relation to everything really and don't forget to enjoy yourself.
Cheers Walkon

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Re: AAWT 2017

Postby Xplora » Sat 28 May, 2016 5:35 am

walkon wrote:In regards to the closed roads, if you are a AAWT walker then you can get permission for food drops in these areas.

This is interesting and I was unaware of it. Does the permission come with a key to the gates and is it in NSW and Vic? Has anyone or yourself tried to get permission and been successful? Some roads stay closed because of damage or trees down and that is out of anybody's control. Spec road to Camp creek was closed for months after November as a big storm put about 60 trees over the road. Last year a large number of gates were cut and the tracks torn up badly while wet. They had to be repaired and stay closed until that is done.
It is great to have vehicle support for this walk and there is plenty of time to plan around these things but sometimes the smaller Parks offices do not ring you back for a week or so. It can all be factored into the plan and there is plenty of time to do that so best to put the food drops in at the seasonally closed roads and GPS plot them as you will have to hide them well in those areas frequented by bogans. I think late October and November is probably the best time to do this walk as water is rarely a problem and the weather is great. Hope the planning goes well and the walk even better.
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