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

Mon 03 Sep, 2018 3:27 pm

Hi
My wife and I are planning to walk the Thredbo to Tharwa section in mid October.
Any advice from people experienced in the area re
- what finding water should be like (NSW in drought but big rains Dec 2017, have Chapmans book)
- are we likely to find snow on the track ledt over from winter
- any advice on walking North to South or S/N
Regards Mick

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Tue 04 Sep, 2018 9:01 pm

You are highly likely to find snow on the Main Range (Thredbo to Schlink Pass), micro spikes may be useful here but keep an eye on the sma snow depth (http://www.snowyhydro.com.au/our-energy/water/inflows/snow-depths-calculator/) and the snow cams at https://www.ski.com.au/snowcams/index.html.

Water will not be a problem. The area has had good snowfall this year and water is seldom a problem right through to Tharwa. At the worst you are looking at water every 1/2 day so only need to carry a litre at any point.

N-S or S-N. I suppose I prefer N-S as there is less sun in the eyes and a bit more time for the snow to melt.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 8:25 am

Michnoon, welcome to the forum. Mark has good advice. North to south is better.

There's been big snowfalls of late, and there will most probably be big drifts in places. This picture was taken in late December on the Main Range
Snowfield.jpg
Snowfield.jpg (85.29 KiB) Viewed 2990 times

Are you going via the Main Range to Tate and Schlink Pass? If you can navigate off tracks this is a vastly better way than the road from Rawson Pass. Beware of water near huts, especially Whites River and Valentines. There's water on the Main Range, just go down a few minutes into a gully.

There's a short trackless section north of the Murrumbidgee, easy in fine weather, a bit more challenging in bad weather.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 8:43 am

+1 for N-S. Save the best for last. Also October there will most likely be a heap of snow around which can make it hard going. Personally November is the best time, weather is typically not as blizzardy but still some snow around to enjoy the views.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 9:08 am

Everyone has made good points. There will be a lot of snow on the Main Range in October. I still ski up there at that time. Microspikes are a must.

I always seem find myself at the Murrumbidgee in October and it is an absolute pain to cross because of snow melt. Chest deep sometimes. You may need to take a half day to find a suitable crossing point. This applies to some of the rivers and creeks in Jagungal as well.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 11:17 am

Zapruda wrote:I always seem find myself at the Murrumbidgee in October and it is an absolute pain to cross because of snow melt. Chest deep sometimes. You may need to take a half day to find a suitable crossing point. This applies to some of the rivers and creeks in Jagungal as well.

The Doubtful will be . . . well, doubtful. The Valentine won't get much love. Then there's the Geehigh . . .
Even Tantangara Creek will be a pain.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 11:41 am

north-north-west wrote:
Zapruda wrote:I always seem find myself at the Murrumbidgee in October and it is an absolute pain to cross because of snow melt. Chest deep sometimes. You may need to take a half day to find a suitable crossing point. This applies to some of the rivers and creeks in Jagungal as well.

The Doubtful will be . . . well, doubtful. The Valentine won't get much love. Then there's the Geehigh . . .
Even Tantangara Creek will be a pain.


haha, very punny. I shouldn't read bushwalk during meetings. My chuckles were noted.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 2:27 pm

I suppose that over the years I have crossed many of them when they have been very high, definitely a good reason for walking poles and a heightened sense of self preservation. A few observations in N-S order if water is high:

Cotter River - straight forward wade but water quite swift and it may be deeper than you think.
Murrumbidgee River - broad, deep, multi channel, may be best tackled a little way upstream where it forms a pool or walk out to Long Plain Road (and eventually Kiandra) on the Port Philip ft.
Tantangara Creek - Straight forward but fast water stony bottom and relatively deep.
Eucumbene River and Bullock Head Creek - relatively straight forward. If the Eucumbene is high it tends to back up Bullock Head Creek which can be avoided by heading SW up to the main road.
Geehi River - I consider this the most problematic due to the water speed, depth and downstream obstacles if you come adrift. Rocky bottom.
Valentines River - quite a wide crossing but water tends to spread out over the banks and is not very fast so not a particular problem.

The worst of the Geehi and Valentines can be avoided by going over the eastern end of Jagungal to Schlink Pass via Mawsons and or the Bulls Peaks/Brassys.

There are a number of smaller creeks between Kiandra and Jagungal that can rise quickly due to local rain - Tibeaudo, Doubtful and Bogong Creeks etc. These can become quite deep and fast flowing - treat with respect.

I am sure others will have additional views on this.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 3:07 pm

Mark F wrote: I am sure others will have additional views on this.


Mark is spot on. Great write up.

I would also like to mention the work being done for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project between the Murrumbidgee and Witzes hut. When I did my annual Thredbo to Tharwa walk at end of May there were various work sites set up along the road as well as the road being all muddy and turned up due to the vehicles using it. I would suggest walking between Tantangra creek and the track. It is much more pleasant walking and very easy to navigate. This way you will avoid the all the eyesores and work being done.

Cheers

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Wed 05 Sep, 2018 9:02 pm

Agree, Mark has good advice. I especially like avoiding the loop to Grey Mare Hut. It's far nicer to go south from a number of places on the Crooks Racecourse-Jagungal FT weather station. This will get you to Cesjacks and the Brassys then Mawson Hut, or over Jagungal and then take the Toolong Range to ford the Geehi and Valentine high in the watersheds. It will sill be knee deep, but the current is friendlier and the rocks are smaller than downstream. From this region it's a nice walk to The Kerries or The Brassys to Gungartan and tin Hut, then down to Schlink Pass and up to Dicky Cooper Bogong.

Given the number of rivers and creeks that must be forded, a pair if sandals that strap on - cannot come off - may be useful for crossings. It will take maybe an extra 10-15 minutes to put o and then take off the sandals, but this keeps your feet and socks dry.

Snow falls by altitude and melts by attitude. The bigger drifts will be on the south and east sides of the mountains. South is sheltered, less sun, and east is where snow piles up due to the generally prevailing westerlies in winter. The big drift in my picture is on the east side.

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Fri 14 Sep, 2018 10:41 pm

Thanks for all the advice, We have decided to start mid November!
Mick

Re: AAWT Thredbo to Tharwa

Mon 11 Mar, 2019 9:23 pm

Wonder how it went. My son and I started 19 November and got plenty of snow. Some fresh and some big drifts too. There was nothing doubtful about Doubtful creek. It was really flowing. The only day of five without some snow was day three and that was rain and sleet. Went S to N because of the weather deteriorating later in the trip. Better in a hut for the snowy nights.
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