The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains Hike

Trip reports, stories, track notes. Multiple/large photos are OK in this forum.
Forum rules
Posting large/multiple images in this forum is OK. Please start topic titles with the name of the location or track.

For topics focussed on photos rather than the trip, please consider posting in the 'Gallery' forum instead.

This forum is for posting information about trips you have done, not for requesting information about a track or area.

The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains Hike

Postby ryantmalone » Tue 12 Mar, 2013 3:28 pm

So, I'm back from a great hike that I did over Labor Day weekend at the Niggerheads and Mt Fainter, with an extended return to Pretty Valley via the Bogong High Plains.

Been around 20 - 23 years or so since I was last at the Fainters, and with a hazy memory, I decided that it was time to head back and check out the place. Only this time, I'd do it via the Niggerheads (Or Jaitmathang - pronounced Yate Me Tung for the PC mob).

A note on the Niggerheads - back when my dad and brother climbed Mt Niggerhead around 20 years or so ago, they had to tape a route to the summit so they knew which way to return, as there were no tracks. There is now a cut and well defined and marked track from Tawonga Huts to the summit of Mt Niggerhead. That said, the route that I took which involved following the range from the High Plains junction 750 meters above Tawonga Huts, intercepting the track in the saddle below the main summit bulk, and following the range from the summit to Little Plain, was easy to follow most of the way, following the odd trail that had developed by repeated foot use. Just so long as you know how to use a map and compas, its an easy off track walk with little scrub to battle with.

Camped the first night just below the summit of North Fainter (one of the best campsites in the high country!), and the second night at Tawonga Huts, walked out via the High Plains to Cope Saddle and out via the fire trail to Pretty Valley. Was a great weekend, and as usual, here's some pics.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

There's more photos from this hike at http://bit.ly/mtfainter

I also just finished an entry on my blog about the trip, plus more photos and ramblings at:
http://gonebushmad.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/mt-fainter-the-niggerheads-bogong-high-plains.html
Last edited by ryantmalone on Tue 19 Mar, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LATEST BLOG POST - SIX YEARS... DID YA MISS ME?
https://gonebushmad.blogspot.com/2019/05/six-years-did-ya-miss-me.html
User avatar
ryantmalone
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 6:53 pm
Location: Devonport, Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby wildlight » Wed 13 Mar, 2013 3:07 am

Nice pix, great report!

I might just draw your attention to the pic below the shot of your tent, the photo named _A013490_zps4bddce4b.jpg.

If you bring this image into photoshop, and convert it to monochrome bumping up (via channel mixer) the red and yellow channels, to around 180 each, it yields a really nice mono. Of course I didn't fiddle with it- with a couple of layers and a bit of masking, this photo could really jump.

Of course nothing rescues a lousy composition- and my kudos to you for shooting such a lovely image to begin with!

With those beautiful mellow tones suggesting a peaceful end to a wonderful day, it almost seems wrong to go mono with this one. Of course, you can always keep- and enjoy- both versions. Thanks.

Safe Steps!

WildLight.
wildlight
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue 24 Mar, 2009 2:03 pm

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby ryantmalone » Wed 13 Mar, 2013 8:41 am

Cheers! Yeah, I'm yet to crank up Photoshop and do some work on that photo, plus a few similar ones that I took.

I thought monochrome, but am too much of a fan of the oranges that can out in that image. Definitely one that will see a place on my wall soon. :)
LATEST BLOG POST - SIX YEARS... DID YA MISS ME?
https://gonebushmad.blogspot.com/2019/05/six-years-did-ya-miss-me.html
User avatar
ryantmalone
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 6:53 pm
Location: Devonport, Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby Kinsayder » Tue 19 Mar, 2013 2:41 pm

Great pictures and report, Ryan!
User avatar
Kinsayder
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 8:23 am
Region: Victoria

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby ryantmalone » Tue 19 Mar, 2013 9:44 pm

Kinsayder wrote:Great pictures and report, Ryan!


No probs!

Just finished a blog entry on the trip, contains much more rambling than I did in here, its at:
http://gonebushmad.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/mt-fainter-the-niggerheads-bogong-high-plains.html
LATEST BLOG POST - SIX YEARS... DID YA MISS ME?
https://gonebushmad.blogspot.com/2019/05/six-years-did-ya-miss-me.html
User avatar
ryantmalone
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 6:53 pm
Location: Devonport, Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby Kinsayder » Wed 20 Mar, 2013 10:35 am

Stupid question; where's Pretty Valley? I've heard it mentioned a few times just lately and I know that it's in the Bogong High Plains area but that all. I've got maps at home, so I'll look tonight but I just thought I'd ask.

I'd just like to add that, whilst it might seem prudish or whatever, I find the notion that we have a mountain called the Niggerheads (or Mt Niggerhead) just so very wrong. I'm not, in any way, (especially when you've gone to the trouble of offering both the alternative and pronunciation) blaming you, Ryan, but I think it should be expunged from our lexicon entirely.
User avatar
Kinsayder
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 8:23 am
Region: Victoria

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby ryantmalone » Wed 20 Mar, 2013 12:50 pm

Kinsayder wrote:Stupid question; where's Pretty Valley? I've heard it mentioned a few times just lately and I know that it's in the Bogong High Plains area but that all. I've got maps at home, so I'll look tonight but I just thought I'd ask.


Its located at and around Pretty Valey Dam, in the big valley that leads down from Mt Mckay. Its a great place to start a hike on the High Plains, and is very popular.

Kinsayder wrote:I'd just like to add that, whilst it might seem prudish or whatever, I find the notion that we have a mountain called the Niggerheads (or Mt Niggerhead) just so very wrong. I'm not, in any way, (especially when you've gone to the trouble of offering both the alternative and pronunciation) blaming you, Ryan, but I think it should be expunged from our lexicon entirely.


I completely understand where you are coming from. The term itself generally is used as a derogatory name for a race of people, however in the context of a name given to a mountain many years ago, present day, it serves nothing more as a reminder of how things were back then.

A recent example - the new Quentin Tarantino flick copped alot of flak due to the extremely frequent use of the "N" word, and whilst people argued that it was completely not needed, it was a reflection on how things were back in those days when African Americans were sold off for slavery in the USA, and to refer to them any other way would not accurately reflect how things were back then. They didnt call them "African Americans". It was a reflection of how people thought of them back in those days, and now serves as a reminder of where we have come from, and what we should not be.

The current name in its own right is offensive to the local Aboriginal population, as it represents a language that is not even spoken in that area, and it moves away from acknowledging that racism has been a part of our history.

I grew up knowing it as "The Niggerheads", also knowing that racism is wrong, and that the name came about as the result of a dark period in our history where racism was more widely accepted, and I honestly cant see myself referring to it as anything else, and further fueling the PC debate, which has been responsible for renaming many other landmarks and national parks, some warranted, others completely and utterly absurd.

That said... anyone wants to call it the PC name, I'm not going to hold it against anyone. I just hope they realize that the new PC name is just as offensive, if not more offensive than the original name.
LATEST BLOG POST - SIX YEARS... DID YA MISS ME?
https://gonebushmad.blogspot.com/2019/05/six-years-did-ya-miss-me.html
User avatar
ryantmalone
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 6:53 pm
Location: Devonport, Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby peregrinator » Wed 20 Mar, 2013 4:43 pm

Ryan

Can you provide a link which indicates why the name Jaimathang is offensive and to whom? My searching so far has revealed only that there is evidence for the name being relevant for some people and I've yet to find any mention of offensiveness. I'll just provide two links here. There are a few others, but not a lot that seem authoritative.

I. An historical reference:

http://epress.anu.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ch0844.pdf

Interesting that the indigenous word for Bogong moth is "bangenba".

2. A contemporary reference:

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1228646/signs-help-the-healing-process/

I detect a red herring in the so-called issue of a "PC debate". It's not a matter of whether one "wants to call" a place one name or another. It's whether all the evidence for a decision has been considered. This is why I'd really like to know more about any offence caused by the use of Jaimathang. Remember also that a name change may not necessarily be permanent. During wartime, many Australian town names of Germanic origin were Anglicised; some later reverted to the original. Opinions can change over time when judgemental language is replaced by informed debate.

ryantmalone wrote:The current name in its own right is offensive to the local Aboriginal population, as it represents a language that is not even spoken in that area, and it moves away from acknowledging that racism has been a part of our history.

I grew up knowing it as "The Niggerheads", also knowing that racism is wrong, and that the name came about as the result of a dark period in our history where racism was more widely accepted, and I honestly cant see myself referring to it as anything else, and further fueling the PC debate, which has been responsible for renaming many other landmarks and national parks, some warranted, others completely and utterly absurd.

That said... anyone wants to call it the PC name, I'm not going to hold it against anyone. I just hope they realize that the new PC name is just as offensive, if not more offensive than the original name.
peregrinator
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 2:50 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby ryantmalone » Wed 20 Mar, 2013 6:51 pm

peregrinator wrote:Ryan

Can you provide a link which indicates why the name Jaimathang is offensive and to whom? My searching so far has revealed only that there is evidence for the name being relevant for some people and I've yet to find any mention of offensiveness. I'll just provide two links here. There are a few others, but not a lot that seem authoritative.

I. An historical reference:

http://epress.anu.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ch0844.pdf

Interesting that the indigenous word for Bogong moth is "bangenba".

2. A contemporary reference:

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1228646/signs-help-the-healing-process/

I detect a red herring in the so-called issue of a "PC debate". It's not a matter of whether one "wants to call" a place one name or another. It's whether all the evidence for a decision has been considered. This is why I'd really like to know more about any offence caused by the use of Jaimathang. Remember also that a name change may not necessarily be permanent. During wartime, many Australian town names of Germanic origin were Anglicised; some later reverted to the original. Opinions can change over time when judgemental language is replaced by informed debate.


The people that originally inhabited that section of the Bogongs were the Dhudhuroas, not the Jaithmathangs, who were actually located a a way south east of the high plains.

Reference - http://on-walkabout.com/2008/11/17/aboriginal-group-protests-mt-niggerhead-name-change/, and if you want more, just search for info on it. Its not hard to find.

As per the article, its no different to people renaming Australia England.

Look, I'm all for giving landmarks a name that reflects their Aboriginal heritage, however my family and its history is embedded in this country just the same as Aboriginals. Our descendants stared at a big red rock in the center of Australia, and thought that the name "Ayers Rock" was a nice name for it, and they did it with good intentions, just as they did when they first stared at the snow in the gullies of a striking peak and named it "Feathertop", and when they stared at a mountain with rocky outcrops that resembled that of an aboriginal face and called it "Mt Niggerhead".

Its part of our history, it doesn't mean that we need to be proud of it or that it was right, but we sure shouldn't forget it.

Maybe dual naming like with Ayers Rock/Uluru?
LATEST BLOG POST - SIX YEARS... DID YA MISS ME?
https://gonebushmad.blogspot.com/2019/05/six-years-did-ya-miss-me.html
User avatar
ryantmalone
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 6:53 pm
Location: Devonport, Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby walkerchris77 » Wed 07 May, 2014 10:30 am

Ha, niggerheads, lol
User avatar
walkerchris77
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Fri 15 Nov, 2013 11:42 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 29 Jan, 2015 9:54 pm

When I was up that way recently I kept referring to Mt. Ni**erhead as Mt. uh hum cough cough......
;-P
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby north-north-west » Fri 30 Jan, 2015 6:13 am

The official name is now Jaithmathang, and has been for some years. Since 2008, I think.
And for all its supposed cultural sensitivity it's no more appropriate than the old name. The traditional custodians of the area even threatened to sue the State Government over the change.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
User avatar
north-north-west
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 11774
Joined: Thu 14 May, 2009 7:36 pm
Location: The Asylum
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Region: Tasmania

Re: The Niggerheads, Mt Fainter, and the Bogong High Plains

Postby Pika » Fri 30 Jan, 2015 9:15 am

Great report and pics.

Thanks for sharing.

That entire area is one of the most beautiful in the country.
Pika
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue 16 Dec, 2014 9:49 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male


Return to VIC Trip Reports & Track Notes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 1 guest