Viking Circuit Summer 2017

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Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 4:55 pm

Greetings all,

Our group is planning this little gem mid December and we are looking for any intel from folk who have been up that way since the road opened. We're doing it anti-clockwise of 4-5 days.

Water
Blue HIlls navigating
Any other remarks

Many thanks
Anthony
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby walkon » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 7:50 pm

Blue Hills? or Sth Viking
Cheers Walkon

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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Mon 20 Nov, 2017 8:18 pm

good point. Looking through maps now, the sth viking spur is looking promising however I am happy to accept intel either way.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby gbedford » Wed 22 Nov, 2017 8:44 pm

The Sth Viking Spur is easy to follow and very enjoyable. Roughpad with occasional cairn. However the thick regrowth at the bottom was terrible two rears ago. We tended left facing downhill but I think the right hand side of the spur would have been better. It was only bad for the last 100 metres or so.
We then walked up the Wanangatta for a way and took a spur up towards the Zeka track. The regrowth scrub was hard work. The Zeka walking track is nice.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Thu 23 Nov, 2017 7:21 am

gbedford wrote:The Sth Viking Spur is easy to follow and very enjoyable. Roughpad with occasional cairn. However the thick regrowth at the bottom was terrible two rears ago. We tended left facing downhill but I think the right hand side of the spur would have been better. It was only bad for the last 100 metres or so.
We then walked up the Wanangatta for a way and took a spur up towards the Zeka track. The regrowth scrub was hard work. The Zeka walking track is nice.


thanks for coming back. What time of year did you do it? wondering what water supply was like @ viking saddle (North side I am advised) ?
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby gbedford » Fri 24 Nov, 2017 9:52 am

January and water was found in the gully on the eastern side but a few hundred metres down. Well it felt like a way down due to the scrub. it is a marginal water source towards the top of the gully.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby Drew » Mon 27 Nov, 2017 9:04 am

I've done it a couple of times, both clockwise. The descent from Sth Viking to the river is where people tend to get lost, but if you're careful it's not hard to get it right. As mentioned, the scrub for the last 100 metres or so is awful. The track simply vanishes and no options but pushing through. I think if going counter-clockwise it could be tricky to come out from the scrub in in the right spot to find the spur. Also, pushing through the scrub up a steep hill would be much harder then having gravity to help you through!

The first time I climbed up the Zeka road, which was awful. The second time we took a route up a spur from the campsite by the river. A faint track and some scrub bashing but a much more interesting walk.

I'd imagine water should be okay in mid-December.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 02 Dec, 2017 1:13 pm

I was at Camp Creek this week( 27,28/11/17, and it was flowing well. I did not go further towards the Viking than the Mt. Spec. summit.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby davids » Thu 07 Dec, 2017 6:47 am

We are planning this clockwise after Xmas. First did about 10 years ago with a group of Venturer scouts - for one of them it was his first hike so we needed to leave a whole of excess pack weight including a kilo block of cheese in a log on the walk in to VG hut ('Mum packed by pack for me'). Regrowth was really tricky over My Despair and before Viking Saddle, but Parks had taped the tape so that was very helpful. I am presuming the track is more obvious now.
I agree that need to concentrate on the navigation down from Sth Viking. Ended up calling my son to pick us up from Zeka Spur Track rather than walk up untracked spur as we were running out of time. We will try that this time with a somewhat more experienced group.
I remember some talk at that time about not using the water at VG hut - we used a soak around towards Devil's staircase. What is your advice there?
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Thu 07 Dec, 2017 8:20 am

not sure about water at VG.....someone else may give us a recent water quality report.

Thank you all for your contributions..keep them coming...I will post a trip report upon our triumphant return.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby north-north-west » Thu 07 Dec, 2017 8:56 am

Some people seem to have trouble with the water from MacAllister Springs. It's never bothered me, but I never used it when cattle or horses had been in there. It might pay to filter or treat it if you're concerned.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby neilmny » Thu 07 Dec, 2017 4:38 pm

publicrejoicer wrote:not sure about water at VG.....someone else may give us a recent water quality report.

Thank you all for your contributions..keep them coming...I will post a trip report upon our triumphant return.


If I've guessed which "Anthony" you might be correctly ....... is there possibly a B&C video to follow your walk? :) :wink:
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Thu 07 Dec, 2017 4:48 pm

of course. The pain and elation must be recorded for all time )
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby Xplora » Fri 08 Dec, 2017 5:22 am

There was a warning for water at MacSprings for Liver Fluke due to cattle. It is pretty old and related to cattle grazing. How long they remain after their host has gone I can't say. Given the huge numbers going there now I would treat all water anyway. The soak would be just as suspect as the spring.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby bernieq » Mon 11 Dec, 2017 8:59 pm

Hmmm, not sure about liver fluke, xplora. Back in the 1970s, reportedly, the water samples were tested and nematode found.

Ingestion of high concentrations (or lower conc. over many years) can cause liver failure (perhaps that's the source of the fluke idea?).

Actually, the six species of nematode that infect humans cannot breed in cattle so the spring would need to be continually recontaminated with infected human faeces for nematode contamination to persist (if it ever was contaminated). Given the location of the spring, that is highly unlikely.

All that said, I drink the Mac Springs water without treatment (and have done for decades). Still, it's your choice, of course.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby Xplora » Tue 12 Dec, 2017 4:56 am

The liver fluke warning is an old one and I am not sure if it is current but I recall reading it some time ago. Cattle have been out of there for some time now. I also have used untreated water from that spring on occasion and as you say it is up to the individual.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Thu 14 Dec, 2017 8:55 pm

Thanks to all for providing intel. We depart tomorrow arvo .I will post a track report in the coming weeks
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby davids » Sun 24 Dec, 2017 2:02 pm

Hi Anthony
How was water at Viking saddle?
Did you walk up the untracked spur or the road on day 4? How was that?
Any navigation issues coming down off Viking?
We head off Dec 27
Cheers
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Sun 24 Dec, 2017 5:40 pm

Gidday David,

Full Excursion report pending. Exec Summary. Viking saddle - whilst creek not flowing there was a good supply about 10 m down when you cross the creek. About 400 m from the saddle camp all up.
We went anti clockwise so day 2 ( first walking day) we came down old zeka roughly following the cut in of the former track but mostly hugging the spur. 4.9 km of walking on zeka trk. Horrible. would never do that again. Very steep and slippery even for us sure footed beasts.
We came up viking sth spur. no nav issues easy to just stay on crest of spur plus we were using the avenza gps maps...
Good water camp creek. Reckon you will still have water at viking saddle. its a well defined foot pad to the east.
The old zeka spur that heads up to clover plain is pretty tough. lots of fallen trees. Made for tough going down. tough going up.
If I was doing it again, either direction, I would take the blue hills spur up or down and come up to plains via the dry creek trk and avoid zeka trk big time. realise its longer but its got to be easier that slogging through the fallen trees.
Did not treat water at mac springs.all party healthy.
Enjoy.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby davids » Tue 26 Dec, 2017 4:32 am

Thanks Anthony
Seems like the consensus is avoid the old zeka track (marked as wonnangatta spur on the Buller Howitt Alpine area 1:50000) and the zeka spur track. I'd feel more comfortable coming down the Sth Viking spur as I know it, but the Blue Hills track looks an alternative. Anyone know if this is easy to follow? I would presume the Dry River track is reasonably obvious also as it is part of the Bicentennial trail. Any feedback? I use map and compass with GPS just as a back up. Those 2 days would probably be in the trees with little view.
The other alternative of course is out and back to the razor - would seem like a poor choice.
Maybe consider another 3-4 day circuit altogether...
David
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby publicrejoicer » Wed 27 Dec, 2017 9:23 pm

Trip report is now up on the relevant board.
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Re: Viking Circuit Summer 2017

Postby davids » Thu 04 Jan, 2018 6:58 am

Enjoyed your trip report Anthony. We had an eventful out and back trip to Mt Spec, enjoying a half day visit to the Bryces Gorge circuit on drive in, and a really scenic side trip to Mt Koonika. A night at the beautiful Mt Buggery campsite (for my 58th birthday eve) on the way back to shorten the last day and allow an early return home for NY eve was a highlight. Hiccups included my MSR jet blocking (and carrying no pricker) meant we needed to light fires to cook at Mt Spec. A natural challenge was the 37mm of rain (at least at Buller) meaning our camp firelighting skills were put to the test. (Luckily?) met another group who had forgotten there MSR pump and bottle, so we managed a swap of gear (our bottle, shellite and pump for their spare Trangia) so our camp cooking at Mt Buggery was easier. Matt and Em's menu and company were great, and all those heavy packs when walking with the kids when they were young is being repaid with the young ones now taking the loads!
Another highlight was meeting Mary (70 years old? - seemed impertinent to ask) on day 20 of her solo walk home from Walhalla to Canberra.
Lessons ?
1. The tarp was great for making eating in the rain more comfortable 2. Take an MSR service kit every hike.
David
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