Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

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Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby viktor » Thu 07 Nov, 2013 1:01 pm

We were trying to do that circle this long weekend. Family with two kids -boys 12 and 15.
So, as we had kids with us we decided to simplify the route and instead of doing Howitt Planes- Mac Springs- CrossCut Saw - Speculation - Viking-Zeka we (after Speculation ) went to Catherine Pass and down the track to Wonnangatta river, Terrible Hollow (below it), Zeka Spur.

This track is marked as well defined track on the latest 50000 map dated 2013 of Buller - Howitt Alpine Region.

Well... how wrong we were. The track down from Catherine Pass starts well but after 4 or so kms (and around 600m drop) there is an open space where trees all fallen covering the track. We thought first that this is just a local avalanche and followed the track for further 2 km or so. It took us 2 hrs to cover these 2km. Track is virtually nonexistent, all covered by fallen trees and grown over. At that point track seems to climb sharply up to the left around a hill - and we had two choices at this stage:
1. go back and return through Cross Cut Saw retracing our steps
2. continue down to the Wonnangatta river off track.
We realized that second option would take too much time ( further 9km to the camp site on Wonnangatta would take more than a day). So, we returned back.

Later on I checked on Internet - another group was there, missed the track and went down http://nicolaoutdoors.com/entries/2009/ ... le-hollow/. It took them 3 days from that point to the car park.
In our situation we would run out of food.

I have to say that I am concerned that this route would be taken typically by less experienced walkers or families like ourselves. They might be not equipped to go through dense bush/unmarked steep slopes/river. There is no signage anywhere, no warning that track is closed.

Putting this notice here - hoping that whoever thinks to go a simple route will not follow the same trap.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby dplanet » Thu 07 Nov, 2013 4:49 pm

Is it here where you were? See pix. Wonder if there is a third option by heading up to hills 1069, 1210, 1405, then The Crosscut Saw.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby viktor » Fri 08 Nov, 2013 11:37 am

Here is the area.
Yep, you can get out of there in multiple ways... The point is that Vic Parks should really mark it somehow as "no track" instead of "well defined track".
At the point we gave up it was hard to distinguish the route from the animal paths.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby dplanet » Fri 08 Nov, 2013 4:56 pm

There might be short of park ranger.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby north-north-west » Sun 10 Nov, 2013 6:48 am

viktor wrote:Here is the area.
Yep, you can get out of there in multiple ways... The point is that Vic Parks should really mark it somehow as "no track" instead of "well defined track".
At the point we gave up it was hard to distinguish the route from the animal paths.

Again, how is VicParks responsible for the notes on a map? Whether you were using a VicMap, SO, Rooftop, whoever, it's not VicParks' fault. Or are they supposed to put signs upon every old and disused track in the mountains so idiots don't do something idiotic?
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby madmacca » Mon 11 Nov, 2013 5:36 pm

Victor,

Parks Victoria's map shows it as "Wildnerness Zone", and no track is mentioned.

razor viking.png
razor viking.png (40.49 KiB) Viewed 7074 times


I would have no expectation of PV to maintain, update or signpost a track that is not on their map. Obviously the top part is still open through people descending to access water.

I would also not expect Spatial Vision to inspect track conditions (especially on obscure tracks like this) for themselves with each reprint. I would however hope that they update their maps when details are reported to them. Why don't you drop them a line (along with your annotated map above), so that they can update their next edition?

Track conditions are probably best checked on the internet, or by posting specific questions on forums like this BEFORE you go. Looks like you did turn up a good resource after the event.

Anyway, I'm glad you all got out safely, even if your intended plans were frustrated.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby viktor » Mon 11 Nov, 2013 9:10 pm

dplanet wrote:There might be short of park ranger.
north-north-west wrote:
viktor wrote:Here is the area.
Yep, you can get out of there in multiple ways... The point is that Vic Parks should really mark it somehow as "no track" instead of "well defined track".
At the point we gave up it was hard to distinguish the route from the animal paths.

Again, how is VicParks responsible for the notes on a map? Whether you were using a VicMap, SO, Rooftop, whoever, it's not VicParks' fault. Or are they supposed to put signs upon every old and disused track in the mountains so idiots don't do something idiotic?

You probably did not read my initial post. I have wasted a day because trusted the map. . and I have been in the excactly that spot 17 years ago or so - this is why it did not come to mind to double check on the internet. Yes, it was SV (and not PV) who are maintaining the map, second post was done in the hurry.

Regarding the idiots note - there is no need to be arrogant or rude. I understand that you are super smart and never make mistakes. Good luck with this attitude.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby dplanet » Tue 12 Nov, 2013 8:24 pm

IMO there is nothing wrong with your post, which shows the map of the area that you encountered the problem. As discussed by madmacca, it is a useful resource.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby north-north-west » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 4:49 pm

viktor wrote:
north-north-west wrote:
viktor wrote:Here is the area.
Yep, you can get out of there in multiple ways... The point is that Vic Parks should really mark it somehow as "no track" instead of "well defined track".
At the point we gave up it was hard to distinguish the route from the animal paths.

Again, how is VicParks responsible for the notes on a map? Whether you were using a VicMap, SO, Rooftop, whoever, it's not VicParks' fault. Or are they supposed to put signs upon every old and disused track in the mountains so idiots don't do something idiotic?

You probably did not read my initial post. I have wasted a day because trusted the map. . and I have been in the excactly that spot 17 years ago or so - this is why it did not come to mind to double check on the internet. Yes, it was SV (and not PV) who are maintaining the map, second post was done in the hurry.

Regarding the idiots note - there is no need to be arrogant or rude. I understand that you are super smart and never make mistakes. Good luck with this attitude.

First, actually, I did read your first post although it rather confused me as I thought it was well known that the old track down to the river was unmaintained.
Second, I wasn't implying that you or anyone in your party was an idiot. It was a general reference, due to the very large number of old and disused tracks in the Victorian Alps, and the sheer impossibility of VicParks putting up & maintaining signs covering the status of each and every one of them.
Third, despite being well above average in intelligence, I frequently make mistakes, although - and please excuse my being unable to resist a snide remark here - getting my knickers in a twist and deciding to take something personally on the off chance it might have been meant that way isn't one of them.
Fourth, things change a lot in 17 years. Surely basic common sense dictates taking precautions to make sure you are aware of any such changes impacting your walk?
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby madmacca » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 9:12 pm

north-north-west wrote: It was a general reference, due to the very large number of old and disused tracks in the Victorian Alps, and the sheer impossibility of VicParks putting up & maintaining signs covering the status of each and every one of them.


And more to the point, this is a designated Wilderness Zone, where one of the key management principles is NOT to signpost tracks.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby MartyGwynne » Thu 14 Nov, 2013 12:05 am

Oh dear it reminds me of three people I met at the bottom of the track about ten years ago. They had made it, just they were very tired and some most likely never put a pack back on again.
I have always wanted to go down that track one day as it looks interesting.
You most likely did the right thing by returning the way you came.
I think you could do the circuit in three days by camping at Katherine saddle then up the top of the Viking in the small saddle towards the South Viking where you could manage to walk out back to the car the next day if you were up and at it early.. This may be a bit of a hard trip for the kids but if they are fit and keen it should be do-able.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby Travis22 » Thu 14 Nov, 2013 10:02 am

Sorry to hear your hike didnt quite go to plain viktor. I hope you can look back on it in time and have a laugh at it, im sure you must have still loved the location its a really beautiful part of the high country.

Have you put together any sort of trip report with some photos from your trip - id love to see any if your happy sharing them.

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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby Bodysurfer » Sat 16 Nov, 2013 5:30 pm

That's interesting. I recall asking on this forum a few years ago whether anyone had ever been down that track from Catherine Saddle, and what was it like. Now we know.
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Re: Short Wonnangatta Circuit: Speculation - T Hollow-Zeka

Postby ErichFromm » Sat 21 Dec, 2013 11:50 pm

Thanks for your post Victor - was planning a similar trek soon so knowing this issue is very helpful.
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