Mt Difficult loop

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Mt Difficult loop

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 02 Nov, 2020 3:44 pm

Aiming to keep this brief as previous Mt Difficult trips have been well covered here. In fact, kudos to those whose notes from forum reports provided a terrific source of advice. The Avenza Mt Difficult map was brilliant, km's/timings for each segment were pretty accurate and tracking (the "blue dot") worked whilst the phone was in aircraft mode, which helped us out on numerous occasions.

Three of us scheduled this past weekend as our only available time to do an overnighter that would include Briggs Bluff and Mt Difficult. As the weekend approached, the forecast for two magnificent blue-sky days had us raring to go. Our plan was to complete the Mt Difficult loop clockwise from Beehive Falls, taking the 'old' route outbound until our return on Day 2 when we would take the new track section just past Briggs Bluff turnoff, heading back.

Day 1 went to plan, departing Roses Gap area, we went to Beehive Falls and followed the 'old' route, opting to include the out/back to Briggs Bluff; we then continued around to Longpoint East and then on to Longpoint West. Our intention was to press on to the Summit campsite on Day 1, as reports here encourage. But we arrived at LPW approx 4.30pm and felt inclined to camp there Sat night. We were starting to fatigue and the convenience of watertank and toilet was appealing. Campsites looked good too. This enabled us to have a leisurely set up, prep dinner, eat and then relax. Day 2 saw us push up to the summit campsite, drop packs and walk to the top. A perfectly clear sky gave us a stunning 360deg view. We then returned to packs and forged on to the Briggs Bluff intersection for a brief lunch stop there, then the final leg back to Beehive Falls via the new section.

Remarks:
• Posts here and a couple of websites/blogs were brilliant for our planning
• Only saw 1 person Day 1 but numerous on Day 2, all day trippers heading to Briggs Bluff or directly to Mt Difficult
• The sections beyond Briggs Bluff across in the LP East direction were a bit harder than expected. But spectacular.
• Numerous creek crossings (small) around to LP West were all flowing
• Glad to have stayed at LPW as next section starts with a bit of a climb out of the valley, to head towards the Summit campsite.
• Track marking was really good, but need to keep observant. Used Avenza mapping on several occasions to regain track.
• Overshot the 'old route' turnoff by 200m on Day 1, despite being very aware of looking out for it
• Avenza was great! Aircraft mode still provided navigation
• Observed several new GPT trails on the section between Briggs Bluff and LPE. Very significant work underway between summit and return to Briggs Bluff intersection. Excavator, portaloos (helicoptered in) and significant groundworks - perhaps toilet and tank going in. Or huts????
• Lots of water crossings but we opted for tank at LPW
• Parks have done a tremendous job with making some tough climbs/descents manageable with placement of rock slabs in lots of places throughout the loop.
• Stunning array of wildflowers at this time of year

A brilliant experience, and thanks for the wonderful advice available via the forum
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Re: Mt Difficult loop

Postby bernieq » Mon 02 Nov, 2020 8:15 pm

ggorgeman wrote:Parks have done a tremendous job with making some tough climbs/descents manageable with placement of rock slabs in lots of places throughout the loop


All the climbs & descents were perfectly manageable without any intervention. Your idea of 'tremendous job' and mine seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

(Not critical of you, ggorgeman, just the whole concept of the Peaks Trail (I'm even critical of the name!))

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Re: Mt Difficult loop

Postby ggorgeman » Tue 03 Nov, 2020 7:46 am

I hear you.... and should clarify: the rock placement/s by Parks that I'm referring to have probably occurred over a long period of time. Although some more recent re GPT works. An example would be the steps up from Beehive Falls to get up that ridge. I presume that's been there for some time? It seemed that some parts of the track up other ridges (the longstanding route) are due to work by Parks over the years? But I suppose also that without that, walkers would have found another route regardless. It's an interesting discussion, and I guess it's all a matter of degrees. Fair to say that the vast majority of the walk was across, up and over terrain that had only been touched by walkers boots and the installation of the trail markers. I do hope that the GPT doesn't significantly detract from that route (and the area) as it currently exists. Time will tell.
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Re: Mt Difficult loop

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 03 Nov, 2020 9:16 am

Sounds like a good trip. Well done.

Regarding track 'improvements'....

I can see how 'old-timers' might find the de/con -struction of the area to allow this 'glitzy' new GPT annoying/frustrating/outrageous and take away from the experience.
I also appreciate that those steps at Beehive falls make it easier for fatsos like myself and safer for my kids to lug a pack up the mountain....
Big Kev/Mr Feral on his blog had an interesting point about the Falls to Hotham crossing, how it makes access easier to the unprepared in an environment that is quite demanding at times and requires experience.
There's probably something to that in the case of the GPT.
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Re: Mt Difficult loop

Postby CraigVIC » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 8:51 pm

Platforms on the mt difficult track, via helicopter last few days.
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Re: Mt Difficult loop

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 23 Nov, 2020 8:06 am

That looks like a bushfire would take that out of commission quite quickly. I have no fondness for camping on platforms. People who bush walk want to escape from built structures most of the time. .....eye roll..... However I do like the mountain huts in the Oz Alps but I always carry a tent.
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Re: Mt Difficult loop

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 23 Nov, 2020 8:27 am

I don't know, bushwalkers are pretty quick to build fireplaces and ad hoc furniture wherever they camp. You can spot a campsite a mile off.

It looks like every Peaks Trail camp will be unique. Hopefully, they will all use the same tent attachment system. Imagine dealing with a dozen different platforms on one walk.
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