Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

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Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby damoprz » Tue 07 Jun, 2016 4:15 pm

I was thinking of hiking to Eagle Peaks, up the Eagle Peaks track and home along the Lickhole Creek track. Maybe try to extend it to include Mitchells + Mt Mac if I can take a long weekend off work. The only topic I can find on it (viewtopic.php?f=37&t=13302) suggests it is getting overgrown. Has anyone done it recently?
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Earwig » Wed 08 Jun, 2016 11:47 am

I don't suppose the late 1990s counts as recently but it needed a bit of navigating then and probably still does. Overnight was somewhere between Eagles Peaks and Mt Darling and we did a side trip to The Governors. I think it was (and possibly still is) a less walked area with the exception of Eagles Peaks to Eight Mile Carpark and so remains 'overgrown' to some extent. I'd prepare for a slow walk and if you happen to move a bit easier then it's a bonus.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby damoprz » Wed 08 Jun, 2016 6:10 pm

Yeah, the fact i can only find a couple of trip reports makes me think it will be a bit rough. Do you remember how hard the Scrambling was? One of our group is not a fan of scrambling, so after the Viking circuit I have promised to minimise it.

I'll post a trip report if I make it out there.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby north-north-west » Wed 08 Jun, 2016 6:40 pm

I don't recall any scrambling on the Lickhole Route, just a couple of steepish bits. Darling was a mess on top - just regrowth and fallen timber.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 08 Jun, 2016 9:00 pm

From what I have read The Eagles Peaks trek is a category five trek. There is blurb about it on the interwebby. It says it is a bush bash and the summit ridge is exposed , rocky and narrow. I am more inclined to try the ascent from the 8 Mile gap car park. Even if you hiked up the 8 Mile spur walking track and then took the jeep road from Refrigerator Gap to 8 Mile Gap and then onto the Eagles peaks you'd still be making a fair effort. I did the 8 Mile spur track recently and it has been cleared and marked.
:-)
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby damoprz » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 12:20 am

I found this: http://www.trailhiking.com.au/eagle-peaks-circuit/ link, how hard is a 'Category 5 hike'? If it is only about 13km per day and the pictures I can find (Their are some from a BSAR rescue) don't look that bad. We were hoping for something a bit more relaxed this walk.

The last walk we did was: Day 1: Upper-Howqua to MacAlister Springs via Helicopter Spur, Day 2: Mac Springs down the unnamed NE spur, along the river and half way up the Viking, Day 3: The rest of the Viking to Mt Spec, and Day 4: Mt Spec along the Crosscut to Highett and back to upper Howqua. My friends won't be too happy if I back that up with a hike of similar difficulty.
Last edited by damoprz on Thu 09 Jun, 2016 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Stew63 » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 8:50 am

That route will be part of Leg2 of the inaugural GSER 170km Ultra Alpine Marathon in 2017 so I would expect that someone will be sent in the future to recut and tidy up that section.
Mt.Buller-4MileSpur-DavonsFlat-EaglePeaks-EightMileGap-RefridgeratorGap-TheBluff...etc.

http://www.gser100.com.au

I'd expect many of the elite Ultra runners will start training on various sections of the course including EaglePeaks over the next year or so.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 10:31 am

Category five is as tough as it gets. As far as I know there is NO category six. Navigating by map/s and compass in heavy fog or rain/sleet/hail/snow in overgrown scrub with sustained steep ascents and descents on uneven rocky tracks that require hands and knees scrambling/ climbing are all part of the fun and games in Category 5.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Stew63 » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 11:19 am

Well if Eagle Peaks is classed as a Cat5 walk then Hannel's Spur on the Western fall of Kosciousko must surely be a Cat6 - unless it's improved somewhat.
Almost 2000m of only vertical on an overgrown track seldom used but (what should be) a classic Australian hike.
Last edited by Stew63 on Thu 09 Jun, 2016 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby damoprz » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 11:21 am

That is an epic marathon.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Stew63 » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 11:26 am

damoprz wrote:That is an epic marathon.


Yeah - I'm guessing there'll be at least a 2 dozen hardened Aussie alpine runners that will run the entire length of 170km - the rest in teams.
I'm thinking of running it in a team - but I'd prefer to run Leg 3.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby surly 17 » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 1:32 pm

I went up the lickhole creek track a couple of years ago there is a fair amount of scrub. but track was fairly easy to follow long pants might be good we camped of the track near the summit of mount Darling. Due to my friend having appalling blisters we returned via the same route. I would love to finish the circuit at some point .
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby damoprz » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 4:08 pm

surly 17 wrote:I went up the lickhole creek track a couple of years ago there is a fair amount of scrub. but track was fairly easy to follow long pants might be good we camped of the track near the summit of mount Darling. Due to my friend having appalling blisters we returned via the same route. I would love to finish the circuit at some point .


Thanks, I will take Gaiters and long pants then. How bad was the scrub? Is it just rough in parts, or hundreds of meters of pushing through thick scrub?
Did you haul water in preparation for day 2, or can you just bash down into the creek from Mt Darling/Lickhole Gap?
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby surly 17 » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 9:18 pm

You won't get any sense of scrub at the start it doesn't really begin till after the turn off for castle rock there are some sustained sections but it's waist height just prickly I had shorts on when I walked. You will need to carry water for the second day it's pretty dry up top there's a small steam before you climb up Mt Darling the bush really opens up then. Have a great Trip it's a beautiful area not often visited.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby damoprz » Tue 28 Jun, 2016 6:18 pm

I walked the Lickhole creek track to the top of Mt Darling. The track condition is fine, easy to follow, little scrub and could easily be done without gaiters. There were deer hunters in the area, maybe they have cleared it up. We didn't make it to the saddle and instead camped near the top somewhere just before sunset.

Image

I walked with my partner and after we slept in she wasn't feeling up to the Eagle Peaks, especially in the slippery melting snow, so we just walked back out the way we came. I hope to get back there later in the year and do a Eagle Peaks, The Governers, Mitchel's hut, Mt Mac walk, probably with a car shuttle.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Hoogy » Thu 13 Jul, 2017 10:52 pm

As a continuation of this thread, I thought it would be useful to others to have this following trip report out there with further information in their trip planning stages.

Given the departure to German lands of our good friend and former team leader Damoprz we decided conduct the inaugural ‘Damoprz Type II Memorial Extravaganza’. A small weekend trip between the of 4 of us who have most endured/enjoyed the Type II fun (https://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/) thrown at us by his truly. Our destination was Eagle peaks, to tick this off our list after reluctantly deciding that we were underprepared for the attempt last time given the large amount of snow. 13 months later and although small amounts of snow was forecasted it was clear that levels were much lower than last time. We planned for a circuit starting and ending at seven-mile campsite. Leaving the big smoke around 6pm on Fri we arrived late after a nutritious food stop at ‘AmbleInn’ in Yea. We camped in the area close to the road as the rise and massive pothole on the opposing side of the first ford looked a bit much for ol’ ‘Rustbucket’ my hardy 92’ Toyota Corolla

After packing up camp in the morning we set off at around 9:15 am taking the high/low tracks down toward sheepyard flat. Not far in the track headed into the river. Barely even warm, we were reluctant to chill our legs for an unnecessary crossing. So commenced the first instance of bush bashing much earlier than anticipated. Soon sick of the stupidity of fighting through bush with a functional carefree road only 100 meters away, we soon joined back with civilisation. We found the marked track to what I guess should be called five-mile spur. There was a blue ribbon and clear way forward up the spur. The ribbon was soon forgotten and no more were spotted again but the way was clear and obvious up until the peak at 953m. From here until the eagle peaks track the vegetation was less welcoming and we deployed our well-developed type II bush bashing skills. We reached the track at 12:45pm in time to enjoy a view of the advancing weather.

IMG_20170708_125030672_HDR.jpg


From here on in the track was super easy to follow. Mr Weather soon joined us, as too did our rainjackets which did not separate from our bodies for the rest of the day. Lunch was held at the peak at 1236m although not for too long as without activity the cold crept into our bones and depressed our mood. At some point above 1300m we hit our first patches of snow which eventually grew although not too overly significant levels.

IMG_20170708_160353775_HDR.jpg


The ridgeline was followed and although we could kind of get a feel for the steep drop off either side the full extent was lost in a haze. Would love to come back on a clear day.

IMG_20170708_160730042.jpg


At some point, we realised that we had passed our intended turnoff. A few minutes reorientation with the GPS using unresponsive hands headed us back. It seems that the most interesting section of track lies further eastwards then the track junction so we weren’t disappointed with our mistake. It turns out that the junction is marked where there is an orange triangle pointing eastwards A steep decent down the ridgeline followed which eventually levelled out. Around 5pm with hazy twilight upon us we decided to camp near a rise at 1296 where we had already had tentative plans to camp, terrain obliging. After some unfortunate rice spillage on my behalf, a warm dinner was prepared to be subsequently consumed within the warmer confines of one of the tents. Chocolate pudding brandy, more chocolate and games of 500 ensured a pleasant evening. Alternating bursts of aggressive weather hit us through the night although tree cover protected us from the worst of the gusts. In the morning, we woke up to the realisation that we had been lightly dusted in the snowy stuff.

IMG_20170709_082918649.jpg


Following a hot cup of coffee and some more excellent breakfast slice the squad headed further on its way following the track down to its interception with the road at eight-mile gap. The point-woman was far out in head and managed to surprise a hunter parked at the road. It was suggested to her that our planned way ahead was difficult and we should follow the road until it intersected the track we were heading towards. Further consultation with the map revealed a choice. 6.5 km with 4 km of boring road or…. 1.5 Kms of good ol’ type II fun. Given the purpose of the extravaganza, the choice was obvious to all. Indeed, the way was not easy but nor was it exceptionally difficult either. A real key was learning to weave oneself in, out and under the stems and branches. Although through all this we received many face whips, scratches as well as becoming quite wet. We were able to get some views of the Bluff which looked like it would be fun to climb in such a white blanket.

IMG_20170709_114125037.jpg


Reaching eight-mile spur we had lunch looking out over the lower 4/5ths of Mt Buller with the cold again hurrying us up. Super easy walk down the spur got us down to eight-mile campsite and the high track this time took us all the way through to seven-mile campsite and back to rustbucket with plenty of daylight to spare. As has now become tradition we stopped off at Mansfield Thai for our re-acclimatisation to the delights of the modern world...
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby neilmny » Fri 14 Jul, 2017 5:51 pm

That's a great first post Hoogy thanks.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Biggles » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 2:53 pm

The third pic made be jump a bit — that definitely is seriously rough. :shock:
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby bigkev » Sun 23 Jul, 2017 6:15 pm

Hey Hoogie,

Here's the view you missed, I went up from Eight Mile Gap yesterday :D

DSC_0080.JPG
Looking across to The Bluff from the outlier knoll to the south of the main Eagles Peaks ridge line.

DSC_0081.JPG
Mt McDonald in the distance.

DSC_0085.JPG
My climbing ridge up from Eight Mile Gap.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Stew63 » Tue 25 Jul, 2017 1:27 pm

Thanks Hoogie and bigkev - from those reports and photos the Eagle Peaks are now on my 'to do' list!
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Pink Cap » Sat 25 Dec, 2021 1:58 pm

Has anyone been up the Eagles Peaks trail recently? I’m thinking of going up there from Davons Flat to 8 Mile Gap then down to the river and not sure where to camp after leaving Eagles Peaks. Would Refrig Gap be a camping possibility? Interested to know condition of Eagles Peaks trail. Can anyone suggest a loop hike that does not involve Lickhole trail? I have 4 days but I will be parking at Mt Buller so I need time to get back there.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 25 Dec, 2021 5:34 pm

I climbed up the Eagles Peaks from 8 Mile gap last summer in Dec. 2020. The track needed a haircut. The last pinch to the top is steep. Do not do this when it is hot. The Lickhole track AFAIK has been abandoned by Parks Vic. I saw no signage at the Upper Jamieson hut area where the track used to start/ finish.
A VNPA trip leader told me that bits of that route on the Lickhole track are hard going and it was not much fun.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Pink Cap » Thu 30 Dec, 2021 6:25 am

Just in case others are interested, I’ve done my walk here the past 4 days. My route was: Mt Buller summit car park down Four Mile Spur and along to Davons Flat (camp), Eagle Peaks trail up and over to Eight Mile Gap and road to Eight Mile Flat (camp), along river to Pikes Flat and up Cornhill Logging Road to Howqua Gap (camp beside hut), tracks to Mt Buller. It was a great trip, saw almost no hikers but the camping areas were busy. Cornhill Logging Rd, quite a slog on a warm day, is closed to vehicles although a sole jeep went through while I was there.

The Eagle Peaks trail on the Davons Flat side was very overgrown in some parts but I never had difficulty finding the trail except near the highest point where you turn sharply to descend to Eight Mile Gap, I had a lot of trouble locating the start of that track. Other minor side tracks on the way up that were marked on my map did not seem to exist at all. The initial descent was quite unpleasantly steep, in other words the bit P-C-V that you did going up.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby Bruns69 » Sun 20 Feb, 2022 8:13 pm

Hi,

I had a go at the Lickhole creek track this weekend and I have to say that I failed miserably.
I started from Frys flat and I had no difficulties at the beginning to follow it.
But I lost it well before the climb to Mount Darling. It just vanished behind a thick curtain of blackberries and fallen trees.
I tried to push through the bush in the direction of Mount Darling but after I realised I've lost too much time I decided to turn around and I went back to my car.
Just curious to see if other people had difficulties with that track or if I need a new pair of glasses or a new brain.
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Re: Eagle Peaks from Sheepyard flat

Postby stry » Mon 21 Feb, 2022 7:25 am

I was there in 2021. Don't remember exactly when- I think around May. Track was easy to follow and open, but narrowing.

We have had strong spring and summer growth which will have had an effect, but I would be surprised if it is impassable, although some detouring and alternate route finding could have become necessary.

A person or persons unknown trim encroaching vegetation along the track from time to time.
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