Helicopter Spur advice

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

Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 9:56 am

CraigVIC wrote:It is written up as a daywalk in Tempest's Daywalks Around Victoria. Generally speaking it is worth doing some of his shorter walks before committing to a long one so you can get a feel for his grading of walks. Like a lot of guides the dry style can understate the difficulty on occasion.

Whatever way you get up Baeng it's wise to ensure you can come down another way. Most people will find going down something harder than going up. Any scramble I do at my limit I consider one way only.

Thanks!
I don't have Tempest's book and I can't find it in bookstores.
I read about a hike in places like BigKev's Feral blog and here.
Then I see if there's a write up on Hiking Fiasco blog, as that is usually a good idea of how I'll go. :)

I've done Mt Difficult circuit recently, (18km first day) and that was within my abilities, and done hikes like Eskdale Spur & down Staircase spur (20km) in a day with overnight pack (because of weather, decided to make it a day hike), and that was doable.

I found descending the Helicopter Spur a lot easier this time, I didn't need to go down backwards, and did it pretty much walking with the odd branch/rock to grab hold of, except the bit I got stuck on.
If I understand it correctly, the part I reached was the last truly hard bit, so I'd recommend walking down it. :)
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 9:57 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I read trip report somewhere of someone going up Helicopter spur with a day pack and returning the same day via the Howitt spur. The hiker started at day break during the daylight savings period and he/she was walking the last section in the dark along the Howqua river with a head torch . They were also beyond spent by that stage. Just exhausted but happy. Maybe Big Kev did it. He 'd be up for that sort thing !!.

BigKev has a write up of this day hike on his blog.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 1:59 pm

If you want to suffer and prove yourself to be still yet a contender and not ready to be carted off to the knackery like the horse was in "Animal Farm" then Baeng72 should give the Diamantina spur a go. I have been up it and down it with a heavy pack.
Other places of pain include:
The NW Spur at Mt. FT. Up or down you will know about it and wonder why you set off on such a mission.
Champion spur off the Razorback , the endless descent on the STEEP fire trail was masochism writ large .
Hannel's spur in NSW. The BIG ONE !
The T Spur. I will do it one more & last time to find out whether or not I was hallucinating that I was in hell.
Black Possum Spur. That descent from Mt. Arthur :-0. NEVER AGAIN. Type 3 fun. The true definition of type 3 fun .

There are others that are too horrific too recall , I am sure. My mind has hidden them away from my waking consciousness to reduce the trauma ;-P .


I don't have to do those walks/ abseiling/ groveling / crab crawling/bush bashing again!.
Last edited by paidal_chalne_vala on Mon 29 Nov, 2021 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 2:47 pm

Thanks PCV. I'm thinking of doing a Harrietville-Spinal cord (Bon Accord) - Hotham - Swindlers - Diamantina - Feathertop side-trip (maybe) - Bungalow - Harrietville loop end of December. (Or something like you did in the high-plains recently.)
Now that I've done the Razorback & Feathertop a few weeks ago, I don't need to do that again in a hurry, so can just go up/down spurs that are at each end of it.
I don't think I'd be able to make it to NSW to do Hannel's, and NW spur will have to wait until I've done Diamantina & T-Spur before I graduate to a higher-level or self-hatred.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Avatar » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 4:09 pm

A nice 2 nighter is Razorback - FT - Diamantina - Swindlers. Going down Diamantina isn't too bad (it's great in overcast or "atmospheric" weather) and the climb up Swindlers starts steepish but does get easier, allow about 2 hours grunt from the start. There's several choices for campsites in that loop.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 4:43 pm

Avatar wrote:A nice 2 nighter is Razorback - FT - Diamantina - Swindlers. Going down Diamantina isn't too bad (it's great in overcast or "atmospheric" weather) and the climb up Swindlers starts steepish but does get easier, allow about 2 hours grunt from the start. There's several choices for campsites in that loop.

Thanks,
In May (so short days), I've done Mt Loch carpark - down Swinders - Dibbins , day 2: Cobungra up to BHP - Pole 333 - Westons - and back to Dibbins (abandoned heading up Diamantina because only 1 or so of daylight left and snow up higher) - final day up Swindlers back to Mt Loch carpark. I didn't find Swindlers that hard, like you say, just grunt it out for a couple of hours and you'll be at Derrick.

https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=35060
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 29 Nov, 2021 5:32 pm

The Bon Accord Spur. :-0.
I did it in September one year with a friend , both equipped with full snow camping gear and snow shoes strapped to the pack.
The Next day the weather turned to rubbish at The Diamantina hut where we were snow camping so we had to go back down the Never ending spur a.k.a Bon Accord spur rather than across the Razorback in Spring snow as originally planned. That was a sure way to assess the merits of that route( The B.A. Spur = Bl**dy agony spur) in both directions. I have not it done again since!.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby north-north-west » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 7:24 am

Why all this hatred for Bon Accord? It's a marvellous way to access the Razorback, especially in snow season.
There''s something really special about the endless realisations that no, this is not the top either.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 8:20 am

north-north-west wrote:Why all this hatred for Bon Accord? It's a marvellous way to access the Razorback, especially in snow season.
There''s something really special about the endless realisations that no, this is not the top either.

I have no feeling toward Bon Accord yet. I called it Spinal cord because my 11 year old thought that was a funny name for it.
However, if it's always going up, with false summits, I might have a different opinion after trying it. :D
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 11:48 am

The BA spur is long and taxing either way. I do not hate it. I just know what it offers. The last pinch from the tree line to the top is tough and climbs up rapidly and steeply.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 12:15 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The BA spur is long and taxing either way. I do not hate it. I just know what it offers. The last pinch from the tree line to the top is tough and climbs up rapidly and steeply.

I can believe the last bit sucks. Walking the Razorback, you see the track go up steeply on both sides of the knoll to join the BA track somewhere in the sky. not sure why they didn't sidle that last bit like the Diamantina seems to do with High Knob.
I'll do it once, if I can, just to check it off my list of things that seemed like a good idea before I started.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby GBW » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 1:25 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The BA spur is long and taxing either way. I do not hate it. I just know what it offers. The last pinch from the tree line to the top is tough and climbs up rapidly and steeply.


From memory the part just after BA Hut site was the worst. Further up as the trees thin out there's some relief that you're near the top and the views take your mind off the pain. If your going to walk the Razorback it's best walking towards Feathertop. You do need to carry a bit of water though.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 3:47 pm

The Ranger at Bright Parks Vic. once said he was doing some work on the upper BA spur. He had to go up and down from the BA spur Hut ruins to the top and back ,7 days in a row. He said it was:
" The closest I have ever experienced to the pain of childbirth" .
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Hiking Exped » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 6:42 pm

That made me laugh so much….. imagine that job. I do it at least once a year, but I’m stupid and try to be a 21 year old soldier still. I punish myself up with a Karrimor SF Bergan weighing about 19kg at best (prepared for any eventuality-pathetic) and then cry for 48hrs because my knees get trashed.

Getting old is fun….
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 04 Dec, 2021 2:04 pm

Glen Tempest's " Day walks around Vic." looks like a good book . I was thumbing through a copy at the Wilderness shop in Box Hill this week. It does include the loop of the off track Northern face of Mt. McDonald and returning to the Upper Jamieson river via the very steep Nobs track. That would be a very solid day with a day pack.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 6:09 am

So, anyway, I came down the Helicopter Spur yesterday, lowered pack down the 2nd chute, then facing forward, twisted myself under that Eucalypt and using arms and legs lowered myself down the V without issues.
The side of the V that is in the middle, has step like shapes/notches that would make ascending pretty simple (I think), as long as you don't wobble too much doing it, but I never noticed it when I last tried going up.
I haven't gone up the Helicopter, but going down might count for something.
Thanks for advice/help.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 8:35 am

A Good effort !. You are throwing yourself into the deep end with this starting major bushwalking in middle age caper. Which route did you use get up onto to the Range?. Where did you find water?
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 10:27 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:A Good effort !. You are throwing yourself into the deep end with this starting major bushwalking in middle age caper. Which route did you use get up onto to the Range?. Where did you find water?

Upper Howqua-Howitt Spur-Mac Springs day 1. AAWT to Bluff Track, day 2. I carried water from Mac Springs and found a little bit in a puddle near the campsite at top of Helicopter Spur.
Trip report. https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=39144
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby bernieq » Thu 03 Feb, 2022 8:11 pm

Just for the record, baeng72, your picture(s) of the route up is the correct path - at least it's the route I've taken many times (mostly down; yes, down is definitely easier).

20220203_204202.jpg
Crux - Helicopter Spur Jan 2022

This photo is looking down - the white hat is one of the group about to push up to the tree.

You can go up either side of the rock rib (not visible in this photo; see baeng72's photos previously). If you go left left, at the top of the rib you move to the right (can be a bit awkward) . If you go to the right of the rib (ie between the rock), it's quite narrow and bigger bodies might find it more difficult.

Having attained the top of the rock rib, it's a bit of a stretch to pull up under, then left of, the gum-tree. There are a couple of good hand-holds (knot holes) on the upper side of the trunk.

I came up Heli Spur last week with a group of 4 - all negotiated that bit without assistance and with pack on. Once, with a group of 12+ going down, some were more confident to lower their pack, a couple were well outside their comfort zone - but, with assistance, all made it safely.

BTW, we were surprised at the thick growth in the area. Exposed red scoria at the base of the 1st climb is now fully vegetated. The blackberry section on the old Queens Spur logging track (around 1030m elevation) is head high and almost impassable (and yes, zillions of leeches). Even down on the Howqua, we could see the new growth in just 6 weeks since my last trip there.

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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 03 Feb, 2022 8:40 pm

I have reported the Queen's spur logging track condition to BTAC. They usually rotate their track clearing locations every 3-4 years so the Upper Howqua area won't be back on their track clearing list for a while.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Mr Bean » Fri 04 Feb, 2022 2:26 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I have reported the Queen's spur logging track condition to BTAC. They usually rotate their track clearing locations every 3-4 years so the Upper Howqua area won't be back on their track clearing list for a while.


The Queens Spur Track up to Stanleys Named Spur intersection was cleared by BTAC in November 2019. I was part of the group, but they didn't do the blackberries as it was a massive job. I know Parks were planning to do something. Not sure of the timeframe. We also did the first 2km of Helicopter Spur track, up to where it turns left, along the spur.
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Re: Helicopter Spur advice

Postby Mcspud » Sun 13 Feb, 2022 7:45 am

In January 2019 I went up helicopter with 25kg bucket of food for AAWT food drop. It was a fun walk. Except at the top I went right instead of left and ended up at a hut packed with 4wd.
Don’t ask, it was pouring rain lol
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