Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

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: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Xplora » Sun 25 Sep, 2022 4:13 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:If you are really keen and have much more than a mere weekend to do it then this route will get you into the thick of the area during the winter locked gate period.
Carter's road/ Tomahawak gap/ Road no. 3/ Weston's track / King Basin Rd./ Speculation Road/ The stair case on Spec. road/ Mt. Speculation/ Mt. Buggery / The Cross cut saw/


From the Cross cut saw either you follow the Howitt spur( Howitt spur/Upper Howqua campsite.)
or the Thorn Range " track" over to Stanely name gap and the Circuit road or Bindaree road up to The Circuit road.
Return via Rd. No. 3 and Mt. No.3 refuge hut back to Tomahawk gap.
If there is a proper low snow fall then much of the Circuit road could be XC skiable!!.
Mirospikes/MSR snow shoes would help for the icy wind scoured and icy rocky sections

I feel cold , wet & fatigued just typing this route.


Perhaps just start from home or do it when on long service leave. I got tired just thinking about it.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 05 Jan, 2023 2:46 pm

Finally got there!
Access granted, then revoked almost immediately. :)
Tried in December, got to SNS campsite via Thorn Range but going no further, not feeling it, (turned out I had Shingles) in early Dec, I managed to get to XCut via Queen's Spur/SNS yesterday.
I went up Queens Spur road Tuesday Arvo, and made camp at SNS site.
I steeled (spelling?) myself that this would be a ball buster from SNS campsite up, with possible emotional breakdown on par with Rusty Crowe in Gladiator after seeing his family's bodies, but it was challenging without being overly hard.
At top, whiteout or something? Completely enveloped in cloud, wind pretty strong and I stupidly left a jacket in the car because forecast was fine.
I was saturated and feeling the cold due to wind, so after briefly heading for Mt. Buggery, took the Coward's attack and hastily went back to Upper Howqua via West Peak/Howitt Spur.
This took less attempts than Heli-Spur, so that's something...
Photographic proof (0.5 zoom to exagerate it and give my better half the heeby jeebies):
xcut.jpg
Cross Cut

Youtube: https://youtu.be/3UOXfWB-Xe8
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 05 Jan, 2023 6:31 pm

Weather condition above 1500 M. in Vic. all year round will be totally different to the valley floor. Always take suitable attire for cold , wet and windy mountain weather.
You walked a good loop. I have done that same route myself but we had very clear weather which makes it more enjoyable.
In Fact I have walked that route twice over the years.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby stry » Sat 07 Jan, 2023 12:45 pm

Well done Baeng72.

Your pic and your tale brings back memories of a trip up SNS some years ago.

Similarities are that my trip was between Christmas and New year, and when I topped out the Cross Cut on my way from SNS camp site to speculation, the weather, which had been fine, turned to snow.

The bush is never boring :D
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 07 Jan, 2023 5:56 pm

I was nearly actually blown off the Cross Cut saw one year , just after Xmas. The weather was dangerously windy. I had to abort the trip and go back to Mac. Springs. I walked out to the Howitt Plains car park the next day. The computer said NO.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby MceRob » Thu 09 Feb, 2023 8:12 pm

Planning on heading to Crosscut Saw via Mount Howitt Carpark.

Is Mount Howitt Carpark accessible with a 2WD?
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 16 Feb, 2023 7:21 am

I have driven up to Mac. spring car park in a tiny Toyota Corolla . It wasn't the most comfortable or suitable vehicle but it was doable. A Subaru, Nissan X trail or RAV 4 would be better.
Use low gear in some places and look out for pot holes.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Xplora » Fri 17 Feb, 2023 5:51 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I have driven up to Mac. spring car park in a tiny Toyota Corolla . It wasn't the most comfortable or suitable vehicle but it was doable. A Subaru, Nissan X trail or RAV 4 would be better.
Use low gear in some places and look out for pot holes.


How many years ago was that? Conditions on this road change annually. Are you saying it is doable now in a Corolla?
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 17 Feb, 2023 7:02 am

I don't know about now. It was marginal in a tiny 2WD city sedan back then. If the OP can borrow an SUV with AWD and some AT Tyres then that would be far better IMHO.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Xplora » Fri 17 Feb, 2023 2:09 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I don't know about now. It was marginal in a tiny 2WD city sedan back then. If the OP can borrow an SUV with AWD and some AT Tyres then that would be far better IMHO.

My word of caution would be the offering of advice on such matters that are not timely or informed. It is akin to saying the T spur crossing is OK because it was when I did it last year. I would agree an SUV with a bit more clearance than a standard sedan would be more appropriate but standard road tyres will do just fine. Clearance appears to be the issue from the recent reports.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Joris » Sat 18 Feb, 2023 11:56 am

Baeng72 wrote:Finally got there!
Access granted, then revoked almost immediately. :)
Tried in December, got to SNS campsite via Thorn Range but going no further, not feeling it, (turned out I had Shingles) in early Dec, I managed to get to XCut via Queen's Spur/SNS yesterday.
I went up Queens Spur road Tuesday Arvo, and made camp at SNS site.
I steeled (spelling?) myself that this would be a ball buster from SNS campsite up, with possible emotional breakdown on par with Rusty Crowe in Gladiator after seeing his family's bodies, but it was challenging without being overly hard.
At top, whiteout or something? Completely enveloped in cloud, wind pretty strong and I stupidly left a jacket in the car because forecast was fine.
I was saturated and feeling the cold due to wind, so after briefly heading for Mt. Buggery, took the Coward's attack and hastily went back to Upper Howqua via West Peak/Howitt Spur.
This took less attempts than Heli-Spur, so that's something...
Photographic proof (0.5 zoom to exagerate it and give my better half the heeby jeebies):
xcut.jpg

Youtube: https://youtu.be/3UOXfWB-Xe8


Nothing cowardly about realising you made an equipment error and turning around before said error could have caught you out. Too hard on yourself there, Baeng.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 02 Mar, 2023 10:57 am

Joris wrote:
Nothing cowardly about realising you made an equipment error and turning around before said error could have caught you out. Too hard on yourself there, Baeng.

Thanks, I think I do pull the pin too early sometimes. But I've never not made it home in 1 piece, so there's that.

I went up there again a few weeks later, and it was sunny and hot, and I tried to do the whole Queens Spur, SNS, Crosscut on to Buggery or Mt. Spec in one day, but got cramps bad after SNS camp and ended up going so slow I was running out of time and water, even though I refilled and picked up an extra couple of litres from the King River.
Some nice blokes offered me some water, which meant I didn't have to face the hoards at Mac. Springs.
After checking out a larger portion the Crosscut, I went back to Howitt.
I camped near the summit as it was forecast to be a still night.
Got a bit windy early next day but all good.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby bernieq » Thu 02 Mar, 2023 2:41 pm

MceRob wrote:Planning on heading to Crosscut Saw via Mount Howitt Carpark.

Is Mount Howitt Carpark accessible with a 2WD?

Yes. Drove in 24 Feb & out 1 Mar (admittedly, in a CX-5). No potholes but a few corrugations lower down (as usual) and some, mostly short, rough sections mostly north of the airstrip through to the carpark. A 2WD will do it easily but allow extra time as you'll need to pick your line a bit. Clearance makes it easier, of course, but a standard car would be OK.

However, it's very dusty.

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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 27 Apr, 2023 11:07 am

Not quite XCut but it's in the vicinity.
I noticed that Parks have said there's track work to improve access to Lake Cobbler (24-27 April).
When I've gone in toward Mt. Spec from that way, I've parked near the Gate and not ventured down to the lake.
Anyone have any idea if the improved access will allow a 2WD with good clearance but average driver down to the lake?
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 27 Apr, 2023 7:33 pm

IMHO do not take a 2 WD down to the Lakeside area at Lake Cobbler. As Big Kev has pointed out people in 2 WD vehicles can get stuck down there and he had to tow somebody out!.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Camminata » Thu 27 Apr, 2023 10:13 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Your car is not really suited to starting the Cross cut saw hike from Howitt Plains/Mac. Springs car park . You can get a 2 WD down the dirt road ( Bindaree road ) to the Upper Howqua camp site coming in from the Circuit road on Mt. Stirling.
https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to- ... mping-area

From there you can trek up the Howitt track and Spend a night somewhere near Mac. Springs. Carry a spare 4 L. water bladder so you can camp somewhere away from the Mac. Springs hut if need be.
Then you can trek over the Cross cut saw. If you are really fit then you can head for Mt. Spec. on the same day once you have reached the summit of Mt. Howitt.
Be sure to have enough drinking water !.
Camping at the Upper Howqua camp site the night before means you can start walking early just after dawn before the heat of the day sets in .The camp site is very pleasant.
In terms of a longer circuit you can return from Mt. Spec. and descend via Stanley name spur. The track junction is in a grassy saddle on the AAWT that is marked by a GGS log book in a plastic bottle.The track is relatively easy to follow.
It is steep and rocky with three ? bands of rock scrambling but once you reach the saddle about 1-2 kms down from the Cross cut saw ridge there is a good camp site there with reliable water about 70 m. north . The foot pad is obvious and you can hear the water from the main SNS track. Camping there makes a lot of sense and you get a different route back to the Upper Howqua area where you left your car. The last 5 kms retraces the outward bound route along the river with 5 river crossings which add interest. Just leave your boots on since you will be finishing the walk soon. Leeches and snakes are about so be alert not alarmed.

If you carry enough food and stove fuel then consider walking back from Mt. Spec. over Mt. Howitt to camp near Hellfire creek at Big Hill Saddle on the AAWT. Then continue past King Billy Tree and Lovick's hut to The Bluff Hut. Camp near there for another night . There is usually water in the tank at the Bluff Hut. Then the next day walk along the Bluff Link road which will take you down to the Bindaree hut and the Upper Howqua campsite.
If you were to do this then you would be looking at approximately 5 days in the field.



Would Mt Buggery via Howqua Feeder -xcut doable in one day ? reading a lot of posts regarding water sources routes etc, would be first time up this area, so am open to some advice for an overnighter or possible 2 nights in area
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 4:44 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:IMHO do not take a 2 WD down to the Lakeside area at Lake Cobbler. As Big Kev has pointed out people in 2 WD vehicles can get stuck down there and he had to tow somebody out!.

Nor I, but Parks had a notice that there was track improvement work. The notice is gone now.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby north-north-west » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 12:00 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:IMHO do not take a 2 WD down to the Lakeside area at Lake Cobbler. As Big Kev has pointed out people in 2 WD vehicles can get stuck down there and he had to tow somebody out!.

Nor I, but Parks had a notice that there was track improvement work. The notice is gone now.


Park at the top, walk down and see what the road is like. If conditions stay dry it may be OK.
I've taken a 2wd Hilux and 2wd Rodeo down there without any issues.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 2:11 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:IMHO do not take a 2 WD down to the Lakeside area at Lake Cobbler. As Big Kev has pointed out people in 2 WD vehicles can get stuck down there and he had to tow somebody out!.

Nor I, but Parks had a notice that there was track improvement work. The notice is gone now.


Park at the top, walk down and see what the road is like. If conditions stay dry it may be OK.
I've taken a 2wd Hilux and 2wd Rodeo down there without any issues.

Hell no! I'll let some sucker do that for me. :)
I guess I'm asking if anybody is aware of the supposed track improvement or has been there/will be there in the near future and post if it's suitable.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 2:15 pm

Camminata wrote:
Would Mt Buggery via Howqua Feeder -xcut doable in one day ? reading a lot of posts regarding water sources routes etc, would be first time up this area, so am open to some advice for an overnighter or possible 2 nights in area

Doable in a day, yes.
I guess it depends on the time your start and your fitness levels.
Going up the Howitt Spur, then onto the XCut in my opinion is less taxing than up Queens Spur/Stanley Name Spur, but it's longer and unless your carry bulk water, will require a detour to Mac. Springs to replenish.
Queens Spur/SNS has water access to King River south branch, just before things get real and the final scamble up some bluffs and steepness happens.
So, choose your poison I guess. But start early, it's cool so you won't sweat buckets.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Camminata » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 4:09 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
Camminata wrote:
Would Mt Buggery via Howqua Feeder -xcut doable in one day ? reading a lot of posts regarding water sources routes etc, would be first time up this area, so am open to some advice for an overnighter or possible 2 nights in area

Doable in a day, yes.
I guess it depends on the time your start and your fitness levels.
Going up the Howitt Spur, then onto the XCut in my opinion is less taxing than up Queens Spur/Stanley Name Spur, but it's longer and unless your carry bulk water, will require a detour to Mac. Springs to replenish.
Queens Spur/SNS has water access to King River south branch, just before things get real and the final scamble up some bluffs and steepness happens.
So, choose your poison I guess. But start early, it's cool so you won't sweat buckets.


SNS has a camp spot 1km approx from top of the XCut ?


Thanks for info very helpful
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 6:51 pm

Yes SNS has a camp site and a reliable water source about
1-2 kms from the top of the Cross Cut saw. I have camped there before.

Queen spur also gives you access to the X Cut saw/Mt. Buggery area but it is a bush bash along the abandoned Queen spur Logging track
and a rock scramble so not efficient or even , going by recent trip reports , anything less than type 2 or type 3 fun.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Camminata » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 6:53 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Yes SNS has a camp site and a reliable water source about
1-2 kms from the top of the Cross Cut saw. I have camped there before.

Queen spur also gives you access to the X Cut saw/Mt. Buggery area but it is a bush bash along the abandoned Queen spur Logging track
and a rock scramble so not efficient or even , going by recent trip reports , anything less than type 2 or type 3 fun.



Thanks Mt T. maybe will bump into you again someday
Last edited by Camminata on Sat 29 Apr, 2023 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 8:01 pm

Camminata wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:
SNS has a camp spot 1km approx from top of the XCut ?


Thanks for info very helpful

Some videos of not-quite-successful hikes that show the SNS campsite.
https://youtu.be/4B-qa6_BY8U Last December, campsite at time 7:42 when the water was flowing (don't view the bit before this, where I got a bit stuck in the bush, exhaustion and shingles do strange things, plus I'm not great at navigation). Didn't go past campsite, great night for camping there.
https://youtu.be/3UOXfWB-Xe8 Early January, campsite time about 4:18, shows some of the scramble up in quite foggy/cloudy conditions. Windy night.
https://youtu.be/ey-4XbmBEis Late January, campsite about 4:05, hot day, cramporama on the way up the steep bit. I was planning on heading to Mt. Spec. or at least Mt. Buggery, but headed to Mt. Howitt due to water, and pissed off with my failure to make it to Mt. Spec as the cramps just slowed me to a crawl.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Camminata » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 8:08 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
Camminata wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:
SNS has a camp spot 1km approx from top of the XCut ?


Thanks for info very helpful

Some videos of not-quite-successful hikes that show the SNS campsite.
https://youtu.be/4B-qa6_BY8U Last December, campsite at time 7:42 when the water was flowing (don't view the bit before this, where I got a bit stuck in the bush, exhaustion and shingles do strange things, plus I'm not great at navigation). Didn't go past campsite, great night for camping there.
https://youtu.be/3UOXfWB-Xe8 Early January, campsite time about 4:18, shows some of the scramble up in quite foggy/cloudy conditions. Windy night.
https://youtu.be/ey-4XbmBEis Late January, campsite about 4:05, hot day, cramporama on the way up the steep bit. I was planning on heading to Mt. Spec. or at least Mt. Buggery, but headed to Mt. Howitt due to water, and pissed off with my failure to make it to Mt. Spec as the cramps just slowed me to a crawl.



Have watched all your videos and enjoyed them with your running commentary : )
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 8:39 pm

Camminata wrote:
Have watched all your videos and enjoyed them with your running commentary : )

You're lucky that's the edited version. Let's just say I take a ton of video (breaks to catch my breath) and comment on everything. :)
They probably (including videos from '22 going up Howitt Spur) give a general idea of what to expect.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Camminata » Fri 28 Apr, 2023 8:53 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
Camminata wrote:
Have watched all your videos and enjoyed them with your running commentary : )

You're lucky that's the edited version. Let's just say I take a ton of video (breaks to catch my breath) and comment on everything. :)
They probably (including videos from '22 going up Howitt Spur) give a general idea of what to expect.

:lol:
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 29 Apr, 2023 9:33 am

Camminata.
If you want to come with me and try this tough day pack hike of 17 kms in Mid Nov. to Late Dec. 2023 then PM please.
King River hut/ King Spur/ Mt. Koonika/ Mustering Flat/ Muesli spur/ King River Hut.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 10:10 am

The Howqua is low and easy to cross at the moment.
Queen Spur is a bit embuggered with logs in places, but Blackberries aren't bad, a few wrist scratches.
SNS is same as last time up to campsite, water flowing OK, but maybe not so much in a month or 2.
IMG_6964.jpg
Howqua flow at upper Howqua campsite

logs.png
A sample of the embuggerment

blackberries.png
Blackberries

IMG_7013.jpg
King River branch flow as SNS campsite

IMG_7019.jpg
Pareidolia - I saw an old man's face in the mossy rock for a moment. Going a bit crazy in the sun.
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Re: Advice for accessing the Crosscut Saw

Postby Camminata » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 12:40 pm

Nice.. did you make it to Spec or Buggerey?
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