3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby crollsurf » Sat 22 Jul, 2023 9:34 am

Can't speak for Vic, but NSW has been ice for a month with no end in sight. Coral Reef Ice isn't a term I've heard before but describes the conditions well. It's treacherous on any decent slope ATM.

I'd stick to the flat areas or wait for a decent dump (+25cm) of snow. Alternatively, wait until spring when the snow starts softening by mid-morning.



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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 22 Jul, 2023 9:45 am

Yes. I would agree with this take on the white season conditions in the Australian Alps at present.
The spring melt could come sooner than usual. The outlook is for a warmer and drier August than ever before.

The Bogong High Plains offer a snow experience without too many steep icy drops if you choose the right routes.



Decent/ Descent are two different words. English spelling is not phonetic like Hindi language is and is also potentially hazardous.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Camminata » Sat 22 Jul, 2023 8:04 pm

Hence my comment 'crappy season' for all ski codes , each to their own but I didn't like to snowboard when icy , am sure 80% of population would agree ..... maybe start a poll..?
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 23 Jul, 2023 10:27 am

We only need 10 cms of fresh snow to fall on the Coral Reef / Rock hard Ice base and the game is back on.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Mon 24 Jul, 2023 8:08 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:We only need 10 cms of fresh snow to fall on the Coral Reef / Rock hard Ice base and the game is back on.


For how long though? A day, maybe two. If you keep away from the steeps unless you have crampons the conditions are actually quite good for snowshoeing right now. There is a breakable icy crust that makes skiing uphill with pattern base skis more difficult (actually impossible) and when you take your skis off you end up post holing to your knees. Snowshoes with a crampon toe would be ideal. A small dump will be affected quickly and will freeze up in a couple of days because of the warmer days we are getting. The sun is still low so snow is not thawing quick enough in the mornings and remains ice in the protected areas. There are lots of places to enjoy a snowshoe in these conditions without the need for crampons, ice axes or whippet poles. One thought would be Mulhauser and the Long Spur to Cleve Cole Hut. Hard to get lost on it if you stay on the spur and nice undulating terrain with incredible views. Access to Mulhauser spur would be suitable in an AWD SUV much like a RAV4. Low range is not needed.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 24 Jul, 2023 7:32 pm

August 1st 2023 looks when we will get a top up of fresh snow. I will be ski touring the BHP then , based at the Bogong Rover Chalet for a week , so I will ski it as freshly as Lord Himavat can send it down.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Tue 25 Jul, 2023 6:43 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:August 1st 2023 looks when we will get a top up of fresh snow. I will be ski touring the BHP then , based at the Bogong Rover Chalet for a week , so I will ski it as freshly as Lord Himavat can send it down.


Have you seen the forecast temperatures for Falls Creek? Friday, when the front comes, has positive temps. Snow can fall at positive temps and I have seen flakes falling at 6 degrees but that sort of snow is not what you want for skiing. You will get a mix of rain and snow flakes and better hope you get the bottom end of the predicted precipitation as most will be rain. 1st August is too far out to call but indications are it will not be much. I am sure you will find some snow to play in. You don't need much depth to tour around on if it is packed firm and it is packed firm but starting to melt.

Bogong is still loaded though.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Biggles » Tue 25 Jul, 2023 10:09 am

9°c @1500m Mount Stirling presently!
Beautiful, calm weather; lots walkers, a few skiiers loitering at TBJ — a long hike to the first snow, and even then cruddy, muddy and duddy.
Good around Bluff Hut.
If these oddball warm temps continue the snow will be gone by mid-August.
1st August is not a cold outbreak from the deep south — a sprinkling of snow, but more likely rain.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 25 Jul, 2023 4:02 pm

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/29th- ... st-5420234

Global warming and skiing don't really make a good couple.
If we have a Rubbish Back country ski season in 2023 that winds up at the end of August then so be it . I am going skiing in
Japan in Jan. 2024 ,where they have more than just 20 cms of ice or slush to ski on.

https://www.skifalls.com.au/discover-fa ... y-forecast
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Tue 25 Jul, 2023 6:57 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/29th-july-aug-1st-a-slim-chance.93657/#post-5420234

Global warming and skiing don't really make a good couple.
If we have a Rubbish Back country ski season in 2023 that winds up at the end of August then so be it . I am going skiing in
Japan in Jan. 2024 ,where they have more than just 20 cms of ice or slush to ski on.

https://www.skifalls.com.au/discover-fa ... y-forecast


It appears from the ski.com link you are now a weather expert so maybe I should not comment on weather in the mountains. I just live there. What would I know? It also appears you have told everyone at least two dozen times on that forum you are going to Japan to ski in Jan 2024. I guess you are excited. I think you should try Bogong before going to Japan. Still lots of snow up there.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby crollsurf » Tue 25 Jul, 2023 7:38 pm

Will you 2 chillax and get back on topic! Probably my fault for bringing up the current conditions. I was interested to discover however, having never used snow shoes, that they are a better option when it's icy Rime out there, like ATM.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Wed 26 Jul, 2023 7:47 am

crollsurf wrote:Will you 2 chillax and get back on topic! Probably my fault for bringing up the current conditions. I was interested to discover however, having never used snow shoes, that they are a better option when it's icy Rime out there, like ATM.


Conditions could be changing. Temperature inversions at the moment so the valley is in frost (and a hard frost) but positive temps on the mountain. This means you will not be getting the freeze overnight on the snow and the snowpack will soften quicker. Getting a big dump of snow on a frozen pack can cause some issues on steep areas but for now it is a good time to get out on the high ground. It seems more people are getting into winter walking with snowshoes. Some great advantages over summer walking as you don't have to follow the track. Make your own within reason and within your own limitations. Good for developing navigations skills.

Snow conditions in Australia can change on a daily basis and snowshoes cope with most conditions. The only time I have found them a problem (and I have mentioned this before) is when the snow is so light and deep (usually after a big cold dump) that your snowshoe sinks deep and the snow collapses on top it it. You then have to lift the extra weight out of the hole. That is rare though.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 26 Jul, 2023 10:57 am

Ahh weather, don't know how you predict more than a few days out with confidence.

As a rough guide, would anyone consider the top bit of the Eskdale or Staircase (near Gadsen memorial) steep ?
I'd be using microspikes if frozen or snow shoes if softer. Is an ice axe recommended? I think PCV would say yep, but interested in others' take.

I'm keen to head back up to Mt. Bogong, but the weather seems to be cloudy and/or windy most weekends, but if there's an inversion, it might be OK up top?

Anyway, not really keen on walking to the top with an overnight pack to just be in fog. It's a long drive...On the other hand, still probably more fun than doing nothing.

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby north-north-west » Wed 26 Jul, 2023 4:04 pm

I've never used an ice axe up there, just the trekking pole. That said, last time I did it in deepish snow the steepest part of Staircase was awkward, and I sidled and zigzagged up it. The skiers had it easier. Eskdale descent that trip was a glorious bumslide that cost me a pair of sunnies (but was totally worth it).
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Wed 26 Jul, 2023 4:56 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Ahh weather, don't know how you predict more than a few days out with confidence.

As a rough guide, would anyone consider the top bit of the Eskdale or Staircase (near Gadsen memorial) steep ?
I'd be using microspikes if frozen or snow shoes if softer. Is an ice axe recommended? I think PCV would say yep, but interested in others' take.

I'm keen to head back up to Mt. Bogong, but the weather seems to be cloudy and/or windy most weekends, but if there's an inversion, it might be OK up top?

Anyway, not really keen on walking to the top with an overnight pack to just be in fog. It's a long drive...On the other hand, still probably more fun than doing nothing.

Thanks for any advice.


These spurs are north facing so will get sun early. Both have steep bits toward the top and I have only backed out of the Staircase once in snowshoes due to the icy conditions. Gone down Eskdale on my bum as well but for the most part I find the metal bits on the snowshoes grab well enough unless it is block ice. I have only used crampons once on the iced up spring between MUMC hut and Feathertop as I was not confident the snow shoes would grip enough. Never needed an ice axe. Fog can create its own alure but socked in is not fun. I don't see conditions being that demanding just now for anything more than walking poles and snowshoes. Hard call for a long drive. The days have been great this week but the weekend is looking different. I will out again on Sunday for a quick jaunt so might have more to say after that.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 26 Jul, 2023 5:22 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Glissading from the top of the Eskdale sounds fun.
The butt slide down the Eskdale was on the menu when I was there a few weeks ago.
Alas, my butt had a more urgent rendevous with the Michell Hut toilet that day...

I was guessing they would be OK with poles/snow shoes or microspikes as there were some paragliders heading up Eskdale on the way to West-Peak when I was there who were using microspikes only while snow was still frozen.

I might have to wait for a better weather window for an overnighter in Hotham/Bogong area if forecast doesn't improve.

I still have a pending rematch with Mt. Buller for a day snow shoe trip, if there's not too much wind/cloud this weekend.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Biggles » Thu 27 Jul, 2023 5:17 pm

Eskdale Spur is infamous for mishaps!

I cannot imagine how one manages the forward route (going up) in snowshoes?? Crampons or mid-shoe spikes and a pole or two, yes, but just snowshoes? How? Some rock climbing luminaries have commonly ice-climbed beyond Bivouac Hut.I have had worse than a bum skid, but I realise that too would be painful, so too shredding your exxy $300 bushwalking pants... :shock:

I took a side-on tumble on Esky coming down in 1992; it was severe enough to necessitate being eased down painfully slow with two other group walkers (one of whom was a doctor, who thought I may have a broken hip — and this is not the best place to have it with a change of weather heading our way) until we were back down on the flats and he could examine me; could not finish walk wearing pack, so the biggest of the walkers took on my pack on his chest in addition to his own! X-rayed at Bright Hospital late that afternoon — no breaks, but obvious severe bruising from impact with a lose rock and abrasion and they kept me in for observation overnight. A nurse (a Tawonga resident) drove me over to Mountain Creek the next afternoon, reuiniting me with my car and thus began the sore and sorry journey back to Big Town. I think I had two weeks of low-mobility after that. Nothing like it ever since.

Many stories have come and gone of mishaps on Eskdale Spur in similar circumstances — unstable rocks or misplaced footfalls... there are doubtless many, many more more stories of fear and terror of adventurers slipping up on ice (or the fellow who put a icepick through his knee instead of the ice — 2007 I think?).

Of this old photo, the pony-tailed girl there was a med student at Melbourne Uni then. She went on to become an Associate Professor in immunology (Alfred); had a brief professional encounter with her about 20 years ago during microbiology in-service. I have many other pics of the period in dark storage. This Ektachrome slide is one of the better ones that have withstood the passage of time on a par with thousands more Kodachrome slides.

And there is a skier! Trying out his big and heavy skis way out the back of frame on the slope is one-time SNOWGUM Bendigo owner and fantastically good leader, David Mapleson. Sadly Davo disappeared in the mid-1990s; I think he went on to a career in mining in WA.

I think some sort of minor record has broken today north of the Divide; almost 21°c, and it's July, not September! :shock:
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Ascending Eskdale Spur Cup Day weekend 1992
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 27 Jul, 2023 5:46 pm

That's interesting. I was watching skiers skin up the steep part on the icy snow without issue, as well as people using microspikes.
I assume, but never got up to that steep bit in your photo that people were using snowshoes as there were clear MSR type snowshoe tracks as far as I got.
I mean they could have switch to crampons/microspikes after the point I turned back, but I'd doubt it.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 27 Jul, 2023 6:30 pm

The time I went up Mt. Bogong from Michell hut to the summit in August I was wearing MSR snow shoes with the serrated frame and the metal crampon at the toe that tilts with the binding. I was carrying an ice axe and had it out in my hand in the correct grip ready to use it for a self arrest. The Eskdale spur was rock solid ice that day and the skies were clear but the wind at the summit cairn was brutally cold and fierce.
Mt. Bogong is a proper mountain and deserves respect.
I might go up in late Sept. via Long Spur if there is still some snow left above the treeline.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Fri 28 Jul, 2023 7:38 am

Biggles wrote:Eskdale Spur is infamous for mishaps!


Having never needed crampons or microspikes on Eskdale spur I can tell you it is possible in snowshioes but I also know there would be times snowshoes would not be enough. Even skiers will put crampons on their skis or feet to climb that last bit when conditions require it. Spikes and crampons are for when it is icy and both the Staircase and Eskdale Spur can be dangerous if you do not have the right gear. Knowing when to turn back it the key and I have done that also.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 28 Jul, 2023 9:17 am

I have turned back on Bogong a number of times. The Mtn. dictates the terms.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Fri 28 Jul, 2023 12:42 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I have turned back on Bogong a number of times. The Mtn. dictates the terms.


True enough but with the right gear and experience some will overcome where others turn back. No shame in turning back for any reason though. Better that than exceed your ability or equipment's ability.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Biggles » Fri 28 Jul, 2023 1:30 pm

I think I'll stick to the tame trails and terrain of Mount Stirling! Snowshoes or boots or bikes.
On my (anticipated) fourth and last summer attempt at Bogong with walkers, I turned back at the first creek crossing from Mountain Creek. :lol:
Just didn't feel well enough to continue. Camped for three nights and rejoined the group coming back down on day four.
There was a cheery upside to the lonely days and nights by the Tiger-infested creek: I had plenty marshmellows to roast They didn't! :lol:
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 06 Aug, 2023 8:59 am

Not a lot of snow on Eskdale Spur now.
(The yellow thing in mid-picture is my kid, having decided he couldn't go on and waiting for death).
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Looking down Eskdale Spur
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Camminata » Sun 06 Aug, 2023 3:39 pm

nice photo Baeng, did you get to the top? surreal snow season/winter
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 08 Aug, 2023 7:43 pm

No, this walk was about getting the kid back into bushwalking again , so didn't push him.
If anybody's interested in a bit of a nothing-burger of a video recap without snowshoeing: https://youtu.be/BDkmMPemxmI
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby crollsurf » Tue 08 Aug, 2023 7:54 pm

Mr J is walking winter in shorts. Be cut from the same cloth

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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 31 Aug, 2023 8:25 am

What's the snow situation around Mt. Bogong these days?
This weekend looks like a good one for an overnighter somewhere, just weighing up Mt. Bogong via Staircase/Eskdale or Mt Koonika (from Spec. road - not King Spur) follow ridge to Mt. Spec. Or something else...Feathertop? Fainters?
Viking's seems like too long a day from Lake Cobbler carpark (24km? last 10 pretty hard going) for an old fatso, Same with Mt. Buggery/Crosscut from Cobbler carpark.
Might have young fella (13yo) tagging along and might be too much anyway.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Camminata » Thu 31 Aug, 2023 6:30 pm

Baeng72 wrote:What's the snow situation around Mt. Bogong these days?
This weekend looks like a good one for an overnighter somewhere, just weighing up Mt. Bogong via Staircase/Eskdale or Mt Koonika (from Spec. road - not King Spur) follow ridge to Mt. Spec. Or something else...Feathertop? Fainters?
Viking's seems like too long a day from Lake Cobbler carpark (24km? last 10 pretty hard going) for an old fatso, Same with Mt. Buggery/Crosscut from Cobbler carpark.
Might have young fella (13yo) tagging along and might be too much anyway.



Im heading out to Mt Nelse area Saturday from Falls village catch the last of the melt, I reckon be good for young fella.
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Re: 3-day Snow Shoe Recommendations

Postby Xplora » Fri 01 Sep, 2023 7:36 am

Baeng72 wrote:What's the snow situation around Mt. Bogong these days?
This weekend looks like a good one for an overnighter somewhere, just weighing up Mt. Bogong via Staircase/Eskdale or Mt Koonika (from Spec. road - not King Spur) follow ridge to Mt. Spec. Or something else...Feathertop? Fainters?
Viking's seems like too long a day from Lake Cobbler carpark (24km? last 10 pretty hard going) for an old fatso, Same with Mt. Buggery/Crosscut from Cobbler carpark.
Might have young fella (13yo) tagging along and might be too much anyway.


Still snow above the tree line but mostly on the southern and sheltered faces. Definitely leave Spec for now. I am remembering (maybe not correctly) you only have 2wd. If you had an SUV such as a Subaru you might give Mulhauser spur to CC hut a run and then tackle Bogong the next morning. The Long Spur is clear of snow and its rolling hills give you some relief as you climb. It is quite sheltered as well and has some spectacular views. From what you say about your walking pace I would estimate about 5 hours to CC hut. Getting out will be much quicker.

Nelse still has some cover from what I saw last week. Not much on the ground in exposed areas below 1750m.
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