Intro to the Alpine region

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Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Mon 22 Jan, 2024 9:18 am

Hey all, just wondering if you would have any suggestions of a good intro circuit walk in the Alpine national park. Nothing too crazy difficult, and bonus points for camp sites with a loo.

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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby north-north-west » Mon 22 Jan, 2024 11:05 am

BHP. Lots of flattish loops with sidetrips you can put together there.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Mon 22 Jan, 2024 12:19 pm

north-north-west wrote:BHP. Lots of flattish loops with sidetrips you can put together there.
Cheers! My first thought was perhaps Bogongs. I'll have a look into it. Any particularly nice spots to visit / camp?

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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby north-north-west » Mon 22 Jan, 2024 5:07 pm

Pretty well all of them.
It all depends on how long you have and how hard you want to work. There are plenty of tracks and it's good country to get offtrack in clear weather. For just an overnighter, start at Falls, Heathy Spur track to Warby Corner, do a sidetrip out to the Timms Lookout, drop down to the firetrail, loop back over the Nelses (three huts just in that area), AAWT to Cope, Bungara, Jim ... you can make it long or make it short. Have a look at some of the discussion here about various options.
Just get the maps out and see what particularly appeals.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Biggles » Tue 23 Jan, 2024 6:58 pm

Pretty Valley, spacious though sparsely treed area beyond the immediate camping area; has the hut/shed and a long-drop, with the Pretty Valley Circuit Walk which will introduce you to snowgum woodland, marshes, bogs and soaks (a somewhat vast, treeless area), uphills and downs with beaut views. Camped there after Christmas. Torrential rain may not bother you, but Pretty Valley and Falls copped a repeated hammering of heavy rain over 3 days and the BHP road was cut off 6th-7th January by bucketing rain — that landslip again cut the road off to traffic going up or coming down, though only for a 3 days. Could also walk from Bogong High Plains Road to Johnsons Hut, exploring off-track Hollonds Creek Falls (2 sets).

Have a look at Rooftop's Bright-Dartmouth Adventure map (1:50k) which lays out the Bogong High Plains in exquisite and exceptionally informative style. I plotted my own walks using that.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby scroggin » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 12:43 pm

This is a walk I did with my young sons on the BHP going clockwise (day 1 = red, 2= blue, 3= green). I was planning to visit The Fainters on the last day but it was pouring with rain.
BHP walk.PNG

Good easy intro to the Alpine region with worthwhile side trips and toilets at the campsites Ryder and Towonga Huts :).
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby JamesMc » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 1:33 pm

I was going to suggest a circuit out from Pretty Valley Dam but Scroggin beat me to it. :) If you want something longer, go right down to Dibbins Hut and Blairs Hut.

Also while you're in the Pretty Valley Dam area, the valley just below the dam wall is a terrific place to visit, especially if you feel like a swim!

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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 2:00 pm

All of these suggestions look awesome.

Thanks for the map as well, scroggin. I'm a visual learner :) Hopefully we can get another walk or two in before it gets too cold up there.
And thanks James, definitely love a swim if the weather is conducive.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 3:50 pm

Would you be fine getting to Pretty Valley campground with a 2WD?
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby peregrinator » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 4:07 pm

Dexter wrote:Would you be fine getting to Pretty Valley campground with a 2WD?


Yes, no problems at all.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby JamesMc » Tue 30 Jan, 2024 7:20 pm

Dexter wrote:Would you be fine getting to Pretty Valley campground with a 2WD?


I managed just fine in my shiny new Toyota Corolla a fortnight ago.

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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 31 Jan, 2024 9:13 am

The red route from Ryders Huts involves a long jump across the creek, and the aqueduct is too wide to jump. A better way is to go to Cope Saddle Hut, then follow the grey line, tending south as you get higher, approaching the summit from just south of west. There's good camping on the top. Approaching Ryders Huts I always get water from the second junction, closer to the hut. From that water point it's possible to go over the pipe and up Bundara. From pole 333 on the Tawonga Huts pole line, just above the road it's possible to go northwest on open ground, hitting the Jaithmathang track in the saddle west of Tawonga Huts. Stay on the top of the ridge. Much of the Bogong High Plains is open, mainly flat, not much scrub, and good sheltered campsites, with water everywhere.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Biggles » Wed 31 Jan, 2024 11:11 am

Dexter wrote:Would you be fine getting to Pretty Valley campground with a 2WD?


My drive up to Falls and out to Pretty Valley was in a Commodore SV6 wagon — 2WD/rear wheels.
You know people ride touring bicycles up to and beyond PV... and a Mini Clubman, packed to the rooftop, was also there (how did they fit an 8-person tent — and everything else — into a small car like that!? :shock: )

But that much rain (100mm+) can be problematic. Traction control kicked in coming out on the Sunday during a patently torrential downpour (the ominously dark, moisture-laden low stalled bang over the alpine area!) and it was slow, studious going all the way back to Falls. Takeaway is to keep an eye on the weather (brief showers are not a problem) and consider the road can turn slushy and slippery with heavy, prolonged rain.

I got out and down to Mount Beauty, then Bright, just in time before that troublesome landslip area gave way again and the road to and from Falls was abrubtly closed for 4 days! :o
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Wed 31 Jan, 2024 11:56 am

Biggles wrote:
Dexter wrote:I got out and down to Mount Beauty, then Bright, just in time before that troublesome landslip area gave way again and the road to and from Falls was abrubtly closed for 4 days! :o


Wow. Close call. I'm not sure if I'd be upset or not having to stay away from work for another 4 days.

You'd be surprised what a small car can pack in sometimes. I just got back not long ago from walking around Ada Tree area with hiking gear + car camping gear packed into my little BRZ (2x tents, a swag, esky, hiking pack and all the bits and pieces you generally need)
I am looking at a hiking / camping 4WD eventually though. I once had to call RACV to tow me out of some hilly wet grass. The car would just keep slipping back and sideways further toward a large ditch. I'm sure the bloke who rocked up in a big Hilux was wondering what on earth I was doing on an offroad track in a sports car :lol:
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Wed 31 Jan, 2024 12:10 pm

Lophophaps wrote:The red route from Ryders Huts involves a long jump across the creek, and the aqueduct is too wide to jump. A better way is to go to Cope Saddle Hut, then follow the grey line, tending south as you get higher, approaching the summit from just south of west. There's good camping on the top. Approaching Ryders Huts I always get water from the second junction, closer to the hut. From that water point it's possible to go over the pipe and up Bundara. From pole 333 on the Tawonga Huts pole line, just above the road it's possible to go northwest on open ground, hitting the Jaithmathang track in the saddle west of Tawonga Huts. Stay on the top of the ridge. Much of the Bogong High Plains is open, mainly flat, not much scrub, and good sheltered campsites, with water everywhere.



Thanks for all that!! Very helpful info.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Thu 01 Feb, 2024 9:47 am

scroggin wrote:and toilets at the campsites Ryder and Towonga Huts :).


I can see google maps marked the loos at Pretty Valley, and Towonga, but nothing shown at Ryders. A quick Google and one listing mentions no facilities there.
Not sure if this is outdated or not, and certainly not a must for a walk, just nice to know! :) It can dictate a decision on a morning coffee lol
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Biggles » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 9:06 am

Dexter wrote:
scroggin wrote:and toilets at the campsites Ryder and Towonga Huts :).


I can see google maps marked the loos at Pretty Valley, and Towonga, but nothing shown at Ryders. A quick Google and one listing mentions no facilities there.
Not sure if this is outdated or not, and certainly not a must for a walk, just nice to know! :) It can dictate a decision on a morning coffee lol



The delightfully charming long-drop at Pretty Valley is around 200m from the main camping area. The walk indeed is enjoyable (when it's not throttling down with rain!), never mind about the destination... :lol:
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 9:24 am

The Ryders Huts toilet is new. Like the one at Youngs Hut it has a pod that can be removed.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby scroggin » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 10:38 am

You're right Lophophaps, although the red line to Mt Cope is only indicative to the route we took. we may have got wet feet at the creek, but did find a spot to cross the aqueduct without too much trouble.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Sun 04 Feb, 2024 10:36 am

Lophophaps wrote:The Ryders Huts toilet is new. Like the one at Youngs Hut it has a pod that can be removed.
Good to know. Thank you!

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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Tue 06 Feb, 2024 3:01 pm

Just trying to figure out timing and when we are all going to be able to coordinate the trip.
Do you think a winter bag would be required for Easter (Late March / early April)?
At the moment I have a -4 One Planet Bungle, which has recently been refilled and some extra down added, so probably an extra couple of degrees. I have a S2S thermal liner I could take. Potentially I could also take a down quilt (One Planet 0c rated) to throw over the top of me.
Seems like the 'mean low' for Falls Creek around that time of year is about 5-6c. With the odd day here and there down to about -3.

The number of people is the other consideration, but getting off work for enough time is not always easy.

Thoughts?
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 06 Feb, 2024 4:29 pm

Dexter wrote:Do you think a winter bag would be required for Easter (Late March / early April)?


Yes!
You can always open up a winter bag if you get an odd warm night.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Tue 06 Feb, 2024 4:51 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:
Dexter wrote:Do you think a winter bag would be required for Easter (Late March / early April)?


Yes!
You can always open up a winter bag if you get an odd warm night.
I guess the issue is I don't currently own one and likely won't be buying one any time soon. If I could make a -4 Bungle work even if it's in combo with a down quilt, that would be ideal.

Option 2 is that we likely won't go until next summer and look at somewhere else for now.

I have slept (albeit uncomfortably) with a far less insulated mat and just the -4c Bungle before it was refilled last year at Beeripmo and it got down to about -3c. That was also with the Stratospire Li with mesh inner. I can take the full nylon inner Moondance.

I guess I could look at renting a winter bag but if I'm honest I don't love the idea of renting bedding. Probably not entirely logical, but just find the thought of it a little yuck.

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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Xplora » Wed 07 Feb, 2024 7:42 am

It may be better to simply wait and see what the weather brings. Most of my walking in the mountains is in Autumn and I have only ever packed my -4 bag. Had some ice on the tent from time to time but not being on snow makes the bag work well enough. You can always put some warm clothes on. Carrying cold weather clothing is a must though. Maybe not a winter load but some good layers, windstopper and a down jacket would help.

Reading the weather in the mountains is the key and it is likely that any extended trip (which is beyond reliable prediction) will bring some cold, wind, rain or worse. I would be confident picking weather for three or four days ahead and plan for that.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Dexter » Wed 07 Feb, 2024 7:50 am

I'm a fairly warm sleeper for the most part. I usually find I have my bag open. If it's forecast for around 6-10c overnight I'm usually taking my lighter down quilt with me instead of the bag.
I think for the most part, my issue with that cold night on the Beeripmo walk was using a summer mat, breezy tent, and the bag when assessed had down that had shifted away from the central baffles.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Camminata » Thu 08 Feb, 2024 6:29 am

imo comes down to trial and error see what works and does not work for you..
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 08 Feb, 2024 9:13 am

Rather than a winter bag I'm tending towards having extra layers at night. At Easter on the Bogong High Plains I have a sleeping bag that weighs 1 kilogram, plus socks, thermal pants, a long sleeve thermal top, a thermal balaclava, and sometimes a thermal hat. Snuggling down in the bag means that I breathe air that has been exhaled mixed with cold air from the tent. This setup has been satisfactory down to a few degrees below zero and with snow next to the tent, camping on grass.

The clothing gives flexibility - you cannot walk in a winter bag.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 08 Feb, 2024 12:30 pm

Call me a tight *&%$#!, but I just can't justify spending multi-hundreds on a expedition or high-spec bag.
I've comfortably slept on snow down to -4C with the gear I use.
A $100 down bag (comfort rating 6C) from Ali-express, homemade down quilt (a pound of 800 fill), on top of a Klimit insulated pad and lightweight foam pad from K-Mart.
Add to that clothing, as Lops says, a MacPac Halo down jacket, beanie, thermal pants and some fleecy bits.
In summer, I leave a few bits at home, maybe leave home bag and some clothes.
So gear can be used multiple-season.
I wouldn't use that gear in a blizzard or anything, so weather is important to check beforehand.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Xplora » Thu 08 Feb, 2024 3:19 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Call me a tight *&%$#!, but I just can't justify spending multi-hundreds on a expedition or high-spec bag.
I've comfortably slept on snow down to -4C with the gear I use.


If you do it enough it might be worth it. I have a Mont Spindrift and my partner the Telemark but both of us were cold one winter on the snow with all our layers on as well. It was a bitterly cold night and we only had the 3 season tent (4 season in strength but more flyscreen). We were not going to die. Probably wouldn't die if I had my minus 4 bag but I would not have been comfortable. Good insulation under you helps and whatever part of the sleeping bag is under you is next to useless. If your bag is designed to have less on the bottom (assuming we have the bag orientated correctly) and more fill on top the bag's effectiveness is reduced if you toss and turn and end up with more of the fill under you and less on top. Probably why high-spec bags are more tapered. The tapering also has less air to warm up. Most of the time I just doona my bag.

I started snow camping with a true minus 4 (comfort rated) bag but quickly boosted it with a small down quilt. Also only had a 3/4 thermarest but it was a good one and boosted that with some closed cell foam. All was good and I was warm but it weighed too much. That is why you spend the money and get the right gear. I was a lot younger and fitter so the weight was not so much an issue as it is now. I also don't take my heavy canvas bag anymore but really miss how it manages the heavier winter loads.
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Re: Intro to the Alpine region

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 09 Feb, 2024 6:51 am

Xplora wrote:If you do it enough it might be worth it.
That is why you spend the money and get the right gear.

I agree with everything you wrote.
It's all logical.

But, as an intro to Alpine stuff, I wouldn't go out and buy expensive. Suffering a cold-night, but being perfectly safe, is type 2 fun in the end. :wink:
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