Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

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Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Thu 13 Jun, 2024 3:19 pm

I am going to do a hike in November either on a 2 night (3day) hike at the Grampians or MT Howitt/crosscut saw/ Mt speculation. I was wondering which one is better, or any great routes.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 5:20 pm

I wouldn't say one is better than the other as they are both different topography environment scenery , maybe try both ?...... just my 2 cents.. everyone is an expert here.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby JamesMc » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 5:26 pm

Legal options for a three-day walk in the Grampians are a bit limited unless you do part of the Grampians Peaks Trail. November would be a good time of year for Mt Howitt.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby eggs » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 7:32 pm

I would be reluctant to multi day the Grampians in November, but a great time for the Vic Alps. Water is a key issue as well as heat.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Tortoise » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 8:42 pm

Mt Howitt/Crosscut Saw/Mt Spec is the only area on the mainland that I miss.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 9:04 pm

Grampians still has non GpT hikes. Mt William to Major Mitchell Plateau (1st Wannon campsite) or Mt Diificult Circuit camping at Mudhut creek and long point east or west for example.
The Howiit/Spec area is great too.
Probably bang for buck is Howiit area, also most suffering if you start down low at upper howqua.
Not listed but Mt Bogong/Bogong High plains/Feathertop is great walking and can stretch to many days.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 9:07 pm

Camminata wrote:. everyone is an expert here.

I’m not.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 10:34 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
Camminata wrote:. everyone is an expert here.

I’m not.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Bill P » Fri 14 Jun, 2024 10:38 pm

Flip a coin. You will win either way.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 11:58 am

Is Howitt spur from Upper Howqua a good option? What is the best route around there? I'm not too keen about driving all the way to Howitt plains. Is it really worth it? I also want to not do anything too crazy.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 12:04 pm

JamesMc wrote:Legal options for a three-day walk in the Grampians are a bit limited unless you do part of the Grampians Peaks Trail. November would be a good time of year for Mt Howitt.


I would do the 3 day Gar and Werdug section
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 12:19 pm

EPICEXPLORER wrote:Is Howitt spur from Upper Howqua a good option? What is the best route around there? I'm not too keen about driving all the way to Howitt plains. Is it really worth it? I also want to not do anything too crazy.


Its a good option from Upper Howqua walk up SNS Spur , camp on the spur has a good water source, second day up across to Mt Spec for the night and 3rd day return back down Howitt Spur, all doable taking your time... days will be longer by November also.. get yourself the relevant paper map and have a look in the area or possible other routes.

The drive is much longer to Howitt plains , Mac Springs is very accessible once up on Howitt also.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 1:19 pm

Camminata wrote:
EPICEXPLORER wrote:Is Howitt spur from Upper Howqua a good option? What is the best route around there? I'm not too keen about driving all the way to Howitt plains. Is it really worth it? I also want to not do anything too crazy.


Its a good option from Upper Howqua walk up SNS Spur , camp on the spur has a good water source, second day up across to Mt Spec for the night and 3rd day return back down Howitt Spur, all doable taking your time... days will be longer by November also.. get yourself the relevant paper map and have a look in the area or possible other routes.

The drive is much longer to Howitt plains , Mac Springs is very accessible once up on Howitt also.


How hard is SNS? would a 11 year old kids be able to do it
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 1:28 pm

EPICEXPLORER wrote:
Camminata wrote:
EPICEXPLORER wrote:Is Howitt spur from Upper Howqua a good option? What is the best route around there? I'm not too keen about driving all the way to Howitt plains. Is it really worth it? I also want to not do anything too crazy.


Its a good option from Upper Howqua walk up SNS Spur , camp on the spur has a good water source, second day up across to Mt Spec for the night and 3rd day return back down Howitt Spur, all doable taking your time... days will be longer by November also.. get yourself the relevant paper map and have a look in the area or possible other routes.

The drive is much longer to Howitt plains , Mac Springs is very accessible once up on Howitt also.


How hard is SNS? would a 11 year old kids be able to do it


Its a gradual climb to the Camp spot its not hard , 1 km up to the crosscut from here is 2 rock bands to scramble up , Im not sure if an 11 year old kid can do this I don't have kids of my own so can't answer this sorry.... for me personally I found going up easy.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 1:53 pm

thanks, Does anyone know if there is water near mt buggery camp
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 1:56 pm

Once up on top of the ridge its dry, collect your water at SNS, or push on to load on water at Camp Creek down 1km from Mt Spec, water at Mac Springs and there is also a spring to the side of Mt Howitt
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 2:02 pm

Camminata wrote:Once up on top of the ridge its dry, collect your water at SNS, or push on to load on water at Camp Creek down 1km from Mt Spec, water at Mac Springs and there is also a spring to the side of Mt Howitt

Thanks, I'll probably do the route you suggested. How much water do you reckon I should carry per day
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 2:09 pm

I would carry an extra 3 to 4 litre if dry camping on Buggery or Spec.... plus 2 litres for the next day depends how warm it is and how thirsty you get , everyone is different
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Biggles » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 2:36 pm

The Grampians is soooooo....touristy now with the commercialised track so heavily popularised that finding yourself or your own space is not as easy as it was 30 years ago, when more of The Grampians was available for camping. And free at that. I avoid the place.

Howitt/Speculation/XCut has my vote, assuming you get decent weather!

The weight of 6 litres of water...weighs heavily on my mind... :?
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Jack Doolan » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 5:22 pm

The GPT is close to home for me and I have done almost all of it (plus many other Grampians walks before things changed). For me the GPT is a winter/cool weather walk as it can be very exposed with reflected heat from rocky slopes when hot. I did one two day section in early spring this year and found it too hot for me. The bonus is that the GPT has serviced water points so I have never had to carry more that 1.5litres at a time and never had an issue with lack of water in the camps. Never done Howitt so cannot compare.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 7:32 am

Howitt Spur is a bridle trail, they take horses up it.
You can't take a horse up SNS, there are a few exposed points where tumbling would make a bad day.


I've been up and down Howitt more than SNS spur. At the top of Howitt there is a bluff, but you sidle to the right and got up on grass to the top of West Peak. Although the first couple of times I did it, the horse/easy track wasn't obvious and I did some minor scrambling up the nose of the bluff near the top. I last went down it about a year ago and it was obvious where the trail that misses the bluff was to the left (looking toward Mt. Buller).

I've gone up SNS spur 2 times.
First time, I left upper howqua in afternoon and camped on the SNS which probably has the most comfortable soft grass/surface I've slept on when hiking, then I went up in the morning, in drizzle and it was easy and I didn't notice the exposure as I couldn't see more than a few meters in any direction. There's sometimes have flagging tape for the Geelong Grammar kids who go up which is useful for navigation.
Second time was a hot day, I started in morning and by time I got to SNS campsite I was already cooked and dehydrated. It was cramporama the rest of the way up, and took forever, as it's hard to make much movement when lifting a leg causes a cramp. :D
You notice how steep it is when it's a clear day, I'm not great with exposure, but SNS was manageable.
I haven't tried going down it, but the track looks more obvious from above, at least it seems so when looking back down. Although, a bit of rope might be handy.

In short, do what Camminata said, camp at SNS campsite, and go up steep scramble in morning when it's cool and you're fresh.

I've got some video links I can post if that helps.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 8:05 am

Baeng72 wrote:Howitt Spur is a bridle trail, they take horses up it.
You can't take a horse up SNS, there are a few exposed points where tumbling would make a bad day.


I've been up and down Howitt more than SNS spur. At the top of Howitt there is a bluff, but you sidle to the right and got up on grass to the top of West Peak. Although the first couple of times I did it, the horse/easy track wasn't obvious and I did some minor scrambling up the nose of the bluff near the top. I last went down it about a year ago and it was obvious where the trail that misses the bluff was to the left (looking toward Mt. Buller).

I've gone up SNS spur 2 times.
First time, I left upper howqua in afternoon and camped on the SNS which probably has the most comfortable soft grass/surface I've slept on when hiking, then I went up in the morning, in drizzle and it was easy and I didn't notice the exposure as I couldn't see more than a few meters in any direction. There's sometimes have flagging tape for the Geelong Grammar kids who go up which is useful for navigation.
Second time was a hot day, I started in morning and by time I got to SNS campsite I was already cooked and dehydrated. It was cramporama the rest of the way up, and took forever, as it's hard to make much movement when lifting a leg causes a cramp. :D
You notice how steep it is when it's a clear day, I'm not great with exposure, but SNS was manageable.
I haven't tried going down it, but the track looks more obvious from above, at least it seems so when looking back down. Although, a bit of rope might be handy.

In short, do what Camminata said, camp at SNS campsite, and go up steep scramble in morning when it's cool and you're fresh.

I've got some video links I can post if that helps.

A few video links would be great, also is going from SNS camp up to XCUT then drop off packs for a side trip to speculation and then down to mac springs, too hard for one day ( Just don't really want to dry camp, and a hut would be amazing)?.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 10:08 am

EpicXplorer

Yes should only take approx couple hours to Mt Spec from top of SNS Spur and XCUT intersection... & a good hour from SNS camp up to xcut, return to Mac Springs from Spec ,collect your packs for a 2nd night is very doable , save lugging water for a dry camp , you should have time to relax for the afternoon at the hut

Pic below of the 2 rock bands for an idea, once on it its straightforward , photos make it look daunting but it really isn't.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 10:23 am

Thanks, is there a water source near the hut?
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 10:26 am

EPICEXPLORER wrote:Thanks, is there a water source near the hut?



Yes
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 10:35 am

Thanks for helping me with the planning stages of this trip.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Camminata » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 10:53 am

EPICEXPLORER wrote:Thanks for helping me with the planning stages of this trip.



Take a rope , maybe you can haul up the young (kids) peoples packs up the rock bands for safety
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 11:08 am

Follow Camminata's suggestions for what to do.

This might help, probably a bit tedious, so skip bits that are me waffling on, trying to catch breath:
Howitt Spur going up and down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtfmhCXvTMQ
Howitt Spur up and Helicopter Spur down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5s-DO6LF2s
SNS overnight camp, up to Crosscut and down Howitt Spur: https://studio.youtube.com/video/3UOXfWB-Xe8/edit
SNS up to cross cut, camp on Mt. Howitt and down Howitt Spur (cramporama):https://studio.youtube.com/video/ey-4XbmBEis/edit
I've never done the full crosscut saw to Mt. Spec trip, but I've camped on Mt. Spec and down at Camp Creek the odd time.
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby EPICEXPLORER » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 12:27 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Follow Camminata's suggestions for what to do.

This might help, probably a bit tedious, so skip bits that are me waffling on, trying to catch breath:
Howitt Spur going up and down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtfmhCXvTMQ
Howitt Spur up and Helicopter Spur down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5s-DO6LF2s
SNS overnight camp, up to Crosscut and down Howitt Spur: https://studio.youtube.com/video/3UOXfWB-Xe8/edit
SNS up to cross cut, camp on Mt. Howitt and down Howitt Spur (cramporama):https://studio.youtube.com/video/ey-4XbmBEis/edit
I've never done the full crosscut saw to Mt. Spec trip, but I've camped on Mt. Spec and down at Camp Creek the odd time.

the last 2 SNS ones are not working. Thanks for the videos too,
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Re: Mt Howitt vs The Grampians

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 16 Jun, 2024 12:59 pm

Sorry, posted wrong links
SNS up to cross cut, camp on Howitt...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey-4XbmBEis
SNS overnight camp...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UOXfWB-Xe8
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