Snowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Snowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby pete0762 » Tue 29 Nov, 2011 8:14 pm

Hi,
I am considering a walk after Crhistmas starting from Doolans Plain along Moroka River Track, up onto Snowy Bluff across to Dawson Ridge down Shanty Hollow Road, Moroka Gorge and up to Horseyard Flat (and go further from there to Tali Karng). The section up Snowy Bluff and along Dawson Ridge and down Moroka Gorge appear not often used tracks. Does have anyone knowledge about the track conditions considering this area was also affected by 2006 fires (?)

Alternatively any other suggestions for a 4 to 5 day walk starting from around the Licola area (except the dividing range, which I have done recently) and high enough (at least most times) to escape the heat of the summer (if it get hot after Xmas).

thanks
Peter
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SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby andrewbish » Thu 01 Dec, 2011 5:15 am

Hi Pete

I was up that way in March - have a read of the Moroka & Snowy Bluff thread in the Victoria sub forum. There is also some detail of the route up from Doolans Plain
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby MartyGwynne » Sat 03 Dec, 2011 4:57 pm

Peter.
I have walked from Doolans plain to snowy bluff before a few years before the fires though so it will be a bit overgrown now I suspect.
Basically I walked down the moroka fire trail to the river then crossed the river about 200 m up stream from where the track meets the river. There is a bit of a camp there and large deep part of the river. You then sort of head to your right and follow a spur up and back around to the left till you get to a small creek and waterfall above where the track comes down the hill where you walked in to the river. You then follow the ridge around till you get to Snowy bluff, great views.
I have not walked along the Dawson ridge part but I am led to believe that there was a track cut in along it during the sixties and will be barely visible now.
Get a map and try to work out the route from that.
There are a few posts of trips going in to the gorge from Horseyard flats so you could work out the way by those.
Best of luck, it is a lovely part of the bush up there.
Are you intending to walk from there to Tali Karng?
You may need a food drop perhaps.
The part from the little creek/waterfall till you get back to the gorge is likely to be dry (there may be a creek running, maybe).
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby jimmyharris » Sat 18 Jan, 2014 10:39 am

I know this is an old thread, but for anyone who stumbles over it...

I did the walk that Marty describes a couple of months ago and have created a Garmin adventure that shows the route. It's a long and hard climb up Snowy Bluff from the Moroka River as there's no track and the undergrowth is very dense for most of the way. Probably the toughest single day that I've had in the Victorian Alps outside of winter.

I left around 08:00 and didn't get back to camp until about 17:30, with only one stop on the way up and one on the way back, and only a 20 minute lunch break on top (or wherever I was when I got as close to the top as I could find).

There are some great views on the way up and down but don't expect to see anything except trees and shrubs from the summit.

Garmin adventure is at http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/f ... owy-bluff/
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby CaptainC » Tue 21 Jan, 2014 7:53 pm

The track used to be easy to follow before the fires. Have to get back there some time.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby MartyGwynne » Wed 22 Jan, 2014 9:16 pm

Ha well done Jimmy I did it two years ago and it was a hard slog and very overgrown, I nearly gave up but pushed on till I got to the spot where you could look over the wanangatta river and moroka rivers . It's a good view from there. I have been to the summit once but as you said there is no view but if you have to bag a peak then..... Oh note if you keep below the ridge to the left of it a bit on the way up it is a little easier scrub wise.
I am wanting to get to the north east ish side one day, just for the view.
I made it up to snowy bluff and back then up to the car in one big walk, oh yes it was a hard slog that last bit to the car up the old bulldozer track.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby Philipp » Wed 17 Jun, 2015 4:09 pm

Hi there

I did Snowy Bluff last weekend on an extended route by jimmyharris - I started right at Doolan Plains instead of driving down to the gate.

  • The 4WD track down to the Moroka is in a good shape. I used a MTB to roll down (overheated the breaks) and had to push the thing back up on the return > too steep to ride.
  • Jimmy's point of crossing the creek at -37.390010, 146.886069 is a good choice
  • The track from there east towards the water fall is quite open and on the ridgeline you can find something like a trail
  • Heading north up the hill the vegetation thinned out - no machete required
  • I left at 7:40 and returned 17:50 with a couple of breaks
  • Phone reception is almost none existing. I got a bit on the summit.

You'll find some pics and a map at my log of Kevin's geocache: GC1MZ7F Blowy Snuff

Cheers
Philipp

P.S.: @Jimmy - I had your GPX on my garmin and you turned around before the summit cairn.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby Maxp20 » Mon 14 Sep, 2015 3:14 pm

Hi all,

Have been looking at this site for a while when planning walks, and thought it was worth posting about a mate and mine's experience from the weekend for other relative beginners. I bought the Glenn van der Kniff, 'Bushwalks in the Victorian Alps' book, which makes this hike seem pretty simple, especially with the 'moderate' grade. It's now 11 years old too.

We entered from Horseyard flats (great camp site with lots of water at the moment) and the first couple of hours to the river were easy. From here, the book was very misleading. There were two pieces of info that were sorely missing.

- The description about how to proceed to the gorge was very minimal, and in the end, we followed the river on the South bank. Still not sure if this is the way to go, but we made it. Basically, you follow the river downstream until you see the first creek join the Moroka river from the North. Cross there where you can (it was very difficult yesterday!).

- Again, the directions from here were misleading to the point of being wrong. The book says something like follow the ridge and then it will open up as you get towards top. What rubbish! What you need to do it bush bash for around 3km, or around two hours, straight up the hill, following the crest of the ridge, but keeping the creek in hearing distance to your right. Don't get too close to the creek or the walking is even harder (we made this mistake on the way out - some great hidden falls, but tough, wet walking). There is no path/pad at all, and you just push through the bush until you hit the remains of an old 4WD track. As I said, this was a very hard two hours battling the hill and failing light.

This is where we camped as the timings from the book to this point had been WAY out. We found a flat spot on the old track and had a decent camp. Most of the wood was wet and rotten so a fire was difficult. We were wet and cold so we burnt bark for a few hours before going to bed. We hiked back to the car the next day instead of getting to Snowy Bluff. As I said, we lost all faith in the directions and timings of the book. Had a lovely day back on the Moroka at horseyard flats instead.

We were somewhat inexperienced but fit, strong and healthy, but this was *&%$#! hard -much harder than the description in the book, anyway.

The gorge area and the falls is absolutely stunning though - would go back there again!

Cheers
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby wildlight » Tue 22 Sep, 2015 1:17 am

Maxp20 wrote:Again, the directions from here were misleading to the point of being wrong.

This is where we camped as the timings from the book to this point had been WAY out.
We were somewhat inexperienced but fit, strong and healthy, but this was *&%$#! hard -much harder than the description in the book, anyway.


Maxp20

I'm not defending GvdK even though we were great mates decades before internet, emails and mobile phones.

He might have had notes which could have been a few years old at the time they were published, and this could well place those notes pre-alpine fires.

I have been up there in the last few years (2012) and found conditions very similar to what you describe.

Decades ago… the going was much easier. Fires, the natural cycle of what grows where, when and by how much- because of prevalent conditions- all play a part in delivering what meets you on a walk.

Places like this forum are perfect for gleaning some current info, hopefully your notes help the next person.

Cheers, WildLight
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby north-north-west » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 7:06 pm

Regrowth after fires in that area gave made the gorge route much harder. That is pretty well known amongst the Victorian bushwalking community. There is easier access by utilising the 4WD tracks into Mt Dawson.
Hope you give the trip another go and make it out there.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby damoprz » Tue 01 Nov, 2016 11:55 am

I am looking at taking a crack at this walk from Doolans Plain to Horseyard Flats sometime soon. I have seen a cave on the north side of Snowy bluff mentioned, does anyone know where to look? We might have a shot at finding it if we make good time on the first day.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 02 Nov, 2016 2:06 pm

Maxp20 wrote:Hi all,

Have been looking at this site for a while when planning walks, and thought it was worth posting about a mate and mine's experience from the weekend for other relative beginners. I bought the Glenn van der Kniff, 'Bushwalks in the Victorian Alps' book, which makes this hike seem pretty simple, especially with the 'moderate' grade. It's now 11 years old too.

We entered from Horseyard flats (great camp site with lots of water at the moment) and the first couple of hours to the river were easy. From here, the book was very misleading. There were two pieces of info that were sorely missing.

- The description about how to proceed to the gorge was very minimal, and in the end, we followed the river on the South bank. Still not sure if this is the way to go, but we made it. Basically, you follow the river downstream until you see the first creek join the Moroka river from the North. Cross there where you can (it was very difficult yesterday!).

- Again, the directions from here were misleading to the point of being wrong. The book says something like follow the ridge and then it will open up as you get towards top. What rubbish! What you need to do it bush bash for around 3km, or around two hours, straight up the hill, following the crest of the ridge, but keeping the creek in hearing distance to your right. Don't get too close to the creek or the walking is even harder (we made this mistake on the way out - some great hidden falls, but tough, wet walking). There is no path/pad at all, and you just push through the bush until you hit the remains of an old 4WD track. As I said, this was a very hard two hours battling the hill and failing light.

This is where we camped as the timings from the book to this point had been WAY out. We found a flat spot on the old track and had a decent camp. Most of the wood was wet and rotten so a fire was difficult. We were wet and cold so we burnt bark for a few hours before going to bed. We hiked back to the car the next day instead of getting to Snowy Bluff. As I said, we lost all faith in the directions and timings of the book. Had a lovely day back on the Moroka at horseyard flats instead.

We were somewhat inexperienced but fit, strong and healthy, but this was *&%$#! hard -much harder than the description in the book, anyway.

The gorge area and the falls is absolutely stunning though - would go back there again!

Cheers

Glennn Van Der Thingamay is a superhuman scrub basher. None of his walks in that book seem to match the reality of mere mortals. I am not afraid of bush bashing , I can walk off track with a map and compass but I am not going to try to walk past the first Moroka Falls. Ever! .
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby damoprz » Tue 08 Nov, 2016 8:59 am

I did the walk: Moroka Gorge -> Shanty Hollow -> Snowy Bluff return over 3 days this weekend. For anyone interested:

We camped overnight along the Wellington river, and drove up the top in the morning arriving at Moroka Gorge ready to leave around 11:45. The road is good at the moment, very gravely in parts so care is needed with a 2WD.

Walking down past the falls is nice, the track is a little over-grown after the first falls, but still easy to follow and a fun scramble down to the Kent creek junction. It took us < 2 hours to get to the turn off for the track up to the fire trail, taking it slow to avoid the walk along the river.

From here the track parallel to Kent creek is a bit rougher, if you can stick to the top of the ridge it is much clearer than if you wander down into the creeks on either side. The fire-trail at the top looks like someone had driven to the track we came up on, but no further. The trail to Shanty Hollow is covered in saplings and a few fallen trees, but is not a difficult walk. We arrived with a few hours until sunlight, filled up a days water at the creek just after Shanty Hollow and decided to hike up to Mt Dawson to camp. The abandoned 4WD track after Shanty Hollow is littered with Fallen trees.

We camped just south-east of the summit, which was sheltered from the wind. While wandering around Mt Dawson I found 2 soaks on the South-East side which could be used to get water, though I don't know how reliable they will be later in the year.

The next day we woke in some light sleet/snow and set off for Snowy Bluff at 7:45 am. The first section of Dawsons ridge, heading N until the 1363 spot height before the ridge is only a light scrub bash, with a few thickets of bushy stuff and a little scrambling. From here the scrub gets worse, in general we found sticking a little to the SW side of the ridge, rather than right on top, made going a little easier.

The last descent before the climb up Snowy Bluff east peak is probably the worst of it, thick with lots of knee-high scratchy stuff. On the way up Snow Bluff east peak we found a soak with a reasonable trickle of water, which again may not be reliable much longer in the year. We climbed to the top, had a long lunch on the East peak, enjoyed the views and returned to camp. In all it took us ~8.5 hours to go Mt Dawson -> Snowy Bluff -> Mt Dawson. We walked back down to Shanty Hollow, refilled our water and made it about half way to the Kent creek track, camping on the old 4WD trail overnight.

The return to the car was uneventful, with a nice stop at the 1st Moroka falls for a swim and a rest, arriving at a little before 1 pm.

It was a great walk, we had much better weather than expected, with only a little precipitation on Sat morning. It would have been nice to continue down to Doolans Plain but our second driver was unable to make it, so we had no car shuttle. I think Horseyard Flat -> Snowy Bluff -> Doolans could be an overnighter if you had a motivated party and could get your car-shuttle done the night before for an early start from Horseyard Flat.

Next on the list is Mt Darling from Darling saddle.
Last edited by damoprz on Thu 10 Nov, 2016 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby north-north-west » Wed 09 Nov, 2016 8:28 pm

damoprz wrote:Next on the list is Mt Darling from Darling saddle.

Which Darling - the one opposite the lookout or the one near The Governor?
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby damoprz » Thu 10 Nov, 2016 12:16 am

The one opposite the lookout. A vague plan is to leave from near Dimmick Lookout, and follow what remains of Carey Rd over Billabong (a mountain?) to Mt Darling. Maybe down to the Wonnangatta and back along the Dry River track. I can only find one person who has been out this way, it looks rough!

I also need to walk the Eagle Peaks and camp on the other Darling.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby north-north-west » Thu 10 Nov, 2016 2:29 pm

When I did it - a few years back now (edit: late May 2013) - it was surprisingly easy going. Treefalls on the old road, of course, and some sections getting overgrown but it was still clear enough to follow. Two potential spots to turn off once you're over the other side - either cross the boggy ground near the headwaters of the creek, or continue up the road a bit until you're near the crest and follow that ridgeline all the way along to Darling. It's good country. I even found an old sign marking where the vehicle track along the ridge towards Darling was closed off way before the gate near Dimmicks.
c01656 copy.jpg
No *&%$#!, Sherlock?

You can still follow that in sections, particularly where it curves around some lumpy bits, but the views are better if you stick to the eastern edge of the ridge.
There are good tentsites in a number of places but water is only reliable at the creek headwaters. But the views of Snowy Bluff and the country further east are brilliant - not from the summit, which is a bit treed in, but from the ridge and cliffs to the south.
D009 copy.jpg
Morning light on the cliffs.


Could be done as a return trip in a single long summer's day, but camping out there is kind of special. I was back at Dimmicks by 3pm on the second day, despite detouring away from the road to scramble up the ridge to the lookout. Good fun.
Didn't like the look of the river route. Thought about it, but just seemed too hard for a late autumn weekend.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby north-north-west » Thu 10 Nov, 2016 5:38 pm

As for camping on the other Darling, forget it. Unless there's been a drastic change in the last few years, that summit is just a mass of fallen timber and thick regrowth. There's camping on the ridge near where you head off towards The Governor, and on other spots between Darling and Eagle peaks.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby damoprz » Thu 10 Nov, 2016 6:31 pm

Great photos! I will definitely be doing that one next I think. I'll have to decide on the way back, depending on the number of days I have. Have you ever walked from Wonnangatta, up Wombat gap and through the Blue Hills to the Viking?

I have camped on top of the other Darling, which wasn't too bad. Originally had plans to do Eagle peaks, but warmer than expected weather meant a lot of slippery melting snow. I would like to complete the walk, but currently have too many plans, and only 3 months before I will be moving overseas for the near future.
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Re: SNowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby AlanW » Sat 08 Apr, 2017 7:40 pm

A group of us completed this walk over the March 2017 long weekend.
Starting early at Dimmicks lookout we were off track most of the way to Darling Saddle and then to the Darling Range. The old road is still there in parts but heavily overgrown - most of the time it was map and compass work to reach the Darling Range.
The Darling Range was very rocky and scrubby and we did not reach Mt Darling until around 6.30 pm. We started our decent north to the Wonangatta but stopped in a small saddle on the spur at dark (8.30 pm) where we had a dry camp. The following morning it took another 2 hrs to descend to the Wonangatta.
The was one small gully between Dimmicks lookout and Mt Darling saddle that had a small amount of flowing water.
Just before the old road reaches the Mt Darling range there is a snow plain where John Siseman suggests water can be obtained. There was no water on our trip but I suspect in late spring (e.g. cup weekend) there would be. This is also a good location to pitch tents if you wanted the break the walk up into more manageable sections.
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Re: Snowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby JoshP » Mon 21 Mar, 2022 4:43 pm

Hi guys,
Thanks for all the useful info on this post, I’m looking at heading up to the Snowy Bluff in May. Looking at heading in from
the Shanty Hollow end and heading all the way to the Snowy Bluff.

Has anyone got any info on the visibility off the cliff faces to the north/east? Is it completely thick up there? Has anyone got any photos they can share?

Has anyone hiked all the way up to the Snowy Bluff recently? Would love to hear how it was and if you can share some photos of the trip.

Thanks In advance.
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Re: Snowy Bluff and Dawson Ridge

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 23 Mar, 2022 8:41 am

Joe Van Beek from Bushwalking Victoria was up there a month or three ago.
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