Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Trip reports, stories, track notes. Multiple/large photos are OK in this forum.
Forum rules
Posting large/multiple images in this forum is OK. Please start topic titles with the name of the location or track.

For topics focussed on photos rather than the trip, please consider posting in the 'Gallery' forum instead.

This forum is for posting information about trips you have done, not for requesting information about a track or area.

Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Tue 19 May, 2020 10:04 pm

In these quiet moments, I've had a chance to catch up with documenting / blogging our walks (well, at least one). Starting at Upper Howqua camp ground, up Helicopter Spur, down Stanley Named Spur. A great walk, ticked a number of bucket list items (Helicopter Spur, camping at Stanley Named Spur and actually finding the water source, etc). See the following......

https://dirttrackswandering.blogspot.co ... climb.html
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby bigkev » Wed 20 May, 2020 11:10 am

Thanks for the report, Mr Bean.

It's a wonderful spot, I think you made the right call camping away from Bluff Track too!
User avatar
bigkev
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 6:44 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Sat 23 May, 2020 10:19 am

Thanks bigkev. Reading your reports over the years has inspired me to start knocking out a few. Plus, in these COVID days, its great to reminisce of these walks.
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby LLSC » Sun 24 May, 2020 6:37 pm

Thanks for your report, Mr Bean. That is a walk I had planned for January but the fires changed our plans. Reading your report has revved up my enthusiasm again. It seems like there was not much difficulty finding the route up Helicopter Spur?
LLSC
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat 18 Nov, 2017 9:05 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Tue 26 May, 2020 9:40 pm

Thanks LLSC. The route was clear up Helicopter Spur. The 2nd rock band was a little tricky to negotiate with packs on, but not impossible. A short, sharp and rewarding walk.
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 09 Jun, 2020 2:04 pm

Magnificent! I will do battle with Helicopter spur in Nov. 2020.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 03 Nov, 2020 2:28 pm

The date is set for this Helicopter spur mission this month. I have the route already mapped out on my GPS map . My question to the panel is that the Helicopter spur route is the one that starts from near the pit loo at the Upper Howqua campsite or is it closer to the bridge that crosses the Upper Howqua at the entrance to the campsite?
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby LLSC » Tue 03 Nov, 2020 2:59 pm

Hi PCV. Take the turn just after the bridge. It starts out as a well-formed vehicle track before degenerating. I have tried to find it from the track near the toilet but that track degenerates to nothing before too long.
Good luck . Please send pictures and report: can't wait to hear how it goes.
LLSC
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat 18 Nov, 2017 9:05 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 03 Nov, 2020 5:22 pm

Is the route that what looks like an old 4x 4 track that is blocked off from vehicles by large rocks?. In any event I will find it using my GPS which has a topographical map software micro card with all walking and 4 WD tracks marked on it.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Wed 04 Nov, 2020 7:52 pm

LLSC wrote:Hi PCV. Take the turn just after the bridge. It starts out as a well-formed vehicle track before degenerating. I have tried to find it from the track near the toilet but that track degenerates to nothing before too long.
Good luck . Please send pictures and report: can't wait to hear how it goes.
Hmmm, the route from the toilet 'goes' but yeh its vague, especially around a small clearing maybe 100 or so metres in (and yeh I seem to recall crawling through scrub to maintain alignment with the 'track'. Either way I think meets up with the old 4wd track, which climbs gently but had a fair amount of treefall when I did it. After a while you turn left onto a foot track up the spur proper, after which the walk becomes much nicer

Sent from my SM-G977B using Tapatalk
Walk_fat boy_walk
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sat 21 Nov, 2009 6:59 am
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Wed 04 Nov, 2020 10:08 pm

Hi PCV,

From memory, the start of Helicopter Spur track is due east of the toilets. In the pic, its a track that heads up the hill, for about 50m, then turns left up an old logging track. I think there are rocks blocking the path. The toilet is to the left, out of shot.

InkedIMG_1979_Helicopter_spur_start_3_LI.jpg
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Wed 04 Nov, 2020 10:09 pm

Oh, and enjoy the trek. It is a great walk.
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 5:30 pm

Thanks . That is handy and helpful.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 09 Nov, 2020 12:23 pm

I decided to put bogong off and walked this over the weekend. I camped on the aawt above hellfire ck first night. If I did it again I'd do it as written by mr bean as it would have been a more balanced walk in terms of exertion. No problems with water at either camp. The track in the photo above is the start and clear and easy to follow, it joins the vehicle track almost immediately. The whole route is easy to follow but if you have any doubts the Glenn Tempest gpx is freely available and traces the route to mt howitt making navigation child's play. The blackberries were no problem but may annoy those who wear shorts. All crossings were wet feet but nothing above the knee.

The views from Howitt were fantastic and seeing the crosscut was fabulous. I see the viking circuit in my future for sure.

Many thanks Mr Bean, great info on this route and very helpful as I don't know this area very well.
CraigVIC
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue 24 Oct, 2017 6:20 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 7:10 am

Thanks for your comments and it is good to know that the track up Helicopter spur is easy to find. Once I am up on the Range then I know the area and the way.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 9:26 pm

Thanks CraigVIC. Good time of the year to do it. Water at Hellfire would have been flowing well. Glad you enjoyed it.
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 9:49 am

Some photos
Attachments
inCollage_20201111_104413844_copy_800x640.jpg
inCollage_20201111_104413844_copy_800x640.jpg (251.01 KiB) Viewed 5396 times
inCollage_20201111_104607902_copy_800x640.jpg
inCollage_20201111_104607902_copy_800x640.jpg (232.28 KiB) Viewed 5396 times
CraigVIC
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue 24 Oct, 2017 6:20 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 6:45 am

Thanks for the photos. I have just come back from walking/ climbing/ scrambling the same route.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Lamont » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 11:35 am

CraigVIC wrote:Some photos

Missed these. Nice pictures-Joe Blake and all.
User avatar
Lamont
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 1:27 pm
Location: Upper Kumbukta West
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: https://www.againstmalaria.com/
Region: Other Country

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 6:54 pm

Haha, looks bigger in the picture but the snake was tiny, maybe 20cm. Assume it was a juvenile but I don't really know.
CraigVIC
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue 24 Oct, 2017 6:20 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Glen_1 » Mon 30 Nov, 2020 3:45 pm

Thanks for the inspiration, Mr Bean. We did the circuit on the weekend 27/28/29 November.

We used ‘Daywalks Around Victoria’ by Glenn Tempest (Walk No 30) for track notes. He provides a good description for getting through the rock bands on Helicopter Spur. We are climbers and found the scrambling was straight forward. However, I could imagine nervous walkers might like some pack hauling and perhaps even a handline on the second rockband. There were also a couple of exposed sections, especially just before the corner on the second band. We carried 10m of tape for hauling but never used it.

Helicopter Spur took us half a day. We left Upper Howqua Camping Area after lunch and camped at the junction of Helicopter Spur and Bluff Track. We got water from a creek south of a saddle about 700 m along Bluff Track from camp and 300 m before Picture Point (saddle GR 635833).

We stopped at Hellfire Creek for morning tea on day 2. The creek is down to a trickle, despite rain in the previous week, and we collected water from large pools. We camped on Stanleys Name Spur (GR 676870) and there is good water in the creek. The upper sections of Stanleys Name Spur had some easy scrambling and loose gravel.

Day 3 was another half day. We missed the old fire bunker near the intersection of Queens Spur Road and Stanleys Name Spur. It wasn’t until I was checking the GetLost map on Avenza at lunch back at the car and saw the ‘shipwreck’ icon, which indicates an historic site, that the penny dropped! Anyway, it is a good reason to return and do the lovely 5 km walk up the Howqua River from the camping area to the bunker.

There are a few sections of blackberries on Queens Spur Road between the junction with Stanleys Name Spur Track and the river, enough to justify long trousers. There is also some damp section where I was collecting leeches into the tops of my shorty gaiters - another good reason for long trousers.
Glen_1
Nothofagus gunnii
Nothofagus gunnii
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat 11 May, 2019 3:22 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 30 Nov, 2020 7:07 pm

If you return and walk the Thorn range from the Circuit road then you will see the bunker . Use a car shuttle and have a good solid day out with day packs.
paidal_chalne_vala
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: VNPA
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Mr Bean » Tue 01 Dec, 2020 11:38 am

Glad you enjoyed it Glen_1. Yes, the second band was a little tricky, but not too bad. I usually carry 7-8m of climbing rope for such cases, if required. That creek you mentioned for the first night, I think I was going to have a look, but didn't bother in the end. That would have been a good option for camping. Next time. Hellfire Creek tends to run out pretty quickly in the season. A pity, as its a great camp site. We may do the circuit again in a couple of weeks. We have 3 days planned for that area. I suspect Mac Springs will be rather busy on the weekends leading up to Christmas. This circuit offers less people, compared to Mac Springs.
Mr Bean
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2016 1:34 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 28 Dec, 2020 5:52 pm

I had a crack at this today. Got up first rock band, but felt crap, so reversed down.
Literally facing up, while descending, so I couldn't fall downhill if I lost balance.
Also kept 3 points of contact as NNW suggested, and made it down fine.
Would have been funny to see my fat behind leading way down.

I was hoping after doing Bogong that I'd manage this, but not to be.
Baeng72
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed 07 Aug, 2019 2:29 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby bigkev » Tue 29 Dec, 2020 6:58 pm

Baeng72 wrote:I had a crack at this today. Got up first rock band, but felt crap, so reversed down.
Literally facing up, while descending, so I couldn't fall downhill if I lost balance.
Also kept 3 points of contact as NNW suggested, and made it down fine.
Would have been funny to see my fat behind leading way down.

I was hoping after doing Bogong that I'd manage this, but not to be.


Knowing when to turn back is a good skill to have I reckon.

If you want build up a little confidence on rock maybe consider heading up to the Northern Grampians for a couple of days.

The main (track marked) Hollow Mountain track has a short section of scrambling with a little bit of exposure without being too hard (and the views across to the Taipan Walls from the top are amazing).

If you go OK on the main Hollow Mountain track then have a go at Mt Stapylton the next day. Stapylton is also way marked however there is a fairly airy scramble near the summit (even if you don't make the summit the views are good and the walk worth doing).

Cheers
User avatar
bigkev
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 6:44 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 29 Dec, 2020 9:09 pm

Thanks BigKev.

I was cooked more than anything else. It wasn't hot, but I felt like it was 40C. Sweating buckets before the first band.
I'd done the Glasgow track up Mt Dandenong 2 days before, which may have meant I was a bit stuffed before starting, but also meant I was pretty comfortable with steepish rocky stuff.
I didn't feel it was too dangerous, just too hard for my fat *&%$#! carrying a pack. :)
Going up anyway. (Going down is a different matter, which is why I did the reverse shuffle).

I've read that the 2nd band is more involved, and thought I would find it too tricky with a pack on the back and feeling crook.

Actually, I checked your blog the night before, to understand the way up, and I think you mentioned you didn't scramble the first band (I did), but had to on the 2nd, and extrapolated from that how hard the 2nd would be given I found the first harder than described.
Perhaps you didn't have a 15kg backpack on as you did it as a day trip?
I have to make excuses for my sloth somehow. ;)
[EDIT] That makes it sound like I stopped because of what you wrote, not true. Everywhere said the same thing, 2nd band harder, so I was extrapolating from all that. Yours was just something I remembered reading the night before. But the choice to stop was mine.

It's a bit disappointing as yesterday, today and tomorrow looked perfect for exploring around Mt. Howitt.
I won't have an opportunity to get back up there for a few months, maybe Easter long weekend.
Baeng72
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed 07 Aug, 2019 2:29 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby bigkev » Wed 30 Dec, 2020 5:28 pm

No worries Baeng, I'm happy the blog was of some use.

I gather you must be a pretty big bloke (like me). One of the toughest issues that I have I relation to my fitness, age and weight is that I just have to force myself to slow it down a bit. The blog was really an excuse for me to stop a lot and take photos!

The Howitt area is really the 'ducks guts' of alpine walking in Victoria in my opinion (The Cobberas are pretty sweet too, although I haven't been up there since last years fires). One way to explore the area without the gut busting climb up from the valley is to start at car park on Howitt Road and base yourself at Macalister Springs. From there you can do long day trips up and down the AAWT, the Cross Cut and Mt Spec should be doable heading north. Mt Magdala heading south - maybe something to think about when you get some time in Easter?

Cheers
User avatar
bigkev
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 6:44 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 30 Dec, 2020 7:55 pm

The Mt Cobbler circuit might interest you too, Baeng? In the same broad area, it is still a big walk but much easier than Helicopter with no real scrambling. The last bit to the true summit has a mild scramble with no exposure. Good views and a lovely (dry) camp.
CraigVIC
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue 24 Oct, 2017 6:20 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 31 Dec, 2020 5:27 am

Thanks BigKev. You're blog's a great source of info.
Then I'll read Hiking Fiasco to get an impression of how I'll go on the same route. ;)
My BMI is north of 30 I think, so big bloke (girth, not so much height) is correct.
I went slow, trying to copy what I did on Mt. Bogong, but not slow enough.

I didn't start at Viewpoint/Howitt car park because it's 6 hours drive from Whittlesea way, and I really want to do Helicopter Spur.
I'd rather spend the 3 hours time difference in walking instead of driving.
Clearly I have a screw-loose, as I would've seen Mt Howitt, crosscut and & Mt Spec the other way.

The view coming in on Circuit road of 'cotton-wool' clouds tumbling over the escarpment, of Mt Howitt and Mt Magdala, the Bluff (I think) was amazing.
Baeng72
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed 07 Aug, 2019 2:29 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Helicopter Spur 3 day circuit walk

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 31 Dec, 2020 5:32 am

CraigVIC wrote:The Mt Cobbler circuit might interest you too, Baeng? In the same broad area, it is still a big walk but much easier than Helicopter with no real scrambling. The last bit to the true summit has a mild scramble with no exposure. Good views and a lovely (dry) camp.

Thanks CraigVic.
I've got that on my list of places to do.
It seems there's so much good bushwalking in that area, The Bluff, AAWT, Mt Koonika, Cobbler, etc.
Baeng72
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed 07 Aug, 2019 2:29 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Next

Return to VIC Trip Reports & Track Notes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests