Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

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Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 12 Oct, 2020 12:57 pm

I had never been to the Victoria range at the Grampians before and looking into it I thought perhaps it might be possible (for me that is, the whole area seems to have been thoroughly walked, especially by climbers) to follow Deep creek all the way to the Fortress track and return via the Fortress. In the end I decided it seemed too ambitious and instead I would follow the branch coming down from thackery and cut across to the Victoria Arch track, visit the Arch as a side trip and return by hut track. Having done this on the weekend I think I could have achieved my first idea but there's always another time I guess.

Crossing the Wannon on the way up and seeing that it had burst its banks and every farm dam overflowing I knew Deep creek was going to be a big factor in the walk and it turned out to be. It was absolutely thundering.

I left my car at the Fortress carpark and noted the only other car was an old Rav4 fitted with special all-terrain tyres. It had to be PCV for sure? I never saw another soul the next two and half days so couldn't confirm.

There's an unofficial track leading part of the way up Deep ck so the initial going was good until I came to the first crossing. At near flood levels the crossing looked terrifying to me and that's where my real walk began. Having to stick to one side I never picked up the track again and had to scrub bash and scramble my own route. It was good committed fun I had some doubts I would be able to return if I hit a dead end but it didn't happen so I had plenty of luck.

Having gotten above the first part of the gorge I followed the north (main) branch to a tight pinch that I was able to pass crawling a long, low ledge at which point it was time to find a camp. Trying to get away from the bushfire affected trees I climbed the ridge finding a perfect sandy bottomed overhang with a nearby spring. So perfect, in fact, there was a fire ring to show it must be a known spot.

The next day it was just a matter of pushing through a broad valley to join the arch walk. Anyone who's done this can tell how much fun it is, following a narrowing slot until you pop out a little window in the rock. I think it should be considered just about a lost route as it is so overgrown you couldn't possibly follow it without detailed notes or a gpx.

Following the arch track back I popped out onto hut track late in the day totally knackered. I should have just camped right there but instead went up to campsite marked in Chapman's book. It was pretty forgettable and not worth the effort as long 10 and 20m sections of hut track were under ankle deep water plus several creek crossings.

Then it was over and I walked to my car and was home not long after lunch. Absolutley stoked to have gotten one good walk done for the year as all my plans have been in tatters as I'm sure every one else's are.

Didn't take many pics but I'll add a few later.
Last edited by CraigVIC on Mon 12 Oct, 2020 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 12 Oct, 2020 1:53 pm

A few pics
Attachments
20201009_123413_copy_600x1067.jpg
Deep creek
20201009_145722_copy_600x1067.jpg
Ceramic teapot spout approx 5km off track
20201009_183400_copy_600x1067.jpg
Camp
20201009_185422_copy_600x1067.jpg
Ramen/tuna + vitafresh/vodka + views
20201010_114716_copy_600x1067.jpg
Obligatory arch picture
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Re: Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

Postby Lamont » Mon 12 Oct, 2020 2:42 pm

I enjoyed that. Ta.
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Re: Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 12 Oct, 2020 3:04 pm

Terrific write-up, thank you. Very enjoyable (and a nice little distraction from work for a few moments).
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Re: Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

Postby peregrinator » Mon 12 Oct, 2020 5:41 pm

A nice adventure you had, Craig. Thanks for the story and photographs. Now I know why Deep Creek was given that name.
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Re: Grampians, Deep Ck to the Victoria Arch

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 13 Oct, 2020 4:35 pm

Thanks all. I should get up there more, never had a bad walk in the grampians.
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