Mt Difficult Loop

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Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 08 Nov, 2021 12:50 pm

Day 1 Beehive Falls Car park to Briggs Bluff campsite 07 Nov. About 18km.
Nice, cool, cloudy day, headed up past Beehive falls, along the new track to the junction with the Mt Difficult/Gar loop.
I missed the turnoff up the old way, but wasn't too worried, still got to blow out some lockdown cobwebs and deal with the increased Gravity to which Big Kev alerted.
So, easier track turned out good enough.
The junction was the furthest I'd been before, that was a wet, crap day for walking, so I turned back, but this time weather was perfect.
Headed for Long Point East, that climb shortly after gets the sweat flowing, but I managed it.
Then up and down, a bit of prickly stuff. There's a shortcut along the way that takes you from the Eastern side of the Mt Difficult range V-shape or Chevron to near the new GPT Gar campsite that the track making fairies have put in for the GPT.
I kept going, realized I was walking a new GPT track when the Topo Map in Avenza App said I was walking in scrub, even though it was nice track, shortly after it veered to a junction with the existing track and nice signs for GPT users.
I followed the track a bit more and realized I was heading for Hall's Gap, so a quick scrub bash, fall on my *&%$#!, and I was back on the trail to Long Point East.
A bit of descending and I came across a nice spring/creek that was flowing. I think a denizen/member of this forum had told me about this spring ages ago.
Pack off, break, collect water. Lovely.
Shortly after, Long Point East, just a clear patch of sandy ground with a Fire pit.
Followed the fire trail too the junction with Long Point Fire Trail, then on to Long Point West campsite.
Nice setup, dunny, marked tent sites.
Another break,it was getting on, but still had 3 hours of daylight, so up the steep climb to the western side of the Mt Difficult range V-shape.
After some more sweating, I was at the turnoff for Mt Difficult, pack down, up to the top for a few pictures/videos, quick text or 3, then back to pack.
Headed past the other end of the GPT shortcut track, then the new Gar campsite and down to complete the loop of Mt Difficult circuit.
It was getting dark, so went a short distance to Briggs Bluff campsite. There was another tent there by then, but found a nice spot.

Day 2. Briggs Bluff Campsite to Beehive Falls carpark. 08 Nov. 5-6km?
Up early after ordinary sleep, wind picked up during night, and sounded like a jet rushing through nearby valleys, and my inflatable mattress decided it was deflatable.
Anyway, left camp about 6:30am, walked down the 3 sets of stairs, past Beehive Falls to car about 8:30am and gunned it back to the big-smoke.

Lovely country in the Grampians, and weather was perfect for an unfit bloke to trundle about all day without getting heat-stroke.

Pretty happy with the distance I covered and finally reaching Mt Difficult summit.
Felt a lot zip in the legs compared to the Razorback-Feathertop walk last week.
Gear worked well, except mattress.
I have some videos and photos, if I put something together I'll post a youtube link.
LUZI7153.jpg
Road to Long Point East

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Trig Marker
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby ccar » Mon 08 Nov, 2021 1:08 pm

Thanks for the trip report Baeng,

I'm probably going to get out there this week (mid week as the weather looks better) and do this loop as a day walk. Long day but only a light pack and plenty of daylight hours now so I'm looking forward to blowing out those post-covid cobwebs too.

Quick question for you - the spring/creek that was flowing, did it look like it would still be flowing for a while? Or do you think I should carry enough water to get me to the new GPT campsite where there should be a tank?

Thanks
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 08 Nov, 2021 1:16 pm

The spring before Long Point East looked like it'll flow for a few weeks more.
There was also a creek after Long Point East and then the Mackenzie River half-way to Long Point West that were flowing.
Long Point West tank had water as well.
There were a lot of rockholes with stagnant water too, not sure that would be my first choice, and won't last long, but always there in a pinch.
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Spring
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby ccar » Mon 08 Nov, 2021 1:23 pm

Cheers - all good stuff to know ahead of time.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 08 Nov, 2021 3:28 pm

Thanks for the report Baeng72! That loop is a terrific walk, done with a couple of mates exactly 12 months ago. Your route had a few variations to ours. You put in a big Day 1!
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 08 Nov, 2021 6:00 pm

ggorgeman wrote:Thanks for the report Baeng72! That loop is a terrific walk, done with a couple of mates exactly 12 months ago. Your route had a few variations to ours. You put in a big Day 1!

Thanks ggorgeman!
My route had a few variations from what I planned. I've tried to mark in the bit where I wandered on the new GPT section and did an impromptu bush bash in section of the route I took.
Long Point East.jpg
Map
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I must have had exhausted hiker brain, because the sign where the new GPT track met the existing track was quite clear that Werdug camp and Long Point East were in different directions, yet I went towards Werdug without realizing.
I photographed the sign, but didn't comprehend what it was telling me?
Still, I would've missed out on a small bush-bash and fall on butt, so adventure!
Sign.jpg
Sign

[EDIT] I did take the correct turn down to Long point east, just got lost almost immediately after, so not exhausted hiker brain, just geographically embarrassed hiker brain. :)
Last edited by Baeng72 on Tue 09 Nov, 2021 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby bigkev » Tue 09 Nov, 2021 5:41 am

Nice walk and report Baeng - as ggorgeman said, day 1 was a big one, I'm not sure I've got that in me at the moment!
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 09 Nov, 2021 6:17 am

bigkev wrote:Nice walk and report Baeng - as ggorgeman said, day 1 was a big one, I'm not sure I've got that in me at the moment!

Thanks BigKev.
I am not like those thru-hikers pounding out 5km an hour, more like 2km an hour or less and so walk a lot of hours!
When I got to Long point west, a sane person would've stopped, but I was still itching to walk, plus I didn't want to climb first thing in the morning and had 3 hours of daylight to use....so..
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby ggorgeman » Tue 09 Nov, 2021 8:26 am

Good point re Long Point West. We had planned to forge on to the Mt Difficult Summit camp (basic clearing) on Day 1 but when we arrived at LPW at around 4:30pm, one of the others suggested it was time to stop, relax and camp there. Comforts of water tank and long drop were also benefits. Whilst I was inclined to press on, it proved to be a great decision!
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 10 Nov, 2021 8:07 am

Video of some 'highlights', waffling, and faffing about: https://youtu.be/yd9cXv4anfY
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby indented » Wed 10 Nov, 2021 8:25 am

Nice video! What was that tent you're using?
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 10 Nov, 2021 9:27 am

Thanks!

Tent is a knock off of the Big SKY "WISP" tent I think. But it's silnylon double walled from Aliexpress going by the Arixci brand I think: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000196 ... 4c4du0u5wW
It's a bit small for my liking, and vestibule doesn't cover all gear well, but hard to beat the price/weight of it.

Other gear 'highlights':
Granite Gear Crown 2 pack from Massdrop.
Deflatable pad is Klimit static V insulated and inflatable Klimit pillow from Massdrop.
Self made down quilt (calendared material from Tier Gear/down from Aliexpress).
Aegismax down sleeping bad from Aliexpress (sensing a pattern here?) https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3296109 ... 4c4du0u5wW
(I woke up middle of the night sweating buckets, so may have over done it with quilt/bag combo.)
Titanium metho stove and pot from Aliexpress https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000055 ... 4c4du0u5wW https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295206 ... 4c4du0u5wW
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby ggorgeman » Wed 10 Nov, 2021 10:55 am

+1 great video, thanks for posting
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby EGM » Wed 10 Nov, 2021 3:25 pm

Great video, I really enjoyed it.

I've also failed that loop before. Looks like it's worth having another go.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 23 Nov, 2021 9:46 pm

Beautiful, ancient and mysterious scenery .I have walked all of that terrain and enjoyed it. Have you been out to The Fortress or The A**** Ears?
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 7:09 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Beautiful, ancient and mysterious scenery .I have walked all of that terrain and enjoyed it. Have you been out to The Fortress or The A**** Ears?

It's a special place. I can see why some are worried about GPT changes and how it might affect access to other bushwalkers.
No, I've not checked out the *&^%$#@! Ears yet. I've read some reports of off-track exploration/camping in that area that seems like it'd be fun.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 8:15 am

Access to the Fortress and the *******'s Ears walks are via 4 x 4 tracks to reach the trail heads. I have only walked those routes as day walks.
Those slabs of rocks work like a stone fire grill in the warmer weather and are best avoided until it cools down.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 9:21 am

Harrops has had significant works and is easy 2wd. Victoria Range tk is pretty good and could be done with a basic 4wd.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 25 Nov, 2021 9:00 am

With the right vehicle you can get up the track to walk to the new campsite near Mt. Difficult and visit the summit as a day walk . I have done that. I would suggest an AWD with A/T tyres and good clearance at the minimum. That unsealed road( name of track? ) has some good views of Lake Wartook along the way .
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby ggorgeman » Thu 25 Nov, 2021 10:11 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:With the right vehicle you can get up the the track to walk to the new campsite near Mt. Difficult and visit the summit as a day walk . I have done that. I would suggest an AWD with A/T tyres and good clearance at the minimum. That unsealed road( name of track? ) has some good views of Lake Wartook along the way .


Yep, the Mt Difficult Road (track) is on the western side of Lake Wartook, heading north it loops around the northern end of the lake/res then back in SSW direction and reaches Boroka Lookout. At the top end of Lake Wartook it intersects with the Longpoint Fireline track (management track only, I'm sure) which does get you to Longpoint West (and East) campsites. The trail from Longpoint West continues to Mt Difficult summit.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 25 Nov, 2021 10:20 am

ggorgeman wrote:At the top end of Lake Wartook it intersects with the Longpoint Fireline track (management track only, I'm sure) which does get you to Longpoint West (and East) campsites. The trail from Longpoint West continues to Mt Difficult summit.

Longpoint East seemed to be on a side-track to Longpoint Fireline track. The track wasn't in terrible condition, but would probably need 4WD.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 25 Nov, 2021 1:09 pm

I came in from Boroka Lookout with brand new All Terrain tyres on the machine. The tread was deeper than a 20 cent piece at the time. I can recommend Hankook Dyna Pro A/T- M tyres for this kind of driving as well as snow trips.
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Re: Mt Difficult Loop

Postby Xplora » Sat 27 Nov, 2021 5:50 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I came in from Boroka Lookout with brand new All Terrain tyres on the machine. The tread was deeper than a 20 cent piece at the time. I can recommend Hankook Dyna Pro A/T- M tyres for this kind of driving as well as snow trips.

I think I would like at least 15 cents change from your 20. My new (yesterday) Toyo mudders tread doesn't even go that deep.
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