Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

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Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 07 Mar, 2022 8:49 am

Three of us completed a 2-day loop over the weekend, starting from Troopers Creek Campsite (a bookable 4WD camp 4km from Roses Gap). This is a good spot to book for a few nights, potentially for base camp/ first night and to leave the car there, potentially safely due to others likely to be there. Only $15pn. There is a GPT trailhead carpark about 500m up the road which would be another option.

The trail from Troopers Creek intersects GPT about 100m so from the start. Our route (which included an overnight stay) was:

Troopers Creek (quickly links with GPT for the "Waterfalls of Gar" section > opted to take the out/back trail to Briggs Bluff > continued GPT to Gar (Mt Difficult) GPT camp > continued on to Mt Difficult summit > back to Gar Campsite for water etc > continue GPT towards Werdug (above Wartook) > intersected with 'old' track that heads towards Longpoint East > looped back NW to Briggs Bluff intersection > returned on trail back down to Troopers Creek campsite.

I would rate the sections of GPT that were on our route as quite comparable to other non-GPT trails in and around the Northern Grampians. GPT was sometimes just basic track through the bush, but some of the rocky sections through passes and involving sharper climbs do include rock slabs forming sections of steps. Some of the non-GPT sections we were on are noticeably less trafficked and a slightly overgrown; maybe not a bad thing. Trail markers are far more prominent and consistent on the GPT sections, compared to non-GPT. Quite a few well positions cairns proved very helpful in staying on track. New GPT communal hut, private (LTO) huts, toilets etc at Gar were attractively designed and well positioned on a ridge with stunning views. We encountered numerous GPT campers doing the segments through to Halls Gap. Plus quite a few day walkers doing Briggs Bluff and/or Mt Difficult. We encountered no-one on the outer section of our route which was non-GPT. My sense is that GPT will attract traffic, but there are plenty of non-GPT trails that will remain quiet and undisturbed, with plenty opportunity for dispersed camping (albeit not permitted, as I understand it).
Attachments
From Briggs Bluff towards MtStapylton.jpg
View from Briggs Bluff towards Mt Stapylton
From Gar towards MtStapylton.jpg
From Gar towards Mt Stapylton
Gar Campsite hut front.jpg
Gar Communal Hut
Gar Campsite hut.jpg
Gar Communal Hut
Gar Campsite lounges.jpg
Gar 'lounges'
Gar pod.jpg
Gar private huts
Route.jpg
route
Route.jpg (102.48 KiB) Viewed 5901 times
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby north-north-west » Sun 13 Mar, 2022 5:00 pm

Huts?
Private huts???
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 14 Mar, 2022 8:24 am

There’s the communal hut with two tables and seats, and a bench along rear wall. Then there’s the 3? huts for accommodation which I think are only available via LTO’s. A peek through the window revealed two low beds/vinyl mattresses and a small loft with another bed.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 15 Mar, 2022 8:55 am

Yes, private huts. Built by the taxpayer, maintained by the taxpayer. You cannot book them directly through Parks but only as a package including guiding.

It's strange that it has not caused much controversy (compared to other similar proposals) and walkers have been much more preoccupied with the inflated price of the platforms.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby scroggin » Tue 15 Mar, 2022 7:36 pm

Does the track from Mount Difficult down to the old Troopers Creek campground still exist?
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 15 Mar, 2022 9:57 pm

Nice report. Mt Difficult is a great spot for a view. And the walk is well worth it.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby ggorgeman » Wed 16 Mar, 2022 8:48 am

scroggin wrote:Does the track from Mount Difficult down to the old Troopers Creek campground still exist?


Good question. Pretty sure Parks have attempted to decommission that route although if you're familiar with it I would think that it is still possible. Up top where that track reaches base of the short section to the summit, it's overgrown to some extent and branches etc have been placed on the trail to cover it over.

I'd be interested in hearing from others who may have done that track in recent times to see if still navigable as I've never done it but do have an interest :)

I recall a YouTube trip report that covered the route.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby bigkev » Sun 20 Mar, 2022 5:17 pm

ggorgeman wrote:
scroggin wrote:Does the track from Mount Difficult down to the old Troopers Creek campground still exist?


Good question. Pretty sure Parks have attempted to decommission that route although if you're familiar with it I would think that it is still possible. Up top where that track reaches base of the short section to the summit, it's overgrown to some extent and branches etc have been placed on the trail to cover it over.

I'd be interested in hearing from others who may have done that track in recent times to see if still navigable as I've never done it but do have an interest :)

I recall a YouTube trip report that covered the route.


I did a loop up the old track to Mt Gar and then down the new GPT back to the new Troopers Creek Camp last Saturday. The old Mt Gar (Difficult) track is still followable although it is very overgrown in spots - you need to look for clues in the shape of the old dry stone steps, cairns and the occasional old track markers. I'm thinking that the track was never opened again after the big fires and floods up there so not only is the scrub getting thick there are also a lot of fallen trees to negotiate (although I maybe wrong on that?)

Once located the approach from the old Troopers Creek site is pretty easy however the further towards Mt Gar you go the rougher it gets - I was surprised how rough the long shelf section was as there were a lot of trees down and prickly regrowth, although you are not going to go too far wrong on that section unless you step out into space... :shock:

The section that swings up a gully through a breach in the cliffs after the shelf section is very scrubby, however so long as you don't miss the gully it's doable.

It took me just under 3 hours to climb from the old camp at Troopers Creek to the old Mt Difficult camp along the old track, however I was taking a lot of photos (it's probably the last time I'll get up this old route I'm thinking). I've also walked this track numerous times before (albeit more than ten years ago) so I had a bit of an idea where I was meant to be heading.

Here's 3 dodgy phone shots from the old route, these were taken along what I call the shelf section. I'll post a full trip report when I get it written up.

IMG_0742.jpg
IMG_0743.jpg
IMG_0747.jpg
Last edited by bigkev on Mon 21 Mar, 2022 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 20 Mar, 2022 7:03 pm

Lovely photos BigKev.
Not dodgy, nice lighting effect.
You're getting about!
Hotham, Grampians (I'm guessing not same Saturday, as that might require a helicopter).
I wouldn't know that old route, and would be a serious chance to step into the void if I tried it.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 21 Mar, 2022 10:49 am

Thanks BigKev, that intel is greatly appreciated. I'm interested in taking that route up from the old Troopers Creek site but not having ever done it, am a bit uncertain about it. Certainly sounds do-able though and great to have a fresh update on it. Great pics too by the way.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby bigkev » Mon 28 Mar, 2022 5:07 pm

ggorgeman wrote:Thanks BigKev, that intel is greatly appreciated. I'm interested in taking that route up from the old Troopers Creek site but not having ever done it, am a bit uncertain about it. Certainly sounds do-able though and great to have a fresh update on it. Great pics too by the way.


There are some more representative photos in this trip report ggorgeman - it looks like my phone had slipped into nuclear mode on the photos I posted last week :?

https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... ional.html

And here are a few more photos of the complete loop (including the GPT section).

DSC_0259.JPG
The colours look a bit more 'natural' in this shot.

DSC_0276.JPG

DSC_0248.JPG
This was fairly typical of the scrub along the 'shelf' section.

DSC_0349.JPG
It's not only the Great Wall of China that can be seen from space now that the GPT has been finished!

DSC_0354.JPG
The Waterfalls of Gar were a little dry on this visit - still some sweet scenary though.
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Re: Mt Difficult / GPT overnighter_pics added

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 28 Mar, 2022 6:11 pm

I have trekked up the old Mt. Difficult route from Trooper's creek when it was open.
HUTS?
The huts up there do zero for me. The Grampians are meant to be a wild natural place.

We just need a good bushfire to clear those huts out of the park.

I am not anti huts at all. However those huts are out of place and represent build development for profit within a national park.
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