AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 02 Mar, 2020 11:37 pm

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/aawt- ... st-4196250
Baw Baw N.P. I walked with friends along the AAWT between Mt.Erica camp site and Phillack saddle on 29/2/20 and March 1st 2020. The track is in good order and water was easy to find.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby shankspony » Mon 09 Mar, 2020 8:32 am

I"m considering doing a food drop on Walhalla-Matlock road (and driving all the way between the two to do car shuffle between Walhalla-Rumpff Saddle). Does anyone know what the road is like, and if it's accessible all the way with a regular 2wd car?
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby stry » Tue 10 Mar, 2020 2:39 pm

Walhalla to Matlock is fine in any car.

Rumpff's saddle itself I'm not so sure. The saddle is east of the Jamieson to Licola Road, not the Walhalla Matlock road. I'm not up with current conditions of the tracks leading to the saddle. You might be able to get in by car, or, if no 4wd is available to you, you may need to employ your namesake.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby shankspony » Tue 10 Mar, 2020 6:34 pm

thanks stry! Wow, thought Rumpff saddle was going to be the easy bit i.e off a bitumen road (albeit with a big circuitous route from Matlock). Guess i need to do a bit more investigation! p.s. The namesake will definitely be involved, but it's keen to minimise the pack-horse associations!
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Mr Bean » Wed 11 Mar, 2020 3:31 pm

Rumpff Saddle itself is a short walk off Jamieson / Licola Road (maybe < 1km, from memory) down Barkly River Jeep Track, a rough 4WD track. But the Jamieson to Licola Road is an easy 2WD road (except winter).
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby shankspony » Thu 12 Mar, 2020 3:04 pm

Thanks Mr Bean - yep it was the Licola Rd i was interested to know about, so thanks for the info. That sounds good - i don't need to get a car to the saddle itself.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 14 Mar, 2020 2:26 pm

Track clearing on the AAWT from Phillack saddle to Stronach's camp will be taking place in April. Contact Bushwalking Victoria if you think you might be able to assist . The working bee participants will camp at Stronach's camp and walk into the area each day over 4 days. Whether you are carrying fuel and bar oil for chainsaw users, lopping back branches with manual tools or just raking up debris so that nobody slips on it after it is cut then you can help.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 14 Mar, 2020 5:43 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Track clearing on the AAWT from Phillack saddle to Stronach's camp will be taking place in April. Contact Bushwalking Victoria if you think you might be able to assist . The working bee participants will camp at Stronach's camp and walk into the area each day over 4 days. Whether you are carrying fuel and bar oil for chainsaw users, lopping back branches with manual tools or just raking up debris so that nobody slips on it after it is cut then you can help.

A couple of questions: is that Easter long weekend?
Don't you have to be a member of Bushwalking Vic. or an affiliate?
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 16 Mar, 2020 1:19 pm

Is that the Easter long w/end?
I do not know. When is Easter this year? . The information is all laid out below this message.

I think you must be a member of a club that is registered with Bushwalking Victoria e.g. VNPA BWAG or a member of Friends of Baw Baw. I am a member of both. Joining Friends of Baw Baw is cheap and easy. Just look them up on the www. It costs 5 clams to join.

Tracks:
Australian Alps Walking Track – Stronachs Camp to PhilackSaddle
Area/Park:
Baw Baw National Park
Dates:
Thursday 2nd April to Sunday 5th April
Project Leader/Contact: (name and number)
Peter Maffei
Email: peter.maffei@bigpond.com
Phone: 0418 149 465
Where to meet:
Stronachs Camp on the Thompson Valley Road.
Approximately 47 kilometres from the Erica township, about an hours travelling time.
Google maps link to Stronachs Camp
Duration:
We are responding to volunteers who have asked for projects to be conducted on weekdays as well as weekends.
Establish camp on Thursday morning. Initial meeting and safety briefing will be at the campsite at 10:00 AM Thursday. The plan is for the project to cover a 4 day period with volunteers joining us on whatever days suit them. Every bit helps.
Pack up and head off home around midday Sunday.
Skills needed:
Feedback from walking groups that have recently walked this section of the AAWT advise that there are jobs for everyone from raking, general lopping and clearing of track debris, through to brush cutting, hedge trimmers and chainsawing. We also need people to carry packs and fuel for the volunteers operating power equipment.
Transport:
Own transport. Suitable for 2WD vehicles. The campsite is approximately 180 km from Melbourne with a travel time of 2 hours and 45 minutes (CBD Melbourne)
Accommodation:
We will be camping at Stronachs, just outside the National Park so we can have a campfire.
Vehicles will be left at the camp site and we will walk into the work area each day.
We’ll provide:
Parks Victoria and BTAC will provide all tools, equipment and PPE.
Parks Victoria will provide the evening meal on Saturday.
Please bring:
You will need to be self-sufficient for camping and all other meals. You will need a day pack for your lunch, water, snacks and rain coat. Remember we are in the alpine environment so bring clothing and camping equipment suitable for alpine conditions. Bring a chair as well.
Scope of work:
General lopping, raking, brush cutting and chainsawing.
Work start time:
Thursday 2 April at 10:00 AM, then 8:45 AM on the subsequent days
Finish time:
Sunday 5 April at mid-day


Regards

Peter Maffei
Friends of Baw Baw NP
Mob: 0418 149 465
Email: friendsofbawbawnp@gmail.com
Web: http://www.sbwc.org.au/fobb
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 16 Mar, 2020 2:15 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Is that the Easter long w/end?
Thursday 2nd April to Sunday 5th April
Weekend before Easter.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 18 Mar, 2020 6:14 pm

Hi Everyone

Firstly thank you for indicating your intention to attend the track clearing event in April.
Unfortunately I have been advised by Parks Victoria that they are suspending all volunteer activities until further notice.
Sorry to be the bearer of this message.

Regards

Peter Maffei
Friends of Baw Baw NP
Mob: 0418 149 465
Email: friendsofbawbawnp@gmail.com
Web: www.sbwc.org.au/fobb
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 30 Mar, 2020 9:25 pm

Water was flowing well at Mac. Springs and at the stream just on the North side of Stanley name Spur, at the saddle on SNS , 1 km below the Cross Cut Saw summit ridge. This was just a few days ago .Verily we now all MUST STAY AT HOME.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby bigkev » Sun 17 May, 2020 6:57 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Hi Everyone

Firstly thank you for indicating your intention to attend the track clearing event in April.
Unfortunately I have been advised by Parks Victoria that they are suspending all volunteer activities until further notice.
Sorry to be the bearer of this message.

Regards

Peter Maffei
Friends of Baw Baw NP
Mob: 0418 149 465
Email: friendsofbawbawnp@gmail.com
Web: http://www.sbwc.org.au/fobb


I did a day walk from Stronachs up to the old Whitelaw Hut site yesterday. I can see why they had scheduled in a bit of track clearing as it doesn't look like it's been touched since I went through on my AAWT journey a few years ago. Expect sections of head high heath and fallen trees now until the volunteers can get in there.

There's some pictures here if anyone wants to get an idea https://goinferalonedayatatime.blogspot ... k-may.html

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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 05 Sep, 2020 9:15 pm

Hi,
what's a reasonable window for walking from Walhalla to Hotham given 'current' conditions? (I guess nobody has an idea of current conditions because of lockdown, but you know).
I want to do this in future, mid-term -not immediately after lockdown lifts, if it does. I want to do Prom. Northern Circuit, Viking Circuit and Mt Difficult (another attempt) before a longer committment.
I've read a few bits and pieces, like Big Kev's AAWT adventures. And other stuff about pieces of the hike (but need to buy Chapman's book).
I want to do this section because it has some cool bits, and I can't take a month off from life.
I figure I can get transport to Walhalla, carry 10 days of food (about 10kg?) plus 5kg of 'base-weight' and make good time. Get transport back to Melb (Dyson's bus from Hotham to Bright, VLine to Wang, then train to Melb - my wife won't talk to me if I disappear for a week or more an leave her with both demon spawn so can't rely on her to pick me up understandably :wink: ).
I'm hoping a week or a bit more (10 days?) is reasonable for a middle-aged guy, who's not slender, but is stubborn and likes to think he's strong.
I'd plan to start early, and walk most of daylight, in daylight savings months, probably November to have water and avoid heat.
Thoughts ?
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Mark F » Sun 06 Sep, 2020 12:29 pm

I think you need to build up a large supply of browny points with your wife as, based on your description of your fitness and experience, I would not be expecting you to do it in under 14-15 days with a day at either end for logistics. The Walhalla-Hotham section is the hardest of the three as Big Kev says and he does not really dawdle along as his writing may suggest. I think he took 16-17 days for the section. Perhaps better to break it in two. Walhalla to Rumpff Saddle and Rumpff to Hotham.

Each season brings its own pluses and minuses. Spring - plenty of water around but wetter, cloudier conditions, summer - heat, autumn best weather but water is a concern.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 06 Sep, 2020 1:22 pm

Mark F wrote:I think you need to build up a large supply of browny points with your wife as, based on your description of your fitness and experience, I would not be expecting you to do it in under 14-15 days with a day at either end for logistics. The Walhalla-Hotham section is the hardest of the three as Big Kev says and he does not really dawdle along as his writing may suggest. I think he took 16-17 days for the section. Perhaps better to break it in two. Walhalla to Rumpff Saddle and Rumpff to Hotham.

Each season brings its own pluses and minuses. Spring - plenty of water around but wetter, cloudier conditions, summer - heat, autumn best weather but water is a concern.

Thanks for the reply.
I suspected as much, but must have been feeling hopeful last night maybe due to beverage I was imbibing. :D
I will have to split it into 2 sub-sections then, similar to what I'm planning for Grampians Peaks Trail if that's finished before the heat-death of the universe.
Or just do interesting parts, like Viking-Razor, Baw Baw, etc.
Thanks again.
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AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Wed 07 Oct, 2020 9:43 pm

Hello AAWT gurus, Does anyone have info on track conditions post 2019 bushfires between Viking and Hotham (read: Mt St Bernard)? There was fire activity in the Barry ranges and early Dec 19 lightning strikes at Selwyn, there is a lack of detail as to the impact of these fires in the aforementioned region.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Xplora » Thu 08 Oct, 2020 8:52 am

Heremeahappy1 wrote:Hello AAWT gurus, Does anyone have info on track conditions post 2019 bushfires between Viking and Hotham (read: Mt St Bernard)? There was fire activity in the Barry ranges and early Dec 19 lightning strikes at Selwyn, there is a lack of detail as to the impact of these fires in the aforementioned region.

I was watching those fires carefully as I had friends on the AAWT at the time before it was closed. Seems to me the fires burnt east and sth east of the track in those areas and did not affect it. It was close though.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Sun 11 Oct, 2020 12:44 pm

Xplora wrote:
Heremeahappy1 wrote:Hello AAWT gurus, Does anyone have info on track conditions post 2019 bushfires between Viking and Hotham (read: Mt St Bernard)? There was fire activity in the Barry ranges and early Dec 19 lightning strikes at Selwyn, there is a lack of detail as to the impact of these fires in the aforementioned region.
Seems to me the fires burnt east and sth east of the track in those areas and did not affect it. It was close though.

Thanks Xplora I understand you're from the area, so good info. On track in Dec.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 7:24 am

Water was flowing at Hellfire creek on 14/11/20.
Water was flowing at The King River south Branch headwaters on the Cross Cut Saw , 85 M. north of the Stanley Name spur track on 15/11/20.It is a long steep rocky drop down the AAWT , 1.5 km off the Cross Cut saw to access this water but it was also flowing in March 2020. If you are dry and desperate you will find water there.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Fri 04 Dec, 2020 6:23 pm

Water at/on;
Twins tank 80% full @29/11/20
Selwyn creek road intersection as per sign SE 700m down old road good flow on 29/11
South Selwyn water tank, 100% full @30/11
Canyon road NE, 3 trickles onto Rd @30/11
Barry Mtns water tank is still non-functional
Selwyn track water tank 40m before East Buffalo/East Riley rd intersection tank 100% full @1/12
Barry saddle tank 90% full @1/12
Camp creek good flow @2/12
Mac Springs good clean flow @3/12
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 05 Dec, 2020 7:05 am

Track clearing between Stronarch's camp and St. Phillack saddle on the Baw Baw section of the AAWT will be back on in April 2021. Contact Peter Maffei for details. See the previous posts in this thread for his contact details.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 17 Dec, 2020 10:01 pm

The Nobs track to Mt. McDonald has some overgrown sections and quite a few fallen logs. We did not look for water at the water point which is about 1 km down the Nobs track on the South side heading for the Barkly river.I will contact Bushwalking Vic. to see if they have any plans to do some track work on that route.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Ndevr » Thu 25 Feb, 2021 6:06 pm

Just recently bushwalked from Walhalla to Hotham, some key mentions re water and trail conditions:

> Water ok 100m from Whitelaw Hut site
> Water plentiful 1km prior to Blue Jacket at track intersection, just 30m from track, minor blackberries
> 1km of track along Black River is slower going, though mostly easily navigable and just under 1 hour
> Bush track up the spur to Mt Shillinglaw mostly ok to follow, lost a few times, but generally quickly re-found
> Cowpats everywhere on the Mt Skene lookout track (can't drink from the puddles there!)
> Trail from Mt Sunday helipad to Sharp Bend (2.2km), in very poor condition, overgrown and timber everywhere, lost trail several times
> Bushbash to collect water 200m from Sharp Bend is very steep tough slog, bisect via ferns where possible, tranquil oasis at the bottom (keep hands free for climbing)
> Track up to Mt McDonald is slower going, lost it in a couple of places, but mostly ok, stunning views
> Lost the track a few times between Mt McDonald and Nobs Track Junction
> Inadvertently took high route trail to High Cone, knew we had ascended too much, but worth the views, easy to navigate North to meet back with track, added 1/2hr
> Lost the trail heading up to Rocky Knoll prior to Square Top, so sidled further NW to make ascent easier; track on top mostly good
> Chesters Yard stream very welcomed, cuts across the track/road
> Mt Magdala Camp, 300m downhill track to collect water, good track, great water
> Camp Creek, flowing well, 100m up the road from track junction
> 1.6km track from Razor Mtn turnoff to Viking Saddle was a mess of timber, the navigating is fine but 100+ trees across the track
> Barry Saddle Tank - full & ok
> Barry Mountains Tank @ East Riley Rd - full & ok
> Mt South Selwyn Tank - full & ok
> First 100m+ of Twins Track heading towards Selwyn Creek Rd difficult to navigate due to fires
> High knoll 1.2km before Twins Track Tank, be sure to keep on ridge heading East rather than follow access firetrail NW
> Twins Track Tank - full & ok
> The trail back down towards Twins Track Rd prior to climbing The Twins - careful to locate early takeoff, don't head south along ridge; trail faint and steep
> When reach Twins Track Rd, the trail now immediately heads directly to The Twins, without walking on the main Rd (track marker can be missed in mist)
> Trail from The Twins lower summit back to Twins Track Rd, again faint, difficult to follow and steep, generally following a ridge line.

Generally found the best guide where the trail is less evident, are signs of cut logs from previous track clearing, plus some pink tape marking, there are minimal AAWT markers

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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 25 Feb, 2021 9:05 pm

Another poster has listed the Jamieson to Licola road over Mt. Skene as being easy 2 WD standard. I disagree. I drove it in late Jan . 2021.

It was 4 WD/ AWD standard and street tyres would not be wise either. The signage at The Jamieson end says
" The following road is unsuitable for 2 WD for the next 38 kms".
Taking a chain saw is not optional. There were many trees down on the road which had been recently cut to clear the carriage way.
It could have been up to me to cut my way out but I was lucky I did not have to lose time with that chore.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 8:04 am

Hi Endevour,
if you don't mind, can you provide some details on trip time/days, food drops?
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Ndevr » Sat 27 Feb, 2021 11:41 am

Baeng72 wrote:Hi Endevour,
if you don't mind, can you provide some details on trip time/days, food drops?


Finished lunchtime Day 10, so 9 1/2 days.
Averaged roughly 7am to 6:30pm each day, including about 2.5 hours of breaks (mtea, lunch, atea, water collection, enjoy summit views, etc).
Fortunate streak of dry fine weather, though quite hot exceeding 30deg for 4 days above 1200m...water was king

Food drop was 300m after Mt Skene lookout, where the track rejoins Jamieson-Licola Rd (lunchtime Day 4).
Food drop could be better placed 2 hours further on at Mt McKinty Track Junction, where the track leaves Middle Ridge Rd, the last possible point in that section.

Alternatively if you're an ultralight fast hiker, you could carry 8 days supplies all the way through.

On the other hand, I believe most take more time, a full 2 weeks, which allows you to camp in the best spots (like The Viking summit), rather than just walking to a late time each day. I was limited to 10 days.

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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 27 Feb, 2021 4:17 pm

Ndevr wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:Hi Endevour,
if you don't mind, can you provide some details on trip time/days, food drops?


Finished lunchtime Day 10, so 9 1/2 days.
Averaged roughly 7am to 6:30pm each day, including about 2.5 hours of breaks (mtea, lunch, atea, water collection, enjoy summit views, etc).
Fortunate streak of dry fine weather, though quite hot exceeding 30deg for 4 days above 1200m...water was king

Food drop was 300m after Mt Skene lookout, where the track rejoins Jamieson-Licola Rd (lunchtime Day 4).
Food drop could be better placed 2 hours further on at Mt McKinty Track Junction, where the track leaves Middle Ridge Rd, the last possible point in that section.

Alternatively if you're an ultralight fast hiker, you could carry 8 days supplies all the way through.

On the other hand, I believe most take more time, a full 2 weeks, which allows you to camp in the best spots (like The Viking summit), rather than just walking to a late time each day. I was limited to 10 days.

Ndevr


Thanks Ndevr (sorry for writing Endevour, brain fart!).
Walking 9 hours a day for 9.5 days. Impressive. About 3km/hr in some pretty difficult country.
I'd love to do it, but like you, don't have the time. I'm pondering doing a mini stretch, starting somewhere like Rumpff Saddle or somewhere I can access in 2wd and walking to Hotham.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Anotherjonesy » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 5:59 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Another poster has listed the Jamieson to Licola road over Mt. Skene as being easy 2 WD standard. I disagree. I drove it in late Jan . 2021.

It was 4 WD/ AWD standard and street tyres would not be wise either. The signage at The Jamieson end says
" The following road is unsuitable for 2 WD for the next 38 kms".
Taking a chain saw is not optional. There were many trees down on the road which had been recently cut to clear the carriage way.
It could have been up to me to cut my way out but I was lucky I did not have to lose time with that chore.


I came from Licola yesterday in a 2wd, low clearance . Bit rough the last 10km but perfectly ok. Even got down Barkley river logging road. Plenty of 4wds zipping through constantly, so you're hardly Burke and Will's up there in terms of needing to cut tree fall over the road?
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 6:26 pm

The Jamieson to Licola road is busy on weekends in Green season . On a week day when I went in Jan. 2021 it was not busy at all.

You could be waiting a while for help if a tree blocks your path and you can't saw it into sections or if a stone damages your undercarriage and renders your vehicle inoperable.

I may even drive it again on a weekday early next Month. I personally would not take a low slung 2wd anywhere up there but I don't have such a car anyway.
I agree with the road sign at the Jamieson end of the road trip.
paidal_chalne_vala
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