12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur loop.

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12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur loop.

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 2:26 pm

A trip report and many photos can be seen at this weblink.
Thanks for your interest in this matter :-) .

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/thorn ... st-4499287
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 3:02 pm

Epic photos!
Helicopter Spur sounds extreme.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby neilmny » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 3:09 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Epic photos!
Helicopter Spur sounds extreme.


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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby north-north-west » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 4:22 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Epic photos!
Helicopter Spur sounds extreme.


It's straightforward. A couple of easy scramble that can be sidestepped, although the open ground around them is loose and sometimes awkward. It's a lovely little walk.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 4:30 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:Epic photos!
Helicopter Spur sounds extreme.


It's straightforward. A couple of easy scramble that can be sidestepped, although the open ground around them is loose and sometimes awkward. It's a lovely little walk.

OK, it's weird some people describe walks as if they're difficult, others easy.
I suppose it's down to fitness, and comfort with exposure.
I'd like to do the Viking circuit for example, but apart from the slow going requiring days, the scramble up (or down) the chute, and I think around near Mt. Spec I've read can be a bit hairy, so not sure just yet.
I can't do a chin-up, so anything requiring scrambling up rocks with a backpack seems like it'd be hard or inadvisable.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby north-north-west » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 5:33 pm

Chin-ups are about upper body strength. When scrambling, hands should be used for three things only: balance, brace, hold. It's the legs that do the work.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 5:53 pm

north-north-west wrote:Chin-ups are about upper body strength. When scrambling, hands should be used for three things only: balance, brace, hold. It's the legs that do the work.

Fair enough, I guess I was thinking if your feet slip while holding a near-verticle rock face, it'd be nice not to slip as well, and that requires good upper body strength to keep the hold long enough to get the legs back into play.
I don't want to derail this report anymore, I just go the impression that Helicopter Spur was quite a difficult scramble with a bit of risk.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 7:03 pm

Nice report PCV

The helicopter spur scrambles both have good hand and footholds at all times so are very achievable. They both have moments if you fell you would badly hurt yourself, but you definitely will not fall. So it is mainly how comfortable or not you are in that situation.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 7:51 pm

I have gone up and down the following rock face scrambles.
(Having a heavy pack on your back makes things much harder.)
: The Bluff; Stanley Name spur; Diamantina Spur, Helicopter spur ; Mt. Cobbler; Muesli spur and one or two places in the Grampians.
Helicopter spur is the most difficult climb I have done in terms of rock scrambling , steepness and potentially dangerous results if you fall. I would not go down Helicopter spur and I would avoid most them if it is wet and slippery.
I am fit and willing to give things a try . I am pleased I have now experienced Helicopter spur but I am in no hurry to do it again.
King spur from the King river to Mt. Koonika also has cliff climbing sections using the crab crawling approach . I have yet to tackle that route. The school kids at Timbertop school still use that route.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby north-north-west » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 5:08 am

I don't recall any real scrambling on that route - just some steep climbs on sometimes loose ground. Still, II only did it once and it was at least ten years back.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 6:07 am

The second and third bands (if you are following the distinct footpad) both have sections where it is impossible to proceed without using your hands. I think that's a good definition of a scramble. Museli spur does not so I think, for me, it isn't a scramble. But PCV does so it's a personal thing to some extent. It would be good if there were a grading system that was easy to apply and understand. If you read trip reports on the cathedral ranges, for example, you will come away no wiser as to whether it is near impossible or a simple walk. I no longer bother trying to find out how hard things are in advance and just assume if it's a known walk then it can be done.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby north-north-west » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 6:43 am

That is the very definition of a scramble. The night on Spec and the snake on the road back down to Cobbler must have erased the scrambling from the brain.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 6:48 am

Crab Crawling means using both hands and both feet to ascend and descend steep slopes. When I have my hiking poles collapsed to their shortest length and just dangling from my wrists by the straps then I am crab crawling .
.Crab Crawling is not walking but it works .
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 8:02 am

CraigVIC wrote:The second and third bands (if you are following the distinct footpad) both have sections where it is impossible to proceed without using your hands. I think that's a good definition of a scramble. Museli spur does not so I think, for me, it isn't a scramble. But PCV does so it's a personal thing to some extent. It would be good if there were a grading system that was easy to apply and understand. If you read trip reports on the cathedral ranges, for example, you will come away no wiser as to whether it is near impossible or a simple walk. I no longer bother trying to find out how hard things are in advance and just assume if it's a known walk then it can be done.

There's a bit of that. Some people must find a section challenging and you'll read in their write up that it's risky, other's probably skip right through and don't feel the need to mention it.
I've read one report of someone hiking up to Mt Buggery, wherein he describes a ledge he had to scale and if he slipped, it'd be bye bye. I haven't read that in others' reports of the Crosscut saw.
I've read there's some rock bands up to Mt. Spec, but not Mt. Buggery.
Regarding the chimney/chute at the Viking, some seem to find it a doddle, and others like the Hilary Step.
So, I think your advice is pretty good CraigVIC, if it's a known route, not called Western Arthurs Traverse or Anapurna, and you are reasonably fit, it's probably OK.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby bigkev » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 10:21 am

Nice walk PVC, thanks for sharing.

I find scrambling a little like off track walking in that differant peoples tolarances can vary wildly. What a fat old bloke like me would conside crazy hard, someone with better reflexes and flexability would consider fairy routine (it's not all about age though :wink: ).

For what it's worth I find most of the fairly well known scrambles in Vic fairly straightforwd. Tassie is a differant ball park though! The only scrambles that I've pulled out of were on a solo walk in the Gammons years ago, the combination of footware, remoteness and consequences had me re-asses the situation.

I find that if I'm reading Chapman, Tempest, Thomas or anyone else's notes then I can calibrate my brain to their description. What I mean by that is that after walking a few of the Chapman's routes I soon realized that when they say "climb steeply up the gully" translated for me that means "climb an almost vertical wall of inevitably loose rock". It works for scrub too...when they say "follow the faint pad" it translates for me as "push through a wall of re-growth"

Cheers

PS how good is it to be able head out on a walk again :D
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 10:47 am

bigkev wrote:Nice walk PVC, thanks for sharing.

I find scrambling a little like off track walking in that differant peoples tolarances can vary wildly. What a fat old bloke like me would conside crazy hard, someone with better reflexes and flexability would consider fairy routine (it's not all about age though :wink: ).

For what it's worth I find most of the fairly well known scrambles in Vic fairly straightforwd.

It's great to get out.
I noticed on your AAWT writeup, you didn't go up the Chimney at the Viking, and instead went out on a log and up the side. That strikes me as someone pretty comfortable with exposure.
I find that if I'm reading Chapman, Tempest, Thomas or anyone else's notes then I can calibrate my brain to their description. What I mean by that is that after walking a few of the Chapman's routes I soon realized that when they say "climb steeply up the gully" translated for me that means "climb an almost vertical wall of inevitably loose rock". It works for scrub too...when they say "follow the faint pad" it translates for me as "push through a wall of re-growth"



What's Brookes like in descriptions? There's a shortcut from the lookout on the Devil's staircase down to the Wannangatta on Brooke's 'Watersheds of the King,etc' that looks like it'd be pretty steep, but cut off the Zeka death march.
I wonder if it's only for super athletes? Chapman doesn't suggest it, so maybe it isn't used much. When I rang the ranger before the first lockdown, he pointed me to the one Chapman mentions.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 11:22 am

Most of the guide book wallahs are possibly super human IMHO.
Glenn van der thingy especially so.

Big Kev and I seem to be able to interpret instructions to match our own abilities. 4 hours walking = 8 hours of walking.

A steep but straight forward scramble is a death defying bit of rock climbing with a small family car strapped to one's back etc..
:-p
Yes , it is marvelous to be bushwalking again. I have many more trips to cram in from next week until the next XC ski season starts.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Xplora » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 6:19 am

Baeng72 wrote:There's a bit of that. Some people must find a section challenging and you'll read in their write up that it's risky, other's probably skip right through and don't feel the need to mention it.
I've read one report of someone hiking up to Mt Buggery, wherein he describes a ledge he had to scale and if he slipped, it'd be bye bye. I haven't read that in others' reports of the Crosscut saw.
I've read there's some rock bands up to Mt. Spec, but not Mt. Buggery.
Regarding the chimney/chute at the Viking, some seem to find it a doddle, and others like the Hilary Step.
So, I think your advice is pretty good CraigVIC, if it's a known route, not called Western Arthurs Traverse or Anapurna, and you are reasonably fit, it's probably OK.


Not sure where on Buggery that person was. It is steep in places and the northern side has a bit of stepping down but I cannot recall, in all the numerous times I have done it (summer and winter) of any scrambling on Buggery. There is a very short climb getting up to Mt. Spec from the southern side but it is not difficult. If you were not comfortable doing that with a pack on then you could take a short bit of rope and haul the packs up. I also don't call climbing up or over a couple of boulders a real scramble but others would. Some may say the last bit of Howitt spur to the summit is a scramble but it is not difficult. People who are used to more comfortable walking conditions can find their comfort levels challenged when confronted with this sort of obstacle. It is very personal.

Anyway, good effort from PCV. Perhaps soon he will get over the crosscut to Mt. Spec. The Crosscut, from my recollection, starts where his group turned off. It would be a worthwhile journey and definitely something for your bucket list. The last time I did was in terrible weather. We came across a couple of guys intending to do the Viking circuit going the other way. The next day we came across them at Mac Springs. Not the weather for that walk.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 7:07 am

The only section of the Cross cut saw I have yet to walk is from Mt. Buggery down to the Horrible Gap and up Mt. Spec.. I may yet do it as a day walk from Mt. Spec. with a camp site on or near Mt. Spec. I would probably leave the car at Lake Cobbler and walk up the track to camp at Mt. Spec. .Perhaps a few days after Xmas 2020 could be the time to do this. The Buller / Howitt area is off my radar once Jan. comes. It becomes too hot and dry then.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby north-north-west » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 9:23 am

Baeng72 wrote:I've read one report of someone hiking up to Mt Buggery, wherein he describes a ledge he had to scale and if he slipped, it'd be bye bye. I haven't read that in others' reports of the Crosscut saw.


Going from the Howitt side, there is - or possibly was, it may no longer be used - an alternative route that went up and over one of the higher bumps that the main track sidled. There was one spot where the route got a little vague and if you took the straightest line it required a bit of scrambling that could look a little hairy to those not accustomed to it. But I think that was on the northern side so they'd be going down on the way out.
Otherwise the only bit of scrambling on the Crosscut is one very easy bit between Horrible Gap and Speculation.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 9:57 am

I've thoroughly derailed PCV's trip report, so apologies. As I've said before, no social skills....
I rummaged around the old internet and found the report I was thinking of. It was a trip report for the 'Buller Huts Trail' and mentioned
At one point (I think shortly before Mt Buggery) the trail leads up to a ~3m rock face with a rope hanging down and you have to climb up. It's probably do-able without the rope, pushing your pack up first then using rocks just to the side for footholds, but would be quite dangerous as the landing at the top is not flat and slipping would mean a big fall

Rereading it, not sure the person is sure where this was, so might have been heading up Mt. Spec.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Ultralight/com ... australia/
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby north-north-west » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 12:24 pm

Nope. There's nothing like that on the Crosscut, and I've never seen a rope there. Only rope I've seen on any of the standard Vic Alps walks is the cave on the Viking, but this doesn't sound like the cave. And the step between Horrible Gap and Speculation does not need a rope, even with a pack.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Xplora » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 2:14 pm

north-north-west wrote:Nope. There's nothing like that on the Crosscut, and I've never seen a rope there. Only rope I've seen on any of the standard Vic Alps walks is the cave on the Viking, but this doesn't sound like the cave. And the step between Horrible Gap and Speculation does not need a rope, even with a pack.


I'm with you on this. Apart from a ledge or two and maybe a pull up grabbing a tree, the only big step is the one you and I have both mentioned. I recall taking someone less experience over the Crosscut (there and back) and we had to lift her pack up that small step at the base of Spec.

Don't worry about the thread. It is not derailed, just providing more valuable information on that area.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 6:44 pm

http://hikingfiasco.com/2012/02/15/heli ... onal-park/

The Hiking Fiasco report on this hike is amusing and has good photos too.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 7:08 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:http://hikingfiasco.com/2012/02/15/helicopter-spur-to-hells-window-alpine-national-park/

The Hiking Fiasco report on this hike is amusing and has good photos too.

It's a small internet. I read that a few hours ago.
Mr. Fiasco is a great storey teller. His account of the Viking circuit, especially the Koala killing farter cracked me up.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby Mr Bean » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 1:34 pm

Thanks for the report PCV. I've often wondered, when heading down Stanleys Named Spur, what the Mt Thorn range is like. I must give it a go one day.
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Re: 12-16/11/20. Thorn Range day hike & Helicopter spur l

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 27 Nov, 2020 6:12 pm

The Thorn range is scenic and the track is over grown in some sections and not obvious in places. I am glad I have finally ticked that walk off the list .
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