Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

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Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 23 May, 2021 5:33 pm

I thought I'd have another crack at this bushwalking caper before Winter.
I'd rediscovered a bit of motivation and got a ticket o' leave for the weekend.
I had 'plans' about what I could do around the Hotham area in 2 and a bit days.
Needless to say my ambition outstripped my capabilities but I still got some nice stuff done and had a fun time.

Fri 21 May - Mt Loch carpark - Dibbins Hut (8.3km)
Started around 2pm after driving up from Melbourne.
Everything looked great covered in snow. I knew there'd been snow and wanted snow, and there was plenty.
I post-holed a bit down to Derrick Hut, it tires out the old legs to have to lift yourself out of holes.
IMG_3293.jpg
Derrick Hut

After Derrick the snow thinned the track was pretty clear most of the way.
The track down wasn't too bad, I thought I'm glad I'm not walking back up it (famous last words).
It gets cold down there at night, had the campsite to myself, next to the river, but I was well rugged up and wasn't bothered by it.

Sat 22 May - Dibbins Hut to erm, Dibbins Hut. (about 20km)
In the morning I got up and my tent fly was iced over from frozen condensation.
My socks from the day before were frozen solid and could have been used as a cosh. But I had a spare pair.
My runners were clogs for a good five minutes until warmth from my feet defrosted them.
I waited till daylight before heading up to Basalt Temple, as I wasn't sure the track would be easy or not to follow in the dark/twilight.
The walk up wasn't too bad, never found it too steep. The track was clear of snow pretty much up to that point.
I think walking in the cold suits me more than hot days as I don't overheat and have the layering caper down pat. I have a layer of blubber under my t-shirt.
After basalt temple the track got progressively more snowed over, and the post holing began again.
By the time I'd reached the intersection with the Young's hut track, it was wearing a bit thin.
There were some good sections for walking along the way, but more than enough soft/slushy section where the ice would give way under my bulk and there'd be chilled water waiting for my trail-runners.
IMG_3341.jpg
BHP

I got to pole 333, having passed the first person I'd seen in day, she'd stayed at Weston's for the night and was walking back to Hotham.
Then I headed along the pole line to Weston's.
IMG_3343.jpg
Feathertop

It took a while for such a short distance, but the snow was soft and I was a bit in need of a break by then.
IMG_3369.jpg
Weston's Hut

After a break at Weston's I got down to the West Kiewa Logging track, headed for Diamantina Horse yards, with a plan to either stay the night or start up Diamantina spur.
I got there that too late to continue, and I'd have to stay the night instead.
When I worked out how slow I'd been going, and guessed how long it would take to get up the spur, then walk back to Hotham, there wouldn't have been time to go to Feathertop on Sunday, which was the whole point of trying that spur.
Closer to summer, there would have been the time, but not in late May.
So I headed past Red-Robbing battery back to Dibbins for another night.
I talked to a guy who'd walked the Razorback, summitted Feathertop and came down Diamantina spur and onto Dibbins.
I slept well and was warm all night.

Sun 23 May - Dibbins to Mt Loch carpark. (8.3km)
Same frosting issue as the night before with condensation.
Same frozen shoes and socks (used my dry sleeping socks on the way back - I'm not rugged enough to wear the frozen ones).
I started early, having walked the track before, I didn't reckon it would be too hard to navigate.
The walk up Swindlers was a bit rough first thing with the cold and no warm up but I got into a groove and make it to Derrick Hut with no issues.
I think I was getting better at walking on snow as I didn't really post hole up to Mt Lock track (or the snow was still frozen and could support me?).
Got back to Mt Loch carpark and onto home.

Great scenery. The climbs and descents I did were all within my ability, if not fast, so I enjoyed doing a climb and not feeling like I needed to be put down.
Didn't see any wildlife (saw lots of horse poo, dog poo, and horse/dog/deer? prints).
I'll get to the summit of Feathertop one day, but probably in green season.
I'm pretty sure I'll get a restraining order from the police telling me to stop taking pictures of Feathertop, as I took too many. :)
All round, an enjoyable trip and a bit of an adventure.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby bigkev » Sun 23 May, 2021 5:53 pm

Looks like a good walk Baeng.

Feathertop looks really good from the Westons Hut Track I think and on a day like you got I reckon I'd be giving the camera a work out too 8)
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 24 May, 2021 10:28 am

Good stuff Baeng, looks excellent, thanks for the report.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Anotherjonesy » Mon 24 May, 2021 11:23 am

Nice one Baeng, would like to have a look up there with a bit of snow on the ground. All I'm doing at the moment on weekends is drinking homebrew and getting fat..
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 24 May, 2021 9:48 pm

Thanks guys!
Really lucked out with the weather.
Even a relative newby like myself could manage the conditions when there's no wind, blue skies and only frost to contend with.
If you're interested, first day video on you tube: https://youtu.be/l04lO_-L3jk

I remember I did see wildlife: grasshoppers, spiders and wasps on the way down to Weston's but forgot about them.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 24 May, 2021 11:39 pm

Bits of that almost looks XC skiable. We need more snow!!.I will be XC skiing out there this white season for sure.
I would have returned to Mt. Loch Car Park via Machinery spur. You could have thrown in a visit to the Mt. Loch summit on the way back . It is a tough and relentless ascent up Machinery spur 4 WD track but the scenery after the gap above the Red Robin Mine is very good on a clear day. I would like to XC ski out to Red Robin Mine and back from Mt. Hotham as a day tour.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 25 May, 2021 5:08 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Bits of that almost looks XC skiable. We need more snow!!.I will be XC skiing out there this white season for sure.
I would have returned to Mt. Loch Car Park via Machinery spur. You could have thrown in a visit to the Mt. Loch summit on the way back . It is a tough and relentless ascent up Machinery spur 4 WD track but the scenery after the gap above the Red Robin Mine is very good on a clear day. I would like to XC ski out to Red Robin Mine and back from Mt. Hotham as a day tour.

I thought about Machinery Spur, but I didn't fancy walking through a unmaintained track with lots of snow. I might be wrong about Machinery Spur being unmaintained, but that's what I vaguely remembered about it.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 25 May, 2021 5:08 pm

Anotherjonesy wrote:Nice one Baeng, would like to have a look up there with a bit of snow on the ground. All I'm doing at the moment on weekends is drinking homebrew and getting fat..

You make drinking homebrew and getting fat sound like a bad thing.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 25 May, 2021 6:05 pm

Machinery spur track is a regular 4 WD track used by Parks Victoria and for some years by Ken Harris who had the lease for Red Robin Mine. It is not a bush bash . If you choose to walk in calf deep snow rather than Nordic ski or snow shoe trek then that is the cross you have to bear. I have walked up and down Machinery spur track from Red Robin Battery and the old helipad. It is easier going down it. It would be good to ski down it if there was plenty of snow down to the bottom.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby ggorgeman » Tue 25 May, 2021 7:23 pm

Great report, enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 25 May, 2021 8:23 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Machinery spur track is a regular 4 WD track used by Parks Victoria and for some years by Ken Harris who had the lease for Red Robin Mine. It is not a bush bash . If you choose to walk in calf deep snow rather than Nordic ski or snow shoe trek then that is the cross you have to bear. I have walked up and down Machinery spur track from Red Robin Battery and the old helipad. It is easier going down it. It would be good to ski down it if there was plenty of snow down to the bottom.

That's all well and good, but when I've got to make a choice at the time and I don't have that info about the track, I guess I don't want to risk it.
I might have had an easier time going up the 4wd road and across Machinery Spur to Mt Loch road or it might have been a living hell. But I knew what I'd get going up Swindlers, so I took the devil I knew. :)
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 25 May, 2021 8:32 pm

Swindler's spur is tough either way. Going up it is steep until it levels out a bit. Going down it is a knee trembler. Machinery spur is relentless ascending it but if the weather is not hot then it would not be as cruel.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 25 May, 2021 9:00 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Swindler's spur is tough either way. Going up it is steep until it levels out a bit. Going down it is a knee trembler. Machinery spur is relentless ascending it but if the weather is not hot then it would not be as cruel.

I didn't think Swindlers Spur was that bad. I went down and up a day or so later.
It's no Eskdale or Staircase spur.

I reckon I know why I didn't get as far as I wanted on the 2nd day (apart from trudging through snow). I took so much *&%$#! video, geeking out about footprints, scat, landmarks, etc instead of just walking.
I could have made several 10 minute videos about all sorts of esoteria.
Anyway, I trimmed it down to 1 10 minute video, that's still basically verbal diarrhoea with some stunning scenery. https://youtu.be/IelUs81JgU0
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby stry » Wed 26 May, 2021 11:44 am

Nice vids. Thanks for taking the trouble. :)

Smart move, varying your plan to keep on having a good time and not get sucked into a man against the mountain challenge.

BTW, I always thought post holing was sinking in to your crutch. When that happens with both legs it is quite funny, but mainly to on lookers. :lol:
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 26 May, 2021 12:14 pm

stry wrote:Nice vids. Thanks for taking the trouble. :)

Smart move, varying your plan to keep on having a good time and not get sucked into a man against the mountain challenge.

BTW, I always thought post holing was sinking in to your crutch. When that happens with both legs it is quite funny, but mainly to on lookers. :lol:

Cheers!
I bet that is funny.
I've seen videos where people seemed to use post holing to mean sinking into the snow creating a post hole type shape. But maybe I didn't catch their meaning or whatever.
Unfortunately, my videos are on the net now, with that misunderstanding, so I can't do some sneaky ADR (Auto-dialog replacement) like they do in movies and dub a different word that makes me look like I have have idea what I'm talking about. :)
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby stry » Wed 26 May, 2021 12:45 pm

Depends how deep you set your posts, I s'pose :)

My posts would probably stay in place for a bit longer than yours :lol:
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 26 May, 2021 1:19 pm

stry wrote:Depends how deep you set your posts, I s'pose :)

My posts would probably stay in place for a bit longer than yours :lol:

Well, I thought it was supposed to look like a post hole, not be one.
But that might explain why the treated pine fences I did on the farm didn't stand up now that I think about it. :lol:
Anyway, I wasn't sinking 2-3 feet down in snow, a foot at best.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 27 May, 2021 2:31 pm

Does anybody know what this ridge/massif in the background of the middle of the photo is?
It's got a bit of snow on it, and is higher than anything else.
The photo was taken from next to Pole 333.
It's not Bogong, maybe Nelse?
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 28 May, 2021 10:05 am

You cannot see Mt. Nelse from pole 333.

If I can remember rightly , from Pole 333 or thereabouts You can see bits of Mt . Loch, Mt. Hotham , High Knob, Twin Knobs, Mt. Cope, Mt. McKay, The Fainters/ Jaithmathang ( spelling ? ) massif and Mt. Feathertop. Mt Jim is also nearby. There is a rise above the junction at pole 267 which exceeds 1800 M. It has a couple of boulders and a few snow gums on it. From there it is an easy off track walk or XC ski down to the mini reservoir at the Aqueduct and adjoining track and pole line that takes you around to Ryder's hut.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 May, 2021 10:19 am

Must be Mt McKay or Falls creek area. All the other mountains you listed I can identify.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 28 May, 2021 2:14 pm

Mt. McKay has a tower on the top of it and is situated within the Falls Creek ski resort boundary. In green season you can drive or walk up to the top of Mt. McKay. Mt. Bogong is visible from parts of the Bogong High Plains esp. from Tawonga Huts, The Crow's Nest and Near Roper's hut.
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 28 May, 2021 2:26 pm

Bogong what white with snow and had a different profile than this mount and would be to the left of the image. This mount/hill was dirty white although it's hard to see in the image I took from a video.
I looked on maps and a 3D visualization program and in that direction is Mt McKay, Falls Creek and Nelse (which can't be seen from Pole 333).
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby bigkev » Sat 29 May, 2021 5:46 pm

So here we are again and I'm spending another lockdown weekend in front of the telly watching walking Vlogs on You Tube. A bit of Dixie, a bit of Quicksand, a bit of IB TAT - and some bloke called Brian E...yes, I'm the other subscriber :D

Loved the videos Baeng... although I was waiting for the good mornings greetings (IBTAT style) when I saw you filming the stove firing up :wink:
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Anotherjonesy » Sat 29 May, 2021 7:30 pm

bigkev wrote:So here we are again and I'm spending another lockdown weekend in front of the telly watching walking Vlogs on You Tube. A bit of Dixie, a bit of Quicksand, a bit of IB TAT - and some bloke called Brian E...yes, I'm the other subscriber :D

Loved the videos Baeng... although I was waiting for the good mornings greetings (IBTAT style) when I saw you filming the stove firing up :wink:


The lockdowns certainly reinforce a want to escape reality! Make you think more about new expeditions . 2022 will be a big one for me if the planets half or even quarter align...

Half the TA then the PCT in a perfect world , if not... the TA, Heyson, larapinta and bib for me I think.

Might even revisit the AAWT or half of it in December, see how the next 4-5 months pan out, but I'm just accumulating cash ATM waiting impatiently...
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby bigkev » Sat 29 May, 2021 7:51 pm

Anotherjonesy wrote:
bigkev wrote:So here we are again and I'm spending another lockdown weekend in front of the telly watching walking Vlogs on You Tube. A bit of Dixie, a bit of Quicksand, a bit of IB TAT - and some bloke called Brian E...yes, I'm the other subscriber :D

Loved the videos Baeng... although I was waiting for the good mornings greetings (IBTAT style) when I saw you filming the stove firing up :wink:


The lockdowns certainly reinforce a want to escape reality! Make you think more about new expeditions . 2022 will be a big one for me if the planets half or even quarter align...

Half the TA then the PCT in a perfect world , if not... the TA, Heyson, larapinta and bib for me I think.

Might even revisit the AAWT or half of it in December, see how the next 4-5 months pan out, but I'm just accumulating cash ATM waiting impatiently...


Yes, these random lockdowns make it tough to plan don't they Jonesy. I really enjoy planning and looking forward to my next little adventure however at the moment it's still too dodgy for me to plan anything.

Your stuff still pops up on my You Tube feed too, so I'll look forward to enjoying your walks vicariously from my couch with a cold beverage :wink:

I'm hoping to do the big 3 in OZ when I retire before heading over to the US for a few summers to do the big 3 over there - a man's gotta have dreams :roll: I've got around 5 years before I pull the pin on work so I'm hoping things will have settled down a lot by then.... god I'm hoping!
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Anotherjonesy » Sat 29 May, 2021 8:01 pm

Will look forward to your blog in 5 years time then! You'll get an influx of traffic on your great site then attracting the U.S crowd.
Surely we'll be sorted by then...

I had 12-18 months of walks/adventures planned for my 40th early last year, alas covid killed it all. Hoping maybe my 42nd year I might be able to drag 6-12 months together, who knows
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 29 May, 2021 9:22 pm

I lucked out last week with the weather and as it turned out lockdown.
I don't think I'll ever get to do a walk more that a week long. More likely long weekends are what I'll do.
When I get the chance, and a few days I'd like to walk down Machinery Spur, up Diamantina, and return via Razorback after checking out Feathertop. Or up Bungalow, Feathertop, over Razorback, down Bon Accord. If I had at least 3 days, up Bungalow, over Razorback to Hotham, down Machinery Spur, up Diamantina, over Razorback (again), down Bon Accord. I'd probably find I'm too slow to do the full figure-8, but hey, got to have (small) dreams and if I do it late Spring, I'll have a lot more hours.

Thanks BigKev. I hadn't heard of IB TAT before. I'll have to check his channel out. I've watched Dixie & Darwin as well as Jupiter? and there was a big bloke who did the PCT in '19 called Second Chance, being a fatso, that was interesting.
I don't know what to film, what to edit, and I should use some audio post-processing to remove the heavy breathing. When I'm making the vids I don't even notice I'm puffing.
Anyway, if you like them that's great and any tips/suggestions are welcome.
What are the big 3 in oz? Larapinta? Bilbumum? AAWT? Wilson's Prom southern circuit. :wink:
You're blog's a beaut. If you get over to the US, I'll be following along vicarously.

Jonesy, I hope you get over to NZ for the TA and the US for the big trails and whatever else you have planned.
If you can make videos or some other media so I can follow along, that'd be great too.
*&%$#! COVID hey!
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby bigkev » Sat 29 May, 2021 10:16 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
What are the big 3 in oz? Larapinta? Bilbumum? AAWT? Wilson's Prom southern circuit. :wink:
You're blog's a beaut. If you get over to the US, I'll be following along vicarously.



My big 3 in Australia is the Heyson / Bib / AAWT - I hope to do them all back to back the year I retire...we'll see I suppose.

Make sure the kids aren't around when you check out IB TAT's channel :shock:
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby bigkev » Sun 30 May, 2021 8:46 am

Baeng72 wrote:
Thanks BigKev. I hadn't heard of IB TAT before. I'll have to check his channel out. I've watched Dixie & Darwin as well as Jupiter? and there was a big bloke who did the PCT in '19 called Second Chance, being a fatso, that was interesting.
I don't know what to film, what to edit, and I should use some audio post-processing to remove the heavy breathing. When I'm making the vids I don't even notice I'm puffing.
Anyway, if you like them that's great and any tips/suggestions are welcome.


Obviously I enjoy the scenery and the tracks on these vids however on the longer walks it's also the highs and lows - hearing how they are coping physically and mentally with the heat/cold/hills/snow/desert/etc.

A quick run down of the plan for the day and a quick warts and all summary again at the end of the day is also something I enjoy watching

Also I wouldn't worry about your age, body shape, or fitness - just own it! I've watched a bit of Second Chance along with plenty of Vlogs of older folks, that's the thing with walking, more or less everybody can do it. I'm not sure about the post production stuff - while the sound of wind buffering the audio is annoying the other option of adding music can be hit or miss too. Maybe think about some image stabilisation although you could open pandoras box once you start upgrading your recording equipment :shock:

I'm guessing that like me this is more of a hobby than a career choice for you - if I'm right then just do what you'll enjoy watching again in 5 years time and don't worry too much about what might get you hits. As Jonesy eluded too, if you want a lot of traffic to your site then it's the popular tracks that'll drag the traffic in however I enjoy the obscure stuff at least as much so that's why I post about them - in five years time I don't want to be sitting I my rocking chair on the porch reading about The Prom and the High Country and nothing else .
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Re: Mt Hotham - Pole 333 21-23 May

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 30 May, 2021 9:45 am

Thanks BigKev.
I don't want more hits as such.
Just haven't got an idea what I'm doing.
I think I've mentioned in the past, the videos are primarily for my missus so she can see what weirdness I get up to, highs and lows.
There's a stupid song and dance I did at pole 333 for example that didn't make the youtube cut.
Other stupid bits I cut out that I thought general audience wouldn't get, because boring or an in joke.
In the end, she found the frozen socks at Dibbins the funniest bit.
I cut out a lot of commentary, cause I think I drone on a bit much at the best of times.

It's definitely a hobby for me. I'll never do the AAWT, or maybe after I finished working and the kids are grown up I might be able?
Baeng72
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
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