Mt Hotham to Cope Hut, AAWT, Alpine National Park - November 2017
|Time is standing pretty still up here on the high plains.|
|There goes Sam, I'll see her again when I get to Thredbo in a couple of weeks.|
Dibbins Hut on the Cobungra River. I haven’t been down here since the fires and what use to be a beautiful walk along down Swindlers Spur is now a walk down amongst the bleached white Snow Gum skeletons, while the dead trees have a certain macabre beauty they aren’t a patch on the living versions, I suppose the good news is that the dead trees allowed for some nice views across to the snow streaked Mt Feathertop. It was a little odd but my other recollections of heading down here was how steep a long it was, but today it seemed like I was walking onto the grassy flats beside the Cobungra River in no time, maybe the previous 16 days on the AAWT had toughened me up a bit…? After getting a couple of photos of the old Dibbins Hut I wandered over the bridge and down to the camping platforms and toilet for Parks Vic new(ish) Falls to Hotham Alpine Walk, for a bit of a break. I think this walk is a bit of a marketing ploy by Parks Vic and the alpine ski resorts of Falls Creek and Mt Hotham to entice more punters up here in the warmer weather, Parks Vic have built flash camping platforms and toilets, added a few signs and track markers and improved the track in a couple of spots. The wisdom of sending what can be some pretty inexperienced walkers across some very exposed terrain is still up for debate though, in my eyes anyway.
|Dropping down Swindlers Spur, the flat open grassy valley just visible through the trees is my next objective.|
|The higher I climbed towards the Bogong High Plains the better the scenery got.|
|The pole line makes navigation reasonably easy across here, the real danger is the exposure to the elements.|
|The AAWT skirts around to the north of Mt Jim.|
|The Bogong High Plains Road was still closed for winter.|
I walked 22 kilometres and climbed 700 metres on what was, you guessed it, a hard days walking on the AAWT. My stats after 17 days on the AAWT are 277 kilometres along with 14,395 metres of climbing. Water was available pretty much when ever I wanted it today, the only time you might have to walk far for water up on the high plains might be at the end of a long dry summer. Like the water situation camping spots are really only limited by your imagination and the need for protection from the elements across here, probably the best spots are near the Cobungra River and down at Ryders Yards south of Cope Saddle. Cope Hut has very limited options for camping unless you’ve paid to do the Falls - Hotham Alpine Walk, the hut is an emergency refuge so if anyone turns up you just have to make some room, I wouldn’t use it if it was in the busy times. Navigation wise everything is pretty easy today, the track is well defined, sign posted and lined with snow poles. The issue today isn’t really navigation it’s more exposure to the elements, the pad crosses ground way above the tree line for large portions of the day and in bad weather this can be terrifying country (I’m speaking from personal experience here). I used John Chapman’s notes and maps as well as Rooftop’s Bright - Dartmouth Adventure Map for an overview.
AAWT, Day 1, October 2017.
AAWT, Previous day, November 2017.
Dibbins Hut, Alpine National Park, 1998.
|I was living the life tonight!|
|The sunset views from Cope Hut were pretty sweet tonight.|