Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mt Bogong, #5 of the State 8

A 700-metre ascent from a humid, fern-filled valley onto an alpine summit could not be more of a contrast. Mt Bogong, Victoria’s highest peak at 1968 metres, lies in the Victiorian Alps near the 50s town of Mt Beauty.

Mt Bogong, the High Country, Victoria

The final of three blog entries for a week spent around Canberra doing three of the State 8 peaks - the highest mountains in each of Australia's eight states and territories.

SUMMARY - Mt Bogong hike
Start Mountain Creek Picnic Area
End Mt Bogong summit, re-trace steps to Mountain Creek Picnic Area
Time 3h15m up, 2h30m down
Distance 7km each way
Elevation gain 1370m
Topographic maps 1:30 000 scale, T8324-1-3-S

The alpine environment of Mt Bogong was quite different from the alpine environment of Mt Kosciuszko. Bogong has quite a lot of prominence, how much it rises above country around it. So the alpine area around the summit is small, contrasting with the large alpine area that surrounds the rather indistinct Kosciuszko.

Mt Bogong was the third peak on the week’s list of the State 8 summits – the highest peak in each of Australia’s eight states and territories.

Starting from Mountain Creek Picnic Area, we hiked up the aptly named Staircase Spur. The most direct route, so the steepest, with a few short sections that taper off the constant ascent. We hiked up in the warm, humid afternoon to the halfway point, Bivouac Hut. The noisy school kids didn’t put us off for long, we set up our tents in the large clearing beside the hut – the hut itself is quite small and designed for emergency use. It does have a wood heater though, and a water tank. We did try and look further afield for some tent spots, but being on a steep spur halfway up a mountain meant there were limited camping options, so we settled down with the teenagers instead. Lightning rolled around us the sun set, but we sat outside cooking dinner as the rain spared us.

The following morning, with the summit shrouded in mist, we set off again to the top. Conditions changed as we got higher, we walked past the treeline into the cool breeze, and then into the mist. Nearing the summit paths led off to the right, but in the mist it may have been certain death, so we continued along the snow poles to the ridge, then walked the short distance to the summit. Marked by a large stone cairn which provided us with shelter from the strong, cold winds, Vicki did her little summit jig. We were thankful we had brought along extra clothes, not needed back near the hut but a life-saver up here. A small blue spot emerged through the clouds in the sky above us, but we soon gave up on waiting for any clearing of the weather, and instead started heading back down.

Finishing back at the cars Mountain Creek Picnic Area, we sniffed out a dozen tents that appeared, absent of people and cars, before enjoying a swim in the freezing waters of the creek.

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Download larger version of track notes
Label Grid Ref Location Note
1 225 383 Mountain Creek Picnic Area, carpark lawned area beside creek, picnic tables, carpark, toilet
2 242 383 Base of Staircase Spur 30 mins from carpark
3 263 368 Bivouac Hut Small hut with stove, water tank, nice toilet, camping area. 1h30m from base of spur (1), 2h from carpark (1). 4km from carpark (1).
4 Treeline
5 Memorial
6 Ridge junction Turn west for summmit, east for Eskdale Point
7 273 347 Mt Bogong summit Marked by cairn, 1h15m from Bivouac Hut (3), 2h45m from base of spur (2), 3h15m from carpark (1). 7.1km from carpark (1).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a correction: The summit is 1986m ( not 1968!) small typo I know.

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