Bogong & Feathertop Access /Track reports etc.

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Ubiquitous Steve, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    all above is a bit of a problem,,glad end result went ok...

    I have a moderate tear in my Femoris erectus muscle group..and an limping...very pleased I managed to get out by myself...

    have had U/S and MRI ...able to move around ok...
    just a very unlucky accident and proof that we are all subject to injury...

    weather over weekend was not good and a real hypothermia possibility for anybody around the traps..it would be possible to get trail bike to Picnic Point my brain was sorting out possibilities had I needed assistance...parts there after are overgrown and would make a rescue unnecessarily more difficult...

    taking the necessary wet weather gear and warm woollen clothes is very important...but the well used Bungelow Track really needs attention so that if and when(certain to happen again) another rescue is needed a trail bike can climb all way up to Ridge Line proper(some 4kms approx.) so Parks/Local Police/SES etc can get there fast with gear in their back packs...

    the track would support a trail bike:wide enough and gentle enough....but needs scrub cut back....
    rescue groups must be pissed off with getting thro scrub and then having to assist a victim back thro unnecessary undergrowth....
     
  2. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    We found that The wet sleeping bag man was not really taking anything we said in. We were concerned and mentioned to each other that we should report it as we powered down the hill .Yes I/ we probably got it wrong o_O but I am not an expert at these things. I know how to avoid getting to that stage myself by being well prepared. I later looked up first aid for hypothermia on the inter webby and the information reads that mid level cases should not be moved.
    Have a thought for the child whose guardian risked both of their lives in an irresponsible way.
    I will know better next time:oops: and thank goodness help was definitely on the way within the hour .
     
  3. neilmny

    neilmny Active Member

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    Mister Tee, You did not cause the situation but you left a child in a very dangerous situation. The man was unresponsive, please do not take this as personal attack as it is not, but "powering on" could have meant two victims not one. Get some knowledge on hypothermia as it could happen to one of your mates or even yourself. Disorientation is a symptom. As a walk and/or group leader you should really know this stuff.

    Once again I am not slinging mud by any means.
     
  4. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    these events happen and wisdom is being offered Team Bears can see...ideally I suppose a passing party would pitch a tent and stay with victim or put him in bivvy bag in some dry clothes...but it is easy to sound wise and I am sure parties were more than concerned here...but all ended well and rescued folk will come back better prepared next time...

    hopefully everybody is looking out for each other....and you know the type of days that exhaustion/hypothermia/injury will occur....

    good safe outcome resulted...we all learned something last weekend...

    thanks to all involved in getting the duo safely back to their vehicles...
     
  5. AndrewA

    AndrewA Well-Known Member

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    BTW , Steve, for correctitude, the muscle is rectus femoris! Just in case anyone is googling it. Bummer of an injury. Hope it heals reasonably quickly, coz Team Bears will miss the chainsaw!
     
  6. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes I see that I put wrong thing down on post ....not a good injury first major one and I was just very unlucky the way it infolded up there..i finished all major works of the day and I was just twaddling down track easily without any effort just prior to spill...

    Team Bears still feel that Fed Hut will prevent more hypothermic situations arriving than would otherwise occur rather than drawing inexperienced walkers to their doom...so inexperienced parties in trouble at least have hut there as fall back should weather prove beyond their capacity...we left sufficient firewood for weekend and next week...difficulty is when inexperienced parties conkout before they reach there and have insufficient gear to handle the cold...
    we calculated that about 15folk were congregated at Fed Hut on Saturday night...but even standing room only would have been at 30degC roughly allowing anybody to thaw out from a hypothermic state of affairs..;)

    from what we observed all parties gaining Fed Hut/and surroundings where to some extent stuffed and hypothermic to some degree....even fit,young and well dressed/prepared..
     
  7. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I wasn't too far off being in poor shape when I got to Michell Hut on Friday night - all the perspiration from the walk plus the wetness of the scrub bashing would have taken my temp very south once I spent some time nearer to the treeline and in the wind. When I got to the hut I put on my down jacket & pitched the tent, then was fine when I put on some dry thermals to sleep. But hypothermia was right on my mind when I was walking up.
     
  8. AndrewA

    AndrewA Well-Known Member

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    I can think of little more miserable than walking up the Eskdale through that wet overhanging scrub. Yuk.

    Steve, when you recover, perhaps we could talk you into exchanging your chainsaw for a hedge trimmer, so that you could get the scrub nicely trimmed pre-season?!

    A
     
  9. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    Yes , I take your point and I am contrite and have thought about this since Sunday. My Friend in Myrtleford who has been in a ski patrol somewhere along the line also said I should have marched the patient down the hill. I shall remain better informed and be more aware of these things henceforth. Yes we / I got it wrong and I must admit it was the first time I had ever seen such a case in real life , in years upon years of outdoors activities all year round, so my inexperience with this matter was to blame. On another note I am glad U. Steve is recovering, and that he was NOT more seriously hurt and will be soon back on the trail with his log cutting gear.
     
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  10. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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  11. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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  12. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    The weird thing about this incident is that I actually left the patient just as he was , wet ,cold and dazed on a bush track with a child:eek:. I am now quite troubled by this:(o_O:cry:. Moreover I do carry a huge space blanket strapped to my pack inside a dry bag to insulate the floor of my snow camping tent and it doubles as a life saving device for the very situation that confronted me:oops:.
    It is true that without the prior training, rehearsal and education in these situations people don't always do the right thing even if they have the gear and the planning . I am glad that nobody perished and I will be ever vigilant in future regarding these matters , and with completing a first aid training course in November I hope I can be of better service to others in the wilderness and turn a negative into a positive.
    Especially so because I am out there nearly fortnightly all year round. The National parks are potentially dangerous but the benefits they present outweigh the hazards.
     
  13. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    don't beat up on yourself too much....these things happen ..we all see a better response may have happened after an event...
     
  14. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    one thing I have noticed ..and I am not being critical of poor Parks Vic is the intention boxes are getting wet pages in the intention books and then walkers cannot write their trip details which should be considered very important for Parks/Vic Police in spotting overdue patrons....they really need a fully covered section so a tri[p intention book can be well filled out with details including mobile phone nos etc..yes extra money but well worth the expense for searchers trying to work out who is missing and where they most likely are....even an extra internet type of log in system could be formatted for tech savvy...
    some trail heads get well used like approaches to Bogong and Feathertop so its just as important as suitable gear carried to have good details available for Parks/Vic Police to check off when they patrol these points.....:whistle::whistle:
     
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  15. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes brush cutter may get some action soon but I may need a little time off till this thigh gets some function back..
    and brushcutter will be a bit less physical to handle and I can use it as a walking stick perhaps!!!:p
     
  16. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I didn't bother on Friday night as it was pouring. But we had a good check-in system planned with CG's mum, told her our intentions and location etc etc.

    Eskdale would definitely benefit from a haircut - looking good on the major obstacle front but the minor obstacles definitely added up.
     
  17. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yep the "drain" up from the creek crossing is a wallow...lots of shrubbery...Team Bears will keep this in mind as a project ...also any plumbers/handymen about may consider a revamp of taps on water tanks at both Michelle and Federation..
    I think a gate valve is insitu at Bivouc Hut and doesnot get frozen requiring a stove to de-ice it!!!Bivouc has a tap but with gate valve....these would be more than good if skilled folk can do the job.....

    good thing about this winter so far is nobody has died or gone missing that I know of....but I am sure there have been lots of dramas that I have missed...;);)
     
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  18. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    Yeah I had to melt some snow on Sat morning which I boiled to pour over the tap at Michell to get the water flowing - I take a 6L bladder so with that filled we were sorted for the rest of the top.
     
  19. AndrewA

    AndrewA Well-Known Member

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    With respect to the tap on the water tank, replacing it with a gate valve would require the tank to be drained, wouldn't it? Maybe you could just screw a new one in without draining the tank, and hope it would seal properly?...

    Would a block of open cell foam cut to fit over the tap insulate it enough to prevent it freezing?

    A
     
  20. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    Yes, ascending the Eskdale spur track after the creek crossing is presently a wet chore with scrub in your face as you scramble up the erosion gully. The Bungalow spur track is full of bushfire regrowth saplings that are blocking the track and making it another wet chore to pass through.Does Parks Vic. just give up on all track work during winter?. The local communities get money coming in from visitors such as me passing through and spending a few dollars here and there before and after these mountain trips. Since Mt. Bogong and Mt. Feathertop are not attractions that require the payment of an entry fee one wonders what is the best way to ensure better access to these places in terms of eco tourism and safety.
     
    #70 Mister Tee on snow shoes, Aug 24, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  21. neilmny

    neilmny Active Member

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    x2 Mr Tee.
    You've obviously given it a lot of thought, I'd say that's what matters.
    If you didn't give a rats razoo it would be another story.
     
  22. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes tap/tank interface will need some expertise:Team Bears don't have a clue regards pipes and plumbing....so other forum members may be able to look and provide solution and possibly be able to do an upgrade professionally...:cool:
     
  23. neilmny

    neilmny Active Member

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    It's hard to say if the foam would do the job, it's worth trying.
    Bush mechanics tap change over - .
    Rather than drain the tank - a quick change over to an open ball valve would lose a fair bit of water but it's winter so probably the time to do it as the water will be replenished.
    As the tap is screwed off and the leak really gets going open the tap to stop you wearing the gush when the thread comes free. Then quickly screw an open correctly sized ball valve on then shut it off when it's fitted. Messy and water will be lost but should do the job.

    Disclaimer - I'm not a plumber.
     
  24. AndrewA

    AndrewA Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. That sounds a practical way to do it. Maybe someone up there soon could let peeps know what size thread it is, (and perhaps post a piccy) presumably they are 3/4", aren't they? - and then someone else might take spanner and tap up there and change it? I'd do it, but just not looking like heading up for a while - my current focus is on fly fishing, and sadly I'm not convinced I will actually end up on Bogong this winter (first time for 20+ yrs, but ....just not that inspired to get cold - I think the mid year holiday to Kiribati and Hawaii is to blame!).


    A
     
  25. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes after some obs/photos/measurments I reckon someone could rock up with tap already connected to a gate valve and just change it over with some of he special stuff for thread and a correct couple of tools..then that would put an end to folk stuffing around with flame over the brass tap assembly...valve open and quick screw up to minimize water loss...sounds good but Team Bears have no idea about anything related to plumbing or pipes etc...
     
  26. marv hucker

    marv hucker Dedicated Member

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    It's a shit of a feeling, one where (despite your best intentions) a little bit of training goes a long way

    I was one of the first responders to an unresponsive dude on the street a few weeks ago and had one right idea (checked the dogs' collars for home phone number) which led me to speaking to his wife/partner to let her know what was happening but (duuuhhh) didn't ask if he had any pre-existing heart/diabetes conditions - which would've been bloody helpful to the ambos.
    You think about this stuff about half an hour later

    Now finding myself a first aid course to do.
     
  27. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    these events will happen again and again ....and we all learn something here.
    .but folk were on popular track not lost and had some winter gear obviously but the effort and weather may have smitten them& they called 000 on their phone which was good.......so a good place to be hypothermic and easy for rescuers to get at quickly(well apart from maybe some wet bushes over track)...and I hope poor soul bounces back and returns soon for another crack at Feathertop or night in/around Federation Hut ....
     
  28. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    I would recommend to the patient to buy a Goretex jacket and a bivvy bag/ or a two persons 4 seasons tent. Nobody cannot count on finding or reaching any refuge hut in bad weather. Fed. hut was full when the father and son appeared on Sat. evening.
     
  29. VSG

    VSG Pool Room
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    Needs more Snow Blowey and chaps.
     
  30. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    where did the duo sleep sat. night ...Team Bears saw a multitude heading up the track and were thinking it would be chockers but I knew that it would be very warm in there with fire stoked up and regardless of crowding even the last to arrive would have a chance to warm up once they stepped inside...so we hope nobody spent night outside without right gear....

    bivvy bags seem good idea ...kind thing that u can appreciate when u have injury or are stuffed and need to crawl into to spend a night..

    not sure how things unravelled for the victim up there ???
     
  31. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    The hut sleepers made a space for the father and son . They had eff all (FA X 2 ) gear really . It was madness for them to hike up there to Fed. Hut and arrive in the dark. The hut was beyond capacity. I have never seen it that crowded before. I always prefer my warm ,clean , quiet and dry snow camping tent.
    I usually take a Black diamond brand snow shovel so I can dig the tent in well out of the wind .
     
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  32. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes looked pretty busy on track as I came down...so obviously the unfortunate duo had a reasonable night at Fed before things unravelled....well they would have been warm anyway and out of weather cos I stoked up Nectre before I left at 1pm..and there was ample wood infront of it to keep it glowing for many hours...

    yes I was quite surprized to see so many folk heading up there on Saturday arvo...

    I see the need to go prepared to sleep without a hut for back up but unfortunately they do come unprepared and without the hut worse outcomes could result...

    personally I would favour another hut at the ruin...and I can see the point of anti hut objectors too...but on a popular route as this a second lower hut within the Alpine Ash/Snow Gum boundary near the ruin would be more than useful...
    and take pressure off Federation Hut....no need to push higher for some folk...decending time only 15min between huts...

    its a pretty touristy route up there though long(approx. 8km) its pretty gentle...encouraging more to come along Bugelow Spur is not necessarily such a bad concept.....anyway too much politics with huts for now...
     
  33. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    noone should be 'baggsing' a bed in an emergency hut.....sure it sounds like they were under-prepared but im seeing more and more people going out assuming they will get a bed in a hut

    same thing happened at bluff spur hut on stirling the other week, a group of 4 left sleeping gear all day on the 4 beds

    i recall a rescue on bogong maybe 12 years where they were heading for cleve cole and decided against a tent and got caught in hell gap
     
  34. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    Yes, huts save lives and some people are not cut out for winter ascents in the Vic. Alps and could need the back up hut . However does the idea of a hut bring out new babes in the woods ?. I would hope everyone is over equipped like the way we are in white season. We can camp in the snow/ rain/hail/fog/wind anywhere and if we must then we will . I do like a hut with a fire though!:)
     
  35. AndrewA

    AndrewA Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting debate.

    Whilst I enjoy having the huts on Bogong, and stay in them from time to time, I have been brought up not to rely on staying in a hut, and I suppose this is the issue occurring, in that people assume that there will be space in a hut to sleep. As much as I acknowledge what Steve/team bears do, I do also understand the "main range warriors" approach to life in the mountains.

    In my personal circumstance, I don't really care whether Michell's hut exists or not. It's nice that it does, and I do sleep in it from time to time. I can't be bothered going over to Cleve Cole. However, I am also of the Darwinian viewpoint....survival of the fittest.

    A
     
  36. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    I don't go to CC hut much unless I am trekking in from that side such as up the 'T is for torture' T spur. Plenty of people are in the contest for the Darwin awards by the sounds of what the SES man told us when the SES rocked up to rescue wet sleeping bag man . That weekend two different people were lost in a whiteout without a map or compass!.
     
  37. Spew

    Spew Active Member

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    I haven't posted on this forum for many years, however I still keep a close eye on the forum to keep myself informed on whats happening in the Australian back country and local ski resorts. The post above brought a tear to my eye and I felt compelled to write something.

    In August 2004 I was the leader of the above mentioned trip, I can't express in words how much that trip altered my life. I won't go into details of what happened that night but what I will say, always be prepared for the unexpected. From the age of 16 my parents allowed me to be very adventurous, I was lucky, we regularly went to Mt Bogong, Feathertop and the Main Range to ski and bushwalk. Over the years I became complacent and didn't acknowledge the risks we were taking on a regular basis. A direct result of this trip - I have not skied since 2004 and I spend 2-3 months every year in psychiatric hospitals, I've only started bushwalking and snowshoeing in last couple of years.

    We were very lucky to survive, I would like to use this post to remind everyone of the dangers out there, be prepared and remember bivvy bags /snow caves are no replacement for a four seasons tent in an emergency.

    Enjoy and respect the mountains.
     
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  38. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    A brave, wise and observant post. More power to you and good to see you returning to the back-country. Don't deny yourself that wonderful experience. All the best.
     
  39. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    yes agreed, thanks for posting @Spew. The SnR training up on Bogong weekend before last doing the Ferno haul showed me that much longer out in a blizzard with a wind chill up top of around around minus 17-18 would become a real trial. I had a dry tent, dry sleeping bag and a mat to get into as recourse, without those things can go to pot pretty fast
     
  40. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes some wise posts above....interesting to see Federation Hut/Feathertop draw over 15 folk on a weekend with a very ordinary forecast....yes as Mr T says go out prepared...a bivvy bag sounds a very good back up..

    i think when Hells Gap drama occured that Michelle Hut (original)was burnt down...

    i count the cars in carpark sometimes and estimate the no of folk likely to be around at the huts ...and again folk can come from another direction(big groups even) that have no cars to announce they presence...
    and Team Bears say Fri night is a better bet than peak hour Saturday night.....

    but anyway I do hope those that havenot had the best experiences out or up there will return and most of us will not hang it on them for their mishaps/foolishness/whatever...
     
    #90 Ubiquitous Steve, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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  41. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    You cannot be too harsh on people who have no idea about self preservation in the Vic . Alps in snow and ice when the weather turns to fertilizer:crap::(. After all you cannot tell most people anything:whistle:. Everyone is an expert !:confused: .Only by ending up in deep manure :crap: do most people take these lessons to heart and make better choices next time:thumbs: , if there is a next time :eek:.
     
  42. AndrewA

    AndrewA Well-Known Member

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    Spew, I have no recollection of what happened that trip, but I do hope you can get "back on the saddle" and enjoy Boges again.

    I've had 25 yrs plus of trips with variable stressors up there in winter, and I know it can get really horrible, and I suppose I've been lucky enough to have had the intuition to bail at the appropriate moment - and hope that I have always been prepared to deal with whatever is thrown at me up there.

    Saying that, I only ever travel with 1 friend, so don't have the issue of "leading a group", and being responsible for all of them.

    Hope to see you up there sometime.

    A
     
  43. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    yes remain focussed and get that tap checked out on Michelle Hut...oh for the Gate Valve upgrade...somebody will be set for immortality on he Bogong Massive....they will shout u beers for the rest of your mountaineering existence...anybody fixing it will be given special status in forum forever!!
    Team Bears will pass on project here due to injury(temporary) and hopefully the wheels of the forum will turn and when we return in summer to Michelle Hut all will be completed....:whistle::whistle::whistle:
     
  44. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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  45. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    very nice pics in the fresh snow....I wont be up there for awhile till my thigh muscles recover from their tear...
    but is nice to see pics at moment...looking forward to pics of your Mt Nelse expedition too...:thumbs:
     
  46. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Active Member

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  47. Spiersy

    Spiersy Active Member

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  48. Spiersy

    Spiersy Active Member

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    Hmm... Give the link a day... These things need to be approved by Google maps mods before they are avail to everyone.
     
  49. Spiersy

    Spiersy Active Member

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    CarveMan likes this.
  50. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    interesting technology....pity Westons aint got red roof to make identification easier..and they have camouflaged that MUMC hut to make it harder to see...Diamintina Spur Looks good in this pic..such a classic route...:whistle:

    the saddle(prominent) on Diamintina Spur(near shadow cast by Mt F. ) would be an amazing place for a hut if the Iconic Walk has to have another one built..imagine the view in the reverse direction up into those steep gullies of the Eastern face...
    but definitely not a coloured roof out there.....

    thanks for this technological post....
     
    #100 Ubiquitous Steve, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016