Expeditions
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Epic Victorian Traverse

Background

The crisp morning air gave us views for many miles and I remember thinking as I stood there of Wordsworth's lines written in London in the early morning: "Earth hath not anything to show more fair..." from Harry Stevenson's "Skiing the High Plains" 1926 while traversing the Razor Back.

Highlights

  • Summit Victoria's two highest peaks Bogong and Feathertop

  • Undertake an epic winter traverse

  • Make camp above the snowline

  • Push yourself physically and mentally

Overview

Winter has arrived on the southern alps of Australia with a flurry of snow that has blanketed the mountain summits and turned these meandering peaks into a winter wonderland. The two highest mountains of the Victorian Alps, Mt Bogong and Mt Feathertop, are separated by a series of ridgelines and gullies over 20 kilometres apart, making the traverse of this mountain range an epic adventure.

We will spend 5 days and 4 nights crossing the Bogong High Plains and summitting these two wonderful mountains. Days will be spent trekking with snowshoes, across windswept ridgelines while the nights will be spent camping in the snow. This is a true winter adventure, with short days and temperatures below zero for the entire time. What more could an epic journey ask for? Wind? It has that too!

This trip is not for the faint of heart. The days are long, the climbs are big and it is unsupported, so you will need to carry your share of the food and equipment. You will need a solid amount of strength and fitness as well as a high level of mental resilience and be prepared to feel cold and uncomfortable for 5 days straight - But it will be worth it!

WHO IS THIS TRIP FOR?

Experienced trekkers with high levels of fitness and resilience. You should be looking to push yourself both physically and mentally and more motivated by challenge than comfort. You will need to carry a pack of about 18kg for multiple days.

WHO IS THIS TRIP NOT FOR?

If you have little or no trekking experience, if you need to guarantee warmth and comfort at the end of a long day or if you don’t have a high level of fitness - this trip might not be for you.

Itinerary

Day 1 Meet in Harrietville for briefing. Transfer to accommodation in Mount Beauty.

Day 2 Trek Staircase Spur, ascend the Spur to Summit Mount Bogong. Traverse Bogong to camp at Cleave Col Hut. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Cross the Big River and ascend to the Bogong High Plains - Camp at Roper Hut. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Roper Hut across the plains to Cope Hut. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Cope Hut to Blair Hut via Westons Spur. (B,L,D)

Day 6 Trek Diamantina Spur. Trek Razorback towards Mt Feathertop. Trek to Harrietville. Accommodation at Snowline Hotel. (B,L)

Day 7 Breakfast in Harrietville, debrief and departure. (B)

We have a range of equipment available for hire if there is anything you don't have! Including backpacks, sleeping bags and rain gear. Please get in contact with us to discuss!

This expedition will be led by two experienced Guides with a maximum guide guest ratio of 1:6.

All food will be carried by the group. We are obtaining excellent provisions that are not only lightweight but nutritious. Every participant will be asked to help out in the kitchen and will be required to help with tents and camp equipment.

This trek is a real adventure out in the elements, in freezing conditions on a very big mountain. It will be rough going, but all epic adventures are. We are offering this trip at a very low price because our team is donating their time to help us achieve the traverse. 

Routes

Day 1 Today we will meet in Harrietville for welcome drinks and our briefing. Once the group is assembled, we will transfer to our accommodation in Mount Beauty.

Day 2 Today is an early start but we have a mountain to climb. We will transfer to the Mountain Creek Campground and hike up the Mountain Creek to Staircase Spur, ascend the Spur to Summit Mount Bogong. From there we will traverse Bogong to camp at Cleave Col Hut. That's our first summit on our Victorian Alps Traverse. 12.2 kilometres hiking (most of it up) with a 1430 meter ascent (ouch) and 240 meters down.(B,L,D)

Day 3 This morning we will join the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) and head south towards the Big River. During summer Big River can cause some trouble crossing so in winter this could be a big obstacle depending on conditions. We will cross Big River and ascend to the Bogong High Plains - Camp at Roper Hut. 9.1 kilometres hiking with 811 meters ascent and 874 meters descent.(B,L,D)

Day 4 As far as kilometres is concerned this is a big day, but it is relatively flat as we cross the high plains to Cope Hut. We may have a chance to visit the oldest cattleman hut in the mountains at Wallace Hut. 17 kilometres hiking with 222 meters ascent and 250 meters descent.(B,L,D)

Day 5 Tonight we will sleep for the first time below the snowline at Blair Hut. To get there we will traverse toward Westons Spur with lunch at Westons Hut. 13 kilometres hiking with 167 meters ascent and 688 meters descent. (B,L,D)

Day 6 This is the BIG day! What goes down must go up again, and today we have to make up the 700 meters we lost the day before to reach Feathertop. As this is such a big day and our last, we will rise early. After we cross the creek and follow the road to the beginning of Diamantina Spur, we are essentially on the Razor Back trail to Feathertop. The ascent of Feathertop is the most technical and steepest of the trip so some may wish to bypass this while other (time permitting) can take on the summit. From the summit, we will head down via Federation Hut for the final 3 hours of our epic traverse. Waiting for you in Harrietville is a hot shower, a comfy warm bed and a great meal. Oh, and the accolades of the bar staff. Accommodation at Snowline Hotel. 17.2 kilometres hiking with 782 meters ascent and 1361 meters descent (yes you will feel it).(B,L)

Day 7 Breakfast in Harrietville, debrief and departure. (B)

Inclusions

  • Minimum 2 guides for the duration of the expedition
  • Group safety equipment such as first aid kit and satellite phone
  • All catering while on the expedition
  • Breakfast day 2 until lunch day 6
  • Group equipment including stoves - BYO personal cutlery and crockery
  • Use of 2-3 person tents - depending on the current COVID-19 situation single tents may be required
  • Hire of Snowshoes and trekking poles
  • Twin-share ‘ 3-star’ accommodation for the first and last night
  • Transfers required to complete the one-way journey

Exclusions

  • Personal clothing and equipment (including pack, sleeping bag and mattress)
  • Transport to and from Harrietville
  • Any meals, drinks and other purchases in towns

Maps

Extensions