Bibbulmun Track in May???

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Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jimmeyer176 » Tue 17 Sep, 2013 1:43 pm

I'm thinking of hiking the Bibbulmun Track in about 28-30 days starting in very late April 2014 from Kalamunda and would like to get some feedback on what to expect in terms of:
- daylight
- rain
- high / low temps
- snakes, ticks
- crossing the inlets down south
- cheap motels in trail towns, resupply info
- anything else I might need to know?

Any hard data is appreciated (read: facts, experiences or speculation based on facts or experiences), especially by past thru-hikers...however not looking for comments on my time frames, this ain't my first dance, etc...

Cheers in advance!
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jacko1956 » Thu 19 Sep, 2013 10:16 am

Re weather etc - get it from the professionals here http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/
Personally I think weather would not be an issue. e.g you shouldn't see 0C but will certainly see single figure C overnights in the forest.
Around that time of year we get first "serious" rains of year but it certainly shouldn't rain everyday.
Late enough to avoid the heat and water tanks should have refilled with good water.
Days are shorter (you are halfway between equinox and shortest day etc), but daylight long enough. The waugals that mark the track are reflectorised so night hiking with a headlamp it is easy to follow the trail.
Snakes etc shouldn't be an issue. Ticks are always an issue.
Inlet crossings should be simple as not late enough for most sandbars to have opened (check when starting though).
"Cheap" is a relative thing. Dearest places will probably be Collie and Denmark if staying in towns. Good hostel options in Walpole, Balingup, Pemberton.
I would strongly recommend south to north at that time of year.
Timetable - doable despite most taking up to twice that on Bib.
I did it in 37 days in 2011 and an experienced hiker(Yeti)in front of me did it in 28 (both hikes on trailjournals.com).
I would recommend at least 35 days as it detracts from the experience to rush too much IMHO.
Hardest section for resupply etc is actually the Perth end - Kalamunda to Dwellingup. Some sort of food drop etc adviseable in that section.
If you need help, drop me a PM and I'll see what I can do to help closer to your hike.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Redtail » Thu 19 Sep, 2013 1:22 pm

Keep up to date with track conditions (realignments, access, etc.) from the links at the Bibbulmun Track Foundation's website.
You can order a full set of maps from there, too.
http://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jimmeyer176 » Sat 21 Sep, 2013 12:09 am

What's the story with ticks? Just pull em out? What do they carry? Why south to north?
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jacko1956 » Sat 21 Sep, 2013 10:53 am

South to north because the south is wetter earlier (always wetter actually).
You should get better weather on average, more closed sand bars, and a more uniform weather profile over the hike.
I just feel that the Track works best overall as south to north in autumn and north to south in spring.
Mid winter - whatever.

Ticks you just pull out with tweezers. We don't officially have Lyme disease or similar nasties but I personally think there is a (very low) level of risk of such infections everywhere nowadays. I myself have about 3 months of irritation from any tick bites but my son for example never seems to. While the numbers vary greatly I have had ticks at all times of the year. No real issue, just check regularly.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Empacitator » Sat 21 Sep, 2013 7:43 pm

I finished walking the track 3 weeks ago today. Completed it in 29 days including a rest day in Pemberton. Walked North to South and packed ultra light. Happy to answer any questions
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jacko1956 » Sat 21 Sep, 2013 8:15 pm

Ultra light?
Did you pack a tent?
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jimmeyer176 » Sat 21 Sep, 2013 10:02 pm

Do you have an itinerary I could look at? How many snakes did you see? Ticks? How was the water? Where did you stay in town? How were the grocery stores for re supply? Any issues with inlets?
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Empacitator » Sun 22 Sep, 2013 12:41 pm

Yeah I took a pyramid shaped tarp as a shelter as a tent and a groundsheet to go with it. I'd absolutely recommend taking some sort of tent on the track, especially if you want to do it in 30 days or less, as often you will want to do more or less distance than staying at the huts.

I didn't use an itinerary, I just walked the distance I felt like on a day to day basis. Being able to do this really made the whole trip a lot more enjoyable as I really could do whatever distances I wanted to.

You are walking the track at a much different time of year than I did so snakes/ticks/water will be different. I didn't see any snakes until South of Peaceful Bay, where I saw 4 tiger snakes in an afternoon. Only saw a few more for the rest of the trip. I didn't get any ticks on me (this time) although I spoke to others who found a few. Just try not to brush up against grass trees that overhang the track, in my experience this is where most of them come from. No problems with water from the tanks, I did filter the majority of it which is most likely unnecessary, not too many cases of people getting sick from the water but with the time frame I was trying to do the walk in I didn't want to risk being sick for a week.

I ended up walking:
Kalamunda - Dwellingup 202km 6 days
Dwellingup - Collie 122km 4 days
Collie - Balingup 83km 2 days
Balingup - Donnelly River Village 59km 2 days
Donnelly River Village - Pemberton 101km 3 days
Pemberton - Northcliffe 55km 2 days
Northcliffe - Walpole 137km 3 days (lots of wading)
Walpole - Peaceful Bay 61km 2 days
Peaceful Bay- Denmark 65km 2 days
Denmark - Albany 85km 2 days
Note that these are the distances on the Bibbulmun Track website, there were some diversions which changes these (like Blackwood camp being closed after the fire)

Town stays:
Dwellingup Hotel
Colliefields in Collie
Hikers Hideaway in Balingup
School bunkhouse in Donnelly River Village
Stayed with a friend in Pemberton
Northcliffe Hotel
Walpole Lodge
Peaceful Bay Caravan Park
Denmark Hotel

In terms of resupply I sent food packages ahead into the towns and just bought what I wanted while I was there.

I'm thinking I should probably put together some sort of thread with info for Bibbulmun Track walkers, I have a ton of info and tips that I just don't have time to write at this moment.

I recommend joining the foundation as a member and they can also give you some great information, plus you will get discounts on accommodation when you walk through which helps.

Cheers,
Will
Last edited by Empacitator on Sun 22 Sep, 2013 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Empacitator » Sun 22 Sep, 2013 1:01 pm

Also, if you're interested, here's a picture slideshow of my time on the track. It's pretty basic but some decent photos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHfaBZTaFs4&feature=share

It's definitely better watching in 720p
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jacko1956 » Sun 22 Sep, 2013 3:05 pm

Nice video.
Bit intrigued by your hiking poles.
One piece or shockcord type?
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jimmeyer176 » Sun 22 Sep, 2013 3:54 pm

Heya thanks for that, great info

Yes I would never rely on shelters, I almost never sleep in them anyhow, I've done enough Appalachian Trail hiking to never see another shelter again : )

If I do the trail I will write a thru-hikers guide, I've already written one for a trail in the US, good fun. I would love to hear your tips when you get more time, thanks again for taking the time to post here!
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Empacitator » Sun 22 Sep, 2013 4:04 pm

jacko1956 wrote:Nice video.
Bit intrigued by your hiking poles.
One piece or shockcord type?


I use GG LT4 poles, they are two piece twist locking. My favorite piece of equipment by far
http://gossamergear.com/trekking/trekki ... poles.html
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby jacko1956 » Sun 22 Sep, 2013 4:38 pm

Jim be prepared for a shock.
Bib track shelters are a plateau above Appalachian Trail shelters.
You WILL enjoy them.
Tent sites leave a little to be desired.
Many in the north are on hard stoney ground.
I doubt you will use your tent except where a shelter is at the "wrong" distance for you or you get a long weekend crowd.

They look light Will but I find for travel (planes and car rides) I want my poles to collapse shorter than they would.
They do look nice to use though.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby pandabear » Thu 24 Oct, 2013 9:35 am

Hi Empacitator/Will,

I think I met you on my first day from Kalamunda to Ball Creek CS on the 3rd Aug 2013. You were walking quite face and overtook me and dissappear soon after but I was reading your track note on the green book all the way. I stopped at North Bannister. Are you him?
Cape to Cape End-to-Ender (135km) - Oct 2013
Bibbulmun Track End-to-Ender (1000km) - Dec 2013
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Empacitator » Fri 25 Oct, 2013 4:21 pm

That sounds about right! I did start on the 3rd and I walked to Helena campsite that day. Hope you enjoyed your hike- we had a couple of nice sunny days and then so much rain!
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby pandabear » Fri 25 Oct, 2013 5:19 pm

Yeah just saw your pic. It was you I met right after or before camel farm. I remember you said, "yeah I just decided to take a walk, the weather is nice or something" haha. I was reading your logs as I was a hut or two behind you and you were overnighting a night or two with another lady by the name of Ella or Elle she was packing superlight heading to Dwellingup.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby dougjjj » Wed 30 Oct, 2013 7:45 pm

jimmeyer176 wrote:I'm thinking of hiking the Bibbulmun Track in about 28-30 days starting in very late April 2014 from Kalamunda and would like to get some feedback on what to expect in terms of:
- daylight
.............................
- anything else I might need to know?

Any hard data is appreciated (read: facts, experiences or speculation based on facts or experiences), especially by past thru-hikers...however not looking for comments on my time frames, this ain't my first dance, etc...


Hey Jim,

Sounds almost identical to my plans, I'm aiming to start end of April / start of May 2014, hoping to finish in around 30 days. I had planned going North to South but by the sound of it I might re-think and start in Albany.

It sounds like you start a little before me but who knows I might see you out there.
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Re: Bibbulmun Track in May???

Postby Empacitator » Thu 31 Oct, 2013 2:05 pm

powerserge wrote:Yeah just saw your pic. It was you I met right after or before camel farm. I remember you said, "yeah I just decided to take a walk, the weather is nice or something" haha. I was reading your logs as I was a hut or two behind you and you were overnighting a night or two with another lady by the name of Ella or Elle she was packing superlight heading to Dwellingup.


Can't say I remember that lady but then again there's probably a lot of stuff I don't remember! :)
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