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A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)
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What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Wed 19 Sep, 2018 2:52 pm

This is a short, simple question that may lead to longer answers.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Wed 19 Sep, 2018 3:02 pm

The amount of time you c an spend away from work etc.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Wed 19 Sep, 2018 6:50 pm

Mountains, dirt, and sweat.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Wed 19 Sep, 2018 9:35 pm

Hmm. Thinking back 3 decades... Long distance for variety and satisfaction, very accessible, but parts feel remote. My first bit was the Howqua to Bogong (and back to Falls Creek instead of going on to Kosci, given our slow progress in the very hot, very dry conditions). Stunning country to start with, less crowded back then. Looking back at the very distinctive Crosscut Saw from every mountain for the next couple of weeks was brilliant for getting great perspective on our progress. :D

There are lots of options for food drops with road access, especially if you have family or friends willing to drive long distances.
It was easiest if we had folks joining us for a week then going. One could bring the next lot of food, and another could take their car home.

Doing decent sections each year introduced us to gorgeous places for us to explore on other occasions, from Sydney and from Melbourne.

There I met my one and only Corroboree Frog, before I knew they existed. And my first flame robins, which got me into bird watching. And hundreds of other treats. Edit: Of course, those aren't confined to the AAWT, but I think the length of time and the distance gave us a glut.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Fri 21 Sep, 2018 6:55 pm

For me, it was summed up in being on top of Kosci, and realising that despite being on the highest point of Australia, I had walked further than I could see looking back, and I still had further to go than I could see. A bit daunting but a wonderful sense of achievement.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Fri 21 Sep, 2018 9:57 pm

3 1/2 decades ago, I walked it through to Hotham ( then had to return for Uni preferences).

In hindsight, it was "an achievement", like the "Big M marathon" was in those days. It was an excuse for a longer trip, but, looking back, it wasn't overall that great an achievement. Benefit of hindsight...,

However, none of my mates ever did it, so, maybe it was an achievement, and I just gave high expectations?

A

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Sat 22 Sep, 2018 8:16 am

It's the only formal long distance, walker-specific route in Australia that crosses the alpine zone. And the fact that you can start at the southern end of the Aust Alps and traverse them pretty well right to the northern end, is quite special. The distance alone makes it a challenge, and the variety of terrain and vegetation keep it interesting. Then there's the history of it.

Besides, the old walking legs/mountain is the coolest logo ever.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Sat 22 Sep, 2018 8:24 am

andrewa wrote:It was an excuse for a longer trip, but, looking back, it wasn't overall that great an achievement. Benefit of hindsight...,
However, none of my mates ever did it, so, maybe it was an achievement, and I just gave high expectations

The level of achievement is relevant to experience, skills and knowledge at the time, not decades later. And, of course, alpine conditions can ramp it right up any time.
Some walks I did back then really pushed me, in ways they wouldn't now. The Overland Track was a massive achievement for me at the time. It pales rather, when I compare it to The Eastern Arthurs, and then the Eldons Traverse, which for me is now the benchmark. That doesn't detract from the achievement of the OLT. Or the sections of the AAWT I did, early in my bushwalking career. It was a big step up from the very well-marked OLT, and 2 or 3 dayers, to 2 and 3 week walks.
Besides, the old walking legs/mountain is the coolest logo ever.

+1 Just loved those baggy pants!

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Sun 23 Sep, 2018 8:24 pm

I went through to Hotham before the 4wd tracks opened so solitude and self reliance were the big things for me. I only saw 2 other walkers on that section and one of them was in the process of bailing out!

The scenery, history and physical challenge were also big reasons to do the walk.

+1 for the old track markers :D

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Sun 23 Sep, 2018 10:20 pm

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Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Thu 04 Oct, 2018 10:46 am

I endorse all of the above. And for me the AAWT has yet to become the latest 'fashionable' walk so its still possible to have the solitude. I hope this aspect doesn't change.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Thu 04 Oct, 2018 3:11 pm

Lophophaps wrote:
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Not all trail markers are that good Lops
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Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Mon 08 Oct, 2018 8:03 am

Lophophaps wrote:This is a short, simple question that may lead to longer answers.


I've completed it NOBO twice in 2006 and 2008; it's an experience well worth doing. The first time I headed off at the start of October and this was probably the best as the tracks were closed to the 4WD's all through VIC. It requires a lot of planning with the food drops and maps etc so the culmination of completing it is pretty amazing indeed. Personally, I loved the isolation and beauty of most of the areas and hated the boredom of the fire trails in NSW.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Tue 09 Oct, 2018 2:06 pm

Agree with the above. For me the personal challenge of walking solo, planning food drops all rolled into a once in a lifetime adventure. I remember thinking at the end of the walk, that I would never do something so crazy again, but am now, 4 years later, up for it. I cannot recommend enough the benefits of uncoupling from society for 36 days (except the 2 ski resort rest days !!). Also the great sense of pride and satisfaction from tackling such a long and mountainous walk.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Thu 11 Oct, 2018 2:58 pm

Put simply: It was the most exhilarating, physically ambitious and psychologically challenging solo trip of my life...and at the end of the walk...I went 'meh', could have done it in less than 30days (took 33) ...done a few long-distance hikes since, but none have come close to the continuous 'wow' (mental, physical and visual…and probably spiritual) factors of that walk.
I first saw an AWT symbol on a tree near Mt Macdonald with my Dad when I was around 15 and thought then 'wow', took me until I was 59 until I joined all those symbols together! Currently looking at the PCT and other long walks (and just finished the Bibbulmun) but none have that emotional connection that AAWT has; no idea why. As an aside my Dad died the day I camped on Mt MacDonald whilst doing the AAWT.

Re: What is the appeal of the AAWT?

Mon 15 Oct, 2018 12:42 pm

I went onto the McMillan's Track after doing the AAWT as I was looking for a shorter timeframe walk and found it pretty savage on the old body as it was in total disrepair; I was really a bit over fighting through the scrub by the end and I'm still not that keen on it anymore. When I did the AAWT the first time in 2006 it was a lot of scrub bashing that was not enjoyable at all in places, it was a lot clearer and burnt out in 2008.

Part of the AAWT is the isolation and the fact you have to spend a lot more time and care with the navigation aspect. I did it both times with map\compass and a GPS for backup i.e. regain your easting\northing and see where you are on the map if needed. I remember it took me a couple of days just to mark texta dots onto the 23 odd paper maps to define the path of the AAWT which I had to figure out from John Chapman's book.

I moved onto the Te Araroa in 2016-2017 and found it was far more enjoyable overall when compared back to the AAWT. It was an easier experience due to the preparation of food\food drops that isn't required allowing you to focus on the walk itself. Also just using your smartphone as the navigation source was far more enjoyable for me. Also, I preferred the resupply on the run strategy where you pretty well just walk into a supermarket and grab what's available and make do with that. Skipping the weeks of dehydration and food prep was a big plus for me. Finishing the TA was a far greater high than the AAWT for me anyway and upon reflection close to two years later it still is.

I'm tossing up doing the PCT next year and honestly, the AAWT doesn't hold that much appeal to me at present, although I'll probably do it again sooner or later.
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