Wed 23 Jan, 2019 5:43 pm
Wed 23 Jan, 2019 5:52 pm
Wed 23 Jan, 2019 5:57 pm
Wed 23 Jan, 2019 10:14 pm
eggs wrote:The locals are doing it pretty tough up there at the moment.
Thu 24 Jan, 2019 8:13 am
beardless wrote:Thanks eggs and peregrinator.
So it looks like I might have to settle for walking alongside the range on the Heysen Trail and admiring the range from afar.
I have wondered before why it is not part of the National Park. With such a magnificent form it strikes me as being worthy of inclusion. Perhaps one day.
It would be great if the station welcomed self sufficient walkers on the range for a significantly lower fee. It is likely that the vast majority of such walkers would not be willing or able to pay top dollar.eggs wrote:The locals are doing it pretty tough up there at the moment.
Is that due to the drought? Or something else?
Thu 24 Jan, 2019 2:21 pm
Wed 30 Jan, 2019 4:12 pm
Wed 30 Jan, 2019 5:36 pm
oysters wrote:... If you do manage to get permission for the Elder Range, definitely please post back here! I'd love to know, and know how! It really was a spectacular climb...Absolutely up there with anything I've climbed in Australia. We have better more spectacular climbs here than in Victoria... Mt Alec (and other great peaks like Mt Abrupt, Mt Falkland, Mt McKinley) top Feathertop, Bogong, Viking/Razor/Mt Howwit circuit for me by far...the Ruggedness of the climbs is superior, and the adjacent views are better. For non-snow climbs at least.
Wed 06 Mar, 2019 11:23 am
beardless wrote:I would be keen for any other info on the area.
1. Is it necessary to obtain permissions to access any of the area? If so who?
2. Has anyone else reached the summit of Mt Aleck particularly recently and what route is recommended?
3. Has anyone traversed the range? Is that even possible?
I would be interested in any advice.
I realize it would be srubby steep and water would need to be carried making it a weight heavy exercise.
Wed 06 Mar, 2019 3:21 pm
Wed 06 Mar, 2019 3:53 pm
Thu 28 Mar, 2019 5:35 pm
I can highly recommend the traverse of Elder Range beardless (I did it in Sept 2004 but with a beard!) and see no problems in you doing it. I started the walk from Mayo Hut at the south end of the range. The hut is on the Heysen Trail and has dirt road access so people of cars and motorbikes often stay there apparently. It's a great hut and I spent 2 nights alone at the hut waiting for rain to go away. I was walking out there from Hawker when the land owner (Peter McInness of Wonoka Station) gave me a ride. The hut is 3-4 km from the homestead and on the way in, you get a truly fantastic view of the range with the western side looking very steep from one point. The hut has water and that is likely to be the last water you'll see until after you get off the range.
I actually went there with the intention of following the Heysen Trail to Wilpena but decided on the spot to do the ringe-top traverse. I set off from the hut at 0950 (waiting the last shower to clear - my only waterproof was a plastic garbage bad purchased at Hawker) and camped at 1730 on a lovely flat bit of grassy ridgetop, with a 2 hour 20 min easy walk next morning to get to Mt Aleck summit. So the whole walk Mayo to Mt Aleck is about 10-11 hours but that was moving all the time with just a couple of short rests. For a fair bit of the time you're likely to find yourself walking on the western side of the range with a slab of steep rock separating you from the true ridgetop. While I expect that it's possible to stick to the actual ridgetop, its rock so thin and steep that. for a fair bit of the time, you'll probably have your hands on the ridgetop, not your feet! And it would take considerably longer I think. On Day 2, I was on the summit by 0920 and kept heading north along the ridge for 4 hours before dropping down west to head to the main road and get a ride (luckily I got one just in the half dark of evening) back to Hawker although my intention was to head back to Mayo Hut and water. (If you're heading to Wilpena then the next reliable water will be at Black Gap.) The night on the ridgetop was great because it was shrouded in low cloud with poor visibility along the range in the evening and early morning but with a misty view to the valley.
You are likely to find no water on the range because even after over 50 mm if rain in the previous days, the only water I found was a in 3 to 4 shallow pools, each no more than 10 mm deep and each with barely cup full of water. I took 2 litre of water which lasted the two days only because of the water I found and because of the cool weather. And that barely enough.
With regards the walk from the range to Wilpena, I would just walk to the Heysen Trail and then you'll have no trouble. Before Arkaba had new owners (as I understand it), the previous owners were advised by their lawyers that their best legal position was not to allow walkers on the property. That followed after a walker sued the property for personal injury damages and while he lost the case, it did cause a lot of trouble for the owners. Arkaba and neighbouring stations are not classified as 'Pastoral' properties and so the walking public does not have automatic right of access as it does on pastoral properties (but where you are expected to advise the owners or lease-owners of your intentions>).
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