On Dec. 27th 2017 I met two other VNPA walkers in Mt. Beauty and we piled into my RAV 4 and went up to meet the forth hiker at Watch bed creek.
With 5 days worth of food in our packs we trekked out to Roper's hut in clear and sunny weather. We took lunch en route at Edmondson's hut .The wildflowers there were mind blowingly good, psychedelic man !.There was a long ribbon of snow on the SE side of Mt. Nelse North. Someone had skied on it.
A few others were camping at Roper's hut including a North American cyclist who had cycled from Kosci. N.P.
Roper's hut is a lovely spot which I never become bored with.
The next day we packed up and were walking by just after 8 am. We made it to Spion Kopje for morning snacks (and a rest ) by 11 am. Our perambulation was including a photo stop at the nameless peak which is 1893 M. near Warby Corner, the third highest point in Victoria.
The Grey hills were next. I had 3 litres of water and didn't think I would run out but the weather was windy , overcast and humid. The drop off the Crow's nest was steep and overgrown. We all had to take five after that . Then we pushed on towards the Grey Hills Knob but needed to eat before we reached that scenic vantage point. Our lunch spot was full of ants.
When we reached the Grey Hills knob we saw a snake . It slithered off and we took another rest , ant free .The overgrown track and the rough route where you had to watch where you put every foot step was taxing. The up and down with a heavy pack was making me sweat and I knew I would run out of water. I was just sipping my water . I had put ORS into it to maintain an electrolyte balance but I wanted to slam down a litre of water not just sip a 3 L. bladder.
We made it to Mt. Arthur and stopped for a rest and took photos.
One of our party , so it transpired did not have a shell jacket or a sleeping mat. He just did without such things in South India , where he got started with hiking.
I should have had a look at his kit. His pack was quite small. Having no shell jacket on the high plains is a NO NO :-0 .A puffer jacket is not adequate.
We found the next kilometre coming down off the summit of Mt. Arthur to be very taxing chiefly because it is rather overgrown and we were becoming fatigued. Finally we reached the last km. where the track had been cleared. It was very steep , slow going down but at least we could see where were meant to go and did not have push through the scrub , which is tiring.
The sight of the old Helipad was very welcome indeed. I dropped my pack and headed off to get WATER!. I was soaked through with sweat and needed WATER!. Only one other fellow was camping there . It was 6 pm. What a long day. Down at Bogong saddle creek 6 females had just come down the Quartz ridge and were also stocking up on WATER. The old helipad was going to be tent city that night .
We set up and cooked . Just as it became dark an intense electrical storm struck and it began to rain dogs and frogs. I was in my tent digesting a large pot of food and playing the Beatles on my backpacker guitar.The Lightning was very close, only three counts away , the thunder followed.
The next day it still looked very unsettled and the forecast for Mt. Bogong was not good with rain and thunder coming that day.We decided not to chance it up the Quartz ridge and the exposed summit and went back to Roper's hut along Timm's spur.
The Big River crossing was knee deep. I got a leech on my leg
The river was flowing well. We had planned to go to CC hut and cross Big River at the bottom of the T spur but with more thunder and rain coming that didn't seem like a good idea . The scenery on both the Grey Hills and Timm's spur was excellent. We did not see anybody on the Grey Hills but Timm's spur had a few people coming and going on it.
We finally reached Roper's hut just as the heavens opened. It became very windy , foggy and wet . A chap who had walked the AAWT from the ACT to Roper's hut thus far said he thought my decision to skip Mt. Bogong was wise.
We dried out some gear and I went and put up my tent. The others piked out of camping out in the rain and slept in the hut that night.
It rained non stop all of Thursday and Friday night . The T spur Big River crossing seemed like something worth skipping with all that rain.
The next day was clear and my tent dried out in the driving wind , which blew the clouds away.
We headed for Johnston's hut for an early lunch .The camp site there was full of other walkers from many other clubs.
After lunch and spotting some snow on Mt. Nelse 's south face we went to put up our tents at Fitzgerald's hut. We saw some wild horses along the way and the view along the way of Mt. Wills was rather good .
I was knackered and went to get water. Once I was set up I went with another party member to visit Kelly's hut. The other two went down track 107 to find the hut ruins at about 1500 M. elevation. They returned later with photos of the hut ruins on a mob. ph.
I went off to sleep by about 8.30 pm.
The next morning we packed up in bright sunshine.When I went to fetch water for breakfast at day break , I saw the clouds in the valley , like I was on a plane above the clouds.WOW!.
We made good progress back to the cars at the BHP road. The main route near Mt.Nelse was very busy with walkers unlike the Grey Hills.
That was a great 5 day hike which concluded on 31/12/17. After we parted company I went up over the Tawonga Gap and up the Stoney tops track to the seasonal closure gate. The track up there was rough for my RAV 4 but OK in dry weather. The Ford at Dungey's track was also not too deep for my RAV 4.
I will go back soon and walk the rest of the route up the Northern Razorback to Mt. Feathertop ' s summit and back in a day.