Rohan and Nigel Christmas Australian Alps Walking Track

March 2008 Walhalla to Tharwa

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AAWT (2006 traverse) McMillan’s Track (Omeo to Woods Point 2011)

 

I had left work on the Friday afternoon and driven from Dubbo to Kiandra (500km) and placed the last food drop just as it was going dark. I continued on and grabbed a quick bite of Chinese at Jindabyne before dropping in at the YHA Thredbo hostel and leaving the forth food drop (another 155km). I cruised on through to Khancoban and then Corryong before stopping for the night just outside Mitta Mitta around midnight (after driving nearly 900km in total for the day). The next morning I headed south along the Omeo Highway again and placed the third food drop near Sunnyside (where the AAWT departs from the highway). The road was in far better condition than last time I was here. From there I continued along to Glen Wills and used the Bogong High Plains Road to come in the back way to Falls Creek. I stopped and got brunch at the bakery in Mt Beauty and then left the second food drop at my friends house in Tawonga. I was back in Wodonga before lunch time and well ahead of any arrival time that Rohan and Rachel had envisaged. My driving mission was finished and I gratefully adopted a rear seat position from then on (after my 1100 kilometres of driving since leaving work).

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Some jars of sauce for 35 days of dehydrated dinners

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Rohan's cereal was very bulky compared to my muesli. The gluten free wraps were Rohans's as well; two wraps with salami/parmesan for lunch. I had the same but with 11 Vita Weats.

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This is lunch for the 35 days for two people. I am eating the Vita-Weat and Rohan is on the wraps.

 


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Weighing up the dried fruit and getting ready to bag it up.

 


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This is all of the parmesan cheese shown previously after being cut and vacuum bagged into daily portions. Each portion is for two people per day.

 


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The salami received the same treatment as the parmesan.

 


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14kg of the best mince I could buy was for the meat in each and every dinner. It was cooked before being dried.

 


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70 bags of dried fruit mix ( all dried at home); one bag per person per day.


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Pollocks Gully, Kiandra. I have just hidden the food drop out there somewhere for future retrieval. It was just on dusk as it was stashed.

 


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Rohan & Rachel at the Mt Skene lookout on the Jamieson-Licola Road.


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At the Mt Skene lookout on the Jamieson-Licola Road. You can make out Mt Clear, Crosscut saw out in the far distance. This is where we are going!

 


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About 5km out of Licola. Pretty funny in my opinion. It is referring to the landscape which is totally burnt and devoid of live vegetation.


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Saturday 16th March 2008 Day 1

Walhalla to O’Sheas Mill

 

Rachel, Rohan and I stayed in Traralgon overnight in a motel after going across Mt Skene (on the Jamieson-Licola Road) in order to do the last food drop yesterday. We had breakfast in town and purchased lunch to bring out to Walhalla. We sorted all of the gear out in Walhalla before taking the parting photos and heading off. There was a short while where I could not find the maps for the first section and I started contemplating heading off without them for the first stretch to Rumpff Saddle. We walked to O’Sheas Mill camp site to find two other walkers going from Walhalla to Mansfield along the AAWT. There are also around 20 loud and annoying grade 9 kids on some sort of Outward bound thing. We will walk up to the Baw Baw plateau tomorrow. Bloody hot; sweating in tent at 8pm; mozzies are also bad (hence why I am in the tent).

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All packed up and ready to go.

 


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The rotunda (the start of the AAWT) is under renovation.

 


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And away we go!

 


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Only 680km to go now!

 


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The old steel bridge across the Thomson River.

 

 

Monday 17th March Day 2

O’Sheas Mill to near Mt St Gwinear track junction

 

We woke at O’Sheas Mill Site around 7am. A lazy and slow start at 8:30am was the result. The Firebreak Track has been cleared since last time I came through. We found the next group of students at Mushroom Rocks and they were abseiling. There were more tents set up all over the place. We encountered the next group climbing up to Mt Erica above; they were travelling very slowly. We set up camp at the same place I camped at last time around 1km short of the Mt St Gwinear track junction. The Baw Baws are pretty dry at the present although there is still water nearby though. I am drinking a lot more water than last time due to the hotter weather. We will travel to Stronachs or Thomson River tomorrow; most likely the later. The blowflies are also very annoying at the campsite as well. When it got dark these pesky little black bugs came out in the thousands and followed us around. We ended up with a tent full of them as it took a while to realise they were actually getting into the tent through the zip. They were coming in as fast as we could squash them so we turned off the lights and gave up and hoped that they would not eat to much.

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We have conquered the first mountain of the AAWT. Little did Rohan know what was further on.

 

 

Tuesday 18th March Day 3

Near Mt St Gwinear track junction to Thomson River

8:30am – 5:30pm walking time

 

We decided to skip staying at Stronachs Camp which in turn split the Thomson and Jordan River steep descents so they didn’t have to be done in one day. The path across the Baw Baws was cleared to over a meter wide so it was very easy travelling; until after the Mt Baw Baw turn off. It then went back to its normal scrubby closed in format. The fire trail that leads to Stronach’s had also been slashed recently making for easy travel. The AAWT was moved slightly around Stronachs and hopefully this new section will not become overgrown due to disuse. We were both pretty buggered as we got into camp. It also appears that a bulldozer has followed/cleared the path across the river and up to the spur going to Mt Easton. I hope he went all of the way as the climb will be much easier if it is the case. Feeling pretty tired after yesterday, going to have a late start, wash clothes and then head off in them while they are still wet.

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The overgrown track after the turn off to Mt Baw Baw village.

 


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The overgrown track after the turn off to Mt Baw Baw village.

 

 


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This is on the old fire trail descending towards Stronachs Mill Campsite. You can tell you are on an old fire trail by looking at the gap between the trees above head height.

 

 


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Descending to the Thomson River Valley along the Trig Point Track. Seriously steep decline.

 


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Descending to the Thomson River Valley along the Trig Point Track. Seriously steep decline.

 


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Descending to the Thomson River Valley along the Trig Point Track. Rohan is holding the camera level here which gives an idea of how steep it actually is.

 

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AAWT (2006 traverse) McMillan’s Track (Omeo to Woods Point 2011)

 

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