120 days wintering in the High Country – I have this fantasy….

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 14:50
ThreadID: 53664 Views:2474 Replies:13 FollowUps:23
This Thread has been Archived
Actually I have a number of them but this one is suitable for publication :)

I love the Victorian High Country but I don’t like the huts much, usually dirty and unkempt, however there is one hut I know (quite remote) which is delightful both in its character and setting. It will certainly be snow-bound for quite some time in winter and the single track leading to it is closed over the winter period. However there is no prohibition on being in that area over the closure season merely driving on the tracks.

I’m toying with the idea of spending a winter up there, heading in just before the track is closed and returning when it opens, I reckon that would be about 4 months or 120 days. I’m familiar with snow country and how to operate in it and the prospect of 120 days alone doesn’t trouble me – would give me time to do some writing, reading and design a few electronic things I’ve had in mind for a while. The biggest problem I see is that of provisions – I reckon I’ll get through quite a bit of food etc in 4 months but I could take that in with 2 or 3 trips just before the track closed.

At this stage I’m still in fantasy land with this one but I would be interested in the input of others to the idea and potential difficulties.

Note: Personal safety and comms would be provided by HF Amateur Radio.

Mike Harding

mike_harding@fastmail.fm
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:00

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:00
"design a few electronic things I’ve had in mind for a while"
- but you'll have everything except that one critical part - and I don't think DSE will allow helicopter deliveries of electronic components.
AnswerID: 282503

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:11

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:11
DSE! Wash your mouth Mike R - I'm a professional :)

I was thinking more of SPICE - check out:
0
FollowupID: 547017

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:12

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:12
Try again; intended to hit "Insert Link" not "Submit"!

SPICE - electronic simulation software
0
FollowupID: 547019

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:52

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:52
Now there you go jumping to conclusions again :-)

I was thinking Dept of Sustainability and Environment - or have they changed their name to better doublespeak ?.
0
FollowupID: 547025

Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:22

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:22
120 tins of Camp Pie should see you through :-)

Better do it before you run out of time.

BUT how will you survive without EO...hahahahaha
AnswerID: 282507

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:29

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:29
>120 tins of Camp Pie should see you through :-)

That might be OK for breakfast but what about lunch and dinner!? :)

>BUT how will you survive without EO...hahahahaha

Eeemmmm... dictate posts via Amateur Radio? :)

Mike Harding
0
FollowupID: 547020

Reply By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:55

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:55
All I can say in the nicest way is "Your a fruit cake"

At least with 120 days of being by ya self you might come up with a few fantasies you haven't thought of.

Now, tell us some of ya other fantasies.

Cheers,

Cruiser
AnswerID: 282513

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:57

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:57
>All I can say in the nicest way is "Your a fruit cake"

Fair comment :)
0
FollowupID: 547026

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 16:01

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 16:01
Dont mention the goat!

Sounds like an adventure. I would be very keen to take something like a snowmobile so I could get out if I had to for whatever reason
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 282516

Reply By: Mr Fawlty - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 16:12

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 16:12
Perhaps Harding I can give you a few phone numbers for some suitable casual skirt to keep you warm over your winter fantasy.
If you really are serious why not volunteer for a stint at Mawson, chaps with your obvious skill are in demand down there and you could rest assured any casual skirt has a PhD and absoultley no interest in being casual skirt...
I had just the thing for you but sold it... A Traeger Pedal radio...

"the prospect of 120 days alone doesn’t trouble me" sounds absolute bliss if I were to make a small ex gratia payment would you take Sybil with you?
AnswerID: 282518

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 17:28

Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 17:28
Sorry Fawlty, meant to respond to the Mawson point in my main post: I did seriously look at applying to the Australian Antarctic Division
Link to AAD
some months ago but decided against it for a few reasons. And FUD females can be a pita anyway :)

Good idea though.

Mike Harding
0
FollowupID: 547231

Reply By: Member - Axle - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 17:13

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 17:13
Well theres one thing for sure Mike!!, you won't have to worry about the bloody fridge playing up!....lol.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 282526

Reply By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 17:17

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 17:17
Mike

That period, alone is not something to be taken lightly (your no spring chicken). The first three to four weeks may feel good, but there'll come a time whereby you'll start to crave decent food and a bit of company.

You don't say where the hut is and I'm not going to ask. Just be aware that temperatures in the High Country can get a lot lower than reported on the BOM web site.

There are a couple of valleys east of Benambra that regularly record -10C for example. I have no idea how robust HF sets are in the cold, but you should consider this.

Irrespective of what any other buggars say, snow is not a good source of water if quantity is needed. Therefore, your going to come out of there smelling like a dead Wombat if the tank freezes up.

120 days of sheltered burning wood.....Where is this going to come from?

Depending where the hut is located, I'd be talking to the cattlemen in Corryong or Licola before proceeding further.

Give me a ring (97821701) and I'll take you thruogh what you need in the high country bush.

Might have some warm Mountaineering gear and boots I can give you if they fit.

You owe me a beer ya bloody dill...! LOL

Regards

Kim

AnswerID: 282529

Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 20:55

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 20:55
I have a dream also. It has nothing to do with the high or low country, snow, supplies or radios and such, and a lot to do with winning Lotto.

Hey Kim, ya dill, got any contacts inside there ? LOL

I've already done my 40 days and nights in the desert.

PS No casual skirt necessary...
0
FollowupID: 547095

Follow Up By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:32

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:32
Footy

You really are a bag of crutching left overs!

Don't write to me when your taking the snot out of your nose and scratching your arse....

By the way, do something about that hair cut!

Behave yourself young fella, otherwise a long tall blond will take your breath away.

LOL

Regards

Kim
0
FollowupID: 547097

Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:44

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:44
Kim, what a nastee pasty! Listen up oh great fleabag, the blonde already took my breath away, and FYI it was female.
I scoff at your insults Sir, at least I still have hair on top.
Go take the medication and lie down till Hairy returns to the fold.
If that doesn't work, try counting blondes LOL
0
FollowupID: 547102

Follow Up By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:52

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:52
Footy

Damn, now we're got senitivity on this site......I'll have to go and talk to the twin brother and Damn Dog about this change of direction.

LOL

Regards

Kim
0
FollowupID: 547104

Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 22:00

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 22:00
The old evil twin brother trick eh ? Long time since my bro has been my twin, but we're still similar...the dirty old sod LOL
Speaking of which, what's all this "casual skirt" business from Faulty ? He doesn't run one of THOSE places does he?
Oh well, one smell of your mountaineering boots should take care of Mr Harding :)))))))
0
FollowupID: 547106

Reply By: Dave B (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 20:58

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 20:58
I have just been looking at various sites on the High Country planning a trip in a couple of weeks, and I thought it said the huts were just for shelter, not holiday houses or long term stays.

Am I wrong?

Dave
'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 282560

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 17:16

Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 17:16
You are quite correct Dave.

What I am proposing is a little "unconventional" but I'd not be turning people in trouble away. In fact my being there with HF comms would probably be an advantage to them. However I don't expect a regular stream of visitors to this particular location :)

Mike Harding
0
FollowupID: 547229

Reply By: madfisher - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:33

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 21:33
Mike,
Mate you wouldnt be going through some sort of mid life crisses would you. Might be safer to buy a sports car and start chasing after 20 year old bimbos. lol. Seriousily after 30 days you will be pulling your hair out, and you will still be stuck their for another 90 days
I too love the high country, its in my blood so I do understand. What atitude is the hut at? You may also be able to catch rabbits for fresh meat.
Good luck Pete
AnswerID: 282574

Follow Up By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 22:43

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 22:43
Pete

I can't understand why the fellas are taking the bleep out of Mike.

He's expressive from time to time, but has a lot of experience roaming the high country.

If he wants to do it, why not support the idea, rather than carry on with all this dribble. I know the fella, and its not a mid life crisis.

If he wants an adventure then good luck to him I say. How many of you out there want to do something similar?

Regards

Kim
0
FollowupID: 547114

Follow Up By: madfisher - Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 10:26

Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 10:26
Kim as I have got older I realised that the people who take the bleep out of you are the ones who care about you.
I do understand where Mike is coming from, but with a mortage, youngest in private school I am lucky to get a way for a fortnight
I also know that in the past people have died when they ran out of supplies and perished trying to get to town.
Cheers Pete
0
FollowupID: 547165

Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 23:05

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 23:05
Mike,

An interesting idea.......some thoughts from someone who loves the High Country in winter.

A few years ago, I taught outdoor education and part of that program involved snow camping. Over about a 5 year period I spent upwards of 10 weeks per year camped in the snow...occasionally at huts, but mostly in a small (high quality) hiking tent. It wasn't always in the same spot as some of that time was spent in the HC of NSW also, skiing the Main Range....it is an awesome place in the winter.

I'm not sure whether you think that your car will be there with you as the Parks blokes check that everyone is out before locking gates. I doubt they will let you keep your car there, so your supplies/radio gear etc would need to be dropped and stored there whilst you remove your car and either walk or ski back in depending upon the weather. You would also have the difficulty of keeping batteries charged for this equipment given the relative inefficiency of solar panels in winter (they're not so great with a foot of snow sitting on top of them).

You would need a HELL of a lot of pre-cut firewood and/or fuel of some sort for cooking/chainsaw etc.

Remember if anything were to go wrong and you needed to come out of the bush, it may be quite an undertaking given sno and/or weather conditions ... I once had to evacuate a girl with torn knee ligaments from a remote area in winter and is was MAJOR as with the fog, there was no way we could get a helicopter up there, so it was a some good pain relief/warm sleeping bags and clothing and onto our Ferno stretcher which then had to be towed out in soft snow for nearly 8km. Took almost all day, then we found the vehicle half way up to the door handles in snow....and it went on...long day that one.

You will not be alone up ther for that time as there are many people who undertake overnight or multi-day ski tours these days and you would be surprised where they go and how many of them there are....I have had people turn up and knock on the wall of my snow cave whilst camped on the side of Mt Twynum during the early part of the spring skiing season. On Bogong on any day in winter there can be MANY people up there.

Probably the most remote area to ski would be the Jagungal Wilderness area as it doesn't usually attract the telemarkers as it is (generally a flatter area for ski touring....)

As someone else stated it woul be an interesting story which we would all love to read in late spring when you come down, so I'm not trying to discourage you in any way....just PM me with the hut and I might just come up and say hi.....though not really interested in the camp pie 8-{

Let us in on any other thoughts you have....... would love to hear.

Cheers,

Mark

Mark
AnswerID: 282605

Reply By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 17:07

Sunday, Jan 20, 2008 at 17:07
Thank for the replies so far everyone – more welcome…?

Bonz: I like the idea of the snowmobile but… big, expensive, cumbersome etc
---
Fawlty: some casual skirt would be most welcome from time-to-time :)
Damn! About that pedal radio!
>would you take Sybil with you?
Friendship has its limits you know Fawlty! :)
---
Axle: Oh I dunno… I was going to ask if people thought it would be better to take an Engel or a Waeco :)
---
Kim: >your no spring chicken
Ya cheeky bugger, I’m hardly more than a slip of a boy :)

>valleys east of Benambra that regularly record -10C
Yep! And that is a bit on the chilly side, spent a week up there about two years ago when it was –5 every day. Coldest I’ve experienced to date (not in Oz) is –22C bbbbbrrrrr.

>You owe me a beer ya bloody dill...! LOL
Sounds good to me and it’s about time I caught up with your dog again :)
---
Pete: [Mid life crisis]
Thanks for the concern but no, I’m not :)

>You may also be able to catch rabbits for fresh meat.
And there are quite a few up there currently but they don’t come out very much in the snow.
---
Mark:
Some great info, thanks.

>You would also have the difficulty of keeping batteries charged for this equipment
Correct, solar panels would be useless. Electrical consumption would be low and a small generator should keep the batteries topped up.

>You would need a HELL of a lot of pre-cut firewood and/or fuel of some sort for >cooking/chainsaw etc.
Yep! This one is a worry. I haven’t done the sums but I guess 100lt or so of petrol for the gen, chainsaw, duel fuel light and duel fuel stove should see me through.

Firewood! What do you reckon? 5 cubic meters? Certainly a LOT. Two thoughts; I’ll be in there some time before the snow starts (after the roads close) so should have plenty of time to cut wood. I’ll give some thought to improving the open fire of the hut, maybe taking in a pot bellied stove or fabricating something similar which would reduce wood consumption significantly – I hope :) Once the hut gets a decent layer of snow on the roof that will help insulation too.

>just PM me with the hut and I might just come up and say hi....
That would be great – if it ever comes to anything I’ll let you know.

>though not really interested in the camp pie 8-{
You and me both! But sssshhhh don’t tell Willem :)
---

Once again; thanks for the comments everyone.

Couple of points:
Loneliness – it’s an issue, I’m a sociable person but have spent lengthy stretches on my own in the Middle Eastern deserts. Amateur Radio is a wonderful medium for interconnection and frequently provides solace for me in the bush. And, as Bonz mentioned, I could take the goat – although she can’t play Backgammon worth a damn :)

Safety:
There is a risk, I accept that and I don’t expect others to put themselves in danger if I get into trouble. Given the choice between dying (which we all must) in a hospital bed over three months with cancer or spending five years dribbling in a wheelchair following a stroke or 36 hours before becoming unconscious with a broken leg and dying from hypothermia… I’ll take choice three thanks.

I look at it like this: my responsibilities are fulfilled, children raised and independent, no wife any longer, no dog any longer :( I’m not interested in a career (been there, done that) but I’m still fairly young (despite what Kim says! :) Don’t care about money but do want to make the very most of the years left to me. And I fervently believe that we must continue to challenge ourselves, to discover as much as we can whilst we still have the health to do so.

This trip may happen this year, next year, it may never happen or it may happen in a reduced manner… who knows…? But what I do believe is important is that we wonder and speculate and imagine and live life as full as we are able.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 282721

Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 10:27

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 10:27
Pic of the old troopy sitting at Mt Lookout, about 3km south of the Snowy Plains airstrip.



Cheers,

0
FollowupID: 547367

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 18:56

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 18:56
Hardly enough snow there to have a decent snowball fight with :)
0
FollowupID: 547463

Reply By: Jim from Best Off Road - Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:35

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 at 19:35
Sounds sensational to me Mike.

I can't see any reason not to do it. If you're well prepared, as you obviously will be, all should be fine. After all, there are millions of people in other parts of the world who live through this year in, year out.

With your radio, personal contact and conversation will save you from going stir crazy.

One question. Why would solar be useless? Surely if you stick a panel out in the sun each day it should charge as well there as anywhere. They are after all light energy panels, mistakenly called solar panels.

I wish you well. You've got some balls.

Regards,

Jim.
AnswerID: 282948

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 18:20

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 18:20
Hi Jim

Thanks for that post – made me think a bit :)

>After all, there are millions of people in other parts of the world
>who live through this year in, year out.

That's true and I am not a newcomer to snow and ice :)

>With your radio, personal contact and conversation will save you
>from going stir crazy.

Yep, four months alone is a long time and the radio will be terrific. But it's also an opportunity to spend time with me without any distractions and that is something we rarely get to do these days: our lives are so intertwined with the complex society in which we live that we have forgotten how to be content with our own company and without all the trappings of modern life. Indeed one of the things which appeals to me is having to “mend and make do” when things go wrong. No support mechanism, no medical centre, no social worker, no nothing…. There is more to life than striving for a wide screen TV :)

Mike Harding
0
FollowupID: 547747

Follow Up By: Jim from Best Off Road - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:03

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:03
Mike,

I've always been kinda interested in the radio thing. Was big into CB's as a kid until every dickwad and his dog got one.

Give me a yell tomorrow at work if you've got time regarding cost, set up, licensing etc 9706 6527.

Jim.
0
FollowupID: 547753

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:11

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:11
Sorry Jim - forgot to answer about the solar panels.

>Why would solar be useless?

In the winter in Vic (as you know) there is light from about 7am to 5pm each day but it's a poor light before 10am and after 3pm so only about 5 hours per day (at best) would be much use to solar panels. In addition to that, as Mark mentioned, fog is quite common in the higher altitudes which diffuses the sunlight considerably. My guess (and I haven't done a controlled study) is that solar panels would only produce about 10% or 20% of their potential under these conditions.

>You've got some balls.

Funny that was exactly what Loretta said... no... sorry... that was one of the other fantasies.... :)

Mike Harding
0
FollowupID: 547756

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:12

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:12
>Give me a yell tomorrow at work

Will do.
0
FollowupID: 547757

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:33

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:33
I can see it now . . .

You've finished unloading the vehicle at the hut as light snow starts to fall, and you wave your friends a last goodbye as the vehicle disappears into the swirling mist.

As the falling gets heavier and heavier, you see headlights approaching and a heavily-laden Troopie screeches to a halt with the bullbar justb touching your waist, and the driver screams "what the hell are you doing hear - I've been planning for 12 months to spend the winter in this hut !"

. . . . and she doesn't even tell you her name for the next hour.

(Detailed "my fantasy" scripts are written at reasonable charges)


AnswerID: 283167

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:36

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:36
Love it :)
0
FollowupID: 547761

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 20:17

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 20:17
The only reason she doesn't tell you her name is that she is too busy telling you to sweep the floor, clean the gutters, split the firewood, get some kindling, get some water etc etc etc etc etc ..........
0
FollowupID: 547773

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 at 18:18

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 at 18:18
"Love it :) "

- that's still not enough to make it happen !
0
FollowupID: 547983

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)