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Mt Buller West Spur Hiking
by nickandkathryn
2018-06-19
Australia Victoria Mount Buller
Snowshoeing
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My Adventure Story

This route is NOT 17km long, but spot joins 2 points directly just because they happened on the same day, but I took a bus between those points! It's really about 11km.

Parking 5km up the Doughy Road just outside Sawmill Settlement. Doughy Road is a gravel/mud road through Mansfield State Forest.  In summer it would be dry and bumpy, but it's wet, muddy and slippery in the winter.  

I managed to get to the start location in a Toyota Corrola, but it wasn't easy or fast, and there was a good likelihood of getting stuck.  If time allows, possibly better to park at the start and then walk the 5km on the road to start the true hike.

 

It's a gradual, reasonable uphill hike onto the ridge line via Round hill.  The route rolls up and down, withou occasional steep section among rocks.

In the summer it would probably be clear exactly where the track would go, but in the winter, you just have to pick the best route up through the boulders. It is not possible to wear snowshoes during this section because you are climbing on a placing feet on rocks, but the exposure isn't high and there are a few route options depending on the depth of the snow. Just keep to the ridge line.

Eventually there is an Alpine NP route marker post, at -37.146887, 146.412790

This is just before a sharp drop and then a very steep climb onto the summit ridge line section.

This section would be a steep scramble in summer, but is a very difficult section when snow covered as the rocks are mostly covered in snow, and many slabs are sloping at the same 50 degree angle as the rest of the summit.  I found the best line was directly up the rocky ridge line even though it's difficult.  I tried to traverse but the sloping slabs made it impossible.

It took me 1hr to do 150m up this section due to soft snow.

Once on the summit ridge it's an easy walk along to the fire tower.  In winter, you can descend down the side of the villiage ski run to the villiage.  There are regular buses ($29!) down to Mirimbah gate and Sawmill settlement (the stop is about 500m from the start of Doughy Road)

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