Major Mitchell Plateau

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Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby butter-nuts » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 11:38 am

Hi Guys,

Looking to do the Major Mitchell Plateau hike in 2 weeks time, just hoping to get any recent report on conditions.

- Is there available water, or should I carry enough for the entire hike?
- I know it will be cold, should I expect any snow?
- Is 1 night/2 days feasible or should I count on 2 nights/3 days (I am moderately fit/experienced for reference. Last time I was in the Grampians I did the peaks train in 1 night/2 days)

Any other advice you can give would be much appreciated!
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby CraigVIC » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 12:13 pm

You could call Brambuk (you have to speak to them anyway when you do your intentions). Sometimes they'll give you info on the water situation, sometimes they won't.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby CraigVIC » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 1:26 pm

In terms of the nights, I did it as an overnighter as I skipped the fire trail part. I left my car at Jimmy Creek, rode a bike to Sheepyard (?) carpark, dumped the bike and walked to 1st Wannon hiker camp. Then the next day walked to Jimmy Creek picked up my car and bike and drove home.

That was enough walking each day for me. It is more difficult than the GPT in my opinion.

While walking on the first day a number of day walkers passed us in the opposite direction walking from Jimmy Creek to the Mt William carpark in a day.

If you are going to do the whole circuit as an overnight walk I would try to make it work out so you are camping on the plateau as Jimmy Creek is pretty rubbish.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby butter-nuts » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 1:38 pm

Awesome, thanks for the great advice.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Drummo62 » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 3:34 pm

I was up on the Serra range a couple of weeks ago and there was a bit of water up high so I would think the plateau might also have water. As Craig says, staff at Brambuk may assist.

If you are fit its doable in 2 days but you really want to camp up on the plateau which means at First Wannon. The clockwise loop would be my choice which leaves a long second day. I walked a short section of the Ingleton firetrail and it wasnt as much of a road bash as I remember. Not many vehicles along it for some time and nature is reclaiming it.

Possibly snow at this time of year but most likely rain, sleet and VERY windy if one of those cold fronts comes through while you are up there.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Tino B » Sun 23 Jun, 2019 12:18 pm

Last circuit was on 8th &9th of December 2018. 2 days, 1 night. Day 1 Sheephills -> First Wannon. Day 2 First Wannon -> Jimmy Creek -> Sheephills.

There was no water at First Wannon. Before the walk, I drove to Mt William car park, hiked about 1km(?) to the first big bend, and dumped 4 litres of water that I picked up along the way - saved some energy on the first section. With the 1.5 litres I carried from Sheephills, 5.5 litres lasted until Jimmy Creek mid morning on day 2.

There have been some good individual falls in the Grampians this year, but year to date rainfall is well below average. I day walk Mt Difficult very often, and there is little flow in most creeks right now. First Wannon is likely to have little flow and poor quality, so plan to take all you need from Sheephills to Jimmy Creek and hydrate well before starting. Use an electrolyte tab or powder in one of your water bottles.

The stone stairs in this walk ruin some sections - too regular and unsympathetic. Jimmy Creek to Sheephills is about 15km, boring and best avoided by car shuffle, stashed bike or hitching.
Attachments
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Mt William
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Plateau fog day 2
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Serra Range and plateau
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby bmak » Fri 28 Jun, 2019 1:06 am

Not enough water on the plateau to rely on it. Haven’t had rain here lately.
The nights have been cool and clear and it doesn’t snow that often but when wet and windy it’s not a pleasant place to be.
It’s not a hard trek if reasonably fit.


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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby butter-nuts » Mon 08 Jul, 2019 1:03 pm

Thanks for the input all! I did this hike last weekend, quick report for those interested:

Day 1 Sheephills -> First Wannon.
Day 2 First Wannon -> Jimmy Creek -> Sheephills.

I hiked the whole thing as I didn't have a bike to stash, etc. which made for a long, but doable, second day.

I carried 4.5L of water which was enough for me. There was running water at First Wannon while I was there, but I didn't want to risk it.

Overall, I enjoyed the hike, some lovely views (the Grampians always delivers). It does have similar problems to the GPT in that the start is great, but it ends with a lot of walking on fire trails in order to make it a circuit (which is less enjoyable) but still great IMO.

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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 09 Jul, 2019 6:28 pm

Great pics butter-nuts.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 03 Sep, 2019 10:30 pm

Not sure if this is the correct place, just have a few queries about this hike.

I'm thinking of hiking at the end of September in the Grampians as a warm up for the Overland which I'll do before the end of the year.

I've read a few blogs about Major Mitchell Plateau, and some mention a rock scramble on the gap between Mt. William and the plateau and also leaving the plateau is a bit hairy/steep.
The national parks site mentions a rock scramble, but others mention track work, even steps (maybe for Grampians Peaks Trail?) instead.
How hard is it to get from Mt. William to the Plateau and then down the other side?

The comments above about water are interesting. If I were to do the hike, I'd do a water drop near top of Mt. William I think.

I have walked the Wonderland circuit as day trips recently at the end of June (Mt. Rosea in what seemed to be a cyclone, got soaked and frozen, then a lovely day to hike up to the Pinnacle the next morning), so thought maybe Major Mitchell Plateau instead of Wonderland/GPT circuit for a hike as I've never been there.

Is Major Mitchell Plateau harder than Wonderland/GPT?

Thanks!
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby butter-nuts » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 10:49 am

Hey mate, I'll answer as best I can remember:

There isn't much scrambling up to first wannon (there were cut stairs starting just after boundary gap campsite). There was a little bit on the way down (a few steeper sections which were a little slippery in the morning due to condensation, etc.) but nothing too bad IMO.

I would say it is a little harder than the GPT circuit, but not miles away in terms of difficulty.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 12:46 pm

Cheers butter-nuts!
I'm going with my 9 year old and don't want to try something too hard.
I'm not picture of fitness either....... :)
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby bmak » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 1:05 pm

I’d say it’s a fair bit harder than wonderland but not overly difficult since the track updates.
The scramble onto the plateau was only hard for shorter people or with a heavy pack.
Navigation off the plateau towards jimmy creek you need to pay attention.

Plenty of water around at the moment.


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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 2:28 pm

bmak wrote:I’d say it’s a fair bit harder than wonderland but not overly difficult since the track updates.

OK, I found Mt. Rosea ascent with a day pack pretty hard going, but it was howling wind and raining sideways, so....

bmak wrote:The scramble onto the plateau was only hard for shorter people or with a heavy pack.

Was worrying about taking my son up there for that reason, but sounds like past tense now.

bmak wrote:Navigation off the plateau towards jimmy creek you need to pay attention.

I've got GPS tracks, Avenza iPhone map and Southern Grampians map for navigation, still might be a bit difficult with steepness and keeping an eye on the son (although he's a mountain goat).

Thanks for the info! Food for thought.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Tino B » Wed 04 Sep, 2019 10:59 pm

The descent from Mt William to the bottom of Boundary Gap is probably the roughest and steepest section of the walk, with some loose rocks. The rest of the walk is now well made tracks or stone stairs. The climb up to the plateau has extensive stone stairs. The stairs climb quite rapidly so will be a good test for the day 1 climb to Marion’s on the OLT.
First Wannon should have water if there’s been recent rain but carrying extra (clean) water would be a good proxy for the food you will need to carry on th OLT.
Really try to hone your gear for the OLT and aim to be in the vicinity of 16kg.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 05 Sep, 2019 11:41 am

Tino B wrote:The descent from Mt William to the bottom of Boundary Gap is probably the roughest and steepest section of the walk, with some loose rocks. The rest of the walk is now well made tracks or stone stairs. The climb up to the plateau has extensive stone stairs. The stairs climb quite rapidly so will be a good test for the day 1 climb to Marion’s on the OLT.
First Wannon should have water if there’s been recent rain but carrying extra (clean) water would be a good proxy for the food you will need to carry on th OLT.
Really try to hone your gear for the OLT and aim to be in the vicinity of 16kg.


Thanks heaps! The idea of having a Marion's lookout trial run is enticing.

I think my pack weight, with water and food is somewhere about 16kg.

Regarding the plateau, the lad wants to do the Wonderland/GPT circuit.
I think I scared him mentioning that plateau walk was harder than Pinnacle/Rosea.
So might not be this month. :)

Thanks again!
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 05 Sep, 2019 3:23 pm

Ah crap! Grampians all booked out for the long weekend as end of September!
Too slow.
Thanks for your help anyway, I'll get there one day.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby JohnR » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 3:01 pm

I did the Major Mitchell on Saturday (leaving and returning to Jimmy's Campground). There was water everywhere. The creek at First Wannon was flowing very strongly (should be good well into Spring).

A whinge - I wish people would not light campfires at First Wannon. It's a sensitive spot with limited and unique vegetation. Surely those that make the effort to get there appreciate the surrounds and want to leave it 'as is' for others to enjoy? I have disassembled campfires there on a number of occasions but did not get the chance this time (as I was in a bit of a hurry). Next person who is up there could I ask that they pull apart the campfire (and disperse the collection of wood) at the rear of the campsite near where the track leaves for the Plateau.

Cheers,

John
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby peregrinator » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 3:25 pm

John R wrote:

A whinge - I wish people would not light campfires at First Wannon. It's a sensitive spot with limited and unique vegetation. Surely those that make the effort to get there appreciate the surrounds and want to leave it 'as is' for others to enjoy? I have disassembled campfires there on a number of occasions but did not get the chance this time (as I was in a bit of a hurry). Next person who is up there could I ask that they pull apart the campfire (and disperse the collection of wood) at the rear of the campsite near where the track leaves for the Plateau.

JohnR, that is not a "whinge". It is a legitimate and very sensible suggestion. "Appreciate the surrounds" seems to be beyond the ability of too many.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby adventuremum » Fri 29 May, 2020 7:50 am

Hi
Wondering about doing Major Mitchell Plateau in July! Know it will be very cold (1167m elevation) with likely rain/sleet/high winds, poor visibility etc. Do people recommend starting at Sheep Hills? or Jimmy Creek? Going clockwise? With 13 yo who will find walking on fire trails boring so could stash bikes @ Jimmy Creek or Sheep Hills to reduce this...
Was planning to do first section of Grampians Peak trail in first 3 days and thought this would be good addition while in area (Grampians Peak Trail now not completed to December 2020). Other Grampians option would be Mt Difficult overnight walk. Any advice of pros or cons of Major Mitchell versus Mt Difficult, given current track works?
This is replacing our planned July Larapinta walk :( . Could do Great Ocean Walk or Prom instead. But we have 4 season gear, so thought Grampians in July might be ok?
Any track updates or other advice appreciated. Does anyone know if any of other new Grampian Peak hiker camps or new tracks might be open by July?
Thanks
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Drew » Sat 30 May, 2020 6:14 pm

Wondering about doing Major Mitchell Plateau in July! Know it will be very cold


I believe Major Mitchell is closed at the moment due to Peaks Trail works. Mt Difficult is open and has lower altitude and more sheltered camping options than Major Mitchell, so maybe a good winter option. It's a great little walk. The Fortress is another option. I think it's closed at the moment due to roadworks but should reopen soon. It has a bit of road walking unfortunately.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby camm » Mon 21 Jun, 2021 12:00 pm

First Wannon has an abundance of water at the moment -- the campsites on the thunderbox side are partially flooded (20 June '21). Track still closed between First Wannon and Jimmy Creek.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 07 Jul, 2021 11:28 pm

I'm still working on getting out to the Gramps in the short term (missed a week ago due to *&%$#! happens, changed booking to this Sunday and more *&%$#! happened, so same old), and taking a squiz at Mt William/Major Mitchell Plateau.
I've just checked the Parks page and they no longer mention the track closure and reroute to Mafeking, but now have something about Mt William track closures (Air operations).
Are they shooting deer, or fat *&%$#! with backpacks?
Maybe cleaning the Sputnik toilets?
Anybody have some intel regarding this?
I'll give Brambuk a buzz if my plans firm enough to worry about.
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Re: Major Mitchell Plateau

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 08 Jul, 2021 10:57 am

Curiosity got the better of me, and I rang Brambuk. Mt William closure is for today, should be open tomorrow. Still got reroute down stockyard saddle off Plateau.
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