Razorback ridge this weekend

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Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Smellypaddler » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 9:57 am

Hi folks,

I'm walking the Razorback out to Fed hut on Sunday then down to Harrietville via Bungalow on Monday. I'm taking my 9 year old daughter with me for her first snow camping experience. She has previously done a 5 day NZ trip with me above the snow line when she was 7 but we stayed in huts.

I've booked in to the Snowline hotel in Harrietville for Saturday night to let us get an early start on Sunday. Only problem is I can't figure out a lift up to Diamantina.

It seems the bus doesn't start running from Harrietville to Hotham until Monday. The Hotham bus is booked out and the Snowline hotel hasn't gotten back to my email yet (I'll try calling again today).

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the two of us up to Diamantina on Sunday morning? I'm happy to pay the through the nose prices of the bus ($190) for a one way trip up the mountain.

If anyone is local or knows a local please let me know. If anyone is going to be up that way at the same time and wants to make their petrol money back this could be a good opportunity.

I really want to avoid the unknowns of trying to hitch up the mountain with a kid.

If anyone has been up there in the last week and has a snow report I'd be keen for some info. I've checked the Hotham cams and the MSC report and plan on taking snowshoes for both of us but was going to ditch the axe, crampons, probe, transceivers etc as the snow base seems low.

And before anyone jumps in with the obligatory warnings I am aware that the Alpine area is an inherently dangerous place, that conditions may change at any time, navigation may be hard and you should have experience, knowledge and equipment for all eventualities. Those are be exact reasons I am going, plus I want to try my new DIY ski pulk.

I'm pretty certain I'm going to end up carrying my alpine pack and pulling my child.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 10:01 am

Only thing I can think of is Taxi from Bright (pickup at Harrietville, drop off Diamantina Hut): https://alpinevalleygetaways.com.au/exp ... xi-service
With it now being Ski Season, there might be extra charges to enter resort?
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Smellypaddler » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 10:06 am

Thank you,

I'll look into Bright taxis. There is definitely a mountain fee for a taxi dropping off visitors but not sure what it is.

I imagine a taxi from Bright would be hideously expensive but I'll check anyway as standing on the side of the road with my thumb out, fully packed gear bags and my daughter at 7am is a sure fire way to turn her off snow camping for life.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby CraigVIC » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 11:44 am

I saw someone mention on Facebook a covid negative would be needed to get to the razorback, just to add to the dramas.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 11:59 am

The weather looks okay for Sunday and Monday
http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/mounthotham.shtml
Razorback in summer is okay if the weather is good. In winter with snow and a child, maybe not. While Bungalow Spur has much more climbing it's very easy to turn back. The snow depth is not much, but it will still be harder than in summer.
https://www.mthotham.com.au/on-mountain ... ow-weather
There are snow cams on the Hotham website.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Avatar » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 4:55 pm

Mt Stirling might be a better venue for this adventure. Plenty of huts and campsites, and easy to turn back. Just a suggestion.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Xplora » Fri 18 Jun, 2021 7:02 am

CraigVIC wrote:I saw someone mention on Facebook a covid negative would be needed to get to the razorback, just to add to the dramas.


Only if from Melbourne and must be within 72 hours. You also need to pay resort entry and there are some online requirements for that. If you get a lift with someone travelling through you could avoid many things but... It is illegal to stop and let people out within the resort boundary even if you are travelling through and it is patrolled. You may be lucky enough. Good luck with the Snowline stay. I am sure it is much better now.

see here https://www.mthotham.com.au/discover/ex ... sort-entry

There has been a bit of snowfall recently but hard to know the condition and depth. Enough to make snowshoes useful in places I would think but more for the child. Monday and Tuesday are the better days. Sunday will be a cold southerly wind of moderate strength in the morning. Consider delaying a day.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Smellypaddler » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 12:47 am

Thanks everyone.

I wasn't able to secure a lift up the mountain so I'll just pay the mountain fee and park up at Diamantina and we'll boot out and back the same way.

I've done Feathertop and the Razorback in winter 4 or 5 times now so I'm quite happy with taking my daughter that way, there is no way she would walk up Bungalow, it would be whinge city the whole trip, kids hate ascent.

The weather shouldn't be too bad. Earlier in the week it had Sunday/Monday being the best days so that's when we organised for otherwise I would delay.

We're regional Vic so no COVID testing for us.

I stayed at the Snowline almost 10 years ago when I was working the fires and I doubt it has changed much since. Still it is only a bed for the night.

I managed to get my pack weight to an all things considered reasonable weight of 17kg and hers is 4.5kg.

Not bad considering my 4 season tent weighs 3.5 times the weight of my normal 2 person tent. I forget how much extra you have to pack to try and make life more comfortable and keep the weight off the kids shoulders.

Still 10.75kg per person isn't too bad. A month ago I went by myself for 3 days from Falls Creek to Bogong and back in the most atrocious weather and managed to squeeze everything into a 35l day pack. This time I've got a 75l pack bursting at the seams. Hopefully there is enough snow for me to drag it on the pulk.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:59 am

Make sure that you park facing downhill, making it easy to drive off. Also, a plan is needed if for any reason the return trip cannot be done.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby GregR » Thu 24 Jun, 2021 11:37 am

Smellypaddler wrote:Thanks everyone.

I wasn't able to secure a lift up the mountain so I'll just pay the mountain fee and park up at Diamantina and we'll boot out and back the same way.

I've done Feathertop and the Razorback in winter 4 or 5 times now so I'm quite happy with taking my daughter that way, there is no way she would walk up Bungalow, it would be whinge city the whole trip, kids hate ascent.

The weather shouldn't be too bad. Earlier in the week it had Sunday/Monday being the best days so that's when we organised for otherwise I would delay.

We're regional Vic so no COVID testing for us.

I stayed at the Snowline almost 10 years ago when I was working the fires and I doubt it has changed much since. Still it is only a bed for the night.

I managed to get my pack weight to an all things considered reasonable weight of 17kg and hers is 4.5kg.

Not bad considering my 4 season tent weighs 3.5 times the weight of my normal 2 person tent. I forget how much extra you have to pack to try and make life more comfortable and keep the weight off the kids shoulders.

Still 10.75kg per person isn't too bad. A month ago I went by myself for 3 days from Falls Creek to Bogong and back in the most atrocious weather and managed to squeeze everything into a 35l day pack. This time I've got a 75l pack bursting at the seams. Hopefully there is enough snow for me to drag it on the pulk.


Are we going to get a trip report ??
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Smellypaddler » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 1:37 pm

...that solves that problem
Last edited by Smellypaddler on Sat 26 Jun, 2021 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby north-north-west » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 2:58 pm

Fire? I thought that was a FSOA?
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 3:01 pm

I am glad your trip went well. I still Think Mt. Stirling is a better place to try these things such as testing new gear and bringing young children along etc..I too have a home made sleddy Pulk thing but I would imagine it would work best on flat snowy tracks with few steep slopes. I have not tested my one out yet. I am planning to tow it out to Howqua Gap hut while on BC XC skis. The Circuit road route out there is generally level.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 4:15 pm

I've done many trips and camped on The Razorback summer and winter and have never lit a fire. I've never seen a fire scar. I'm not sure if it's FSOA but it's borderline at best, on the treeline. Pulks work on flat ground. If the ground angles left and right a pulk tends to slip sideways. Add the trees and I'm unsurprised that the pulk did not work. An early start is necessary for such ventures. I agree with PCV that Stirling is probably better.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Avatar » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 4:23 pm

I am planning to tow it out to Howqua Gap hut while on BC XC skis. The Circuit road route out there is generally level.


It's about 7km of easy gentle rise and takes about 2hrs out and 1.5 hrs return with a pack and skis.
Avoid camping under branches. I've finished in the dark with a headtorch.
The hut stove smokes a bit, YMMV. Best done immediately after first big dump of the season.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Avatar » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 4:33 pm

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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby camm » Fri 25 Jun, 2021 5:01 pm

north-north-west wrote:Fire? I thought that was a FSOA?


It is, but Parks has buried that information about 5 links deep so it's not surprising people miss the memo.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Xplora » Sat 26 Jun, 2021 6:32 am

The MSR straps are not cheap but carrying spares is important if the snowshoes are old. I have learnt that lesson and postholed in thigh deep snow. Most people using makeshift pulks have the same problem of them tipping over. All in all, nothing was critical on this trip and the objective achieved. You are both smiling. Snow camping with little ones is great but some people do not realise they have more issues keeping warm, particularly in sleeping bags built for adults. Just a tip for those who may consider this later. Tie off the bag below their feet. Short sheet it. This means less area for the little body to heat up. You can fold it under the child but it can still move about if they are restless.

I would suggest there is much less snow up there now with over 100mm of rain in the last week.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 26 Jun, 2021 10:11 am

I thought the Razorback was a Mt. FT approach therefore it is a Fuel stove area only. I was right. The OP shows a lack of awareness for the nature of the fragile Alpine eco system
that is protected by law . That means No camp fires.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Smellypaddler » Sat 26 Jun, 2021 5:31 pm

Wow, I remember why I don't like internet forums now.

I'm assuming everyone who is triggered by the mention of a small fire also packs out their human waste on every trip both summer and winter.

You won't find a fire scar unless you dig up my turd. I dug a 30cm deep hole that was about 20-30cm square and had a small fire in it. In the morning I took a nice dump with a view, stirred up the poop with the ash and filled in the hole.

During proper winter conditions I take a poop tube and pack out my waste so as not to leave frozen turds on the trail for when the snow thaws. My lack of respect for the environment is obviously huge.

The youngest climber to summit Everest was 13 years old. The reason I mention that is that everyone's level of skills, experience, knowledge and level of acceptable risk is different. Whereas you may not be comfortable taking small children along an easy trail in the Australian winter shoulder season I am. The same way I was happy to take my child on a mid winter ascent of Mount Angelus without a tent.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby stry » Sat 26 Jun, 2021 8:01 pm

Smellypaddler wrote:Wow, I remember why I don't like internet forums now.

I'm assuming everyone who is triggered by the mention of a small fire also packs out their human waste on every trip both summer and winter.

You won't find a fire scar unless you dig up my turd. I dug a 30cm deep hole that was about 20-30cm square and had a small fire in it. In the morning I took a nice dump with a view, stirred up the poop with the ash and filled in the hole.

During proper winter conditions I take a poop tube and pack out my waste so as not to leave frozen turds on the trail for when the snow thaws. My lack of respect for the environment is obviously huge.

The youngest climber to summit Everest was 13 years old. The reason I mention that is that everyone's level of skills, experience, knowledge and level of acceptable risk is different. Whereas you may not be comfortable taking small children along an easy trail in the Australian winter shoulder season I am. The same way I was happy to take my child on a mid winter ascent of Mount Angelus without a tent.


No explanation needed, regardless of whether the fire was an unintentional breach of FSOA or whatever. :)

Winter and lockdowns seem to have triggered an increase in PC hectoring and lecturing :(
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 9:41 am

My daughter was 8YO the first time she went winter ski camping.
And in the past I have lit many a fire on the Razorback to boil the billy in winter, usually in my old hobo stove but sometimes in one of the existing fire rings against the boulders. It wasn't always a fuel stove only area
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby camm » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 11:23 am

Moondog55 wrote:My daughter was 8YO the first time she went winter ski camping.
And in the past I have lit many a fire on the Razorback to boil the billy in winter, usually in my old hobo stove but sometimes in one of the existing fire rings against the boulders. It wasn't always a fuel stove only area


Yep, there's frequently a fire ring on the saddle between Champion and Diamantina spurs. We can probably all agree that fewer fires is a good thing. Ditto fewer lectures.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 4:12 pm

Winter and lockdowns seem to have triggered an increase in PC hectoring and lecturing

We've got right-wing bingo in this comment: triggered, PC, hectoring, lecturing. for *&^%$# sake,
If you think it's OK to not follow rules, just say so. Don't paint those who point out the rules as a hysterical ranting group.

Ditto fewer lectures.

I didn't see lectures. But that's OK, you were 'triggered' as Stry would say.

The thing is, people will see this, and I'm not having a go at the OP, for providing a description.
It didn't bother me about the fire, more the tendentious description of those pointing out it's a FSOA as triggered or hectoring.
I guess I'm 'triggered' by people poisoning the well in arguments. :D
But if it's not pointed out that that area is FSOA, then we can't really blame people for lighting fires up there, and not everybody will light one in a well prepared area in winter, but do it in a hot dry summer.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby camm » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 5:51 pm

Baeng72 wrote:I didn't see lectures. But that's OK, you were 'triggered' as Stry would say.


Nah, definitely not triggered: I eat my weeties. I'm also decidedly not right wing, although as user of trekking poles the devil is keeping my spot nice and warm anyway.

Pointing out the rules is a favourite Australian pastime. I enjoy it as much as the next cantankerous fossil. But here we got a link to the wrong information -- which highlights my earlier point that you really have to go look for it (for posterity, or at least until Parks bust their URIs for the n-teenth time, it's here). And a fairly OTT appraisal of the OP, which served no earthly purpose.
Last edited by camm on Mon 28 Jun, 2021 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby stry » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 7:32 pm

Baeng72 wrote:
Winter and lockdowns seem to have triggered an increase in PC hectoring and lecturing

We've got right-wing bingo in this comment: triggered, PC, hectoring, lecturing. for *&^%$# sake,
If you think it's OK to not follow rules, just say so. Don't paint those who point out the rules as a hysterical ranting group.


A tad harsh, and perhaps some jumping to conclusions is evident here. :lol:

To clarify : I have no issue with the gentle "heads up" being given by some, but when the heads up from some is phrased so as to be suggestive of sanctimony and finger pointing, that comment morphs easily to hectoring and lecturing, and is at best unhelpful.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 10:17 pm

My comment was intended as humourous, but text unfortunately doesn't convey it.
You wouldn't have won right-wing bingo, you didn't use snowflake or social justice warrior. :wink:
But I'd look in the mirror a bit, if you use assumption loaded terms like triggered, PC, hectoring & lecturing you're jumping to conclusions.
Or you might have been using them ironically, which means I'll stop digging...
Anyway, I suck at explaining, so no offence intended.
Last edited by Baeng72 on Sun 27 Jun, 2021 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 10:18 pm

camm wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:I didn't see lectures. But that's OK, you were 'triggered' as Stry would say.


Nah, definitely not triggered: I eat my weeties. I'm also decidedly not right wing, although as user of trekking poles the devil is keeping my spot nice and warm anyway.

Pointing out the rules is a favourite Australian pastime. I enjoy it as much as the next cantankerous fossil. But here we got a link to the wrong information -- which highlights my earlier point that you really have to go look for it (for posterity {or at least until they bust their URIs for the n-teenth time} it's here). And a fairly OTT appraisal of the OP, which served no earthly purpose.

It was an attempt at humour.
Triggered these days seems to mean: something my opponent will argue back at instead of it's original meaning of causing someone suffering post-traumatic stress to have a recurrence.
Anyway, no offence intended.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby camm » Mon 28 Jun, 2021 1:24 am

Baeng72 wrote:Anyway, no offence intended.


None taken.
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Re: Razorback ridge this weekend

Postby stry » Mon 28 Jun, 2021 7:40 am

Advance apologies for continuing the thread divergence. :)

I have confident and forthright children who are not hesitant about providing me with real time feedback about myself, so no need to look in a mirror. :lol:

One of my characteristics (failings?) is pedantry, so I will plead guilty to my perhaps disparaging use of the term "PC". :(

However, the remainder of my words referred to will be confirmed by Oxford as being politically neutral. In particular, the use of "triggered/trigger" in the context in which I used it, predates the recognition of PTSD by many, many years. Irony was not intended :) , and offence was not taken :D

Here endeth the epistle, and back to enjoyment of the OPs report of an adventure that his daughter will never forget.

Trips and experiences such as this can take a place in the child's mind and memories that can continue to reveal themselves for many years. Well done !!!
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