Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

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Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby Gunner55 » Fri 27 Aug, 2021 6:12 pm

Hi all

There is a bit of info I have found but not a massive amount. Am thinking of pack rafting the Snowy from either Willis campground near the border or McKillops Bridge, to either the Snowy's junction with the Buchan River (as Bailey Hooley I assume) OR onto to Orbost. Any intel will be appreciated. Specifically in regard to put in and finish locations and also if a pack raft will be tough enough to cope with the river's rigours. I think so but any direct experience would be helpful. And any side trips for a walk off the river or up side creeks etc appreciated. Cheers
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby andrewa » Sat 28 Aug, 2021 6:47 pm

Pack rafts are strong enough for anything…the limit is your ability….

Link is to some vid from NZ of Roman Dial before packrafts had extended tails.

https://youtu.be/TYcouzq7AlY.

Happy planning. I’m looking forward to using mine again.

A
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 28 Aug, 2021 8:12 pm

No experience to give, but have you seen these notes?

McKillops Bridge to Buchan River Confluence
Snowy River
Grade: Grade 3 - 4

Season: Best in winter & spring although can be done at any time of year with the end of summer being lowest. Heavy easterly rain can bring it up quickly at any time of year.

Time: 3 long days, 4 achievable days

Level: 0.5m is low, 1.5m is high

Gauge: McKillops Bridge

Gauge URL: http://www.BoM.GOV.AU/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDV60078.html

Shuttle: 3hrs one way on rough wheel drive roads

Character: Amazing big river valley with several gorges, spectacular scenery all in a semi- wilderness environment.

Suits: Perfect for Rafts and Whitewater Canoes, Kayaks are good as long as they carry over night gear.

Putting In: Follow the Princess Highway 277km East to Bairnsdale, then through Bruthen, 23km and onto Buchan 51km. From Buchan take the Gelantipy Road for 55km until the turn off to McKillops Bridge is reached and follow this down to the river, 25km. (this last section is very narrow and steep although large trucks and small busses do use it, take care)

Taking Out: For the take out head back to Buchan, take the Orbost Road and after 3-4km the Basin Road will be reached coming in from the right. Follow this for 3.2km and turn right onto Old Basin Road (signposted Snowy River). After 6km turn right onto Bailey Hooley Road (also signposted) and after a further 10.5km you will reach the confluence picnic ground. It is a short walk to the Snowy and the take out.

Map: Murrindal- Yalmy 1:50000, Deddick- Deception 1:50000, Lucas Pt 1:25000

Camping: The is great camping at Parks Victoria camp areas at the put in and take. Camping on the river is plentiful on the big sandy beaches.

Entry Date: 13th March 2002

Verified by: Colin Kneebone

Or this?
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby icefest » Sun 29 Aug, 2021 12:17 am

I've been whitewater kayaking for a while now, and have paddled a fair amount of Victorian whitewater, and the snowy is one of the classic Vicco touring rivers. That being said, it's one of the most remote and can have some truly gigantic floods (like 15m high). I've got mate who've paddled it at 5-6m above usual flows (kinda sad I couldn't get the time off work).

I know you haven't told us much about how well you paddle or how much practice you've had, and I don't want to be the fun police, but the way you've phrased a lot of these questions make me think you are just getting into the activity - and that's great.
I worry that you'll end up getting yourself into a sticky situation if you head out without a good crew who known what going on though, as I don't want to be woken up by a search and rescue call out near a river and wonder if I'll end up finding a friend of mine..

Why not join a club like white-horse canoe club, north east canoe club, or if you are younger one of the outdoors uni clubs - Melbourne Uni Mountaineering Club (MUMC) or RMIT Outdoors Club (ROC) who can get you going out with people who have paddled for a while longer.


Gunner55 wrote:There is a bit of info I have found but not a massive amount.

Where did you look?
- There is the classic australian canoe touring manual: https://www.bogong.com.au/paddle-easter ... murry.html
- There is the google map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... 306291&z=9
- There are the Whitehorse Canoe Club maps: https://www.whitehorsecanoeclub.com/charts.php
Gunner55 wrote: Am thinking of pack rafting the Snowy

All rapids on the Vic section of the snowy can be packrafted, though there are 3-4 bigger rapids with sieves that could easily lead to a drowning if you are not aware of where NOT to be.
Gunner55 wrote: ...the Snowy from either Willis campground near the border or McKillops Bridge, to either the Snowy's junction with the Buchan River

Both are reasonable. The hardest section is Tullock Ard Gorge, about 20km downriver of Mackillop's bridge.
Gunner55 wrote: Buchan River (as Bailey Hooley I assume)

Balley Hooley would get more hits on google.
Gunner55 wrote:OR onto to Orbost.

It's a days paddle to sandy point (4wd), and that section is still Class 3, after that it's two days of flatwater all the way to Marlo (good pub).
Gunner55 wrote:Any intel will be appreciated.

You'll need to give a bit more info on what (boat, rivers) you paddle, how well you paddle, if you have swiftwater rescue experience, and if this is a solo mission.
Gunner55 wrote: Specifically in regard to put in and finish locations

Do you have a 4wd? high clearance 4wd or super low slung 2wd? Proper mud and rescue gear?
Will you be going in winter?
Gunner55 wrote:if a pack raft will be tough enough to cope with the river's rigours.

What pack-raft?
A LWD will not cope, but an Alpacka Wolvertine paddled by Daan from NZ kayak school would be undamaged.
Gunner55 wrote:And any side trips for a walk off the river or up side creeks etc appreciated.

How many days will you have?
Nice gorge up rodger river.
Basin creek falls are pretty
Meadow creek has some pretty waterfalls and a small slot canyon at the base.
There is some nice canyoning up near Little River.
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby Gunner55 » Sun 29 Aug, 2021 6:24 pm

Thanks for all the input everyone much appreciated
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby climberman » Fri 03 Sep, 2021 2:14 pm

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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby climberman » Fri 03 Sep, 2021 2:18 pm

And here's Mark Oates a little further upriver :)

https://youtu.be/jW03e5P5FOk
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby Blues Kelvin » Tue 12 Oct, 2021 5:11 pm

I have pack rafted from the Byadbo Wilderness section down to Buchan on various trips.

Pack rafts are tough enough - but always be prepared for on river repairs. Ive had new rafts fail.

Like all rivers the higher up the catchment, generally the higher the grade. If you are still developing skills keep lower down the river and as someone earlier posted find some other paddlers - try the packrafting Victoria or Australia FB sites https://www.facebook.com/groups/PackraftingVictoria
Also the Snowy can carry some big water, so now what you are getting into.

Heres a video from a trip last year https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlIBmhjbPgc

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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby sandym » Wed 13 Oct, 2021 2:13 pm

We did Willis to Buchan in whitewater boats in 3 days (2.5 actually). It's a blast. With a packraft you can portage any rapids you do not want to run. You need to check the river height and when the planned releases are. I think there might be one in November.
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Re: Pack rafting the Snowy in Vic

Postby Xplora » Mon 18 Oct, 2021 5:54 pm

Snowy looking pretty good just now although a bit brown.
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