VK challenge - anyone?

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VK challenge - anyone?

Postby MountainMadness » Tue 30 Nov, 2021 12:39 pm

Hi All,

A little off the standard bushwalking topic, but over the years on this forum I've come to know how knowledgeable you folk here are so thought it worth picking your brains....

Its not really heard of here in Australia (for good reason), but was looking to see if anyone has ideas on possible locations to set a km vertical challenge record here in Australia? Its more a European thing, but its basically how fast can you leg 1000 vertical meters, but within a 5km horizontal distance.

When good old google didn't come up with anything, I did 10 minutes of brainstorming and map checking and have really only come up with 1 option off the top of my head (Feathertop, via Harrietville, 700m ADH to 1700m AHD). There are of course other options, but I'm looking at options with established tracks (minimise bush bashing) and horizontal distance travelled (not 'as the crow flies').

Bogong doesn't quite cut it in terms of horizontal kms, I'm not bothering with Hannels Spur again (boy that '''track''' was rough last time I took it!!) and as far as I can tell most other tracks around Kosci don't make the cut either (open to suggestion here - know there are a few 'tracks' around the north and northwest face of Main Range seem pretty non existent from memory). Thought further afield like Mt Wellington, 6 Foot track, Bartle Frere, Mt Zeil but none seem to make the cut from both a V or H km perspective.....

Any ideas? Anyone attempted this (and if so in what time?). Wonder if there is a 'record' that has been set and substantiated (strava etc) in Australia..........

Thoughts and insights appreciated!

MM
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 30 Nov, 2021 1:50 pm

I would have thought Staircase Spur on Bogong met your requirements. Starting from Mountain Creek road, you can gain a KM in less than 5KM horizontal can't you?
EDIT: I just checked in QGIS, and probably just over 5KM if you start at Mountain Creek, so nope.
Last edited by Baeng72 on Tue 30 Nov, 2021 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby headwerkn » Tue 30 Nov, 2021 2:02 pm

Drys Bluff trig point in northern Tassie (Liffey, starts from Bob Brown's backyard at Oura Oura) is a touch over 1000m gain within 3.5km. That's the steepest, shortest continuous VKM climb I know in the state that has a decent, designated track. Current CR on Strava to the plateau (300-400m shy of trig) is around 45 mins.

I think the Buffalo Stampede (at Bright VIC) used to have a VKM race but they're not listing it any more. From memory it was over 8km or so though. I may be completely mis-remembering though.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby grunter » Tue 30 Nov, 2021 2:36 pm

Kunanyi Mountain Runs (Facebook) has a certified vertical k. Starts at 260m finish at 1260 5k. Certified by the international skyrunning mob.May be one of their races too.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby GBW » Tue 30 Nov, 2021 4:07 pm

Bon Accord Spur may come close.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Aardvark » Tue 30 Nov, 2021 6:05 pm

I would have thought Mt.Barney was an obvious one.
For example, SE ridge. The summit of East Pk is 1351m. Cronans Ck is around 200m to 300m alt.. No more than 2k horizontally. Even from Yellowpinch carpark at 215m, it's less than 5k. Logans ridge from Yellowpinch is even less horizontally than SE ridge.
Times, i wouldn't compare to those on other mountains.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby MountainMadness » Wed 01 Dec, 2021 6:01 am

Thanks All,

Looks like the good Bushwalk Australia folk have pulled through – thank you!

Yep Staircase Spur (Bogong) doesn’t quite meet requirements (according to my 20yo map), nor does Bon Accord Spur. Not sure about the Buffalo Stampede (Bright), but doesn’t look like there are any obvious tracks that meet criteria in the area….. (happy to be corrected though).

That Dears Track (up Drys Bluff) looks like a winner (Thanks headwerkn – any chance you or others can please elaborate on general track/route condition, or photos? That’s fairly steep, so how is the rock quality, assuming scrambling is required?). And Mt Barney also looks to meet the criteria (never been up to Main Range or Mt Barney NPs – although from my maps the horizontal distance travelled looks to be more like 4.5kms not 2ks!). I’ve done the harbour to kunanyi run a couple of times in my short stays at Hobart, but as I’m not a local I’m yet to discover an established route going 1000m V: 5000m H (can’t find anything on Listmap either – but again very happy to be shown otherwise! grunter or others care to convince me?!?!?)

Thanks All – please keep sending through thoughts/ideas! Appreciate the brains behind Australian bushwalking!!! (know many of you folk have a bank of knowledge regarding maps, topography and existing track conditions across the country!)

Cheers
MM
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby headwerkn » Wed 01 Dec, 2021 7:54 am

MountainMadness wrote:That Dears Track (up Drys Bluff) looks like a winner (Thanks headwerkn – any chance you or others can please elaborate on general track/route condition, or photos? That’s fairly steep, so how is the rock quality, assuming scrambling is required?).


By Tasmanian conditions the track is good, easy to follow pad and well marked. Gets no lack of use so other than the occasional tree over the track it's kept clear and pleasant. But yes, it is very steep, so unless you're secretly Kilian Jornet don't expect to be running much of it. There's a few fixed ropes to help progress over some rock sections, and an area of pretty manageable scree towards the top. A wonderful rock formation about halfway up to explore, and the views are, as you'd expect, pretty stunning.


My partner has track notes/photos here -> https://www.adventuresofxing.com/drys-b ... ys%20bluff
(note this mentions going to the true summit, which extends another 2km over a fairly flat offtrack, scrubby area you probably wouldn't bother with for VKM purposes)

Also check out:
https://rockmonkeyadventures.wordpress. ... mber-2013/
https://www.natureloverswalks.com/drys-bluff/

MountainMadness wrote:And Mt Barney also looks to meet the criteria (never been up to Main Range or Mt Barney NPs – although from my maps the horizontal distance travelled looks to be more like 4.5kms not 2ks!). I’ve done the harbour to kunanyi run a couple of times in my short stays at Hobart, but as I’m not a local I’m yet to discover an established route going 1000m V: 5000m H (can’t find anything on Listmap either – but again very happy to be shown otherwise! grunter or others care to convince me?!?!?)


The kunanyi VKM route (https://www.kunanyimountain.run/vertical-kilometre) is being kept hush hush. Not sure if that's for competitive/pre-training reasons or access/environmental impact concerns.
I just had a quick play with Gaia and came up with this route, 1000m in about 5.6km, up the Inglewood Fire Trail and Saw Mill Tracks to the Organ Pipes track. I'm fairly certain this was the route I took one year after completing Point to Pinnacle to loosen up the legs - bad idea, very steep and jarring on cooked quads! (if you want to avoid the buses, just run the actual course back again, much better on the legs, quite fast and you get to encourage/psyche out everyone still going uphill). I reckon with a bit of fiddling you could find a route closer to an even 5km.

Screenshot 2021-12-01 083948.jpg
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Allchin09 » Wed 08 Dec, 2021 7:55 pm

Mt Guouogang in the southern Blue Mountains is a possibility, it forms part of the 'Three Peaks' route. It looks like it's just shy of 1000m if you head straight up Nooroo Buttress, but walking a short distance up Whalania Creek before ascending will get you the vert.

https://maps.ozultimate.com/?id=1638957025052

Screenshot 2021-12-08 205247.png
Guouogang via Nooroo Buttress
Screenshot 2021-12-08 205247.png (928.74 KiB) Viewed 10618 times
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Aardvark » Wed 08 Dec, 2021 9:31 pm

MountainMadness wrote: And Mt Barney also looks to meet the criteria (never been up to Main Range or Mt Barney NPs – although from my maps the horizontal distance travelled looks to be more like 4.5kms not 2ks!).


I don't know where you are measuring from to get 4.5kms for SE ridge.
I can only assume you're looking at a marked track on a topo. Be it Sunmap or QTopo.
That can only mean South ridge. And then perhaps you're closer to 4.5km , from say Yellowpinch or even the weir crossing on Cronans Ck.
However, Southeast ridge proper, a very discernable pad and NOT marked as a track on the maps, starts ascending from a point west of Cronans Ck, just below the 350m contour. As East Pk is 1351m. It still provides a 1000m ascent with a 2km horizontal distance.
In recent times, the track designated as SE ridge was re-routed and signed with a start point further back from where most people once began the climb. It takes a route from a point about 1km back from the weir and crosses the creek downstream of the weir well before the start of any ascent. Even if you took measurement of the same 1000m ascent on the new route, it wouldn't make any difference to the horizontal distance. If you measured from the lowest point ie the creek crossing, it would be a 250m contour with a 1351m summit and perhaps 2.5kms horizontal distance.
"never been up to Main Range or Mt Barney NPs". maybe this accounts for your lack of understanding. No offence meant.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby MountainMadness » Thu 09 Dec, 2021 10:35 am

Thanks headwerkn - good info. Next time I’m in Taz I’ll try to make it up Dry Bluff. Yeah I think kunanyi route is a tad longer than 5km (according to the map I have) but the track that the registered event guys run may be an altered route (may take a short cut or two). I’m interested and will look into this further……

Haha – Allchin09 have you done 3 peaks?!?!? That wretched run up to Mt Guouogang does not meet my ‘track’ criteria and yes according to my GPS its under 1000m vertical (although to be fair only off by about 50 vertical m – could make that up by wandering further east down Whalania Ck). Good spotting though as it does meet the topographical criteria and is certainly doable.

Aardvark – yep spot on. I’ve no experience in the area so just going off internet maps (which I do try to avoid at all costs!). Definitely accounts for my lack of understanding! My experience is marked tracks on online topos can be misleading (as you said some aren’t shown, and some that are aren’t sometimes tracks). Thanks for pointers – its on the list!

Thanks all!
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby rcaffin » Fri 10 Dec, 2021 7:05 pm

Nooroo Buttress is Very Good Value! It goes UP fast. One section in the middle could justify carrying a handline or some tape.
We started from the bottom after breakfast, and managed to camp some km beyond Guouogang. Sometimes there is a large waterbottle cached at the base of the cairn - I don't know who fills it.

Hum - coming down the Buttress? I don't think I would want to do that! Opportunities for too much WHEEEE.

The spur to the E of Nooroo, just beside Nooroo Gully and going up Bullagowar, is also rather sustained. You could then continue up the Mt G of course. That would probably be under 5 km and over 1000 m.

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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Ndevr » Sat 11 Dec, 2021 9:34 pm

A number of years ago I did a trail in the Daintree, called the 'Devils Thumb - Manjal Jimalji Trail'.

It climbs 1000m in 4km, and it's quite a consistent grade from memory.

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/__data/*&%$#! ... le-map.pdf

You would need to do it at first light to beat the heat and humidity.

I'm not sure how clear the track is nowadays, there was a little bit of scrub, thistles, and a few fallen branches, and some scree, but generally it was ok.

This may be a good practice VK trail at the right time of day/year and if the track has been maintained....if not there's still great views at the top to enjoy!

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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Baeng72 » Sun 12 Dec, 2021 6:24 am

At the risk of getting egg on my face, I went back into QGIS and I reckon Staircase can serve. Starting at 900m altitude, I measure it 4900m horizontal to get to 1900m altitude.
I traced the dashed purple/blue line on the GetLost map (not the dashed red line).
I overlaid my gps tracking points from when I descended Staircase Spur in Dec. 2020 and it fits the curve I traced, so it's a good chance that the measurements are correct.
stair01.JPG
Staircase Profile

stair02.JPG
Staircase topo
stair02.JPG (26.42 KiB) Viewed 10199 times

stair03.JPG
GPS track
stair03.JPG (128.68 KiB) Viewed 10199 times

*Disclaimer: I'm not sponsored by Staircase Spur tourist association but would take bribes if it existed and was throwing money my way.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby LLSC » Sun 09 Jan, 2022 1:23 pm

Yarra Ranges, near Healesville in Victoria, has some 'nearly there' contenders (Mt Juliet and Mt St Leonard both rise ~900 m) but Mt Donna Buang goes from 200 m to 1240m over ~7km. Mt Juliet is the most severe of these being ~4.5 km horizontal distance. However, most of the climb is in the last 1.5 km. After a few times up and down here with a laden pack, The Viking and Diamantina Spur seemed like fun.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Allchin09 » Wed 12 Jan, 2022 12:39 pm

MountainMadness wrote:Haha – Allchin09 have you done 3 peaks?!?!? That wretched run up to Mt Guouogang does not meet my ‘track’ criteria and yes according to my GPS its under 1000m vertical (although to be fair only off by about 50 vertical m – could make that up by wandering further east down Whalania Ck). Good spotting though as it does meet the topographical criteria and is certainly doable.
Thanks all!

Yep, and been up Guouogang a few times. Haven't been since the fires though, maybe it's been cleared of scrub? :)
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby danman » Fri 28 Jan, 2022 6:45 pm

Black Bluff from Brooke's Track would go pretty close?

Eldon Peak from near the top end of Burbury would count. Good luck setting any records on that one though

precipitous bluff from new river lagoon would net you about 1000m in 3.5km or so.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby danman » Fri 28 Jan, 2022 6:47 pm

Mt Murchison goes up 700m in about 2.5km. just do it twice :P
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby MattS » Fri 11 Feb, 2022 3:08 pm

Mount Halifax is pretty much bang on: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/__data/*&%$#! ... nge-np.pdf
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby grunter » Tue 15 Mar, 2022 2:16 pm

Fyi
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby gbagua » Thu 17 Mar, 2022 8:13 pm

I second Mt Barney. Easy to access and well maintained tracks.

-The SE ridge climbs up to the top of the East Peak (1354m) starting from an approx. height of 106m
-Logan's ridge is also an excellent choice for a vertical run also summiting at the East Peak. A bit more technical and less windy than the SE. It would be my first pick.

Both start from the Yellow Pinch Reserve.
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Re: VK challenge - anyone?

Postby Bron » Fri 18 Mar, 2022 2:09 pm

Ive climbed Mt Barney, Mt Anne and Mt Bartle Frere as day trips. Early starts helped to finish in 1 day.

Definitely Mt Barney, up the South East Ridge down South Route 1200m ascent/descent from the the creek .
Mt Anne (south -west tassie) is 1423m and the carpark is 348m but the distance is 7.5m but most of the climbing is before Mt Eliza at 1289m.
Mt Bartle Frere (https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/bartle-frere) is 1622m and starting from 107m and is also 7.5km. From Big Rock Camp 440m to the summit you climb 1180m in 4km.

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