Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

camnrtn
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Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:34 pm

Hi folks,

I've been reading about a Blue Dirt falls creek backcountry tour (http://bluedirt.com.au/mtbriding/trips/ ... k-country/) and am thinking of doing a similar route as a bit of a 2/3 day bikepacking trip with my partner. Does anyone know anything about trails that go through that are, or routes that incorporate as much off-road as possible between Beauty and Falls?

Cheers!

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:58 pm

Just had a look at the Falls Creek MTB trails map. Looks like a few good longer loops are possible from Mt Beauty, so will be following this topic with interest!

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:23 pm

Posted the question on the FB group Team Mt Beauty. Responses so far...

The Fainter track is the only rideable route up to Falls and that only on a lightweight bike, if you were bike packing, expect some HAB (hike a bike)
Timms is pretty much down only and that only if it's been opened from fallen trees.


And

Riding up Fainter via spring saddle and traversing across to mt nelse via falls creek and down timms spur to big river and either follow the east Kiewa or Out at clover power station for a cruisy finish. Rode up to Fainter on a 15kg Fatbike in August and it wasn't too bad. Only hike was the single track just below the top of fainter (30min-1hr) for the whole ride. Going the other way would probably be tougher but I think totally rideable. Great campsite is Tawonga Huts, pretty much one of my fav spots on the high plains. Sensational riding too

camnrtn
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:36 pm

Thanks for the expert consultation dalai! I'm thinking if we could ride up one day on fainters, stay at tawonga huts, then down the next, perhaps following a different route (timms maybe), then that would be an excellent and exhausting couple of days. Are these tracks continuous, as in are they easy to follow? Apart from a line on a falls creek 'adventure' map there's no info out on these.

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:16 pm

I've had no more responses to my question on FB since those I posted above...

I am keen to try the Fainter - Timm's loop as an overnighter this summer, so if you ride this before I do please report back! :D

I did find some photos from others who have ridden up there. Looks great!

https://picasaweb.google.com/1085829793 ... redirect=1
https://picasaweb.google.com/1085829793 ... edirect=1#

camnrtn
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:21 pm

Nice researching, it looks excellent. I'll let you know when I make it up, and you do likewise if you get there before me! Looks like it'll require a proper map for the journey, pretty remote in some of those valleys I'd say

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:48 pm

Definitely need to be prepared in the high country. Map and compass plus bad weather gear even in the middle of summer!

If I get up their first I will report back. Planning on a couple of overnighters out towards Marysville first and the Goldfields track over from Ballarat to Bendigo overnight before heading up to the Bogong high plains.

Hopefully others will see this topic and post feedback for this loop and any other overnight options around Falls Creek. :D

camnrtn
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:35 am

I've only toured in the high country once and it was it was during the heat wave early 2014, so my problems have been more lack of water, dehydration and heat exhaustion. But yes, alpine adventures do justify spending all that money on hi-tech gear!

I did Goldfields track earlier this year and really enjoyed it and have since been back for the dry diggings section, which is by far the best riding. I'd recommend getting the guide book for it, as there are a few spots where its easy to get lost. I'm planning a 3 day ride north of Healesville in the Toolangi State Forest for cup weekend, just near Marysville. It's beautiful up that way, but never been there on a bike.

Any comments from others on fainters & timms tracks or others in the area are very welcome!

slaw
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby slaw » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:57 am

Wow I was just thinking about this area for Cup weekend. Googled it and found this thread.

In 1984, our club did a ride from Albury, Yackandandah, Mt Beauty, Falls Ck, Omeo to Bairnsdale.
My GF at the time and I split from the group when they camped a couple of nights near Wallace's Hut. We pedalled out to Roper's Hut, parked the bikes there and hiked over Mt Bogong to stay at Cleve Cole hut, then returned to rejoin the group at Wallace's. We used day packs and carried food, stove, sleeping bags and our goretex tent without poles to use like a double bivy bag.

In Easter 2000 a group of us stayed at Falls Ck. I joined another group touring through for one night, this time carrying my 3yo in a trailer. We rode over Mt Mackay, past Pretty Valley Hut, Cope Hut and camped near Wallace's.
It snowed overnight. I have a great memory of my 3yo all rugged up in the morning, brushing the snow off the trailer windscreen. I returned that day to Falls while the others continued on.
I did another trailer ride around Marum Point, then the next day, three of us rode over the Fainter's down to Bogong Village where we were picked up. Wasn't too hard that way from memory although there were sections on the ridge that were too rocky and unrideable.

I'm thinking of heading up that way Cup weekend - maybe for a Bogong hike since 1984 was the only time I've done it. Or I could do some MTBing, depending what the family wants to do.

One overnight option would be to go up Fainter's, stay in the village and down Timm's the next day. Not really bikepacking, but would mean not having to carry camping gear.

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il padrone
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby il padrone » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:54 pm

dalai47 wrote:Definitely need to be prepared in the high country. Map and compass plus bad weather gear even in the middle of summer!

+1

Cup weekend..... hmmm!

Not the high country, but we were heading for the mountains, just had to turn around and get out - fast!

Image

Image

The low bridge was washed away 4 hours after we crossed it on the way out.
Image
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

slaw
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby slaw » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:12 pm

Last year Cup Weekend I was at Dinner Plain with the family - did a couple of roadie climbs, the Dinner Plain Enduro and a Feathertop Hike. During the enduro and overnight Sunday it snowed so much that our diesel powered car wouldn't start, so my girls and I had to hitch a ride to the Razorback trailhead. Once we got hiking the weather cleared to a magnificent sunny day.

camnrtn
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:04 pm

il padrone - nice pics, you never know what you'll come across on the road! You helped me out with advice for an alpine tour at the beginning of this year which proved very useful, great to hear you chiming in?

I hadn't thought about wallace's hut and heading in that direction - wonder if you could tack on another day's riding south of falls to make a three day bikepacking trip out of the whole thing

btw does anyone know if you can actually stay in tawonga hut? or is it more a campsite? Not having to carry a tent makes the riding all the nicer:)

slaw
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby slaw » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:22 am

Don't know about Tawonga hut, but most huts can be slept in. There'll be signs on them that they are not for sleeping but emergency use only and I'd never rely on them being available, so you should take a tent or bivy just in case.

This websitelists some ride options in the area.

Another option I've thought of is to start at Hotham, ride past Mt Loch down to the Kiewa river. Ride the West Kiewa Logging rode to join up the Fainters route, then to Falls Ck. Could them do Timms spur. Camp at Bogong Creek saddle and hike Quartz Ridge to Bogong. Finish in Mt Beauty. That would need 3 or 4 days I think, but there could be bus options to help getting to and from.

camnrtn
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:45 pm

So many months later I just went and did this little trip with my partner for my birthday. The scenery is phenomenal (as it usually is in alpine country really) and the riding was awesome too. We ended up going up fainter's and then down Timm's spur track, which isn't really a track as such but more a route you can take down on the eastern side of the falls creek road. The drove from melbourne and didn't hit the trail until about 2pm, starting at big hill mtb park and ending up on big hill track, camping just where it enters alpine national park at spring saddle, which is a really nice spot. The following day we rode up the rest of fainters - which is fantastic riding, techy and flowing in equal measure - until I got a puncture a couple km from Tawonga. Our pump couldn't handle the intensity of my psi-pushing and decided to fail, so I had to walk some of the sweetest singletrack of the trip, cursing my foolish penny pinching about something as important as a pump. Also had to then walk the 6 or so km from tawonga to falls creek to seek out a pump, which took most of the day. There's a bike vending machine at the top of falls, but the guy who ended up lending me his pump had just bought the last one from the machine, so it didn't help us. Just had to cross our fingers for the final day that we wouldn't get a flat. We had heard that roper's hut (a few km into timm's spur ride) was nice, so headed there late on that day. Turns out the turn off is confusingly well hidden and we missed it and ended up camping by the side of the trail. We sat and watched the lunar eclipse and I had some 31st birthday cake. The following day was a cruisy ride downhill along timm's spur into mount beauty.

The whole trip was awesome, probably the best bikepacking we've done - weather was nice, not as cold as you'd think and no bugs, amazing scenery, REALLY good riding in sections, had campfires every night, even on a long weekend there were only a couple of 'busy spots'.

I couldn't find much info on fainter's track (everyone above's helpful comments notwithstanding) which is why i'm writing this. Couple of things:
- the only water along fainter's come from some little streams, sometimes hours apart, so be prepared, especially in the heat. It's better towards the top, but towards the bottom it was harder - little water and difficult to access.
- there was a decent amount of walking involved - steep and rocky in sections - but nothing too bothersome, maximum for 10 minutes or so, wear good shoes
- there's no signposting until you hit the national park - we ended up on fainter's track by pure luck.
- there's a bike-gear vending machine (!) and a supermarket at the falls creek resort
- the ride up fainter's is much harder and slower than you'd imagine. You can easily do it in a day, but with fully laden bikes and beautiful scenery you don't want to stress it.
- this is amazing bikepacking territory and if you're considering heading up there you should do so.

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:23 pm

Awesome report camnrtn! My grand plans to ride this and the Gold Fields track this summer before the Mawson trail never happened, so will be heading to SA with hopefully one local overnighter in the next few weeks...

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:37 am

camnrtn - do you have a gpx file from the circuit? Will help me find the Fainters track when I finally get out there to ride it...

camnrtn
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby camnrtn » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:39 pm

Hi Dalai, I don't use GPS so don't have a gpx file. PM before you go if you like and I can give you step by step directions. It's fairly simple, but due to lack of signage there was a bit of guesswork involved.

Also, report back on your overnighter if you discover an interesting place to ride!

dalai47
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby dalai47 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:42 am

Thanks camnrtn. Might only now be next spring to ride this loop unless we have a warm Autumn / early Winter. I was originally going to do an overnighter roughly following the Gravel Grinder loop to Kurth Kiln and back but it just wasn't to be.

Given the lack of time before I leave for SA (now just over two weeks away! :shock: ), my overnighter to test out the new tent, quilt and sleeping mat was in my backyard last Friday night. :oops: I can happily say the combined items above weighing under 2kg total offered a very comfortable night sleep. :D

kiewa
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Re: Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek trails

Postby kiewa » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:36 pm

Here is a link to a comprehensive resource on riding the Fainter Trail http://kiewaview.com.au/fainter.htm

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