Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.

Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:27 am

So I've got this route planned for mid December: http://bit.ly/1gqTqtI

Has anyone here done any touring in this area? In particular, can bikes definitely go along that section of the AAWT (Australian Alps Walking Track), what the surface is like etc etc.

I have a fair bit of experience with tough tours (did this earlier this year: http://bit.ly/1ioYdQM ) but I'm not familiar with the NSW Alps, so open to all advice, suggestions etc.

I'm planning about 6 days for the trip, with a 7th available if needed.
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

by BNA » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:11 pm

BNA
 

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:11 pm

I have ridden in from Round Mountain car-park to Mt Jagungal and on to the Grey Mare Hut...... a looong time ago.

I was going to say that much of the route from Mt Jagungal to Guthega, and from Cascade Hut to the Victorian border is "no bikes", but on checking this guide from Environment NSW it seems these trails are now OK to cycle. A bit of lobbying from the MTB world may have paid off.

Your other problem is going to occur in Victoria where most of The Cobberas NP is declared as wilderness area and no bikes are allowed.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18283
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:41 pm

Yeah, Cascade Hut is definitely bike-friendly, and they even promote mountain biking along that trail - not sure whether all the way to the border though. (I've emailed NPSW - waiting for a response). On the Victorian side, we're only doing that section of the Cowombat Track down as far as Native Dog Flat. Thanks for the heads up though - might email Parks and see what they have to say.

EDIT:
Ok, after a bit more digging, it looks like you're right. NPWS marks only 9 mile Trail and the bottom part of Ingeegoodbee Track as being ok for bikes - exceptions to a general rule in the wilderness. Haven't seen anything explicitly saying you can't ride to the border though.

On the Victorian side (and after much digging) it looks like that area of the Cobberas Wilderness (the Cowombat Track) is unfortunately out of bounds for bikes. Boo. All up that means something like 15km of unrideable track will cause a huge detour via Suggan Buggan.

EDIT2:

Image
Ironic confirmation.
Last edited by stevage11 on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:11 pm

If you check the map on the last page of that guide I linked to it shows:

- trails around Jagungal are OK,
- all of the Valentine Trail through to the Schlink area is OK, and
- the Cascade Trail, Ingeegoodbee Trail and Nine-mile Pinch Trail are OK.

Not the Pilot Trail however, which is where you wanted to go to get to The Cobberas.


BTW, do not plan to go down the Nine-Mile Pinch! It is savage and borderline at the best of times. So steep that it was easier to stay on the bike (dragging a foot) rather than try to walk it. With one foot dragging you could slide away down the trail and it didn't matter that both tyres were skidding :shock:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18283
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:41 pm

Yeah, that's the map I was going from. Where is the Pilot Trail? Would it be the invisible line connecting the Cascade Trail to the start of the Murray?

>BTW, do not plan to go down the Nine-Mile Pinch! It is savage and borderline at the best of times.

Hmm, thanks for the tip. Sounds very much like the Billy Goat Bluff Track ( http://bit.ly/1gxAlGn ) which I did earlier this year - pretty freaking scary. My mate was on a mountain bike and was ok, but my 35mm tyres on a cyclocross just couldn't really cope. Plenty of semi-controlled skidding, and ended up walking a fair section of it.

I'm guessing the Ingeegoodbee Track isn't an option either.
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:46 pm

Btw, you don't know anything about the Mt Hope Rd or Davies Plain Track btw? http://bit.ly/1gxAXf9 and http://bit.ly/1irPn4I . They both seem like really interesting routes, but both have pretty horrific (and almost certainly unrideable) climbs at the start.
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:12 pm

stevage11 wrote:Where is the Pilot Trail? Would it be the invisible line connecting the Cascade Trail to the start of the Murray?

Yes that is it - runs from the Tin-mne Huts through to the source of the Murray and crosses into the Cobberas. It is quite rideable - friends of mine did this and rode through the Cobberas (against NP rules). There is another track that can be used to ride into Victoria - MacFarlanes Track I believe it's called. The same friends were going to ride it but when they saw the huge descent and climb involved, decided to chance it riding through Cowombat Flat and the Cobberas.

stevage11 wrote:I'm guessing the Ingeegoodbee Track isn't an option either.

Actually the Ingeegoodbee is a possible option. It does not drop way down into the Snowy Valley, instead following a ridge through to near Suggan Buggan. We followed it to the Nine-Mile Pinch. It may have a few hills along the way, but nothing too huge.

Davies Plain Track and Mt Hope Track, I know nothing about. Davies Plain Track is the route of the Bicentennial National Trail I believe - a horseriding, walking and MTB touring trail.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18283
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:25 am

Thanks again. A bit more googling and asking on bikeforums.net turned up these useful links:
[*]BNA discussion (including you :))
[*]Graham Smith's ride on Crazyguyonabike

So it seems the Grey Mare Trail is a bit tougher than expected - I'd better factor in very slow progress.

According to the forum post "National Parks were prompt in their reply and have agreed that pushing a bike is not cycling. There's no restrictions to pushing or carrying a bike now on walking tracks within Kosciuszko National Park. " That seems very weird to me. I can't see why pushing a bike would be encouraged over riding it? It's two wheels *and* two feet instead of just the two wheels.
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:16 pm

Official response from environment.nsw.gov.au:

Thnak you for your email enquirey regarding your planned cycling tour from Kiandra to the Snowy River NP Victoria. Commencing at Kiandra at the begining of the Table to Fire trail, follow that south until it links to Grey Mare Frie Trail. At Gre Mare Hut take the Valentine Fire trail to Guthega. From Guthega Take the Link Road to Smiggins Hole, then the Kosciuszko Rd to Charllotes Pass. then the Kosciuszko Fire Trail to Rawsons Pass. I spoke with staff at Jindabyne. There is no access from Rawsons Pass to Friday Flat , Threadbo for a person with a mountain bike.
From Rawsons Pass to Dead Horse Gap via Kosciuszko Rd & the Alpine Way. Take the Cascade Hut Fire trail to Cascade Hut, then Cowombat Fire trail through the Pilot Wilderness to Snowy River NP Victoria.


A bit weird. They're saying it's fine to ride all the way to the border (and apparently have no interest in what happens after that point), but say you can't even walk a bike down the 4.6km from Rawsons Pass.

They also refer to the Victorian side as "Snowy River NP" but surely it's the Cobberas Wilderness - or maybe the Alpine NP?
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:40 pm

The Cobberas NP. Snowy River NP is off to the east of Suggan Buggan - the border to MacKillops Bridge and south but the Snowy, Cobberas and Alpine all butt onto one another.

I don't see how they can say no walking your bike through from Rawsons Pass to Thredbo..... it is a walking track :roll: after all. When you get to the top of the ridge above Thredbo the ski trails are used for MTB DH, so should be available to ride. However they're going to be steep, with a fully-loaded bike :? :|, probably best to go down on the ski-lift.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18283
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:36 pm

Just back from the trip - it was awesome. 7 days from Junee to Bairnsdale on this route: http://t.co/K29UMknQwX

So, the contentious bits:

1) From Rawson Pass to summit of Kosci. We intended to walk this bit, but we were there early in the morning, the track was good (it's gravel with a weird rubber membrane presumably to stop erosion), and I couldn't see any good reason not to ride to the summit.
2) Rawson Pass to Thredbo down the metal walkway. My god this was a lot of fun. I can't think of anything remotely like it, other than tobogganing. An awesome, very grippy, very smooth metal lattice. Many of the corners are even banked the right way. A few steps, but no major hassles. Visibility is excellent. If it was wet, it would be dangerous (perhaps why they ban bikes), but gees it was fun. We encountered a few daywalkers right at the very bottom, so stopped and walked from there. Pro tip: do your run before the chairlift opens and you won't meet anyone. (From there we actually took our touring bikes down the "flow trail' (downhill MTB) for even more excitement. It went well!)
3) Cowombat Track from Cowombat Flats. There are no signs at the border prohibiting bikes. In the NSW direction there's a sign saying explicitly that they're allowed. The track southwards is a really hard slog, not a lot of fun. Just a lot of short uphills with gradients too steep to ride while loaded. Still, a very useful piece of track for us. When you see the sign I posted above, it actually seems a bit more ambiguous - the sign doesn't explicitly say "no bikes", it says "walkers only". Clearly the major intent is to keep four wheel drivers out (there are actually two locked gates), and bikes are something of an afterthought.

All up, an awesome trip - riding through the Jagungals and up to Kosci was really spectacular. Couldn't have done it without all the creeks to cool off in though.
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:01 pm

A few choice photos.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby Aushiker » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:09 pm

stevage11 wrote:A few choice photos.


Very nice! I like that path ... is that made of metal?

Thanks for sharing.

Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
Image
User avatar
Aushiker
 
Posts: 20096
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA

Re: Riding the AAWT through the Jagungals

Postby stevage11 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:08 pm

Yeah, that's the "metal walkway" connecting Kosciuzsko to the Thredbo chairlift. It's about 5km long, but bikes aren't allowed on it. (Although several people I chatted to in Thredbo admitted discreetly that they had also ridden it at least once...)
stevage11
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:20 am


Return to Touring Australia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit
cron