Mt Feathertop Winter Climb
Victoria's most spectacular peak - learn the skills required to climb to her summit in winter.
Alpine National Park
3 days, 2 nights
Tented camp on snow
Mount Feathertop is the most spectacular winter peak in Victoria and arguably in Australia. It's long, sharp ridgeline running north to south, creates steep faces to the east and west - the perfect structure to capture weather systems. Large snowfalls over winter and prevailing westerlies create an accumulation of snow in the form of large cornices along its summit ridges, giving them a feather-like shape - hence the name!
This expedition is designed to introduce you to the basic alpine travel stills required to safely climb to the summit during winter. We'll learn how to walk in crampons, how to hold and use an ice axe as well as arrest a fall, should it occur.
If you're a fit, keen hiker and always wanted to try your hand at a steep snow-covered peak and learn the necessary skills along the way - this trip is for you!
ItineraryDay 1 Meet in Harrietville then group transfer to accommodation in Mount Beauty. Day 2 Transfer to Mountain Creek Campground/Carpark, ascend the Staircase Spur to Summit Mount Bogong. Traverse Bogong to camp at Cleave Col Hut. Day 3 Join the AAWT and head south towards the Big River. Cross the Big River and ascend to the Bogong High Plains - Camp at Roper Hut. Day 4 Roper Hut across the plains to Cope Hut. Day 5 Cope Hut to Blair Hut via Westons Spur. Day 6 Ascend Diamantina Spur, turn right on the Razorback towards Mt Feathertop. If time permits summit Feathertop - or relax and enjoy sunset from Little Feathertop. Day 7 Alpine start to head up to Mt Feathertop for sunrise before descending Bungalow Spur to Harrietville. Accommodation at Snowline Hotel. Day 8 Breakfast in Harrietville, debrief and departure.
Route DescriptionDay 1 Meet in Harrietville for welcome drinks and briefing. Once the group is assembled, the group transfers to accommodation in Mount Beauty. Day 2 12.2 km - ⬆1430m - ⬇240m An early start. Transfer to Mountain Creek Campground/Carpark. Walk along Mountain Creek road for 2km to the Staircase Spur, ascend the Spur to Summit Mount Bogong. Traverse Mount Bogong eastwards over Hell Gap to camp at Cleave Col Hut. Day 3 9.1 km - ⬆811m - ⬇878m Join the AAWT and head south towards the Big River. This river crossing could be one of our biggest challenges for the expedition. Cross the Big River and ascend to the Bogong High Plains - Camp at Roper Hut. Day 4 17 km - ⬆222m - ⬇250m From Ropers Hut we'll join the Big River Fire Trail and cross the high plains to Cope Hut via Watchbed Creek and the Longford West Aquaduct. If we're making good time there will be an opportunity for a short side trip to Wallace Hut - the oldest cattleman hut in the high country. Day 5 13 km - ⬆167m - ⬇688m Cope Hut to Blair Hut via Westons Spur. Day 6 8 km - ⬆748m - ⬇179m What goes down must go up again, and today we have to make up the 700 meters we lost the day before to reach Feathertop. After we cross the creek and follow the road to the beginning of Diamantina Spur, we will climb the spur and then follow the Razorback trail to Feathertop. When we reach the junction tree instead of heading to the summit (though some may wish to) we will set up camp down at Federation Hut. We will overnight at the Federation Hut campsite for our last night on the mountain. Day 7 14 km - ⬆211m - ⬇1407m This is the BIG day! The ascent of Feathertop is the most technical and steepest of the trip. We will head out before the sun rises, hopefully getting to Mt Feathertop summit just as the sun peaks over the horizon. Then it’s back to camp for a hearty meal before the final 3.5 hours of our epic traverse. Waiting for you in Harrietville is a hot shower, a comfy warm bed and a great meal. Oh, and the accolades of the bar staff. Accommodation at Snowline Hotel. Day 8 We can enjoy a comfortable sleep in on our last day before heading out for breakfast in Harrietville, debrief over coffee and depart for home.
Who is this expedition for?Experienced trekkers with high levels of fitness and resilience. You should be looking to push yourself both physically and mentally and more motivated by challenge than comfort. You will be required to carry approximately 16-18kgs for this expedition. Who is this expedition NOT for? If you have little or no trekking experience, if you need to guarantee warmth and comfort at the end of a long day or if you don’t have a high level of fitness - this trip might not be for you.
InclusionsExperienced and qualified guides for the duration of the expedition Group safety equipment such as first aid kits and satellite phone All catering while on expedition Group equipment including tents and stoves - BYO personal cutlery and crockery Hire of Snowshoes and trekking poles Twin or triple share ‘3 star’ accommodation for the first and last night Transfers required to complete the one way journey
ExclusionsPersonal clothing and equipment (including pack, sleeping bag and mattress) Any meals, drinks and other purchases in towns Personal medical and evacuation/ambulance insurance
Equipment listThis is a list of personal clothing and equipment that you will be required to bring for this expedition. If there is anything you don't have we can assist with either hire equipment or a discount code for our online store. Please enquire! Footwear Sturdy waterproof hiking or mountaineering boots 3-4 pairs of hiking socks 1 Pair of light shoes/sandals/slippers or hut booties for night time (optional) Gaiters - recommended Snow Shoes - Supplied! Clothing 1-2 x shirt and pants for trekking 1 x light to mid thermal top and bottoms for day use 1 x mid to heavy thermal top and bottoms for evenings and sleeping Mid to heavy weight fleece or merino top or light synthetic fill layer Large down or synthetic fill over jacket Waterproof and windproof rain jacket and pants (must be fully waterproof and breathable min 20,000mm ie not ski jacket) 3-5 pairs of underwear Head and hands Warm beanie or balaclava Neck warmer/buff Dark sun glasses (sun on snow can be very bright!) - must be UV rated and ideally polarised Sun glasses strap - too many pairs of sunglasses have been donated to the mountain gods to not recommend these strongly! Snow/ski goggles Light glove liners Warm and waterproof over gloves - good quality ski gloves will suffice Sleeping gear Sleeping bag upper comfort limit rated to at least -10, recommended -12 or below. Sleeping bag liner (recommend thermal liner if you have a lighter sleeping bag) Inflatable sleeping mattress (ideally R-value 5 or above) Close cell foam mattress for additional insulation - can be provided on request Health and hygiene Personal toiletries Toothbrush/paste small facecloth or wet wipes (optional) Feminine hygiene (if required) Sun screen (recommend UPF 50+) or zinc Lip Balm Personal Medications Pain killers (whatever works for you) Anti-inflammatories Throat lozenges Small personal first aid kit Small hand sanitiser Toilet paper Trekking gear Hiking pack - 65-80L - keep in mind you'll need room to add your share of a tent and possibly some food 2 x water storage containers - total min 3L capacity - either 2 x Nalgene bottle (or similar) or 1 bottle and 1 bladder. Bottle must be able to take hot/boiling water Personal plate, bowl, knife/fork/spoon set Hiking poles (can be supplied with snow shoes on request) A few small accessory carabiners (to clip drink bottles etc) Head Torch with 2 sets of batteries Water proofing system for your pack - dry bags, large heavy duty garbage bags (bring a few spares!) and pack cover Camera! (optional) 1 x awesome attitude (this cannot be hired, must be brought from home)