Mt Bogong

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Introduction

This is Victoria's highest peak. The climb to its summit is a very popular walk with local bushwalkers. The closest roads are to the base of the mountain and it is a long climb from any direction. From the north side the most popular track is the climb up Staircase Spur. This starts from Mountain Creek and climbs steadily through forest passing the small Bivouac Hut. The climb continues to the treeline at the knolls of Castor and Pollux and an open climb continues to the summit. Another popular approach from the north is via Eskdale Spur. This starts at the headwaters of Mountain Creek and passes Michell Hut and meets the summit ridge 100m east of the top of Staircase Spur. The summit ridge is a long C-shaped ridge of 6km. This starts from West Peak then continues over the summit to the top of Eskdale Spur, a short drop into Hell Gap then a long ridge extends south to near Cleve Cole Hut. Cleve Cole Hut is a solid stone shelter that was built to commerarate the death of Cleve Cole in 1936.

Popular weekend walks are to climb one of the two northern ridge to Cleve Cole Hut then return the same way or by descending the other northern access track. There are many other possible longer walks as from the south good tracks link to the Bogong High Plains. One track crosses the Grey Hills then descends to Bogong Creek Saddle then climbs to follow a specatcular rocky ridge over Quartz Knob to West Peak. The other track passes Ropers Hut and descends sharply to cross Big River with the aid of a chain then a steep climb leads to Cleve Cole Hut. For experienced off-track walkers, Horse Ridge and Granny Spur and Little Bogong offer some interesting untracked approaches or descents.

The Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) approaches from the Bogong High Plains past Ropers Hut then up to near Cleve Cole Hut then turns east and heads over Mt Wills. The summit of Mt Bogong is a must do sidetrip for all those following the AAWT

History

Aborigines would have undoubtedly climbed Mt Bogong as they sought out the hiding places of Bogong Moths. In spring these fat moths migrated from further north and hid in crevices and rocks in the alps. The aborigines roasted these moths and they formed an important part of their diet. Mt Bogong and the nearby Bogong High Plains are named afetr the moths. Few records were kept of early european visits to this mountain but there would have been many ascents. The first recorded group to visit for recreation were the Bright Alpine Club which started in 1887 - they climbed most of the surrounding peaks and would have climbed Mt Bogong. The mountain was popular during summer and the first winter ascent by a skiing party was in 1927. The first death was in 1936 when Cleve Cole died. He was advocating the major tracks be marked by snow poles and this was eventually done. Further tragedy happened in 1943 when three walkers died near the top of Staircase Spur. In recent years there have been some near tragedies which illustrate that the dangers that exist in poor weather.

Location

Mt Bogong is located in north-east Victoria east of the town of Mt Beauty. It towers over the town and dominated the view from the highway as you approach the town.

Access

The quickest tracks to the summit are from the northern side via the Staircase Spur or Eskdale Spur. Both of these are long gruelling climbs that take more than half a day each. Many continue pas the summit to stay in or camp near Cleve Cole Hut.

Maps and Track Notes

 The Outdoor Leisure Series, Bogong High Plains 1:50,000 is the best map as it shows all tracks and also includes all of the nearby Bogong High Plains

Permits

None are needed for bushwalkers.

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Photographs and text are copyright © 2000-2015 John Chapman.
Last updated : December 8th 2015