VICTORIAN HIGH COUNTRY WINTER TRAVERSE
What to Expect
Let’s cut to the chase, this is a serious expedition at a time of year that requires us to think seriously about whether we want to undertake such an epic trek.
So, who is this trip 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.
Who is this trip 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.
What will you carry? Pack weights and sizes.
For this trek, you will need to carry your own personal belongings, i.e. clothing, sleeping bag and mattress (mattress is provided). On top of this you will need to carry your food as well as tents etc. There is a list below to help work out exactly what you’ll need. Ideally, you won’t need to carry more than about 18kgs and you should be able to fit everything into a backpack around 75-85L in size. If you’re buying a backpack, make sure you get one with a decent frame and harness so you don’t carry the weight on your shoulders!
It’s always a good idea to pack a 2nd small bag to leave in the vehicle in Harrietville containing a fresh change of clothes and some comfy shoes. This way at the end of the hike you can put on something warm and dry.
Getting There And Away
Everyone will meet at the Snowline Pub in Harrietville at 5 pm at 237 Great Alpine Rd, Harrietville, Victoria. We will then head around to Mt Beauty where we will leave our cars before heading off. When we finish the trek in Harrietville we will be taken to Mt Beauty to collect our vehicles.
Packing for this Expedition
Fabrics? No Cotton!
When heading out into the Australian bush where the weather can change at any moment, cotton is bad. When it gets wet, it draws warmth away from your body, making you colder, it also takes a long time to dry. It is best to stick with synthetic fabrics designed for the outdoors, or modern merino wool. Merino garments are a little pricey compared to other synthetic fabrics, but the technology they use to weave wool is incredible, you can’t even tell it’s wool, and it doesn’t stink even if you do! Obviously, the no cotton rule is only for the trekking phase of our trip, you can wear what you like at night around camp!
Rain gear can vary from $20 to $1000 for a jacket alone. There is no need to spend silly amounts of money, but if you’re looking to invest for future trips as well, it is highly recommended to get good quality, breathable and windproof rain gear! We suggest any brand of waterproof breathable textile, over a plastic or nylon laminated type that won’t breathe or be as durable. But as said, there’s no need to go overboard with anything too expensive if you only plan to use it this one trip.
Planning for the cold!
We have suggested bringing a lightweight and packable warm layer. This could be a really heavy/warm fleece or a lightweight down jacket. Although it may be hot in Melbourne, at the higher elevations it can be quite cold, especially in the evenings. We will be planning our clothing and equipment to expect temps as low as 0 degrees overnight. Because of this, your sleeping bag should be rated to at least 0, ideally -3 or -4. If you have a 0 deg sleeping bag or close to it, there’s no need to race out and buy a new one, you can always use a thermal sleeping bag liner to improve its range, as well as increasing the thermal layer with the clothing you wear to sleep. It all depends on you and how comfortable you’d like to be! Like everything else, if you’re not sure, talk to us!
Personal First Aid kit
You should bring and carry with you a small personal first aid kit. This kit should be designed to take care of the small maintenance type things that most people will need to address during a long trek. This includes items such as blister dressings, bandaids (plasters), tube compression bandage (or knee/ankle brace if you’re prone to joint problems), sunscreen, lip balm, throat lozenges, antiseptic cream, etc. Your guide will be carrying an expedition first aid kit that is designed to handle any accidents or emergencies we encounter, therefore your personal kit doesn’t need to be over the top!
For this trek, we’ve endeavoured to take care of a lot of things for you, minimising how much you’ll need to carry but you’ll need to carry your own personal belongings. There is a list below to help work out exactly what you’ll need. Ideally, you won’t need to carry more than about 16-18 kgs and you should be able to fit everything into a backpack of around 85-100L in size. If you’re buying a backpack, make sure you get one with a decent frame and harness so you don’t carry the weight on your shoulders!
This 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 some hire equipment.
- Sturdy waterproof hiking or mountaineering boots
- 3-4 pairs of hiking socks
- 1 Pair of light shoes/sandals/slippers or hut booties for nighttime (optional)
- Gaiters – recommended
- Snow Shoes – Supplied
- 1 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 heavyweight 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 full waterproof and breathable min 20,000mm ie not ski jacket)
- 3-5 pairs of underwear
Head and hands
- Warm beanie or balaclava
- Dark sunglasses (sun on the snow can be very bright!) – must be UV rated and ideally polarised
- Sunglasses 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 bag upper comfort limit rated to at least -8, recommended -10 or below.
- Sleeping bag liner (recommend thermal liner if you have a lighter sleeping bag)
- Inflatable sleeping mattress (ideally R-value 5 or above)
- Closed cell foam mattress for additional insulation – can be supplied on request
Health and hygiene
- Personal toiletries
- Wet wipes or antiseptic hand gel
- small facecloth or wet wipes (optional)
- Feminine hygiene (if required)
- Sunscreen (recommend UPF 50+) or zinc
- Lip Balm
- Personal Medications
- Pain killers (whatever works for you)
- Throat lozenges
- Small personal first aid kit
- Small hand sanitiser
- Toilet paper
- Hiking pack – 65-80L – keep in mind you’ll need room to add your share of food and tent
- 2 x water storage containers – either 2 x Nalgene bottle (or similar) or 1 bottle and 1 bladder. The bottle must be able to take hot water
- Personal plate, bowl, knife/fork/spoon set
- Hiking poles (can be supplied with snowshoes on request)
- A few small accessory carabiners (to clip drink bottles etc)
- Head Torch with 2 sets of batteries
- Waterproofing 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)
Note: If you have any questions regarding the above list or any other items that you want to ask about please do not hesitate to contact us. We can provide you with additional information at any time.
- All cooking equipment
- Additional First Aid Kit
- Snow shoes
Health and Hygiene
All our staff adhere to strict hygiene and food handling policies, and we urge our clients to do the same to reduce the risk of illness on an expedition. Hands should be sanitised after using the toilets, and before handling any food.
It is recommended each person carries a small bottle of hand sanitiser as well as a small personal first aid kit to deal with personal ‘maintenance’ while trekking, including, blister dressings, band-aids, and any medication you may need for the duration of the trip (see equipment list for full details), although it is not necessary to bring an extensive first aid kid as your expedition leader will have a large group medical kit to deal with any emergencies.
Map Of The Winter Traverse
Extreme Expedition - Cold
You will be getting high on these adventures. This expedition will push you to your limits with the added variable of dealing with alpine conditions. To take part in this expedition you must be experienced with trekking in alpine conditions and have a very high level of fitness and an even higher love for adventure.
Physical: For this expedition, you will require an above-average level of fitness. Each day will present its’ own physical challenge, whether it’s distance or ascent and descent. Add to this the possibility of snowstorms and wind. We suggest you train with a pack weight of 20 kilograms for this trek up and down as many hills as possible. You will be using snowshoes which can be cumbersome in the beginning. Be prepared this is not a walk in the park.
Mental: Mental preparation is as important as physical preparation. As we will cover some quite long distances, the ability to continue moving for periods of time can be just as much a mental challenge as a physical one! All you’ll need to do is pack a ‘can do’ attitude and leave the rest to our highly trained staff!
Your two guides have a combined 30 years of guiding around the world. They will be equipped with first aid kits and satellite phones just in case of an emergency. Helicopter airlifts are possible on the mountain. We do suggest you take ambulance cover out prior to this expedition as all evacuations are bourne by the evacuated.
We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part.
All guests are required to be full vaccinated against COVID-19
You will need spending money for the dinners on night 1 and 7 and lunch on day 7. You will also need some cash for beverages. $150 should be ample.
We Are Here To Help!
We have tried hard to provide you with a greater insight into this expedition but we ain’t perfect!
If you do have further questions please contact our expert team members through one of the below channels.
No Roads Expeditions Support Hub
Australia HQ: +61 (03) 95988581