Mount Bogong is Victoria’s highest peak, the 1986 meters tall caught my attention during the planning stage of my outdoor trip in High Country Victoria. I had done some research on how to get to the top of this mountain and everything online reads as if you are going in for your most epic adventure of relentless gradient and countless stairs.
Distance: 17.5Km (Ascent Staircase Spur + Decent Eskdale Spur) or 13Km (Staircase Spur Ascent and Descent)
Time: 7 hours (Ascent Staircase Spur + Decent Eskdale Spur) or 5 Hours (Staircase Spur Ascent and Descent)
How to get there?
There is only one way to get to the top of Mount Bogong, you have to use your own two legs or maybe helicopter drop off (maybe). There are no roads leading to the peak.
There are two routes that will take you to the peak, Staircase Spur and Eskdale Spur. I strongly suggest you take Staircase Spur UP! Eskdale is sort of the forgotten child, un kept and a lot harder to go up or down.
You can drive to Mountain Creek Campground and park your car there, follow Mountain Creek Rd East until you reach the Staircase Spur track or drive to the start of the track. If you are driving, make sure the water level in the creek is low as you will have to forge many creek crossings before arriving at the start of Staircase Spur.
The route via Staircase Spur to the peak is about 6Km, if you need to camp the night before or after your hike, I suggest staying at Mountain Creek Campground.
On the day of our walk our group comprised of four, we all had spent the night before at Mountain Creek Campground. We started early, armed with the information from online sources to allow 10 hours for this hike. It was an overcast, slightly humid and warm day.
I have told everyone in our group to bring a warm jacket, windproof layer or rain jacket, something to eat for lunch plus enough water for the day.
We bumped into a two women, trail running women heading up. Both of them asked if I would join them, I kindly declined and told them to have a good time. The trail starts up steep but then sort of levels out then picks up again. I was expecting stairs to the power of infinity until you reach the top. With the trail being part stairs, part flat and some traversing, this gives your legs a bit of a rest and time to recover. Going up to halfway felt relatively easy, given that I have walked up Diamantina Spur with 15Kg pack a day ago.
You can stop for a rest at Bivouac Hut, which is sort of halfway up Staircase Spur, here you have a pit toilet and tank water at the Hut. You can also camp at Bivouac Hut, the view here is already pretty good. Inside the hut you will find basic survival equipment, some firewood, fireplace, an axe and a log book that you can sign. I don’t understand why people graffiti the walls of the hut, it annoys me to no end.
Once the walk takes us beyond the tree line, we felt the strong winds rushing up the hill, this was nice as it helps to push you up. About 400m to the top we stopped and covered ourselves with jackets/windproof layer before continuing up to the summit. That day the wind was estimated to about 90 Km/h, strong enough to scare off a few slim trail runners ladies from going all the way to the top. The wind was blowing us sideways as we made our way up to the very top of Mt Bogong.
We made our way back via Eskdale Spur which is much steeper and less maintained. The walk down was sort of challenging after pushing the tired legs. We stopped for lunch at Michell Hut, another well kept hut with pit toilet and tank water.
From here on the track is very overgrown and sort of challenging to find traction. As we walked close to the base of the mounting the scenery changed from short shrub to tall gum trees then giant ferns as we trekked along the Mountain Creek. 10.5Km later we were back at the start of our walk, completing 17.5Km for the day and about 7 hours total time spent.
Strava link https://www.strava.com/activities/814189656