Difference between revisions of "Buffalo Plateau"

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Generally people drive all the way through to the end of the road (it is closed about 4 km short in winter, at Cresta Valley).
 
Generally people drive all the way through to the end of the road (it is closed about 4 km short in winter, at Cresta Valley).
  
Note that part of the Cresta Valley resort was burnt in the fires of 2006/7, and there are currently only temporary facilities including toilets, refuge, first aid, food and drink available here.
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Note that the Cresta Valley resort was burnt in the fires of 2006/7, and there are currently only temporary facilities including toilets, refuge, first aid, food and drink available at the centre at Dingo Dell, just before Cresta Valley.
 
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== Routes ==
 
== Routes ==

Revision as of 14:53, 22 February 2009

Buffalo Plateau


Back Country Awareness Please read the following articles before considering going back country and research widely. Do not use information provided here as textbook accuracy as anyone can edit it. Double check anything found here and consult with experts before heading beyond the resort boundaries. People die in the back country every year, don't add your name to the list.

Overview

The Buffalo Plateau is an impressive mass of granite in north eastern Victoria. While the snow has been pretty sketchy the last few years, when it has a decent cover it offers excellent skiing that feels quite different to the rest of the Victorian high country because of its rocky nature.

Sadly, the whole area was badly hammered in the 2003 and 2006 fires and almost all of the once spectacular alpine ash forests now consist of dead trees with rigorous regrowth. These mature forests had been one of the highlights of skiing on Buffalo.

The plateau is like a rockier version of Baw Baw – a series of frost hollow type valleys surrounded by higher, forested hillsides. A single road up the mountain provides easy access. It has a mix of groomed trails for cross country and a big bit of turf for backcountry skiing.

Destination

Access and Trip

Access is via the township of Myrtleford. Its probably a half hour drive up the mountain (national park, fees apply), it can be quite slippery, and like all resorts you need to carry chains.

Generally people drive all the way through to the end of the road (it is closed about 4 km short in winter, at Cresta Valley).

Note that the Cresta Valley resort was burnt in the fires of 2006/7, and there are currently only temporary facilities including toilets, refuge, first aid, food and drink available at the centre at Dingo Dell, just before Cresta Valley.

Routes

Most people start their skiing from the main carpark at Cresta, which is on the southern end of the plateau. There are about 14 km of trails from here that are groomed (depending on amount of snow) which loop in and out from Cresta, mostly following the snow plains to the south and east. A popular easy ski is to follow the road out for another 4 km to the lookout at The Horn (with spectacular views of the mountains further into the Alps).

In terms of backcountry skiing, the options are extensive in a good season. Some highlights would include the northern (remotest) end of the plateau, where a ski of about 3 hours will bring you to fantastic views of surprisingly agricultural scenery (albeit more than a kilometre below). Best way in is to park near Park HQ and ski out via the reservoir.

For a taste of nice alpine snow basins but minus the crowds, check out Wild Dog Plains, which are south of the Reservoir, in the centre of the plateau. There is a nice ski from here up to Macs Lookout and Eagle Point.

There are no huge downhill runs: the edge of the plateau drops away quickly into thick bush (made thicker by the fires). But you can get some nice short drops off most of the hills through snowgum forests into the plains below.

Camping is permitted for backcountry skiing but you need to check in with the Parks Service first: there are designated areas for camping, including a site near Saltlick Plain near Wild Dog Plains. You can call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 for further info.

GPS References

Considerations

Just the usual alpine weather considerations (although being below treeline its all relatively mild in terms of weather compared with Bogong or Feathertop).

Mobile Phone Coverage

Is often OK up on top, however because of the hill and valley landscape it tends to drop in and out a lot.

Maps

Mt Buffalo Plateau 1:30,000 topographic, by Geoff Lawford and

Eurobin & Buckland 1:25,000 topographic from Vic Map