- 1 Other areas in Victoria.
- 2 Mt Wills
Other areas in Victoria.
Back Country Awareness Please read the following articles before considering going back country and research widely. Do not treat information provided here as textbook accurate 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.
Backcountry ski areas are widely dispersed in Victoria. In addition to the major areas, there are many little known but worthwhile destinations. --David Sisson 17:50, 22 August 2006 (EST)
The Cobberas (1810 m) are the southernmost extension of the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains. There are five named peaks on the remote, scrubby range, but no facilities. Access is via the Benambra - Seldom Seen Road in Victoria or a two day ski from Dead Horse Gap near Thredbo in N.S.W.
Dargo High Plains and The Blue Rag Range
Access to the Dargo High Plains is from either end of the Dargo - Mt St Bernard Road (closed in winter). The high plains are characterised by undulating snowgum woodland with occasional areas above the treeline. To the west, the very scenic Blue Rag Range (1718 m) offers spectacular skiing along a fire track.
(1630 m), Mt Nugong (1482 m) East of Swifts Creek.
A remote 1770 m high mountain that rises above Tom Groggin Station on the Indi River. First skied by Tom and Elyne Mitchell in the 1930’s, access is via forestry roads to the west or via the Alpine Way in N.S.W. and then by foot through Tom Groggin.
Davies Plain is to the south of Tom Groggin. It is a vast area undulating between 1400 metres and 1754 metres, although none of the high points have names or trig points.
The altitude ensures excellent skiing along 4WD tracks and snow plains with occasional great views of the Main Range. At the northern end of the plain Davies Plain Hut is the only building.
The high point of the C486 road between Jamieson and Licola (closed in winter), Mt Skene (1571 m) provides attractive ski touring on tracks through snowgum woodland with occasional views of nearby mountains. The best skiing is along the road and in the summit area. Until it burnt down in 2005, the Jamieson Ski Club Hut provided comfortable on mountain accommodation. There is some doubt whether permission will be granted for it to be rebuilt.
The highest mountain near Melbourne, Mt Torbreck (1514 m) is accessed via the Snob's Creek road. The mountain is heavily treed and fairly steep and is not suitable for light skis.
The Twins (1703 m) are an attractive, steep mountain south-west of Mt St Bernard on the Great Alpine Road (B500). Winter access to the treeless summit area is best gained by a fire track that diverges from the forestry road 3 km west of the summer walking track.
Another approach is via the marked trail (the route of the summer walking track, which is a 4WD track) over Mt St Bernard. You start just at the junction of the Dargo Plains and Hotham roads. There is often not space to park here, so drive another few hundred metres towards Hotham, and park in the car park for Wangaratta ski club.
The Twins are best visited in a decent winter as the trail from Mt St Bernard to the base of the mountain drops to around 1,300 m, making for a bit of a walk in ordinary conditions. Once you are under the peak, you can either head straight up the mountain (this is the route of the Alpine Walking Track, but note that many of the trail markers were destroyed in the fires of 2003), which is quite steep, or stay on the main 4WD trail, which siddles right around the mountain, past one obvious ridge till you hit a second one where the track passes through a saddle (as Mount Murray comes into view) and then climb up through here to the summit.
In a good winter you can continue on this road to the slighter lower Mt Murray, which has good skiing through recovering snowgum woodlands.
- Backcountry Run Rating
- RATING: Approach I Steepness S2 to S5
- PITCH: Gentle to Cliffs
- ELEVATIONS: 1753 m
Access and Trip
Mt Wills is a really interesting place to ski. It's a wide granite ridge, with several rocky peaks. There is a large and comfortable refuge hut on the summit ridge. Some pleasant runs off the east side. Great views of Mt Bogong. Mostly forest, with some small clear areas.
Access is from the Omeo Highway (C543) via the Tallangatta Ski Club Hut.
Great views across to East Gippsland area from the summit. Some limited climbing in summer. Lovely place but I wouldn't go there for a full weekend, more suited for a day walk and in summer take a mountain bike - much more fun on the way down.
- Approach : Very easy, gentle uphill approach on a fire road which should take around 3 hours in winter.
- Summit consists of rocky granite knolls separated by snowgrass meadows, mostly heavily forested otherwise.
- The snow on the east face can be suprisingly nice and fast with a light dry and fresh cover, slope angle is somewhere around 25deg or so, but drops into 35-40 deg quite dramatically. 2 rides and it was all tracked out!
- Mt Wills - 0542128 5925744
- Mt Wills South - 0542575 5923352
- Intersection with Omeo Highway - 0544862 5922980 just off Bogong O.L.S. Map.
- Intersection 4wd Track and track coming up from Big River Saddle - 0541276 5926842
- Big River Saddle - 0539280 5926940
- Gate on 4wd Track - 0541588 5927684
Average Snow Depth: It'd have to be around 80cm.
The negatives are it's a fairly small skiable area, so there's not really enough skiing to fill a weekend. Also, it's a long drive from Melbourne.
The Tallangatta Ski Club Lodge on the slopes of the mountain is a private lodge with a ski tow. Accommodation is available to members and their guests.
The comfortable Mt Wills Hut near the summit provides accommodation for firewatchers in summer and skiers in winter. It has a large living room/kitchen and two bedrooms that accomodate four people each.
Mobile Phone Coverage
- VicMap Bogong Alpine Area 1:50,000
- VicMap Mount Wills: 1:25,000
Both these maps are pretty out of date, things have changed since they were published.