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Old 03-01-2012, 06:25 PM   #1
tripodtiger OP
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Location: you dont call wagga wagga wagga
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Major Clews' Hut Khancoban - recce

Major Clews was a (the?) principal surveyor of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme, back in the 50's. Apparently a great bloke, he was actually Lt-Cln Hugh Clews when he finally retired. It's suggested that everyone that knew him continued to call him 'Major'. Very well respected. Very competent bushman. So it's said. I hope that it was true.

Once he'd finished his survey work, he retired to a small, stamped mud hut near Indi Camp south of Khancoban. That's where he liked to be. He died in the 80's, after being moved from his remote hut into a caravan in Khancoban.

The hut is located roughly at S 36 deg 17' 28" ; E 148 deg 08' 35"

It's pretty rugged country, maybe not as steep or tall as places in other lands, but it's still rugged. That's probably one of the reasons it's a very popular area.

To the point. Andrew2 has a AdvRider acquaintance coming from Ireland (?) in a few weeks. They are heading up to the Snowy Mts for a couple of days, using A2's sidecar. I'm going to tag along - provided plans reach fruition.

Major Clews Hut has long been on my agenda as a spot to visit, just never got there. Always ridden past on my way to Geehi, or Thredbo, or Khancoban or wherever. A2 needed a recce to confirm if we could get in and out on the sidecars.

Planned. With other ROAR blokes, we'd planned on a coffee & cake meet, at Khancoban, mid week. Then it started to piss down. Sunday was a bit iffy. Monday was reasonably dry. Tuesday saw the first of some localised floods spread across a wide part of the area. Midnight Tuesday, it was still raining at home, so I posted that it was a wash out.

Wednesday morning I actually slept in for a change - well, it was 7.10am. Looked south and checked the BOM site. Hmm, looks like the rains gone. So I posted that it was on, as far as I was concerned.
Markawau had to babysit. Geez - there's a bloody pillion seat!
Dobbo, Detlef & Trokel had to work. Like they've never heard of a sickie?
Donks & Fayeslane just bailed, even before take off.
Even Uncle Gra failed to show!!! Is being in hospital an satisfactory excuse?
Ended up I did it on my lonesome.
And I only got wet on the way home!

Being a reccie I sat on the bitumen as far as practicable.
Wagga Wagga, Mangoplah, Cookardinia, Holbrook, Wantagong, Jingellic, Walwa, Tintaldra, Towong (bloody beautiful little town) , Bringenbrong, Khancoban. A list 'cause I like the names.

All the while, I was looking at the clouds sitting on the ridge tops and the high cloud above it. Maybe I would get away with the weather. Just to increase my chances, I threw the wet weather condoms on just after Holbrook. It's almost certain that if I had not stopped, it would've belted down on me.

I did have a Captn Cook around the village to see if there may have been a bike I recognised, but no. So down to the servo/cafe for an early lunch. The cafe used to be run by this very pleasant old couple. Seems they retired from the snow country to the Sunshine Coast - I wonder how they cope with the humidity? The place is now run by a young couple. And she doesn't do a bad Chicken Schnitzel burger. Or a bad vanilla milkshake, either. And I even paid my $6 entry fee into the National Park.

Along the Alpine Way, which is really chopped up for the first few km, apparently from rock falls. I pulled in at the Scammel's Spur lookout, as my topo shows a track from there. I was pretty certain I would've noticed it on previous visits but you never know. Know what, I'd not noticed a track before because there is no track, any longer.

Another few km towards Geehi has me stopping at the turn off of Geehi Walls Trail.

Do you like the camera case I've mounted on the back? Cheapy from Bunnings with some spray paint over the yellow plastic, sitting on rubber isolation mounts.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
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I stopped so I could set up the gopro. Whilst there I heard the sound of a twin in the distance...

Just some blokes riding past. Possibly on their way home from the World Superbikes at Phillip Island? Not likely, not much gear on board. Probably out 'Day Trippin', just like me.

Shouldn't have bothered with the gopro. Battery was flat. Must learn to check the charge 24 hrs before I head out.

So, onto the actual purpose of my 500+km day. Geehi Walls track.
Hang on? I thought I was supposed to go along Major Clews Hut Track?? WTF?

I missed it.

It wasn't without trepidation that I headed off. Bit concerned about getting the sidecar just that one hill too far. But I need not have been concerned, 'cause it's an easy track. Nice gentle down slope to a creek crossing, then a healthy climb lasting maybe 1-2km that got my temperature up and I was starting to sweat.

There are only a couple of places where the trees part to provide a view. And it's mainly of these mountains, which I suspect may be Pinnacle Mtn (1582m) or The Twins on the Grey Mare Range, or Granite Knob on Scammel's Ridge.

Whatever, you can't see this part of the range from the Alpine Way or Scammel's Lookout. So that was a plus.

Was I photographing the tree?

I figured first things first, so I continued through to Major Clews' and had a butcher's hook at that.

Still trying to get the panorama feature sussed.

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Old 03-01-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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It still hadn't rained yet time was getting away.
I started to poke up a track that leads away behind the hut, but it's pretty overgrown and I couldn't see where it was going. Just at the point I decided to do the U bolt, I could see a clearing in the distance and some 'roos bounding away. Maybe that was the site of Indy Camp, where the Major had his first hut. He moved from there because it was too far from the track and he was also doing meteorological survey for the BOM each day. He was taking daily weather readings.

Turns out that Major Clews Hut Track continues on, or comes in from, the opposite direction. Still, too late to be doing more speculation, so I retraced my steps back to The Alpine Way, but took some time for a few more photos.

Swampy Plains River, just near Walls Creek.

Don't think I would've been successful.

Tiger in the bush!

Walls Creek

I'm very trying.
Trying to be artistic. Fail.

Trying to get a good image of that ridge. Hmmmm.
Can't do it justice.

Back to the bitumen and back towards Khancoban. On my left, just at a crest I spy, with my little eye, 'Major Clews Hut Trail'. Maybe it was obscured by the cutting whilst heading in the opposite direction?

Top up with petrol and wondering why I'm only getting about 10 litres out of the auxilliary fuel tank ( some work, for 'ron).

Back the way I've come (reminds me of a Bullamanka's song - Froggy went down to Miss Mousey's door where he had cum many times before ah hum ah hum ah hum)" with one last stop before I pack the camera away.

On the Murray River Rd, looking towards the Snowy's.

Life should be made of days like this.

And it rained on me most of the way home. That's ok.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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Very nice my simple son
.. I fixt way....gjr

Done good...Played strong... J.G.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for the report Ray. I never knew about this hut until Andrew's thread appeared. I'd like to have a look there myself sometime. I'll keep watching the thread, as I'd be interested in a report of the Major Clews Track.
Congratulations on the photography mate.

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Old 03-02-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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Great report, even better photos, must get up there one day!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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good stuff.........

one neva tires of being in that country........
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:10 AM   #8
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Great report, thanks for taking us along for the ride!
It sure is God's country up there, spent a few weekends a little further down around Batlow and Blowering Dam.
Fantastic rides through the state forest on the Batlow side of Blowering.
Thanks again, make me home sick,,,,,,,,,,
Cheers BigFella44

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Old 03-03-2012, 02:16 AM   #9
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Nice work Ray!
I live more in 5 minutes on my motorcycle than some people live in a lifetime...............
Where are my pants? Our farmers thank you!
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
Detlef in Oz
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Nice report and great pics as always Ray

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:55 AM   #11
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Thanks for posting , you have inspired me to go back down that way again and go to the hut , great pic,s thanks .
I ride alone and not a KTM in sight .
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:00 AM   #12
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Nice one Ray

ps: Hope ya doing ok with floods.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:25 AM   #13
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Nice photos mate,and a BLOODY nice outfit!
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #14
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good stuff!
i must not post hairy buttocks
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:01 PM   #15
tripodtiger OP
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Sunday 18th March 2012 - 3 Mile Dam campground for another strop around this area.

The floods - if it flooded at my place, it would be biblical! However, lots of people have big dramas and lots of work ahead of them. One of my wife's aquaintances had the flood go to their ceiling. A woman I met at a servo had her second flood 4 months after moving back in from the last repair. A rice farmer over near Leeton was happy about the water on his land.
More drama down stream for the next few weeks I'd suspect.
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