Mt Feathertop

For the last day on my own, I decided to hike out to Mt Feathertop.    Feathertop is noted for being a steep pointy peak, which is rare in the Australian Alps.   It is also the second highest peak in Victoria at 1922m so definitely worth a visit.    As I had spent the night at Dinner Plain again after my excursion to Lake Tali Karng, it made sense to ascend via the Razorback ridge from the Mt Hotham ski area – a 22km round trip.    This route is also almost entirely above the treeline so you get good views the whole way.

After the previous day’s activity, I slept in so had a late start setting off at about 11am.   I got to the summit shortly after 1pm, spent about an hour on top for lunch, then took a more leisurely pace back, stopping at the Federation Hut (a 1km detour) and again for tea and got back to Keddie and Yoga at about 6pm.

Razorback from Mt Hotham
Feathertop on the right with the Razorback ridge extending towards us on the left.  This was taken 3 days earlier from Mt Hotham when I first drove past to Dinner Plain.
View west from razorback
Great views west to the peaks I had visited a few day’s before:  Mt Howitt, Mt Speculation and Mt Cobbler along the horizon line.  Also visible as the most distant peak in the middle is Mt Buller.  The Great Alpine Road can be seen along the ridge in the foreground
Razorback steep bit
In some places the track skirts alongside the ridge with some steep drop-offs
Razorback rainbow
An interesting ice-cloud rainbow effect along the Razorback

Federation hut on Bungalow Spur, which I visited on the decent

Final ascent ridge
The final 1.5km ascent to the summit
Feathertop summit view south west
Summit Panorama looking west, with Mt Hotham on the left and Mt Buffalo on the right.
Feathertop summit view east
Summit Panorama looking east with Mt Bogong (Victoria’s highest peak) on the left and Mt Cope on the right (the little conical bump).
Koscuiscko from Feathertop
About 120km away distance, one can just make out Mt Kosciuszko (the flat topped peak on the right)
MUMC hut
The Melbourne University Mountaineering Club built this geodesic hut on the northern approach to Mt Feathertop in the 1960s
White-throated needletail
While mountain walks are not normally great spots for bird watching, I did manage to identify a new species for my list: white-throated needletail.
Richards Pipit 2
Richard’s Pipit is a fairly common bird in the high mountains.  This one come over to have its picture taken.

That evening, I had a lovely solitary bush camp about 12km away.  Normally it would have been in a grove of snow gums on a ridge, but like many parts, these were killed in the 2003 bushfires, with 16 year regrowth reaching only about 2 to 3m in height.   This did however allow great views on either side of the ridge and an enjoyable sunset over Mt Buller while blogging.


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