Tag Archives: planning

Bushwalking Navigation | Documenting Your Route Plan

How do you document a route plan? How can you use Google Earth to check the route and save pics of critical navigational decision points? How do you use mapping software to plot and export the waypoints to your GPS, print the route and elevation graph? How can you annotate your map pdfs? How do you protect your maps from the weather?

This post is part 2 of  Bushwalking Navigation | A Route Plan Workflow

Getting the “big picture”

The first step in planning any trip is to read guide books, talk to other bushwalkers and search  bushwalking forums, websites and blogs to discover which routes are popular. 

Once you have decided on your intended route you will need to check water availability, weather conditions, locate existing tracks, property boundaries and permitted camping spots.  Don’t forget to check photographic websites such as Flickr, which give a good idea of popular sites and the scenery to be expected.

Next study the terrain to work out your likely speed, keeping in mind height gains and losses, the density of vegetation, the amount and difficulty of any off-track walking, and the presence of waterfalls in creek lines, which may need to be bypassed.  Once you know these you will be able decide how far apart your camping spots can be and determine each day’s starting and finishing times.

I have discussed many of these navigation techniques and route plan design in previous posts (21) and won’t go further into detail now.

Finding a Map

You should never rely solely upon a GPS for critical navigational decisions and for this reason bushwalkers should always carry topographic maps covering the route, and the surrounding countryside just in case you get off track. These can be purchased from a local map or outdoors shop, and are usually available at 1:50,000 scale but sometimes at 1:25,000, which provide more detail, for popular areas.

If you are walking the Heysen Trail in South Australia, there are two excellent guide books (Northern and Southern), with log books readily available available which include maps that are adequate for most walkers. The CFS also publishes (Mapland) excellent map books, and these too are available from map and outdoor shops. Many downloadable walking brochures for our parks are available from the Department of Environment’s Parks SA website.

With digital maps readily available, many people are using mapping software to select just the relevant parts of maps and to enlarge these beyond the 1:50K scale than is usually available in printed maps, making it easier to see the contour and creek lines. If you are lucky enough to live in NZ, you can download 1:50,000 maps free of charge and even Australia has 1:250,000 maps for free download from Geoscience which are useful for getting the big picture and planning access roads.

Using Mapping Software

My apologies to Windows users for the following Mac centric discussion. 

As a MacBook Pro user I have used MacGPS Pro mapping software for many years to import my scanned maps, plot my routes and export the waypoints to my GPS. A print out of the waypoints file is an essential record of each waypoint’s  name, grid reference, comments, and elevation

One big advantage of mapping software is that it is possible to enlarge the map on screen to locate the exact position of known waypoints  or to determine the grid reference to 7 figure accuracy of any point you can see. Once you have decided on your waypoints you can rapidly link these to form a route, calculating distances and bearings automatically by dragging from point to point, and plotting a route elevation graph by selecting the route single click. The elevation graph is useful for estimating time to be taken.

From MacGPS Pro

The disadvantage of using a Macintosh is that without a Windows emulator, such as Bootcamp, and an installed version of Windows, OziExplorer software doesn’t work.

For older Macs (not using intel cpu) use Virtual PC or for new OS X Macs with the Intel CPU use either Bootcamp or emulation software called VirtualBox or ParallelsVirtualBox (Sun Microsystems Inc.) is free for personal use. It works in OS X on Intel Macs. (OziExplorer – Running OziExplorer on a MAC or Linux Computer )

There is a way to overcome this and that is to import the maps from the disc in .ecw format into a graphics program such as Graphic Converter, select the relevant part and then save as a PICT or TIFF file.  Some of the .ecw image files are small enough to import directly into a mapping program such as MacGPS Pro.

Often the .ecw image file will be accompanied by a matching .map calibration file and providing you keep it in the same folder as the ecw file, you can then import into MacGPS Pro and automatically calibrate the map. You could of course still do it the old way which was to scan and process a hard copy of the map.

Assuming there is no matching .map file available, calibrating a digital map using MacGPS Pro requires that you first rotate the map (using GraphicConverter) so the northing gridlines are horizontal and then enter the full 7 figure grid references of four widely spread points, usually near the corners of your map.

Top Left:  Easting 0263000 Northing 6540000, Grid Zone 54J, AGD94

From MacGPS Pro

You must also enter the UTM grid zone and know the projection and map datum eg I am using a portion of the Oraparinna map for a forthcoming trip

From MacGPS Pro

NB UTM Grid Zones is SA are either 52 (far west), 53 (west) or 54 (central and east)

Annotating your pdfs

Annotated portion of Oraparinna map

There are several programs (I use Skim) that allow you to annotate a pdf. This is particularly useful as it allows you to add grid references to the margins of your map (NB MacGPS Pro has a menu item “View/Gridlines” which does this automatically for you) and add notes about the route. Most programs allow you to add arrows showing routes and highlights. Once you have done this, you can export as a pdf and if you have the full version of Acrobat take advantage of its ability to reduce the file size significantly, to as much as a tenth.

Using Google Earth to Plan a Route

Google Earth can be used to visualize the route, finding 4WD tracks, checking whether creek lines are heavily vegetated and to see if ridges would be easier going. Cattle, goat and sheep tracks converging on a creek line probably indicates a waterhole, spring or a shallow crossing. Rainwater tanks, galvanised iron shelters, windmills and bores can sometimes be seen in Google Earth, even if they are not marked on the map.

Flinders Ranges: Google Earth screen capture

Simply import your .kml file showing your waypoints and then zoom in and tilt to see your route in 3D. Use a screen capture program, such as  Snapz Pro X, to capture pics of significant parts of the route, with your waypoints shown. Save these to your iPhone, camera or print, for later reference while on the walk.

NB I can never get my GPS waypoints to exactly match those in Google Earth, as I assume it uses a different map datum

Protecting your maps

One of the advantages of printing your maps from pdfs is that you can print them in A4 format which means they can either be laminated back-to-back or placed in a map case without the need for folding.

Other relevant posts

The Bushwalking Navigation series

Other Resources

Geoscience
Department of Environment’s Parks SA website
Bushwalk Australia Forum
Friends of the Heysen Trail

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Challenging Mountain Day Walks in the UK | Three of the Best

Visiting the United Kingdom (UK) and in particular Wales, England, or Scotland for a holiday? Like to spend a day(s) in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful alpine scenery? Like a challenge? Have some experience walking in alpine terrains, scrambling over rocks and the ability to navigate? ….then look no further!

I’ve just come back from climbing three of the most popular mountains in the United Kingdom (UK) in one of the wettest months (April) on record. These are not huge mountains (950 – 1350m) and on a good day, can be tackled as day walks of 5-8 hours from the nearest car park, following footpads and tracks, but the difficulties should not be underestimated, and it is for good reasons that all of these walks are recommended for experienced walkers.

The level of difficulty is highly weather dependent; on a sunny, clear day, the challenge is mainly fitness, but on a cold, windy, and foggy day with a thick layer of snow over the track, ice on the rocks and rain, sleet or snow falling, the challenges can be life threatening. I had the misfortune to experience all of these on each of my walks: Mt Snowdon 1085m (Snowdonia, Wales), Mt Helvellyn, 949m, (Lake District, England) and Ben Nevis,1343m, (Fort William, Scotland).

As with all walking in mountainous terrain, you need to go prepared for all weathers; sun glasses for bright sunny times, beanie and gloves for cold days, waterproof jacket and over pants for wet times, map,  compass and GPS for foggy weather, poles for snow covered slopes and down jacket and bivy bag in case you have to spend the night out. Forget just one of these and you could be in real trouble.

Normally April /May in the UK would be spring days with just a cap of snow above 700m, but there is no such thing as a normal day in the mountains. I found that strong winds, snow, hail and rain tested my preparedness and fortunately did not show me lacking. Only the week before I arrived, a lone walker had slid off Mt Snowdon, one of the most popular walks in Wales. I could understand how this could happen, as while the terrain is not difficult on a fine day, in adverse weather, the challenges are enormous.

Pyg Track, Causeway, Llyn Llydaw

The key to survival in adverse weather is to make a risk assessment early in the walk and decide whether to turn back or take a lower route before you have committed yourself. On Mt Snowdon, 1085m, I decided to turn back, probably too late, after having completed most of Crib Goch, the most difficult part. This was a difficult decision, as I knew the easy part was not much further on and if only the fog would clear I would be able to see my route. The fog never cleared and my route became deeper and deeper in snow as I progressed. I contemplated dropping off the ridge to find the lower track, but remembered that this was not advised and  a trial descent for a fifty metres only reinforced this. Too slippery, too steep and plunging into the unknown.

Apparently many of those dying on the mountain are actually quite experienced technically but make poor decisions about when to turn back. I was glad I did not become one of those statistics.

Striding Ridge, Lake District, England

Mt Helvellyn, 949m, along with Striding Ridge, in the lake district of England was my second walk a few days later and I could not believe that it was not long before I was again walking in snow, hail and fog. Fortunately the terrain was less demanding and I did not feel the need to turn back. Every so often, a break in the clouds would show the route and the twenty or so walkers I could see ahead and behind, and I was reassured. I was glad I had my walking poles with me, as the snow covered rocks were quite slippery and a fall was quite possible. I knew that the way back along Swirral Edge, was not too difficult when I had lunch with a mountain biker at the top. I can only suppose he carried his bike for much of the way as he was quite exhausted.

Ben Nevis, 1343m, ( The Ben to locals) is the highest mountain in the UK and as such, subject to some of the worst weather. Locals joke that you can expect all four seasons in any one day, and even a blizzard thrown in for good luck. So bad is the weather usually, that the last few hundred metres has cairns every 50 m, so those walking in fog don’t fall off the side. Of course this only works if you can see the next cairn, or follow the track which I couldn’t, due to deep snow and fog. Fortunately the map has a compass bearings to follow in white-out, and while helpful, success depends on being able to estimate distances in fog, a tricky skill at the best of times. I was quite nervous as I approached the top!

I came back to Australia with a deep respect for these “lowly” mountains which have tested many a walker in the past and found too many of them lacking.

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking Navigation | How far have I walked?

Want to know how far you have walked or how far you still have to go? Which  tools can use to find this info? What pre-walk planning should you have done? What should you be doing while you are walking? Can your GPS be relied upon to give this information?

 Part 1 of this article was published separately but has now been merged with Part 2

Knowing how far you have walked can determine whether you have a safe trip. Without knowing the distance you have walked, and the time it has taken, you can’t estimate how long it will take you to get to your camp site and whether you will make it before nightfall.

The best way is to “thumb” your map as you walk along, so you know where you are at all times and use this information, along with your route plan, your average speed and time since starting, to work out how far you have walked. Your GPS can give you a good guide too, but over long distances your GPS can be significantly inaccurate and should not be relied upon as your sole source of this information, especially if you are moving slowly in difficult terrain.

Before you can work out how far you have walked, either you or your GPS need two bits of essential information

  1. where you started
  2. where you are now

The first should be easy, but the second can be much more difficult. You can make it easier for yourself by doing some preparation before you leave home and again at the start point (trailhead for those from NA).

Silva Map Measurer Plus

Before you leave home

  • purchase or download (lucky NZanders!) a map and guidebook if available.
  • use navigation software (smartphone or PC*) to explore your digital map, measure distances, select routes and waypoints
  • view the terrain in Google Earth or Google maps, select your waypoints, route and measure distances
  • enter way points into your GPS and link them as a route, using the software or just manually
  • measure distances using a map measurer or piece of cotton or a ruler, depending on whether the track is straight or windy
  • prepare a route plan
  • mark your map with your route and waypoints

* I have used MacGPS Pro for the last 10-15 years on my Mac.

    At the beginning of your walk
    • locate yourself on the map
    • check the time and start you stopwatch/timer
    • mark the start waypoint on your GPS and set it to navigate to your  next planned stop
    • reset the Trip Odometer on your GPS
    • reset your pedometer if you are carrying one

    PS don’t forget to adjust the time and date on your camera as well, as it is good to be able to match photos with your GPS location when you get back home.

    While you are walking

    • “thumb” your map, reading map-to-ground as you walk along, “ticking off” prominent features as you walk along
    • use your GPS, and known features, to work out your average speed and use your stopwatch, which you started at the beginning of the leg, to estimate how far you have walked, based on the average speed
    • continually check that the terrain matches where you should be on the map based on your average speed and time you have been walking, less breaks. This is a very difficult skill to learn and needs continual practice as it is very easy to miss a creek junction or mistake a knoll. Carry a map even on an easy day walk and practise.

    When you reach your objective

    • your objective should be a prominent feature which is on your map and your route plan. Use navigation techniques such as aiming off, handrails, catching features and attack points to help you locate the feature.
    • use your GPS to check your location, making sure you are using the correct map datum
    • use your route plan to look-up the distance, which you hopefully measured using one of the devices listed above before you set off
    • use your GPS’s Trip Odometer to tell you how far you have walked (subject to inaccuracies: read below)

    Why my GPS can’t measure distance travelled accurately.

    Your GPS trip odometer should only be used as a backup in determining distance, not as your primary device, as it is unable to accurately determine distance travelled in typical off track walking terrain, as occurs when you are walking along a windy creek track with tree cover, overhanging cliffs and the odd waterfall to climb. For most use on open tracks the accuracy will be adequate but for a 10 km walk leg through difficult terrain, the inaccuracy could be as much as 10-25% of  the true distance.(Source: Garmin Forums)

    One of the reasons for this is that the GPS adds the distances, as the “crow flys”, between the points it has saved, to the trip odometer and these will usually be slightly shorter that the actual distance you walked, especially if you have changed the data logging from the default which is usually once per second (1hz) to something less frequent. The only exception to this will be if you are walking in a straight line when it should be able to measure with 100% accuracy. The inaccuracy will be further increased if you make frequent stops, turn frequently or walk slowly, say less than 3.5 km/hr, so that the GPS doesn’t know you are walking. Walking up a steep incline can also produce inaccuracies, as the GPS only measures horizontal distances.

    The accuracy will be increased by increasing the data logging rate  eg 1Hz (once a second) to 5Hz. The problem with this is that your battery may not last as long and when you reach the internal memory limit it may start deleting the oldest.

    From the Garmin Forums: Distance of Trip odometer not the same than distance of Track

    When you walk (or drive), the GPS is constantly doing calculations based on where you are this instant compared to where you were on the previous location reading so it “knows” which direction you are traveling and how fast you are traveling.

    At each of these calculations, it also calculates the distance traveled and adds that to the Trip Odometer.

    Most GPS units do these calculations approximately once each second. You do not travel very far in one second, even in a motor vehicle traveling at the speed limit, so each of these calculated distances will be fairly accurate. That means when you add them all up, as the Trip Odometer is doing, the total distance in the Trip Odometer at the end of the trip will be fairly accurate.

    One thing that will affect the accuracy of the Trip Odometer when you are hiking is if you are not moving fast enough for the GPS to detect that you are moving. That could cause little pieces of travel to not get added into the Trip Odometer and the distance it reports to be shorter than reality.

    Track files are different. If you save the track log to a file, it always prunes the log to 500 track points, regardless how many points there are in the raw log file. If your driving or hiking was not in a long straight line, you will “lose” distance when pruning the points. That is, if you walked in a curve that originally had 20 points marked and the curve gets pruned to, say, 3 or 8 points to describe it in the track file, you will not get the full distance of the curve calculated in the track.

    That is because the calculations of distance in the track file all assume that the distance between each recorded point is a straight line. If you describe a curve with fewer points it will always look like the curve covers less distance.

    If you transfer the raw track log file to Mapsource or Basecamp, you should get all of the track points and that should cause less of a difference between the track and the related Trip Odometer reading.

    Further reading:

    Bushwalking Navigation | Using Topo50 Maps (LINZ) for Tramping in New Zealand
    Bushwalking Navigation | How to Choose the Best iPhone GPS App
    Bushwalking Navigation: The Importance of Using the Correct Geodetic Map Datum.
    Bushwalking Navigation | A Route Plan Workflow
    Silva Map Measurer Plus
    Bushwalking Photography Workflow | Share the Best of a Group’s Photos Using iPhoto

    Read more Navigation posts

      Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    iPhone App Review | Tide Prediction

    Have you ever wanted to a walk safely along a beach, across a tidal estuary or around a rocky headland? Well of course you could check the BOM website from home before you left, but what if you had forgotten and only had your iPhone with you?

    Sometimes knowing when high tide is going to be can be critical to planning a safe bushwalk. There are many locations where part of the walk will be along a beach, around a headland or across a tidal estuary. Often the guide book will warn that if the tide is high you must take and alternative inland route or even camp and wait for the next low tide. Being caught on an exposed headland as the tide advances is not much fun.

    In Australia, I have used this information to safely plan walks along the Great Ocean Walk in South West Victoria and along the South Coast Track in Tasmania.

    The following list of iPhone apps includes one that is actually a weather app which includes tides as one of its features.

    AU Tides Pro

    AU Tides Pro Screenshot

    Contains downloaded database for 2010-2012, which means you don’t need to be connected to the internet

    World Tides 2012

    Contain downloaded database for 2012 only, which means you will need to buy a new version at the end of 2012. This app only allows access to tide predictions 6 days ahead. World Tides uses the Simply Harmonic Formula and harmonic constants provided by the UKHO to give 7 day tide predictions without the need for an internet connection. Features: Moon/Sun Rise/Set times, large slidable tide graph, recent locations, built in zoomable map, gps sensor, search, and details page. 

    Pocket Weather AU

    Pocket Weather screen shot

    I have used this as my weather app for over a year and don’t see the need for an additional tide app. It does need internet access which makes it useless in remote areas, unlike the other three which actually download the tide database. Weather is sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) – an Australian Source for Australian Weather! #1 Weather Application in Australia, Best Australian App winner, Staff Pick in iTunes Store many times –

    Shralp Tide (FREE)

    Shralp Tide Screenshot

    No network connection is required, so you can check anytime, anywhere. ShralpTide displays the current tide along with the high and low tides for the current day and the next 4 days. Includes an INTERACTIVE FULLSCREEN TIDE GRAPH in landscape mode. Turn the device on its side then touch the screen to see the tide at any time in the 24 hour window. Shralp Tide does not include all of the tide stations in the world. It has good coverage of the US and Canadian coasts as well as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Beyond that there is spotty coverage of international locations.

    The benefit of an iPhone tide app is that the calculations are done automatically for you if you select one of the non-standard ports. Of course, your iPhone probably has a GPS, in which case the app will work out what is the appropriate location on which to predict your tides.

    You can of course use the Bureau of Meteorology’s tide predictions available on their website, which are based on a series of “standard ports” around Australia. In Tasmania, Hobart is one of the five standard and one secondary ports with calculated tide predictions available. Time differences for a limited number of other secondary ports are provided so you can work approximate tide times yourself by adding or subtracting the time difference.( see map below)

    From BOM

    I don’t know the technical side but my iPhone app Shralp Tide gives the following for Wednesday 28 December for the first high tide.

    • Maatsuyker Island (south of the bottom of Tasmania) high tide at 1.31 am as 0.69m
    • Hobart: high tide at 12.34 am of 1.05m
    • Bramble Cove : HIgh 3.17 am 0.78m

    Bathurst Harbour is not listed nor Port Davey; you must use Bramble Cove.

    BOM Tasmania gives Hobart as the nearest standard port and lists tides at secondary “ports” as a time difference from Hobart

    Hobart HIGH at 1:02 AM 1:07m

    • Maatsuyker Island +0:25 H:M
    • Bramble Cove, near Port Davey is -0:48 H:M
    • Hobart 0:0

    Using these differences the iPhone app gives a pretty close estimate except for Bramble Cove which seems to be way out!

    PS Don’t forget to allow for daylight saving if not done automatically by the app.

      Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    Bushwalking Navigation | A Route Plan Workflow

    How should I begin my route plan for a bushwalk? What resources are there available on the web? Are there any time savers? How do I  keep others in my group informed and allow active participation in the decision making? How do I take my route plan with me and share it with others in my group? Who should I tell about my route plan? Do I need an escape plan?

    Introduction

    A route plan is an essential part of any walk for three reasons; firstly as a way of easily checking whether the walk you have planned is too easy or too difficult in the time you have allowed, secondly as a way of improving the safety of your walk by sharing the route with others in your group, police, park rangers and friends and finally as a practical navigation aid.

    Fortunately, few of us need to navigate in a whiteout, but if we do, a route plan which gives the distance and bearing of each leg and has chosen prominent waypoints as end points is an essential safety component.

    An Example of  a Route Plan for Skiing and Climbing

    Despite the importance of the route plan as a planning requirement, route plans are made to be broken and can become a liability if they are adhered to despite the weather, condition of the group and terrain. A good leader must be willing to vary the route plan to suit the circumstances!

    A good route plan depends on the quality of the waypoints it uses, the selection of which needs to be based on sound navigational techniques some of which are listed  below. A waypoint which can only be found with a GPS is useless if your GPS fails and it will!.

    Aiming Off

    • Used to find an objective on a feature which is straight eg river, mountain ridge, road
      • Deliberately aim to strike the feature 10 ° to right or left of feature and then turn along feature to reach objective (also called Stefansson method or intentional error)

      Attack Points:

      • A feature which is near but much easier to find than your objective.

      Catching Features:

      • Prominent features which are beyond your objective but can act as safety net. 
      • A bearing on prominent feature at 90 deg to direction of travel can be used.

      Handrail:

      • Definite features which are roughly aligned with direction of travel and  which make navigation easier.
      • Don’t use creeks or gullies but may run parallel to them.

      In Poor Visibility:

      • Stick to well defined features or proceed from one well defined feature to another. 
      • Navigator 3-4 places from front, with party in single file.
      • In snow, use a cord 50m long and have scout sweep in an arc until next pole found.

      Pacing:

      • A pace is the distance between each right foot hitting ground.
      • For 1.8m person, with pack, ≈ 1.5m ie 660 paces to 1km.

      Bearings

      • Keep navigation legs short, moving from one identifiable point to the next, even if this involves a detour.
      • Align straight edge of compass with 2 features, with arrow pointing in the intended direction.
      • Rotate bezel until parallel lines on its base align with grid lines.
      • To correct for magnetic deviation, rotate bezel clockwise (MGA: grid to magnetic subtract).
      • Set out in direction of arrow with needle centred on its mark.

      Back Bearings

      • Used to see if you have deviated from the intended path.
      • Face starting point.
      • Check that south end of needle is centred on mark.

      Transect Bearings

      • Useful to locate exact position on a handrail.
      • Identify a feature which is marked on your map then take a bearing on this feature.
      • Convert magnetic to grid by adding the magnetic deviation.
      • Rotate bezel anticlockwise.
      • Place compass on map with arrow on base pointing towards the identifiable feature.
      • Rotate whole compass until the parallel lines of bezel align with grid lines.
      • Draw a line back using the edge of the compass until it intersects the handrail.
      • Choose a feature which is as close as possible to reduce error.

      Resection

      • Used to describe process of drawing three intersecting transect bearings to find your present location.
      • Select features which are at a maximum angle to each other. eg 120 deg

      Route Planning Software

      As a Mac user, I have only used the excellent program MacGPS Pro which I have had and regularly updated for many years. Australian PC users have OziExplorer which is also excellent and can be run on a Mac very successfully if you install Windows. If you have an iPhone you have other alternatives depending on your country; Australian’s have Bit Map and Memory – Map, New Zealanders Map App NZ and Memory – Map, the British National Geographics Topo Maps. All of these allow you to rapidly plan a route by simply clicking waypoints  which are linked together and can then be uploaded to your GPS.

      The other big advantage of mapping software is that you can zoom in at a magnification that you would need a hand lens to view on your 1:50K topo paper map. With just one click, you have  7 figure eastings and northings for each waypoint along with the map zone.  Distances and bearings, “as the crow flies”, can be measured by two clicks. Route elevations can be plotted with a few clicks.

      Once you have the route planned you can export it as a .kml file which can be loaded into mapping software such as that found on your iPhone, Google maps or Google Earth for others in your group to view. Alternatively you can export the waypoints as a spreadsheet which can be printed as part of your trip intentions form which you will give to your designated emergency contact and to the local ranger or police station or uploaded to Google docs for everyone in your group to view. Uploading to Google docs encourages participation in the planning process and a sharing of ideas.

      Escape Routes

      These are the routes you will take back to safety if anything prevents your progress to your destination. This could be an injury, the weather, too slow progress or physical blocking of your route by a landslide, avalanche, bushfire or flooded river. These should appear on the back of your route plan and be given to everyone who gets your route plan. Their format is identical to that used in your route plan. While some escape routes can be anticipated and planned in advance eg if a river you have to cross is flooded, others such as following an injury can’t easily be planned. Of course, if you have a PLB or a mobile and reception, then in case of life threatening injury you can always call for help rather than follow an escape route.

      Web Resources

      Online Walk Time Calculator: use this online trip calculator to work out your estimated walk times for your route plan, using Naismith’s Rule and Tranter’s corrections for fitness.
      Naismith’s Rule
      Online Route card  From 1st Kirklevington Scouts
            Automatically calculates times based upon inputted speeds and climbs.
      Blank Route Card
      Escape Route Template
      What is a Route Card
         
      Related Posts

      Online Walk Time Calculator
      Bushwalking Navigation
      Mapping Software

      Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Great Ocean Walk, Victoria | Realignment of Route | Moonlight Head to the Gables

      Parks Victoria has realigned the Great Ocean Walk in the Otway Ranges between Moonlight Head and the Gables so that you no longer have to walk on the road, but can stop within the Park.

      Last year when I walked the Great Ocean Walk in the Otway Ranges, Victoria, I found it to be one of the least appealing, and so gave it a miss, so I am pleased to hear of this significant improvement.

      According to Frank and Katrina from BimbiPark, the track is graded for easy walking and weaves through woodlands providing shade on warmer days.

      “If you’ve done the walk using our notes and have any comments please email me.
      If you haven’t done the walk, get off the couch organise some friends and go for it…You’ll love it. Please call or email me if you need any assistance in organising your walk.”

      For more information visit their BimbiPark website and download the GOW track notes and amendments or visit their Great Ocean Walk  website.

      Parks Victoria have GOW track conditions, alerts and fire messages on their website along with links to accommodation, wildlife, planning your hike and an interactive map, which as yet does not show the realignment.

      Related postings

      Walking the Great Ocean Walk

        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Bushwalking Navigation | GPS vs Paper Map vs iPhone

      Which is better for navigation, your GPS or a paper map? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Do you need to carry both? Are there any alternatives to a dedicated GPS and map?

      In bushwalking circles there are always vigorous debates about which is best, a dedicated GPS or a topo map?  This is sometimes generational with older members preferring the map, with which they are familiar, and younger bushwalkers preferring the GPS. To some degree the dictum “each to their own” applies in bushwalking as a walker who doesn’t understand how their GPS works is a danger to themselves and others in their group and would be much safer navigating with a map .

      Of course the argument is not that simple, as many modern GPSs now contains maps which can be viewed and overlain with waypoints and your current position. You can now take your digital maps with you when you walk. Fortunately the opposing viewpoints are not exclusive as it is possible and in my view essential to take both, especially when bushwalking in difficult terrain.

      I love to walk “thumbing ” my laminated map which allows me to get the “big picture” around me, orientate myself using distant features and anticipate what’s around the next corner. I do however use my GPS to check my location at each stop or at critical “decision points” such as creek junctions, waterholes or ridge descents.

      Paper maps have some disadvantages:

      • they get damaged easily, especially at the folds, and require laminating
      • they are cumbersome in a strong wind if you have to open them
      • multiple maps are often needed and changing from one to another in your map case is often difficult
      • they require special storage facilities at home
      • the printing is often too small to see without  reading glasses.

      HINT: try laminating your maps in A4 sections, with maps both front and back, which will fit individually into your map case.

      Paper maps do however still have many advantages:

      • they allow you to orientate yourself using distant features
      • they can’t go flat as they don’t rely upon batteries
      • they may be more waterproof than your GPS, especially if you are using a “smartphone”
      • they are cheaper in the short term 
      • they work even under a dense forest canopy trees or in narrow gorges.

      A GPS has several advantages over paper maps:

      • it can compactly store large amounts of data, plotted on a large desktop computer screen, and then uploaded via a cable, infrared, bluetooth or wireless.
      • if the GPS has a large colour screen and sufficient memory then you can store a large number of maps, which can be scrolled and zoomed. You need never go off the map as they will be seamlessly “stitched together”.
      • it allows you to determine your location quickly with high accuracy and reliability, subject to several limitations: not under a dense forest canopy trees or in narrow gorges.
      • if you have a large touch screen (eg iPhone) then you will be able to effortlessly scroll and zoom, so that your reading glasses are never needed.

      Of course there are many features they share, such as the ability to determine location. Experienced map users will be able to lay a compass on their map and do a resection using prominent features to find their current location. Even better they will have “thumbed” the marked route on their map from the beginning and never become lost!

      Alternatives to a dedicated GPS

      There are alternatives to a dedicated GPS such as a  smartphone, many of which have large colour touch screens and excellent built-in GPS’s. The iPhone is a good example of such a phone, and as most bushwalkers should be carrying a mobile phone with them anyway, this can serve as a good back up for those who prefer to use maps but don’t want the expense of purchasing a dedicated GPS. There are several excellent mapping apps (applications) which are very easy to use on the iPhone and while they don’t match a dedicated GPS for versatility, they only cost a few dollars.

      The iPhone does however have two major limitations: battery life and lack of waterprooofness, but both of these can be overcome with solar panels and waterproof covers.

      Read more about the uses of the iPhone for bushwalkers

      Related Posts

      Can my GPS replace My Map?
      Why am I Lost When I Have a GPS?
      How to Keep your iPhone Charged in the Outdoors 
      Bushwalking Navigation
      GPS
      Smartphones

        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Bushwalking Navigation: The Importance of Using the Correct Geodetic Map Datum.

      Does it matter if your GPS is set to the correct map datum? To which map datum should you set your GPS? Can you compare grid references from an old and new edition of the same map which have different map datums?  How can you convert from one map datum to another? Are the grid references in old guide books correct?

      Setting your GPS and mapping software to the correct datum can make a significant difference to grid references with errors of almost 200m common. While not as important for prominent features, if you are trying to find a spur to descend from a ridge line or a specific creek junction in rugged terrain or a waterhole, accuracy can be critical.

      Both your GPS and mapping software need to be set to match the map datum of your data source which can be found in the legend of the paper map you have scanned, or on the CD label of the digital map you have purchased.  Beware, the first digital edition of TopoMaps for South Australia uses the Australian Map Grid 1984 but more recent versions use GDA94.

      Often when planning a walk you may have obtained the grid references (waypoints) of prominent features  from an old  bushwalking guide. However, unless you know which map datum was used in the guide, then using these may cause navigational errors, if they are inconsistent with your GPS settings. (see below for an example of differences between AGD84 and GDA94 grid references). Many of the bushwalking guides I have were written when AGD66 was being used!

      HINT: if the map was published pre-1984 you can assume that the map datum is AGD66, if its publication date is between 1984 -1994, then its probably AGD84 and if its after 1994 then it’s likely to be GDA94.

      Adrian Heard’s A Walking Guide to the Northern Flinders Ranges was published in 1990, before GDA94 and hence uses the AGD84 datum, which is the same as that used by the Third Edition (1992) 1:50K maps of the Gammon Ranges. If you are using the latest digital maps, they will be GDA94 and hence Heard’s grid references will all need to be adjusted according to the formula

      AGD84 to GDA94  Add 125 m to the Easting  and add 175m to the Northing

      Fortunately converting from one to another is not that difficult, although not a task you would want to do when trying to find a camp site as dusk approaches. Simply open up the setting field of your GPS or mapping software and change to the correct datum, then reread the grid reference. In addition, many older maps give map specific conversions so you can convert to a more recent map datum (see below for an example)

      Map Datums using for the Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges maps

      The Illinawortina (6737-3, 1:50K, 3rd Edition) map uses the Australian Geodetic Datum 1984 (AGD84) and has a sticker which says that to convert to Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94), add 125m to the easting and 175m to the northing (confirmed by my mapping software). The free Copley (Geoscience 1:250K) map uses map datum GDA94 (more recently adopted).

      Octopus Hill, for comparison purposes, has the following UTM grid references :

      0316970 6624770   visual taken from 50K map which is AGD84
      0317095 6624945   when converted to GDA94
      0316971 6624780   scanned 50K map and mapping software set to AGD84
      0317093 6624958   scanned 50K map and mapping software set to GDA94

      0316748 6624968   Copley 250K map and mapping software set to GDA94

      Observations from data above:

      1. No surprises. The 250K map is not accurate enough for bushwalking navigation, with features up to 350m from their 50K map location.
      2. Using the correct geodectic datum is very important with errors of 125 m possible in eastings and 175m is northings.
      3. The last 5 digits of the GR give Thousands, Hundreds, Tens and Units of metres, so 0316748 differs from 0316970 by 222m. This means that locations on the  250K Copley map can be several hundred metres away from their true location. I have “boldened” the 6 digits usually quoted in grid references.

      Related Postings

      Why am I lost when I have a GPS?
      Bushwalking Navigation 

        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Bushwalking in the Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges, South Australia | Pt 1 Trip Planning Resources

      Where are the Gammons? Why visit the Gammons? When is the best time to visit the Gammons and how long do you need? What level of experience do you need and does it require any special planning and equipment because of its remoteness? What resources are available to help you plan, appreciate and enjoy what you see?

      UPDATE: there has been a mouse plague in the Gammons (April -? 2011) and I would advise taking your tent inner, storing food outside your tent in air tight bags and hanging your food out of reach.

      Bushwalking, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park ……..in brief

      Gammon Ranges 

      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park is an arid wilderness of spectacular rugged ranges and deep gorges 400 km N of Port Augusta off the Copley-Balcanoona Rd. The park has important cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people who are the traditional custodians of the region. There are several access points, both for 2WD and 4WD vehicles, with the heart of the park offering challenging wilderness bushwalking experiences. The park includes limited caravan sites, bush camping, 4WD touring tracks and several accommodation options. Bookings are essential for hut accommodation and shearers’ quarters. The park adjoins Lake Frome Regional Reserve and shares a boundary with Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges Traditional Owners and DEH co-manage the park. ” (DENR )

      Google Aerial view of the Gammons

      View Larger Map

      Access

       The last 100 km is largely over dirt roads, which can sometimes be badly corrugated. If you wish to set up a base camp at Grindell Hut inside the Park, I recommend that you use a 4WD as the tracks are sometimes sandy and the wheel ruts can be deep. Many conventional cars will not have sufficient ground clearance. Make sure you carry essential spare parts for your vehicle and read the RAA Outback Driving booklet. 

      Up-to-date road conditions can be checked via the Far Northern and Western Areas road condition hotline – 1300 361 033 or by visiting http://www.dtei.sa.gov.au. Alternatively call the Desert Parks information line on 1800 816 078.

      Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley (just north of Leigh Creek)
      SA Outback Fuel Chart
      (pdf)
      Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley( just north of Leigh Creek)
      Google Maps Copley, Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges Nat Pk and Arkaroola Village

      Outback Driving (RAA)

      Climate

      If you are planning a trip to northern SA (eg the Gammons) check the forecast carefully as the temperature is often in the high twenties or low thirties, when it is in the high teens in Adelaide. My experience is that it is often 5 -10 degrees warmer than Adelaide but colder at night. 

      Check the Weatherzone climate statistics for Arkarooola  , the nearest weather station or visit the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary’s Climate Information page which compares the climate with other capital cities.

      Long term averages show May to early September to be the  best from a temperature perspective (mean max 19-20 deg C). Mean minimum temperatures are 3-7 deg C, (lightweight sleeping bag weather). Days of rain 3, mean rain 6-10 mm (you may even risk just a fly depending on the month)

      Further north in the Gammons, water can also be short supply after six months with little rain. A spring/early summer trip is risky as most rain falls in December-March as the tail ends of monsoons sweep down SE from the Kimberley and most will have gone by then.

      Fire Bans

      All wood fires or solid fuel fires are prohibited from 1 November 2010 to 31 March 2011. Gas fires are permitted other than on days of total fire ban. For further information, please contact the Port Augusta Regional Office (08) 8648 5300, the Wilpena Visitor Centre (08) 8648 0048 or the CFS Fire Bans Hotline 1300 362 361.  Timely reminder of fire restrictions in parks (DENR 103kb pdf)

      Time Required

      The Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges are a long drive of 8 – 9 hours from Adelaide, over unsealed roads from Copley, which can be badly corrugated depending on how recently they have been graded. For most people, the two days of travel encourages you to spend a minimum of  3-5 days in the Gammons, including some time at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Paralana Hot Springs which are a short drive away. If you based yourself at Grindell Hut within the Park, then  it would be possible to spend a whole week in the Park and then at least another three days at Arkaroola.

      Panorama of Grindell’s Hut, showing the hut and the landscape surrounding it. (Peter Neaum 2009-09-10)

      Bushwalking Experience Level

      The Gammons are remote with the nearest major town, Leigh Creek, a hundred and thirty kilometres away to the west, which takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the state of the road. In addition to the remoteness, water supplies are unpredictable, the temperatures much higher than Adelaide and the terrain rugged, with significant exposure at times, when climbing the waterfalls. A high level of navigation skill, using both map and compass and GPS, is required as most of the walking trails are off-track with no signage and no trail markers. This Park is designated as being unsuitable for beginning bushwalkers, with experience of multi-day hikes, the ability to carry heavy loads and self-sufficiency in terms of first aid and training a necessary requirement. The carrying of an emergency beacon (PLB), GPS, relevant maps, mobile phone and even a UHF radio in case of emergency communication with nearby stations is advised. Don’t forget to leave your trip intentions form with the Ranger at Balcanoona.


      Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Outback South Australia 4wd  Tracks and Repeaters Brochure  (5.5Mb, pdf)

      Department Environment and Natural Resources

      Park Passes
      Park Closures
      Trip Intentions Form (323kb pdf)
      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (647kb pdf)
      Wildlife of the Desert Parks (419kb pdf)
      Balcanoona Shearer’s Quarters Booking Information (145kb pdf)
      SA National Parks Guide – Flinders Ranges and Outback Region (816kb pdf)
      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park Weetootla Hike Network brochure (686kb pdf)

      Itineraries

       John Chapman’s Gammon Ranges

      Maps

      Maps: 1:50,000 Topographic Illinawortina, Nepabunna, Serle, Angepena
      Northern Flinders Ranges (1.4MB pdf)
      South Australian Outback (1.2MB pdf)
      The Map Shop 
      Map index:  Arkarooola – Gammon Ranges – Yudnamutana – Farina
      Map Index:  North Flinders – Wilpena – Blinman – Leigh Creek – Balcanoona
      RAA Flinders Ranges & Outback Maps 

      Further Reading 

      Online

      South Australia: Vulkathana – Gammon Ranges (ABC, Program One: 29 December 2003 )
      The Grindell Murder Case (Flinders Ranges Research)
      Gammon Ranges Bunyip Chasm (ExplorOz)
      Grindell Hut ( ExplorOz)
      Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (Wikipedia)
      Department of Environment and Natural Resources Search Results| Gammons
      Biological Survey of the North West Flinders Ranges (near Leigh Creek) (4.48mb pdf)
      Gammon Ranges National Park Access Guide and Newsletter 2006 Autumn Edition (SA Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs Inc) (149kb pdf)
      Arkarola Wilderness Sanctuary Activities (nearby tourist accommodation)

      Photos

      Bushwalk
      Gammon Ranges (Flikr) 

      Scientific Expeditions Group (SEG)

      Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project (VGRaSP)
      Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project | General Description (VGRaSP 118Kb pdf)
      Analysis of Rainfall in the Gammon Ranges of South Australia 1992 – 2002  (1.7Mb pdf SEG)
      The Gammon Ranges Project – Monitoring in a Remote Area D.J. Kemp1, C.J. Wright and S.A. Jewell Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (pdf,338Kb)

      Books

      C. Warren Bonython. Walking the Flinders Ranges. Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, 2000.

      The story of Warren Bonython’s walk from the Crystal Brook in the south to Mt Hopeless in the north.  xiii, 231 p. [32] p. of plates :bill. (some col.) ; 24 cm. 

      Adrian Heard. A Walking Guide to the Northern Flinders Ranges. State Publishing South Australia, 1990.

      An excellent book, describing 3 circuit walks of around one week’s length in the Gammon Ranges and briefer notes to the Arkaroola Sanctuary area. Recommended if you are planning a long walk in the Gammon Ranges. Probably out of print, price unknown.

      John Chapman  Bushwalking In Australia, 4th edition 2003

      320 pages, A5 in size – full colour throughout, 181 colour photographs, 56 colour topographic maps, 

      Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

      Paperback, 168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps, 180mm x 120mm x 11mm. The Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island are featured in the walks over terrain ranging from coastal scrub to mountains and arid desert. ISBN: 9780855722111

      Barker, Susan and McCaskill, Murray (Eds) Explore The Flinders Ranges RGSSA Adelaide 2005

      A ‘must have’ for all travellers and admirers of the Flinders Ranges.  Recommended by tourist authorities; ideal for tourism studies and school projects.

      Osterstock, Alan Time: in the Flinders Ranges. Austaprint,1970

      56 pages, A5 in size, 8 colour photos. Covers the geology and history of the Flinders Ranges.

      Osterstock, Alan The Flinders in Flower. Austaprint,1975

      53 pages, A5 in size, 25 colour photos. Describes 27 of the most common flowers of the Flinders Ranges.

      Corbett, David A Field Guide to the Flinders Ranges Rigby, 1980

      A field guide to the plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fishes, frogs, rock types, landforms and a brief history.

      Pedler, Rosemary Plant Identikit: Wildflowers of the Northern Flinders Ranges  Rosemary Pedler1994

      This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 70 of the most common plants of the northern Flinders Ranges

      M. Davies,  C.R. Twidale, M. J Tyler Natural History of the Flinders Ranges Royal Society of South Australia Inc 1996

      This 208 page A5 book describes the history of settlement and exploration, the geology and minerals, fossils, landforms, climate, soils, vegetation, aquatic life,invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptile and amphibians and aboriginal people . It is well illustrated with B&W photos, graphs, tables, maps and has an extensive reference list

      Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

      168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 18 cm.  ISBN     0855722118 (pbk.) : Includes index.
      Subjects     Hiking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  Walking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  South Australia – Guidebooks.

      Morrison, RGB  A Field guide to the Tracks and Traces of Australian Mammals Rigby 1981

      This unique 198 page field guide contains a large number of B&W photos of tracks, diggings, droppings & scats and bones and skulls of Australian animals which helps with identification. [ISBN 0 7270 1489 7

      Bonney, Neville & Annie Reid Plant Identikit Common Plants of the Flinders Ranges Neville Bonney1993 [ISBN 0 646 15406 0]

      This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 51 of the most common plants of the Flinders Ranges, including the Gammon Ranges National Park

        Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

      Planning a Climb of Mt Aspiring, New Zealand | Useful Links

      Mt Aspiring, NW ridge, ramp, SW ridge, seen from Mt Barff (to SW)

      Mt Aspiring (3033m) in the south island is New Zealand’s  second highest mountain and is set amongst some spectacular alpine scenery. While a serious mountaineering challenge, comparable to many more famous climbs in Europe, guides are available for those with little experience.

      Weather can be unpredictable and extreme, as in all alpine areas, and the terrain life threatening. Fortunately, it is easily accessible by road or helicopter from nearby Wanaka which can make selecting a safe weather window easier.

      The links below collate some of the information I have collected from commercial, government web sites and personal blogs in preparation for a climb later this year.

      Equipment

      Mountain Recreation Equipment List http://www.mountainrec.co.nz
      Aspiring Guides Equipment List (download pdf)
      Boots and Footwear (Alpine Guides)
      Equipment and Clothing | Aoraki/Mount Cook Expedition (download pdf) (Alpine Guides)
      Pre-trip Information (Alpine Guides)
      Guide to Equipment and Clothing | Gear for Mountaineering in New Zealand (Alpine Guides)
      Equipment and Clothing Check-lists (Alpine Guides)
      NZ Ascents Equipment  (download pdf) (Adventure Consultants)
      NZ Summer Equipment Notes (download pdf) (Adventure Consultants)
      Mountaineering Instruction Course Equipment (download pdf) (Adventure Consultants)

      Equipment Hire

      New Zealand Alpine Club
      Bivouac Outdoor (Christchurch +10 other locations)
      Outside Sports  Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau specialise in hiking, biking, camping, fishing, skiing, snowboarding )
      Bev’s Tramping Gear Hire (based in Te Anau)
      Mainly Camping (Wanaka) rental and retail: climbing, mountaineering
      Wanaka Sports beacons for hire

      Guided Climbs

      Mt Aspiring Guided Climb (Mountain Recreation)
      Mt Aspiring/Tititea (Mt Aspiring Guides. com)
      Guided Ascent of Mt Aspiring/Tititea  (Alpinism and Ski Ltd )
      Guided Tour Mt Aspiring / Tititea  (Adventure Consultants)
      Sunrockice Mount Aspiring 5 Day Program (SunRockIce New Zealand Mountain and Ski Guides )

      Commercial Resources

      From Alpinism and Ski Ltd

      News from the Mountain and Ski Guiding Experts (Alpinism and Ski Ltd)
      Posts related to Mt Aspiring Ascent (Alpinism and Ski Ltd) 
      Guided Tour Mt Aspiring / Tititea  (Download pdf) (Adventure Consultants)
      Sunrockice Mount Aspiring 5 Day Program (download trip information pdf) Sunrockice New Zealand Mountain and Ski Guides
      Conditions: Mt Aspiring National Park (Aspiring Guides)
      **** Backcountry Tips-October 2008 (download pdf)
      The proof is in the pudding – SW Ridge Mt Aspiring  Jean Clairmonte (Aspiring Guides)
      Safety and rivers in the New Zealand backcountry (Aspiring Guides)

      Department of Conservation Resources (DOC)

      Mt Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre Contact Details
      Mt Aspiring National Park: introduction, features , places to stay, plan and prepare (DOC)
      Mount Aspiring National Park Alerts
      Prepare and Plan Links to alerts, safety, weather, minimising your impact, online booking, maps, licences and permits
      Planning a trip in the backcountry? (pdf , 415K)
      Safety: equip yourself well

      plus much more

      Mountain Safety Council Resources (MSC)

      Safety Tips
      MSC online resources  for download include pamplets such as

      • Using Avalanche Transceivers
      • Bushcraft – Going Bush 
      • River Safety
      • Outdoor First Aid -Preventing Hypothermia 

      MSC Resources: Equipment: pack liners and survival bags for online purchase (NZ only)
      MSC Resources: Free Downloads: Mountain Radio Contacts, Bushcraft – Intentions form pads
      MSC Radio Communications Pamphlet (pdf download)

      plus much more

      Blogs

      SummitPost.org

      Eric and Lucie’s Bus Trip Mt Aspiring, Southwest Ridge, New Zealand December  2008 
      **** Ascent of Mount Aspiring (3033 m), New Zealand
      **** Tramping and Climbing in New Zealand: Mt Aspiring and the North West Routeby by Jaz Morris  

      Courses

      Mountaineering Instruction Course  (Adventure Consultants)
      Mountaineering Instruction Course Notes (download pdf) (Adventure Consultants)
      Sunrockice New Zealand Mountain and Ski Guides (download pdf)   for  Alpine Instruction Course

      Fitness

      Fitness for Mountaineering (Alpine Guides)
      Training Fitness Mountaineering (Google Search)

      Photos

      Aspiring Images
      Mt Aspiring Powerpoint  (Bob Bell)
      Mt Aspiring
      Mt Aspiring Virtual Tour ( Adventure Consultants)

      See also the blogs above.

      Videos

      Mt Aspiring (miroar)
      Mountain Climbing Mt Aspiring New Zealand Alps  (nightguy75)
      Summit of Mt. Aspiring (avipoodle)
      View from French Ridge Hut (hellosailor1982)
      Aspiring – Flyin to Bevan Col (Part1) (craigwigglesworth) 
      Aspiring – Summit Day (Part 2) (craigwigglesworth)
      Aspiring – Bonar French Ridge Out(Part 3) (craigwigglesworth) 
      Mount Aspiring NZ Flight (palevo7)

      Maps

      Wanaka Regional Map (download, pdf)
      Wanaka Town Map (download pdf)
      Changing Garmin GPS units from NZMG to NZTM factsheet (PDF, 360K)
      Topo50 CA11 Aspiring Flats (LINZ) free download or from map shops.

      Small section of CA11

      Weather Reports

      Mountain Conditions (MetService)
      Backcountry Avalanche Advisory
      Mountain Safety Council Backcountry Advisory
      Severe Weather Warnings (MetService)
      Severe Weather Outlook (MetService)
      Severe Weather Watch (MetService)

      Transport

      Alpine Coachlines (Wanaka): shuttles to Mt Aspiring
      Aircraft Access
      Aspiring Helicopters 
      Atomic Shuttles (online bookings)
      South Link Travel

      Newspaper/magazine  Articles

      Just the Tonic by Maina Perrot (Wild Adventure) Outdoor Australia March 2009 (pdf download)
      Climbing Mt Aspiring (pdf dowload) Marc Connors Outdoor Australia March 2009
      Warning about NZ weather
      Climber dies on Aspiring
      Body retrieval first task with team
      Mt Aspiring (3032m) by Geoff Wayatt

      Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.