Alpine Challenge Course Notes for Alpine Skyrun 100 Mile Participants
and Support Crews

This event will challenge many runners/walkers and they will need to be prepared for all weather conditions. Detailed below are basic course notes for each stage of the event. These should not be used in place of map/compass/GPS to navigate the course. They are a guide only and address some of the more problematic parts of the course and give some idea as to track conditions.

The Alpine Challenge is a mutual support event, it is not a race in the traditional sense; participants must offer assistance to others in distress.

The 100 mile course includes 6 major climbs, each of approximately 1,000 m, that take a cumulative toll and takes place in an exposed Alpine environment that can be subject to sudden and severe changes in weather. Hot sunny days as well as rain, fog, high winds, sleet and snow can occur during November. Hypothermia and hyperthermia are serious risks and runners must be prepared for any weather conditions.

By entering participants are confirming their ability to map read and navigate in difficult conditions.

Support: All runners are responsible for arranging their own support crews who are able to meet them at pre designated support stops. Due to the high DNF rate in the 100 mile event, runners need to have arrangements in place to transport them back to Falls Creek in the event of a withdrawal. This usually happens at either Loch Car park or Harrietville on the night section of the run.

The organisers are able to provide limited support if needed for interstate/overseas runners.

Mandatory Safety Equipment

Refer to the Manadatory Safety Gear page.

Medical Evacuations are at participants cost

Participants are encouraged to join Air Ambulance Victoria. www.ambulance-vic.com.au — ph (03) 9379 9155

Withdrawal due to injury/illness

Injured runners/walkers withdrawing due to illness/injury should be assisted to the closest support station. Withdrawal must be advised to an event organiser.

Cut offs—all participants must complete the event by 10.30 P.M. Sunday (a 42 hour time limit) and meet Stage cut off times.

Alpine Challenge Course Notes for Alpine Skyrun 100 Mile Ultra Marathon—Course Overview

Stage 1

Falls Creek Village—Spion Kopje—Warby Corner—24 km

  1. From Slalom Square run down the Bogong High Plains Road to the start of the Packhorse Trail at the car park on your right. Follow the Packhorse Trail for 5 km until you emerge from the trees on to the road at Howmans Gap.
  2. Cross the carpark and pick up Junction Spur Track, follow this downhill (approx 5 km until it intersects with Spion Kopje Track. Turn right and follow this down to the ford at Rocky Valley Creek—cross with caution.
  3. Proceed up Spion Kopje Fire Track, past the turnoff to Howmans Gap and after passing the Gray Hills track junction, proceed along the aqueduct, crossing where the water is dammed.
  4. Proceed along the fire trail up to Warby Corner.

NB there will be a checkpoint, radio comms, water and first aid at Warby Corner.

Support Crews can provide support to runners at Warby Corner, via a 6 km walk in from the junction of Big River Fire Trail and Bogong High Plains roads. Access is via Falls Creek past Rocky Valley Storage, park at the Big River Fire Track. There are a number of turn offs (stick to the main track). Support crews should carry clothing appropriate to the conditions and also carry a map, compass and torch for the walk in.

Stage 2

Warby Corner—Duane Spur—Big River—T Spur—Cleve Cole Hut—Mt Bogong—Quartz Ridge—Big River—Timms Spur—Warby Corner —Langfords Gap—46 km

  1. From Warby Corner proceed North along the numbered pole line to the junction towards Ropers Hut (where the numbers run out) continue past Ropers Hut toilet down to Big River (beware of loosing the track at Ropers—it is close to the toilet).
  2. Cross Big River with caution at the chain. Pass through the campsites on the North bank. Proceed up T Spur.
  3. Cross Camp Creek before proceeding to Cleve Cole Hut (Checkpoint).
  4. Proceed from Cleve Cole Hut to the summit of Mount Bogong along the track following the pole line.
  5. From Mt Bogong summit follow the poorly marked trail S-SW then South down Quartz Ridge, (beware of steep drops) to the tree line. Proceed with caution.
  6. At the road, turn left (South) onto Big River Fire Track and ford Big River. NB There is no water for 12 km from Big River to Warby Corner (be prepared to carry 2 L).
  7. Proceed up the fire trail along Timms Spur to the Warby Corner checkpoint. NB this is a mandatory cut off point.
  8. From Warby Corner continue past Mount Nelse along the Big River fire trail. Just past the signed turnoff to Marum Point, the Alpine Walking Track heads off to the left cross country to Langfords Gap. Follow the numbered pole line until you cross the aqueduct at a covered bridge. Turn right and follow the aqueduct to Langfords Gap.

NB There is a checkpoint, radio comms, first aid at Warby Corner. Support Crews can park cars at Langfords Gap. Drop bags will be located at Langfords Gap.

Stage 3

Langfords Gap—SEC Hut—Pole 333—Dibbin Hut—Swindlers Spur—Mt Hotham Road/Loch Carpark—28.5 km

  1. At Langfords Gap follow the signed aqueduct to Cope Hut.
  2. At Cope Hut cross the sealed road with care before heading across the High Plains, past Mt Cope and past the small red roofed SEC Hut (Cope Saddle Hut). Check your map—many runners go the wrong way here.
  3. Cross the aqueduct and follow the numbered pole line up to Pole 333 (checkpoint/cutoff—radio comms and first aid). Watch out for Brumbies in this area.
  4. From the junction at Pole 333, head South along the Alpine Walking track turning South West at pole 267 and South at the track junction at pole 198 before reaching the Cobungra River.
  5. Cross at the bridge and pass Dibbins Hut, keeping it to your right, and ascend Swindlers Spur via Derrick Hut to the junction with Machinery Spur.
  6. Turn left at the junction of Swindlers and Machinery Spur and proceed to Mt Hotham Road and the Loch Car park. 
  7. At the day shelter just before Mt Hotham Rd and the car park there will be a checkpoint/cutoff—radio comms, water, soup, noodles and first aid centre.

Support Crews access Loch car park via the Alpine Road from Harrietville, the car park is approx 2 km before Hotham Village on the left.

Drive times—allow approx 40 minutes from Falls Ck to Mt Beauty, a further 30 minutes to Harrietville over Tawonga Gap and then 45 minutes from Harrietville to Loch car park. (Be aware of road conditions and the potential of tree falls causing delays - ensure your runners have spare food).

Stage 4

Mt Hotham Road/Loch Car park—Razorback—Bon Accord Spur—Harrietville—Bungalow Spur—Mt Feathertop— Diamantina Spur—Blairs Hut—Westons Hut—Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage—49 km

  1. From the shelter at Loch Carpark, head up to and across the car park. Cross the road (with caution) and follow the walking track (pole) up towards the summit tower and dirt road. The road veers to the right.
    Follow this well defined track to the summit cairn. From the cairn follow the faint but marked track down to the tree line and Diamantina Hut. NB this section of the track will be marked.
  2. Cross the road (with caution) at Diamintina Hut and follow the Razorback track for approx 1 km up to the Bon Accord Spur turnoff, do not take the track to the right along the Razorback or you will miss the turnoff.
  3. Proceed steeply down on loose rocks to Washington Creek bridge (follow the flags down the river bed to pick up the track) and flattish running. At the end of the trail follow the dirt road and stick close to the river. Follow it until it becomes a bitumen road that leads into Harrietville. At the highway turn right.
  4. Check in at the checkpoint at the Snowline Hotel (Pub—water, soup, noodles) and then run down to Feathertop Lane, just past the General Store. Support Crews can meet participants at the Snowline Hotel (top Pub). Allow approx 45 mins to drive down from Loch Car park. NB: there will be a checkpoint/cutoff, comms and gear check at the Pub.
  5. Turn right up Feathertop Lane, cross the bridge, turn right and continue up the road and turn right onto Bungalow Spur. Bungalow Spur is a steady climb up a well benched track to Federation Hut and Mt Feathertop.
  6. Coming out of the tree line at Federation Hut the track continues up to “the Cross” where there is a signed turn off to the summit.
  7. Take the signed track to the summit. Read the sign—many people have gone the wrong way here. After approximately 250 metres there is junction and another sign to the Summit (right) and MUMC Hut (left). Water may be available at Federation Hut and at a spring approx 5 minutes down the track towards the MUMC hut.
  8. Continue up to the summit of Mt Feathertop (2nd peak) before returning to the junction at the Cross.
  9. Take the Razorback track East to the junction of Diamantina Spur.
  10. Turn left  onto Diamantina Spur and descend the spur, which has a number of descents and rises before dropping steeply to a logging track along the West Kiewa River. Diamantina Spur is steep in places with lots of loose shale and rocks—descend with care. NB: this is an infrequently used trail and is indistinct in places—follow the ridge line, be alert as this is an easy place to get lost at night.
  11. At the base of Diamantina Spur turn right and proceed South along the West Kiewa logging road.
  12. Proceed along the road, past the turn off to the Diamantina Horse yards and up a rise to a small clearing and large tree on the left.
  13. Turn left and proceed steeply down to the river crossing to Blairs Hut.
  14. From Blairs Hut proceed North East (past the toilets) and up the track to Westons Hut, continue up the trail to pole 333 (Checkpoint).
  15. From Pole 333 follow the pole line towards Tawonga Huts, turn right at the fire trail. Follow this for 4 km over the causeway to Pretty Valley Pondage (Checkpoint/cutoff, water, first aid, refreshments).

Support crews drive from Falls Creek past Mount McKay and down to signed car park at Pretty Valley Pondage.

Stage 5

Pretty Valley Pondage—Mt McKay—Last Hoot—Slalom Plaza—9.6 km

The course is marked from the cattle grid to the finish.

  1. From Pretty Valley Pondage follow the road up past the stockyards and Pretty Valley hut. Continue up hill, cross the cattle grid, turn left and then head up to the summit of Mt McKay. Touch the lookout shelter before heading back down the road.
  2. At the T junction cross the road and follow the green topped poles and flags through the scrub until you hit the main Falls Creek road. Turn left onto the road and follow this through the resort ski fields. Turn left onto the Last Hoot and proceed steeply downhill on a grassy surface until you get to the finish at Slalom Plaza.

Course Details

Water is available along the course and it is recommended that it be either filtered or treated.

Water locations
SectionWater
Falls Creek —Spion Kopje F/t—Warby Corner Rocky Valley River, stream
Warby Corner—Duane Spur—Big River Big River
Big River—T Spur—Mt Bogong Cleve Cole Hut, Madison Ck
Mt Bogong—Quartz Ridge—Big River Big River
Big River—Timms Spur—Warby Corner Big River, no water for 12 km—Checkpoint
Warby Corner—Mt Nelse—Langfords Gap Creeks
Langfords Gap—Cope Hut—Pole 333 Aqueduct, creek
Pole 333—Cobungra River—Dibbins Hut Cobungra River
Dibbins Hut—Swindlers Spur—Mt Hotham/Loch Car park Derrick Hut
Loch Car park—Bon Accord Spur—Harrietville Washington Ck
Harrietville—Bungalow Spur—Mt Feathertop Soak, Federation Hut
Mt Feathertop—Diamantina Spur—Westons Hut—Pole 333 West Kiewa River
Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage—Falls Creek Pretty Valley Pondage, aid station

Cut Offs

CheckpointTarget
time
Cut offDist
(km)
Leg
(hr)
Total
(km)
Elev
(m)
Food/drinks
Warby Cnr (1)   10:00 Sat 24.5 5:30 24.5 +1140 Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets
Cleve Cole Hut (Bogong)   15:30 Sat 14.0 4:00 38.5 +1000/
-840
Water-Chips-Sweets
Warby Cnr (2) 19:30 Sat   26.0 5:30 64.5 +660/
-790
Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets
Langfords Gap   21:00 Sat 9.0 1:30 73.5   Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets-Drop Bags
Pole 333 (1)   24:00 Sat 14.0 3:00 87.5 +200 Water-Chips-Sweets
Loch Car Park   04:00 Sun 14.5 4:00 102.0 +700/
-460
Water-Electrolyte-Tea-Coffee-Soup-Noodles-Fruit-Chips-Drop Bags
Harrietville (Snowline)   10:00 Sun 16.0 6:00 118.0 -1300 Water-Electrolyte-Tea-Coffee-Soup-Noodles-Fruit-Chips
Diamantina Spur 14:00 Sun   13.5 4:00 131.5 +1400 N/A
Pole 333 (2) 19:00 Sun   13.5 5:00 145.0 +700/
-460
Water-Chips-Sweets (Pole 333 CP may relocate to PV on Sun morning depending on weather conditions)
Pretty Valley Pondage   20:30 Sun 5.0 1:30 150.0 +200 Water-Fruit-Chips-Sweets-Drop Bags
Falls Creek   23:30 Sun 9.0 2:00 159.0 +200