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Alpine Challenge

Alpine Challenge Course Notes for Solo/Team 100 km 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 km course includes 4 major climbs 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. Hypo and hyperthermia are a serious risk 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: Support crews are not required for the 100 km event. Pacers are not permitted. Small drop bags can be taken to Cope Hut (80 km) and Pretty Valley Pondage (93 km) for runners. If you have a support crew, they can meet you at Cope Hut and Pretty Valley Pondage/Hut (weather dependent).

Mandatory Safety Equipment

Refer to Mandatory Safety Gear page

Medical Evacuations are at participants cost

Participants are encouraged to join Ambulance Victoria — ph 1300 366 141

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 6.30 A.M. Sunday (a 26 hour time limit) and meet stage cut off times.

Course Description

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 off 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.
  4. Proceed from Cleve Cole Hut (Checkpoint) 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 up to Warby Corner (be prepared to carry 2 L of water).
  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 can be taken to Langfords Gap.

Stage 3

Langfords Gap—Cope Hut—SEC Hut—Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage—20 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 on past the  small red roofed SEC Hut.
  3. Cross the aqueduct and follow the numbered pole line to Pole 333. Watch out for brumbies in this area (check your map—many runners go the wrong way here).
  4. From Pole 333 head N-NW along the pole line to the 4WD track. Turn right and follow the track to Pretty Valley Pondage.
Stage 4

Pretty Valley Pondage—Mt McKay—Last Hoot—Slalom Plaza—10.8 km

The course is marked from the Pretty Valley Pondage 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.
  3. Turn left onto Last Hoot and proceed downhill on the ski trail 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
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, hut, creek
Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage—Falls Creek Pretty Valley Pondage, aid station

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

Cut Offs

Cut offDist
Warby Cnr (1)   10:30 Sat 24.5 5:30 24.5 +1140 Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets
Cleve Cole Hut (Bogong)   16:00 Sat 14.0 4:00 38.5 +1000/
Warby Cnr (2) 20:00 Sat   26.0 5:30 64.5 +660/
Langfords Gap   21:30 Sat 9.0 1:30 73.5   Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets-Drop Bags
Pole 333 1:30 Sun   14.0 3:00 87.5 +200 Water-Chips-Sweets
Pretty Valley Pondage   03:30 Sun 5.0 1:30 92.5 +200 Water-Fruit-Chips-Sweets-Drop Bags
Falls Creek   6:30 Sun 9.0 2:00 101.5 +200  


Download the GPX file here