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Alpine Challenge

Alpine Challenge Course Notes for 42 km Participants

This is a 42 km circuit from Slalom Plaza along Heathy Spur to the junction of Big River Fire Trail and the Alpjne Walking Track taking in Langfords Gap, Cope Hut, Pole 333, Pretty Valley Pondage, Mt MacKay and back to Falls Creek via the Last Hoot. Given the nature of the Alps, runners should come prepared for all conditions. The course is a marked course and it is not a race in the traditional sense—participants must offer assistance to others in distress.

Pacers are not allowed, refereshments are available at Langfords Gap, Pretty Valley Pondage, and at the finish.

The course covers rolling hills with stuning views over Rocky Valley Dam and across the High Plains. It follows ski trails, aqueducts, single tracks and fire trails 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.

Mandatory Safety Equipment

Refer to the Manadatory 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 must be accompanied by a team member to the next closest road/support station. Withdrawal must be advised to an event organiser.

Course markings: The course is flagged to the Junction of Heathy Spur and Big River fire trail. It is not flagged from Big River Fire Trail to Pretty Valley Pondage. It is then marked to the finish. Basic map reading, navigation skills are useful for the section inbetween.

Cut offs: 42 km run/walk—participants must complete the event within 8 hours.

Stage 1

Falls Creek—Heathy Spur Junction with Big River Fire Trail—7.5 km

  1. From Slalom Plaza head up the home trail to the aqueduct, turn left on the trail and follow it, crossing the Bogong High Plains Road until it drops down below the dam wall. Ascend the other side to the base of Heathy Spur.
  2. Follow the signed and marked trail along Heathy Spur until the intersection with Big River Fire Trail.
Stage 2

Heathy Spur Junction with Big River Fire Trail—Langfords Gap—4.0km

  1. Turn right onto Big River fire trail. Follow it to the signed turnoff to Langfords Gap and the Alpine Walking Track.
  2. Turn left on to the AAWT, follow the single track until you cross the aqueduct. Turn right and follow the aqueduct to the checkpoint at Langfords Gap.
Stage 3

Langfords Gap—Cope Hut—SEC Hut—Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage—20.5 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 on past the small red roofed SEC Hut.
  3. Cross the aqueduct and follow the numbered pole line to Pole 333 (check your map—many runners go the wrong way here). Watch out for brumbies in this area.
  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—9.0 km

The course is marked from the cattle grid before Pretty Valley Pondage to the finish.

  1. From Pretty Valley Pondage follow the road up past the stockyards and Pretty Valley Hut. Continue uphill, 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 marked course 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 trails 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
Section Water
Falls Creek - AAWT no reliable water
AAWT - Langfords Gap    creeks, aqueduct
Langfords Gap - Cope Hut - Pole 333 aqueduct, creek
Pole 333 - Pretty Valley Pondage - Falls Creek Pretty Valley Pondage aid station


Cut Offs—42 km Start 8.30 Saturday

Checkpoint Target
Cut off Dist
Langfords Gap   10:30 Sat 11.5 2:00 11.5   Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets
Pole 333  15:00 Sat   15.5 2:30 27.0 +200 Water-Chips-Sweets
Pretty Valley Pondage    16:00 Sat 5.0 1:00 32.0 +200 Water-Fruit-Chips-Sweets
Falls Creek    17:30 Sat 9.5 1:30 41.5 +200  


 AC 42km course map


 Download the pdf version from here and the GPX file here.