Alps

Mount Cobbler Summit

This is a guest article by Monique Winterhoff.

Reaching the summit of Mount Cobbler can be quite challenging, but the outstanding 360-degree views of the Victorian Alps make the trek well worth the effort.

The climb to Mount Cobbler can be done as part of a longer trail, the Mount Cobbler Plateau Circuit, but one of the simplest routes to take is the four-hour return walking track from Lake Cobbler up to the summit of the mountain. Lake Cobbler is around a five-and-a-half-hour drive north-east from Melbourne, where four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, as roads can be rough for two-wheel drive vehicles past Bennies. It is recommended to check the Parks Victoria website for road and trail conditions ahead of time, as the trail is only accessible in warmer months due to closure of the Alpine National Parks roads during winter.

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The trail starts 50 metres east of Cobbler’s Hut at Lake Cobbler, following along an old four-wheel drive track before descending to a small creek crossing. From there, the trail has a short, steep climb before easing into a moderate slope. For the majority of the trail, the hike is through beautiful eucalypt forests, surrounded by mountain gums and broad-leafed peppermints. Closer to the peak, the forest opens out to patches of heathland, grassland and herb fields growing between rocky escarpments. In spring, the wildflowers begin to bloom, resulting in a flurry of pinks, reds and yellows along the trail. At the mountain's summit, there are spectacular 360-degree views of Victoria's stunning alpine region.

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Though the elevation and exposed terrain allows for spectacular views at the summit, this does mean exposure to the elements, so it is important to check the weather forecast before heading out for the hike. However, with a bit of planning, the hike to Mount Cobbler can make for an unforgettable weekend trip.

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SUMMARY

  • Spectacular views over the Victorian Alps.
  • Endemic alpine flora.
  • Summit reaching 1,628m in elevation.
  • 5.5-hour drive north-east from Melbourne.
  • Be wary of weather and driving conditions.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

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EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY

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WILDLIFE

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SCENERY

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OVERALL

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Monique Winterhoff is a MSc student at the University of Melbourne studying blood parasites in small mammals on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. One of her interests is the combination of art and science, using art as a medium for communicating scientific research.


All images courtesy of Monique Winterhoff.

Mt Feathertop & The Razorback

Summiting Mount Feathertop, Victoria’s second highest peak, via the Razorback Trail is not without its challenges, but the unique terrain and 360-degree views across the Alps have made it one of the most beloved tracks in Victoria.

Both Mount Feathertop and the Razorback can be done as part of several longer trails within the region, but the simplest and most popular route is the return trail across the Razorback from Mount Hotham to Mount Feathertop. The trailhead is around a 4-hour drive from Melbourne, whilst the hike itself is 22 kilometres return, which can be completed over one or two days using available camping sites.

Photo: Evatt Chirgwin

Photo: Evatt Chirgwin

The majority of the Razorback rises to an altitude above the tree line, with only the most resilient snowgums able to endure the harsh winter conditions that occur at such a height. These exposed conditions not only provide unobstructed views of the surrounding Alps, but also allow endemic communities of alpine shrub and wildflowers to flourish.

The final ascent up Mount Feathertop can seem a little daunting; though not technically difficult, the path up is constantly steep. Fortunately, the spectacular views from the summit, including those of the Bogong High plains, Mount Hotham, and Kiewa Valley, quickly sooth the aches and pains accumulated from the assent.

Photo: Evatt Chirgwin

Photo: Evatt Chirgwin

While the altitude and exposed terrain are largely what make the trail so spectacular, these factors can also make it somewhat treacherous. Checking the weather forecast before embarking is essential, as a combination of rapid changes in weather and the lack of tree cover can leave hikers exposed to harsh wind, rain, and snow. Although it is possible to access the trail all year round, in the winter months it should only be attempted by those with a high level of experience with heavy snowfall; low visibility and below-zero temperatures make the trail extremely dangerous. However, with a little thought and planning the trail can offer an amazing day or weekend of adventure!

Photo: Evatt Chirgwin

Photo: Evatt Chirgwin

Summary

  •  Spectacular views over the Victorian alps
  • Endemic alpine flora
  • Second highest peak in Victoria
  • 4-hour drive from Melbourne
  • Be wary of weather conditions

 

 

 

Level of difficulty:

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Ease of accessibility: 

Wildlife:

SCENERY:

Overall: