The Mount Feathertop – North Razorback hike summits Mt Feathertop, the second highest mountain in Victoria and one of the most picturesque peaks in the state. It is linked to the nearby Mt Hotham ski resort by The Razorback, a high narrow ridge, but otherwise surrounded by steep slopes which continue right to the summit. Unlike most nearby mountains, Mt Feathertop has steep slopes right to the top and does not have the rounded summit dome that is typical of many nearby peaks.
Mt Feathertop is probably the most appealing peak in the high country. It provides terrific hiking in summer and in winter it is a great venue for mountaineering and extreme skiing. But be careful, as it averages a death per decade. Most deaths are in winter and most come from not treating cornices with the respect they deserve.
The most useful and accurate map is Mt Feathertop – Hotham 1:30,000. 2nd edition. Rooftop, 2009.
Access and Trail Notes
To get to the North Razorback, turn off the Great Alpine Road (B 500) just south of Bright at Germantown on the Mt Beauty Road (C 536). Cross the Ovens River and immediately turn south along Snowy Creek Track (aka Dungey’s Track). If you’re in a low clearance 2WD, park at the end of the freehold land and walk. If you’re in a ‘soft roader’ or 4WD, continue southwards, turning right at every main road junction (ignoring short logging tracks). Eventually you will climb up to Stony Creek Tops.
At Dungey Gap (1300 m) you will find the seasonal road closure gate (locked between Queen’s Birthday and Cup Weekend), and a large clearing that has recently been cleared of a blackberry infestation (Thanks Steve!). 100 metres north east of the road is a large metal fire water tank full of pretty rancid water and a small creek which flows most of the year. (Don’t rely on it from January to April).
The road deteriorates from here, so walk the last 3.2 km unless you have a real 4WD. At the end of the road, it is only 4.1 km to the summit along the North Razorback walking track which continues over undulating ground for another 3 km . At the treeline the track fades to a footpad and is easily lost. But the steep 1 km route to the North Peak is obvious. Find the track again and walk along the summit ridge to Mt Feathertop.
If you have an older map (or a VicMap published at any date), ignore the walking track shown between the North Razorback and MUMC Hut. It was built to transport material when the hut was being built and has been overgrown for 40 years. The ground the former track traversed is very steep and scrubby, so even if you are heading for MUMC Hut, it’s much faster and easier to take the indirect route over the summit.
The 1st edition of the Rooftop map also indicates a walking track from the trout farm at the base of North West Spur to Stony Tops. This was in reasonable condition before the 2006 fires, but it has not been restored and is no longer maintained.
8.8 km from the summer 4WD road head to the summit and return
14.6 km from the winter gate to the summit and return.
Route shown below is 8.2 km from the summer 4WD road head to the summit and return
Summary provided by: David Sisson | www.australianmountains.com/#8
Max elevation: 1897 m
Min elevation: 1448 m
Total climbing: 620 m
Total descent: -620 m