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Alpine Challenge

Alpine Challenge Course Notes for 60 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 60 km course must be completed within 14 hours. It includes 1 major climb that 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 April. Hypo- and hyperthermia are a serious risk and runners must be prepared for any weather conditions. By entering, participants are confirming their ability to read maps and navigate in difficult conditions as the course is not marked with the exception of the last 9 km.

Support: Support crews are not required for the 60 km event. Drop bags and pacers are not allowed. Refreshments are available at Warby Corner, Cope Hut and Pretty Valley Pondage/Hut.

Mandatory Safety Equipment

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

Cutoffs—60 km run/walk—participants must complete the event within 14 hours (10.30 P.M. Sunday) and meet stage cutoff times.

Course Description

Stage 1

Falls Creek Village—Spion Kopje—Warby Corner—24.5 km

  1. From Slalom Square run down the Bogong High Plains Road to the start of the Packhorse Trail off the carpark 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.

Stage 2

Warby Corner—Langfords Gap—9 km

From Warby Corner turn right and 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 wooden bridge. Turn right and follow the aqueduct to Langfords Gap.

Support Crews can meet runners at Langfords Gap. Access is via Falls Creek past Rocky Valley Dam to Langfords Gap on a bitumen road.

Stage 3

Langfords Gap—Cope Hut—SEC Hut—Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage—19 km

  1. At Langfords Gap follow the signed aqueduct to Cope Hut (Checkpoint - radio comms, water, drop bags, first aid).
  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).
  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.

Support crews can meet runners at Cope Hut. Access is via Falls Creek, past Rocky Valley Dam to Cope Hut on bitumen road.

From Falls Creek support crews pass Mount McKay and head down to park at Pretty Valley Pondage.

Stage 4

Pretty Valley Pondage—Mt McKay—Last Hoot—Slalom Plaza—9 km

The course is marked from the cattle grid before Mt McKay 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 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—Mt Nelse—Langfords Gap Creeks
Langfords Gap—Cope Hut—Pole 333 Aqueduct, hut, creek
Pole 333—Pretty Valley Pondage/Hut—Falls Creek Pretty Valley Pondage/Hut, aid station

Cutoffs—60 km Start 8.30 Saturday—14 hour cutoff

Warby Cnr   14:00 Sat 24.5 5:30 24.5 +1140 Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets
Cope Hut   17:00 Sat 14.5 3:00 39.0   Water-Electrolyte-Fruit-Chips-Chocolate-Sweets Drop bags
Pole 333 19:00 Sat   9.5 2:00 48.5 +200 N/A
Pretty Valley Pondage/Hut   20:30 Sat 5.0 1:30 53.5 +200 Water-Fruit-Chips-Sweets
Falls Creek   22:30 Sat 9.0 2:00 62.5 +200  


Download the GPX file here