Factors affecting route choice

When planning a trip in Australia there are some general ‘rules of thumb’ which may make your trip more enjoyable:

  • It is easier to navigate up a spur than to travel down one. When travelling up, the only decision to make is how far up you have travelled. However when travelling down a branching spur, you must pay particular attention to ensure that you remain on the required spur.
  • Conversely, when navigating in creek and river systems the preferred direction of travel is down, as the main stream is obvious.
  • Vegetation is often less dense on the crest of spurs and ridge tops.
  • North-facing slopes tend to offer drier, less scrubby terrain.
  • South-facing slopes offer wetter, scrubbier conditions and retain snow better.
  • Undulations in snow-covered areas (in poor weather) are more distinguishable in lightly treed areas.
  • In granite country, gullies are often easier going, as the spurs and crests are often covered with huge boulders.
  • If a considerable climb is involved in the trip, if possible it should be incorporated into the beginning of the trip, or the beginning of the day while the group is fresh.