Day at Mount Kosciuszko
On our trip to the high country last October we took a day out to “climb” Australia’s Highest mountain. The area is truely beautiful in the spring with the part snow melt.
Mount Kosciuszko at Australia's highest peak is a comparatively easy walk, and has formed walking tracks all the way to the top.
Mount Kosciuszko at Australia’s highest peak is a comparatively easy walk, and has formed walking tracks all the way to the top.
We asked around as the best way to do the walk, and the options were chairlift up from Threadbow, or walk up the summit track. We chose the summit track from Charlotte’s Pass and thpught that while we were there we may as well return via the main ridge track, 22km all up.
October is still cold in the high country, and the morning we set off was fine, clear, windy and -2 degrees. We thought we were well prepared, but it wasn’t too long before I was wondering the wisdom of the walk with the wind chill as it was. Fortunately as the sun rose more the temperature rose, along with the wind.
The summit walk passes the headwaters of the Snowy River, at this point its little more than a pretty creek, the summit walking track is an old road, and not at all steep, no doubt in the past you would have been able to drive your car up to the summit.
Parts of the track still had snow drifts and as the weather closed in for a while it became quite cold, despite the gear we were wearing. We stopped for a break at Seaman’s hut, this hut was erected by the family of a young man who perished in a blizzard early last century. Even on this fine day we could easily understand how tragedy could rapidly overtake you if the weather closed in. Anyway it was nice to shelter out of the wind in the sun for a while.
At Rawson pass we meet the Kosciuszko Walk which comes up from the top of the chairlift. This track is a steel deck, and reminds us just how busy it must get up here in summer. No doubt there are plenty of visitors in ski season as well.
We are told of a group of Russian climbers who were traveling the world climbing the highest peak on each continent, they arrived complete with crampons and climbing ropes. I think they may have been disappointed with Australia’s version of a high mountain.
Of course we meet he usual German Tourist in a light sweater, shorts and sneakers! They must have been cold.
At last we reach the summit of Australia’s highest mountain, it’s a long,but easy walk, The weather today is a challenge, in the summer it would be possible for just about anyone…… And the phone rings, a friend renting a property and she need a reference, so much for being in the wilderness.
The wind is howling by now and we pose for a few pics with one of those German tourists taking the camera for us. We dont hang around too long, the wind is making it just too miserable.
We are taking the main Ridge track back, a loop that follows the ridge line to several other peaks in the area.. The picture above shows the track, no-one has cleared the snow off this one! The track is buried under those snow drifts.
The Highlight of the walk was Lake Albina, a pretty little Glacial lake, we stopped and had lunch here in the shelter of the hill. The melting snow , alpine plants and crystal clear lake made for an enchanted spot.
Further along the track there is a spot where the wind funnels up the valley and over the ridge line, I estimated the wind speed to be over 100Km/hr. A little sign made note of the unusual plants that had adapted to growing in the extreme conditions.
As we returned to the car we were very pleased we made the extra effort to see our highest mountain at its best.