Revisiting Mount Kosciuszko

7 Apr

With visiting parents, I thought it might be quite lovely to take them down (and up) to see Mt Kosciuszko. We’d sworn ‘never again’ to the Main Range Track walk (>20km) which we’d done in early January, but had thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and thought it would be a nice tourist spot. We settled on taking the chairlift up from Thredbo (we’d walked from Charlottes Pass on the previous occasion) and walking the 13km return track from there.

We left Canberra on Good Friday and, after paying the $16 car fee to get into Kosciuszko National Park, we found ourselves in Thredbo Village. We easily found a car park, and jumped out of the car with our gear all on and walked towards the ticket office… only to realise we’d parked too early, and were outside the closed ticket office for the other chairlifts. We piled back into the car and travelled further down the road to where there were plenty of people and much fewer carparks! While finding a carpark was difficult, getting a ticket for the chairlift was simple ($31 return per adult). With clear directions from the cashier, we headed up the steps, walked through the gates, and stood side to side on a black mat while the four seater chairlift swung around to meet us. It stopped for just a second as we planted ourselves down, and then we were up.

The Kosciuszko Express quad chairlift is a great experience, whether you plan to do the walk or not. It’s rather lovely to dangle your legs down and look around at the scenery of Australia’s high country for the 15-20 minutes that it takes you to get to the top. I didn’t realise that Thredbo’s mountain biking was so popular, but there were plenty of people with the big helmets on – below us on the very steep mountain biking track, and in front of us and behind us on the chairlift (holding tightly onto their bikes!).

Once at the top, you’re instructed to basically walk off and to do so in a straight line – the last easy task! Then, you’re on your way to walk up to Mt K. You can also veer left and take the walk across to Dead Horse Gap (and then I assume down to Thredbo) but we were on a mission!

A warm day with bright blue skies didn’t continue once we were much higher. Darker clouds and then heavy, soupy mist came through and dominated our trek. We were very disappointed not to see some of the gorgeous views – the mist makes for an impressive sight, and it’s quite cool to truly be ‘up with the clouds’, but the very strong winds were quite demoralising. We were all set to be walking uphill, but didn’t quite expect to be pushed back by the wind. All sorts of people were on the track – from primary school-aged kids to a guy on crutches (massive kudos) to an older man with a walking stick who had the great strategy of a slow and steady pace (he often overtook us on our many breaks!).

Needless to say, you couldn’t see anything at the top of Mt Kosciuszko. We could see each other, and occasionally we got a glimpse or two below us, but it was nothing like our trek in January where the blues and purples of the distant Victorian Alps had provided a perfect backdrop. As always, a good hearty meal of bread rolls with salmon and salad and some fruit perked us right back up and we were ready to rush down to the bottom. We left the top of Mt K at about 2pm, knowing we had to be back for the last chairlift at 4pm.

Of course, the sun did begin to come out on the way back, the wind died down, and the walk down was a touch easier (but still tough on the knees!). We had absolutely no problem getting back down to the chairlift in that time, and it was again lovely to take our time to admire the view on the chairlift on the way back down.

Would I do it again? Yes. While the views weren’t breathtaking (with or without the mist!), the walk was easier and the chairlift was a definite enjoyment factor. But, I won’t be doing it again for a while. Twice to the top of Australia (‘s mainland) in three months is enough for me for some time, I think!

I did take the trusty calorie counter GPS, but I unfortunately couldn’t be so trusted with it, and somehow managed to turn it off for about 20 minutes of the walk! For the time it did count, I burnt more than 1400 calories – not a bad effort! (If you don’t see it in Metric, click the Metric button on the top right hand corner!) (Oh, and the differences in elevation are because I stopped and started it at different times on the chairlift! Was too distracted by the view both times!)

Date: Friday, 6 April 2012

Attendees: T1, Boyfriend + Parents

Cost: $16 + $31 x 4 + windburn

Want more? http://www.thredbo.com.au/activities-and-events/summer-activities/walks.asp

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2 Responses to “Revisiting Mount Kosciuszko”

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  1. Mt Painter « In The Taratory - May 6, 2012

    […] Revisiting Mount Kosciuszko (inthetaratory.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. Dear Canberra (a love letter, of sorts) « In The Taratory - January 17, 2013

    […] your encouragement, I’ve climbed walked up Mt Kosciuszko (twice); frozen my feet in Blue Waterholes on a 40 degree day; kayaked on Lake Burley Griffin; listened to […]

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