Location: South 36:27.350, East 148:15.812 (GPS on the summit)
Highest point on the Australian continent
Kosciuszko National Park, Australia
Climbed July 2, 2003.
How to get there:
A natural starting point is the ski area
Thredbo Village. We arrived by car from Melbourne
via Hwy. 31 through Wodonga and Corryong (stayed in a
nice motel in Corryong, owned by a lady that had
lived 3 years in Langesund, Norway). From the north,
the access would be via Cooma and the village
There is a dollar 15 (Australian) fee per day to stay in the
national park. The fee is collected at a park entrance station
between Jindabyne and Thredbo.
Thredbo village is a typical alpine skiing
area with shops, restaurants and generally expensive accommondation,
but with a range of choices.
However, there is not a single place in Thredbo that will (or can)
rent you cross country skies. (We therefore had to make an extra
trip to Jindabyne and back.) The recommended place to rent cross
country (back country touring skies, nordic type) is
Wilderness Sports in Jindabyne, it is located at the lower
level of the large shopping center that is south (to the right
when coming from Thredbo) of the highway. Ask for Bruce, a very
friendly and competent guy, the local phone number to the
store is 64562966. Route description:
The only viable way to ski when starting from Thredbo, is up the downhill
ski slope. We started at the bottom of the hill (1380 meter, GPS: South 36:30.231, East 148:18.200),
then climbed almost to the
top chair lift, (we left the slope and went right just before the final hill leading to
the top station)
into a basin where two creeks merge (1960 meter, GPS: South 36:29.336, East 148:17.024).
From here, continue slightly
right, with a somewhat ragged ridge on your left.
In summer, the "official walk-way" to the mountain starts here (there is a sign that may be
The ridge crest provides the first
sight of Mount Koscuiszko, (2070 meter, GPS: South 36:28.796, East 148:16.667).
Continue straight towards the summit, this will involve
a small descent before climbing to the saddle between the Rams ridge (left) and Etheridge (right).
Ski into this saddle, continue on the left side of Etheridge, gently climbing to the distinct saddle
called Rawson Pass, (2010 meter, GPS: South 36:27.457, East 148:16.121).
From the pass, continue climbing the slope, traverse left and
gain the south ridge of Mount Kosciuszko, then follow the top ridge to the summit. Comments:
I did this climb with my son Pål Jørgen, age 14. We started in the Thredbo
village at 0650, struggled a bit on waxless skies (the only kind one can rent) up the
newly groomed downhill, the skiing improved as soon as we could leave the downhill area.
We continued in beautiful morning weather, breaking trail in virgin, soft snow. The top of
the Australian continent reached at 1005. The weather seemed to hold (there were clouds moving
in from the east), so we continued to Mount Townsend, 2209 meter and the second highest peak
in Australia, reaching its summit at 1135. On the return we skied to the summit of our third
peak for the day, Rams Head at 2195 meter (see separate comments under this peak), on this
summit at 1410. Back at the lodge in Thredbo well before 1500. A fantastic 8 hour ski trip
in Australia. It is likely to be my only mountaineering skiing on this continent, I am therefore
extremely grateful to my good companion Pål Jørgen
and to the weather that turned exceptionally
good despite a pretty miserable forecast as well as poor weather the day before.