Mount Kosciuszko – The Main Range walk
It’s Monday again, so time for my Musings on a Monday post – I’m enjoying taking the time to muse/think/contemplate, call it what you will, on a Monday. I hope you can join me….
It all started with a rolling pin on Friday afternoon
I was picked up by friends on a Friday afternoon and greeted them with a small rolling pin in hand. They were a bit bemused, and a tad concerned, but despite this we packed up the car and drove away! It’s amazing what 4 women need for a weekend away – but then we had to take sleeping bags, food, drinks, walking equipment. We even stopped for more food on the way!! More on the rolling pin later.
We left home and drove for nearly four hours arriving at Smiggins Hole in the NSW Snowy Mountains for a weekend of fun in the mountains. We were a group of 12 bush-walkers, some of whom have been meeting up for a weekend of walking in the mountains for the past 15 years. This was my first opportunity to join the group despite several invitations during this time. We were very comfortably housed in a lodge at Smiggins Hole, a popular skiing spot in winter and a place gaining popularity for walkers and bike riders during the warmer months. The lodge slept 32, had a great lounge area, a commercial kitchen and a bar. We were set! We had a fun night getting to know everyone and deciding on the details of Saturday’s walk.
Saturday dawned sunny, crisp and clear with a slight autumnal chill in the air. We drove a few kilometres up the road to Charlotte’s Pass and left the vehicles for the day. There were already many cars parked at 8.30 in the morning, which indicated there were quite a few people out walking the tracks. We had decided at dinner that we would do the 22km Main Range loop which is described by National Parks on their website:
Intrepid hikers can tackle the challenging Main Range walk, which takes in glacial lakes, historic huts, and the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, as it traverses Australia’s alpine high country in Kosciuszko National Park.
This spectacular, long alpine track is suited to adventurous hikers eager to explore some the highest reaches of Kosciuszko National Park on foot.
Set out from Charlotte’s Pass on the 22km track, which takes you through the glacier-carved landscapes of this protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. You’ll cross the fabled Snowy River, journey past Hedley Tarn and Blue Lake, and be dazzled by wildflower meadows in early summer. Then it’s high up along the rugged Main Range to the very rooftop of Australia, Mount Kosciuszko (2228m), where the views across the Australian Alps stretch as far as the eye can see.
From here, the track loops back to Charlotte’s Pass via the Mount Kosciuszko Summit trail. If you’re well-equipped, and prepared for an overnight back country camping, the walk can be spread over a couple of days.
I like the words intrepid, challenging, adventurous hikers – it describes our group so well!
We had a great day of walking, it was quite challenging in parts, steep and narrow but oh so picturesque! I did this walk a few years ago on a very different sort of day, foggy, wet and miserable and didn’t see any of the lakes, views or flowers. We were so fortunate to have such a glorious day this time and I loved taking in the various lakes and the majestic views.
We stopped for morning tea overlooking the Blue Lake and I love this photo.
The track wound up and up and then turned into a narrow goat track hugging the side of the cliff. I remembered this from last time as I was told it was a shame I couldn’t see the view. As I’m afraid of heights I’m glad I didn’t know what was below me at the time!
We stopped for lunch after three and a half hours of solid walking, overlooking another lake that we called our very own infinity pool. It was a gorgeous view to take in while restoring our energy with some food and a short kip for these two!
We continued walking and after another quite steep section we came to the intersection to either continue the loop or take a short detour to the top of Australia. As one of our group hadn’t been to the top of Mt Kosciuszko we decided to accompany her to the summit. It was very windy and very busy up there. Most people catch the chairlift from Thredbo and walk the 8 kilometres along a raised walking track (conservation issues) up to the top and take the chairlift back down, so it’s a popular day out. You can walk up and back from Thredbo if you’re keen. Also mountain bikes are very popular way of seeing the area. There were groups of airforce and army personnel in uniform, complete with flags, but we didn’t know what the occasion was. There were also groups of students, couples, friends, families and even a proposal while we were there. Everyone was busy on their phones texting, calling and photographing the moment of being on top of Australia’s highest mountain. We did the same!
After the excitement of summiting we had the last 8km to walk back to Charlotte’s Pass. This proved to be the most tedious part of the walk as it was on road gravel and was fairly flat and uninteresting compared to the first part of the walk. We were also starting to feel a bit sore and tired.
We ended up walking for nearly 8 hours including rest stops so we did have a pretty big day! We all enjoyed a communal dinner and drinks before sleeping very well.
We were home soon after lunchtime on Sunday after stopping for a break at Adaminiby home of the Big Trout. (Its an area renowned for its fly fishing).
Just in case you were wondering where the name Smiggins Hole comes from (as I was), their site tells the story of how the name is actually Scottish and was the term used to describe the holes in the land created by hundreds of cattle when accessing rock salt left out for them by graziers. In the early days before it became a national park, the whole alpine area was used for grazing cattle.
The small hand held rolling pin is good to use as a massager on sore muscles and I was determined not to forget to take it, hence why it was in my hand when I was collected on Friday. It came in quite useful too!
So, if you’ve never been to the top of Australia you should add it to your to-do list! It is well worth the effort and I can highly recommend seeing this part of the world. It’s basically in my backyard. It’s also one of the seven summits, the highest mountains of each of the seven continents summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge!
Only six summits to go!!
Thanks for joining me for Musings on a Monday feel free to join in and tag your post with Monday Musings. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts if you’ve done this walk or if it appeals to you.
Enjoy the week ahead.