Ascent of Mount Kosciuszko on 2014-12-27

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
Date:Saturday, December 27, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Mount Kosciuszko
    Location:Australia-New South Wales
    Elevation:7310 ft / 2228 m

Ascent Trip Report

Adrian and I leave London mid evening Christmas Eve, spending an unfestive Christmas Day en route to Sydney where we arrive around 0900, pick up our rental car. We manage somehow to miss the turn onto the Motorway, but once on the M5 we soon pick up signs for Canberra. Note there are road tolls. Apparently it is cheaper to set up an account online in advance but there's nothing in the rental info about it: there's no difficulty setting it up at the rental desk.

Passing Canberra we call in for Mount Ainslie which has a paved road within a few metres of the summit and a fine view of the Australian capital. At Cooma we make a supermarket stop at Woolworths one block east of the main route, to stock up for breakfast and hill food.

Mount Gladstone is another easy drive up, just east of Cooma. At Jindabyne we get petrol then enjoy a meal overlooking the lake. Finally we make the drive to the trailhead, Charlotte Pass S36.43184 E148.32827, 1843m. There's no parking lot as such: we see a few vehicles parked at the roadside before the turning head so we do the same. We're in our sleeping bags by 10. Note that a park pass is required, 16 AUD in 2014. Had we realised we could probably have paid in Jindabyne. The pay station along Kosciuszko Road is closed when we arrive late evening, so we pay next day on the way out.

Next morning we hike at 06:00, following the Summit Walk, which is an unpaved road (no vehicles allowed). Nice easy hike, lovely scenery and great weather. Calling briefly at Seamans Hut, and turning R at Rawson Pass S36.45768 E148.26872, 2120m (which appears to have a Trimble GPS base station).

We're at the summit (S36.45584 E148.26349, 228m, stone built trig pillar) in 2 hours, in perfect weather, cool, dry with lovely morning light. After 30 mins we continue, retracing our steps a short way then turning L at trail junction S36.45258 E148.26527 onto the Main Range Track. Descending to a saddle we fork L at approx S36.43942 E148.27028 onto a smaller path to Mount Townsend. The last part of this route is easy scrambling (YDS 2+) to the rocky summit (S36.42283 E148.25868, 2212m) which has a square concrete trig pillar and a fine view, better than from Kozzy and well worth the detour (also it's Australia's second highest peak). On the way down we can't resist the short scramble up to a perched rock S36.42233 E148.25956 beside the path.

On the way back to the Main Range Track we make the easy scramble to the summit of Muellers Peak (S36.43228 E148.26967, 2131m, rock outcrop). Returning to the main track we turn L and follow it a short way to its high point then climb R up steep grass to the summit of Mount Northcote (S36.42962 E148.27927, 2133m, cairn). Descending its north spur we rejoin the main track briefly (lots of folk on it now) before a final short detour takes us up Mount Lee (S36.41896 E148.28575, 2107, rocks). This hill has nice alpine plants, and when we meet a ranger soon afterwards we think she might mention it,but nothing is said. We're soon on the last summit of the circuit, Mount Carruthers Peak (S36.40991 E148.29041, 2144m, rock outcrop). This has a survey marker placed by the Hydro Electric Authority.

It's a straightforward descent, crossing the Snowy River by a long well-made set of stepping stones; the final steep ascent to Charlotte Pass is a bit of a grind in the hot sunshine.

Our 27km 6 summit circuit has taken 7h30. The return drive to Sydney takes about 6h: next morning we fly to Wellington on New Zealand's North Island. Our next summit is Taranaki the following day.

Koskiuszko photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1240 ft / 377 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1240 ft / 377 m
    Round-Trip Distance:16.8 mi / 27 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1240 ft / 377 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Start Trailhead:Charlotte Pass  6070 ft / 1850 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1240 ft / 377 m
    Distance:11.8 mi / 19 km
    End Trailhead:Charlotte Pass  6070 ft / 1850 m
    Time:5 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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