Today’s hike was twofold:
- First the Main Range Track from Charlotte Pass to Mount Kusciuszko.
- Then the Kusciuszko Walk from Mount Kusciuszko to Thredbo Top Station.
This hike may be my absolute favourite in the whole of Australia. Well, the first part of what I hiked today is, the Main Range Track.
Good Mrs drove me up to Charlotte Pass and it was surprisingly “balmy” there as we arrived around 8.45am.
Here I am rugged up but not as rugged up as I could have been in mid autumn. Although I had filled my backpack with tools and tricks, most of which I used somewhere along the trail.
You start by walking down down down from Charlotte Pass, all the way to and across the Snowy River.
Yes, we are talking hopping on stepping stones there. Or more to the point, balancing on lined up rocks organised into a somewhat straight pattern. Last time I did this hike, in spring 2012, almost none of the stepping stones were visible. Wading across was then the only option. It was a bit easier today.
This is how it looked from the other side of Snowy River.
Multiple jet streams looked great on the alpine sky.
The obvious first break is by the Blue Lake, a lake created from the aftermath of a glacier. It is a pretty location and is just over 1 hour into the hike.
I ate my apple as I chatted to other hikers who had the same idea. It was a social morning on the trail this Easter Monday.
One of the other hikers queried whether I was hiking alone, which I was. Fair enough, most of the other hikers from what I could see were couples. Here is a selfie of and by the Lone Hiker aka Hans The Hiker 🙂
This is the view northwest from Carruthers Peak. Not bad. Not bad at all.
What I like about this hike is that for large sections you are alone on top of that ridge. And as you are above the tree line, you can see “forever”. Well, at times you can see the track for several kilometers in front of you.
I included this photo after some 6km or so since you can see the downhill start of the hike from Charlotte Pass. Look top right and you can make out the trail.
OK, the weather then turned windy and colder. You may make out the wind from the redness of my face here and the cold from that I am now quite rugged up. Even the good old headband came out to keep the ears warm.
It worked. I was quite comfortable there in my skin despite the cold wind gusts and red-coloured face.
For a little while, the track follows the side of a hill as per below. Not a steep hill as you can see, but it did continue a fair bit to the right outside of the picture.
I could have taken hundreds of photos like the one below. Yes, I just loved it. You felt so alone in the elements despite a fair few other hikers this public holiday.
An optical illusion – the emptying of the water from the tarn.
And the trail goes on and on and on…
In the distance is Seamans Hut. It is on the Summit Walk which you can take back to Charlotte Pass from Mount Kusciuszko. You then do a loop by following a fire trail back (which I have done three times before). I zoomed in as much as I could from the Main Range Track.
Hey, that’s Mount Kusciuszko. Yep, the peak is there off the left of centre.
Note also the black plastic diamond patterned forms they used to stop erosion from the trail. It looked like they first put them down and them filled them with gravel.
Anticlimax. Yes, no other word from it. A previous post in my hiking blog highlighted my disdain for the walk up to Ben Nevis in Scotland. This felt similar.
Below we are actually on Mount Kusciuszko, with its peak to the top left. Rocks and more rocks.
Australia’s highest point. Well, on an Easter Monday it was a circus.
A plaque provided some information and background to the peak of Mount Kosciuszko.
The marker indicating the tallest point in Australia was never left alone. I tried to get a photo of myself and the marker but there was always somebody there. Oh well…
After lunch at the top, well you had to do it, I spiraled myself down and towards the Thredbo Top Station. A different type of “hiker” here. You know, the punters who carry a plastic bottle of water with them and nothing else. Families, kids, tourists with mega cameras around their necks.
I liked this sign though. It provided a good overview of the 3 main hikes around Mount Kusciuszko.
Unfortunately, most of the 6.5km track between Mount Kusciuszko and Thredbo Top Station is on grates. Brown and sometimes quite slippery grates.
At least there were some signs along the way, explaining what is around you. This sign told us that the Snowy River starts from right here.
And this is how Snowy River looks like at its humble beginnings.
This is Kusciuszko Lookout. If you don’t feel like doing the 6.5 * 2 km walk to the top and back, you can walk the 2km to here and the same back. As the map explains in the picture, Mount Kusciuszko is in the middle.
As you can see in the next couple of pics, the Kusciuszko Walk was as busy as the Main Range Track was not. I am sure that it comes across that I prefer quieter and less busy walking trails.
Walk finished and Good Mrs met me at the Thredbo Top Station having taken the chair lift up. We had arranged to meet in the Eagles Nest restaurant there. So I joined Good Mrs there who had arrived earlier. I ordered a hot chocolate which seemed like the natural option after an alpine hike.
We then made ourselves to the chairlift for the ride down to Thredbo Village where Good Mrs had parked the car.
And to finish it all off, a selfie from the chairlift.
In summary, a brilliant 12.5km Main Range Track to start the day. Followed by an anticlimax wander to the top of Australia’s world. Finished by jostling for space on the grates with people all the way to Thredbo Top Station.
Yes, the first part is always worth it and I am sure that I will hike it again. Next time, I will skip the peak and return via the Summit Walk back to Charlotte Pass instead.